Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac, 3rd Edition

Book description

Fix common problems, and handle uncommon problems like a pro!

Updated January 23, 2019

Macs are generally quite reliable as computers go, but they can still experience significant problems. In this essential guide from best-selling author Joe Kissell, you'll learn key troubleshooting skills that will help you address the most common and frustrating Mac irritations. You'll also learn what to do when you encounter a problem for which you can't find a ready-made solution. (Step one: Don't panic!)

Whether your Mac won't turn on, experiences crashes or kernel panics repeatedly, can't connect to the internet, or exhibits any of numerous other misbehaviors, this book has the calm, friendly advice you need to find a solution.

This book covers 10.9 Mavericks or later, including 10.14 Mojave.

You'll learn these 17 basic troubleshooting procedures (along with the reasons they can help):

  • Force-quit an app
  • Restart your Mac
  • Log in to another user account
  • Start up from another volume
  • Run disk repair utilities
  • Erase and restore from a backup
  • Repair permissions (in Yosemite and earlier)
  • Start up in safe mode
  • Check preference files
  • Reset NVRAM or SMC
  • Use Activity Monitor
  • Check free disk space
  • Check log files
  • Clear caches
  • Check your RAM
  • Test for reproducibility
  • Get system information

Joe also explains how to solve 21 common problems, including:

  • Your Mac won't turn on
  • Your Mac stalls during startup
  • Your Mac keeps turning itself off
  • Your fan runs excessively
  • Your Mac is abnormally slow (read Take Control of Speeding Up Your Mac for full details)
  • You can't empty the Trash
  • An app grinds to a halt
  • An app crashes
  • You experience repeated kernel panics
  • The keyboard or mouse doesn't work
  • You lose your internet connection
  • Printing doesn't work
  • Spotlight searches fail
  • Keychain (seemingly) forgets passwords
  • Apple Mail fails to connect
  • Time Machine misbehaves
  • A volume won't unmount
  • The "Open With" menu contains errors
  • iCloud Data doesn't sync properly
  • Continuity features fail
  • Your laptop's battery misbehaves

Publisher resources

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Table of contents

  1. Read Me First
    1. Updates and More
    2. Basics
    3. What’s New in Version 3.1
    4. What Was New in the Third Edition
  2. Introduction: Don’t Panic!
  3. Quick Start
  4. Prevent Problems
    1. Use a Surge Protector or UPS
    2. Back Up Your Mac Regularly
    3. Keep Your Software Up to Date
  5. Prepare for an Emergency
    1. Acquire a Secondary Startup Volume
    2. Get a Disk Repair Utility
    3. Set Up Another User Account
    4. Consider Purchasing AppleCare+
    5. Think About an Insurance Policy
    6. Find Extra Help
    7. Have an Accessible Copy of This Book
  6. Learn Troubleshooting Basics
    1. Force-Quit an App
    2. Restart Your Mac
    3. Log In to Another User Account
    4. Start Up from Another Volume
    5. Run Disk Repair Utilities
    6. Erase and Restore from a Backup
    7. Repair Permissions
    8. Start Up in Safe Mode
    9. Check Preference Files
    10. Reset NVRAM or SMC
    11. Use Activity Monitor
    12. Check Available Disk Space
    13. Check Log Files
    14. Clear Caches
    15. Check Your RAM
    16. Test for Reproducibility
    17. Get System Information
  7. Solve Common Problems
    1. Your Mac Won’t Turn On
    2. Your Mac Stalls During Startup
    3. You Can’t Boot from an External Volume
    4. Your Mac Keeps Turning Itself Off
    5. Your Fan Runs Excessively
    6. Your Mac Is Abnormally Slow
    7. You Can’t Empty the Trash
    8. An App Grinds to a Halt
    9. An App Crashes
    10. Your Mac Has Repeated Kernel Panics
    11. The Keyboard or Mouse Doesn’t Work
    12. You Lose Your Internet Connection
    13. Printing Doesn’t Work
    14. Spotlight Searches Fail
    15. Keychain Fails to Provide Passwords
    16. Apple Mail Fails to Connect
    17. Time Machine Misbehaves
    18. A Volume Won’t Unmount
    19. The “Open With” Menu Contains Errors
    20. iCloud Data Doesn’t Sync Properly
    21. Continuity Features Fail
    22. Your Laptop’s Battery Misbehaves
  8. Troubleshoot Novel Problems
    1. Try the Standard Quick Fixes
    2. Ask the Right Questions
    3. Ask the Vendor for Help
    4. Check Mac Troubleshooting Sites
    5. Use Your Favorite Search Engine
    6. Contact a Professional
  9. About This Book
    1. Ebook Extras
    2. About the Author and Publisher
    3. Credits
  10. Also by Joe Kissell
  11. Copyright and Fine Print

Product information

  • Title: Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac, 3rd Edition
  • Author(s): Joe Kissell
  • Release date: January 2019
  • Publisher(s): Take Control Books
  • ISBN: 9781947282162