Simple fixes for 5 common Mac problems

Is your startup disk full? Are your apps constantly freezing? Let us show you the cure

Ask any power user what their favourite operating system is, and OS X is not likely to be at the top of their list. But even they will begrudge you the fact that it's idiot-proof and it simply just works. And that's one of the reasons why people buy Macs — they don't need to fuss with settings to get things to work.

Contrary to popular belief, however, even Macs need a little tender loving care to keep them running at an optimal level. Not nearly as much as PCs, but some maintenance would be welcome — but that's a discussion for another article.  

And even with proper maintenance, one of these five common problems may crop up now and then. Here are some tips on how to troubleshoot and fix them quickly.

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Your Startup Disk is almost full

If you see this alert, it means you need to take drastic action immediately. Ignore it at your peril, because your Mac will have trouble performing even the most basic of tasks if you don’t address the problem. OS X needs the free space to store data (cache) temporarily.

The first order of business is to empty your Trash. If you haven’t done so in a while, its contents could be taking up an enormous amount of unnecessary space on your hard drive.

If that doesn’t do the trick, you’ll have to start removing files from your Startup Disk — video files tend to be the biggest culprits — so delete unwanted or duplicate files, or move them to another partition or an external hard drive. Don't forget, whatever you choose to do, backup everything beforehand just to be safe.

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Wi-Fi problems

Simple connectivity problems can be resolved by turning off Wi-Fi on your Mac, waiting 10 seconds and turning it back on again. If that doesn't work, then it may be the router that's acting up, so turn off the router (and modem if applicable), wait 30 seconds and turn it back on again.

If that doesn't fix things, then it's possible that it might be a configuration issue. There's an off chance you can fix it easily: go to System Preferences —> Advanced —> TCP/IP and click on Renew DHCP Lease. If this doesn't work as well, then chances are the problem lies not with the Mac, but with your router settings or with your Internet Service Provider (ISP). In which case, give your ISP a call.

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