Without warning, your Mac becomes unresponsive, which prevents you from continuing your work. A frozen Mac appears rarely, but it indeed exists. If you have caught up in worry but helpless, maybe this article can help you dispel the dark clouds.
Usually, you may run into the occasions listed below:
- The apps become unresponsive with a spinning wheel.
- The booting process is stuck.
- The login screen is frozen.
This article is available on iMac, iMac Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. There's a little difference on detailed solutions for different Mac Models.
Unfreeze your Mac from unresponsive apps
Let's start with the most common scenario: your Mac froze during apps or programs working. Or even worse, it stuck exactly when you open the desktop. Often wait a few minutes to let the app buffer, and then it can go on working. But sometimes, it is in vain. At this time, you have to find some other ways.
• Unplug external device
First, if you had plugged an external device recently, unplug it. If it is valid, the frozen Mac may be caused by the corrupted external device. Because bad sectors on the corrupted external device may lock the device's io channel. Then, the system can't continue working with other apps or programs.
• Force quit applications
If the first way can't work, force-quit frozen apps and programs. It aims to check if they are not compatible with the system: if you can move the mouse of the frozen Mac, click the Apple icon and select Force Quit. If you can't, press Command + Option + Esc keys, and then press Enter instead.
• Restart your Mac
Still can't fix your frozen Mac? Just restart your Mac. Restarting the Mac can make it back to good condition. Because when too many apps are running meanwhile, the locked io channel will be blocked. Consequently, it can't return the io resource to the system for other tasks. Finally, your Mac stuck.
In case that the cursor can't be moved, press the power button for seconds to shut down your Mac. Then, press the power button again to restart it.
• Boot into Safe Mode
Sorry for the fact that you've failed in the above three ways. Now, you have to try to boot into Safe Mode: shut down your Mac first. Then press the power button and the Shift key. Release the keys until the Apple logo appears.
When you enter into Safe Mode successfully, it means the issues on Mac repaired (Safe Mode can clean up some re-creative cache files to replenish the insufficient memory (RAM), and it can repair some hard drive issues). Now, you can restart the Mac.
Tip: Don't worry that force quit an unsaved document, restart your Mac, or shut down your Mac will make unsaved files lost. In most cases, it won't. Read the following part to recover your unsaved Word.
Fix your Mac frozen on the startup screen
If your Mac became unresponsive during booting, you should consider if it is the recent failing system upgrade corrupted the system. Or because you have updated an incompatible boot drive driver or installed a third-party driver. Moreover, insufficient RAM for cache files produced from the startup process is also a possible reason.
As the startup process of a Mac is complex, the occasions of Mac frozen on the booting process are always different from people to people. So, you should know which situation you have encountered, and then, try the corresponding solutions. Here we have concluded some solutions for different Mac frozen issues, go to find the suitable one for yourself.
- Fix Mac Stuck on Loading Bar Screen
- Fix Mac Stuck on Login Screen
- Fix Mac won't boot past Apple logo
- Fix Mac Stuck on White Screen
Boot your Mac from the lock screen
Usually, it is good to protect your Mac by setting it in sleep mode every time you leave. However, this time you back to use the Mac but found it froze. What happens? That may because the sleeping Mac makes the working CPU powered off suddenly. Thus, the CPU can't finish its work by following a program's instructions to process the data. Finally, it caused the Mac stuck.
And there's also another possible reason: the Mac can't return to the system state that it was. When a Mac is in sleep, only the RAM is left powered. If a power failure happens, data on the RAM (RAM stores the state of the system before it went to sleep) will lose.
Keep calm! At first, wait for a few minutes to check if the Mac can wake up itself from sleep. If it can't, you have no choice but restart your PC first (It won't make unsaved documents lost):
Press and hold the power button for several seconds to shut down the Mac. Then, press the power button again to boot it up.
If it failed, try to boot your Mac into Safe Mode:
Press the power button and hold the Shift key. If you boot into Safe Mode successfully, next you need to do is clicking the Apple icon and select Restart.
Usually, boot into Safe Mode can save your unresponsive Mac. But if no changes, you have to reinstall your macOS because the system is probably corrupted.
Recover the unsaved documents from your latest frozen Mac
You don't worry that forcing quit apps or restarting the Mac will make your unsaved Word or other document loss. On most occasions, it won't. Since Mac has the feature of automatically saving files. Your unsaved documents will be automatically saved in a folder named TemporaryItems. When the Mac is back to normal, you can try to recover the unsaved documents.
The recovering steps are:
1. Open Launchpad and select Terminal
2. Type the follwoing command in Terminal and press Enter to open the TMP folder (It is created automatically to save temporary files).
3. Find out the TemporaryItems folder. Then, right-click the desired unsaved document.
Tip: If your Mac froze during the system update, data loss would happen if the system is corrupted.
But, it is also possible that Mac hasn't saved your documents in time. You can try some data recovery software like iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to recover your files.
Tricks to avoid your Mac freezing again
Unfreezing your Mac doesn't mean that all the problems that caused Mac frozen are solved. Don't turn a blind eye to these issues because they risk freezing your Mac again. If you don't have any ideas about that, take a look at below:
Update your apps. Click Apple menu > Select App Store... > Choose Updates. Then, update all the apps to be updated.
Check and clean up your RAM. Open Launchpad > Open Activity Monitor > Click Memory, you can check out which software occupies too much memory but is useless. Then, go to disable or unload the software. You can also delete some out-of-date cache files.
Check your disk with the First Aid utility. Open Launchpad > Click Disk Utility > Select the boot volume and click First Aid. You can also check and repair other volumes with First Aid.
Unload unnecessary third-party software. Open Finder > Select Applications and move the undesired software to the Trash.
It is a big trouble that your iMac, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro is frozen all of a sudden. This article supplies solutions to unfreeze Mac when working, startup, and waking up from sleep, which can help you get out of trouble. Moreover, it also offers you some tricks to avoid your Mac freezing once again. Hope you can get help from this article.