How to Fix App Issues on a Mac

Introduction

With your Mac computer, you may encounter problems trying to use certain pre-loaded apps or even ones installed from the App Store. Sometimes apps won't open after doing an update, or you may encounter an error message or a crash that prevents you from running a program. You may even experience a program that is not willing to launch at all. In this guide, we'll take a look at some steps you can take to resolve many program and app issues.

After each step, feel free to attempt to launch or run the app you've been having issues with. If one of the troubleshooting steps resolves the issue, you can skip ahead to the end of this guide.

macOS.

? What problems are you having?

  1. One App won't open
  2. Apps open very slowly
  3. All Apps won't open

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With your Mac computer, you may encounter problems trying to use certain pre-loaded apps or even ones installed from the App Store. Sometimes apps won't open after doing an update, or you may encounter an error message or a crash that prevents you from running a program. You may even experience a program that is not willing to launch at all. In this guide, we'll take a look at some steps you can take to resolve many program and app issues.

After each step, feel free to attempt to launch or run the app you've been having issues with. If one of the troubleshooting steps resolves the issue, you can skip ahead to the end of this guide.

macOS.

To Quit an Application:

  1. Click the application menu at top, then choose Quit at the bottom.
    Safari menu with quit safari highlighted
  2. Make sure the application leaves your Dock at the bottom or no longer has a dot underneath it.
    Running Application
    Dock icon with black dot indicating it is running
    Closed Application
    Dock icon without black dot indicating it is closed
    If the program does not quit properly
    1. Click on the Apple menu, then click Force Quit.
      Apple menu with Force quit highlighted
    2. Select the app you want to force close, then click Force Quit.
      Force quit dialog with application and force quit button highlighted
    3. Click Force Quit when prompted.
      force quit confirm dialog with force quit button highlighted
  3. To restart the program, click its icon on the Dock or from the Applications folder.
  1. Select the Apple menu, then Shut Down...
    Apple menu with shut down highlighted
  2. Wait for your computer to shut down, and turn off.
  3. Wait 10 seconds.
  4. Turn your Mac back on by pushing the Power button on the keyboard.
    Mac Keyboard with Power button highlighted
  1. Select the Apple Menu and then System Preferences.
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Select Users & Groups.
    macOS Users and Groups Preferences
  3. Select Login Items at the top, then your Username on the left. Finally, select the lock in the bottom-left corner to unlock these settings.
    Users and Groups Preferences with Login Items, User, and Lock highlighted.
  4. Enter your macOS password, and select Unlock.
    System Preferences unlock prompt with password and Unlock button highlighted.
  5. Look through the list on the right. If you see an item you don't recognize, or an item you don't use frequently, highlight it by clicking its name, then click the Remove (–) button below to remove it.
    Users and Groups Login Items with an item and minus button highlighted.
  1. Select Apple menu > About This Mac.
    macOS Mojave Apple menu with About This Mac highlighted.
  2. Select Storage.
    About This Mac with Storage highlighted
  3. Free space is the first number you see below the name of your hard drive.
    About This Mac Storage with available space highlighted

    Disk space needs will vary depending on how you use your computer. In general, if you have over 15 GB of free space, you should be fine for updates and upgrades.
    Only proceed if you have less than 15 GB of free space.

  4. Select Manage.
    About this Mac with Manage button highlighted
  5. Under Recommendations on the left, you'll see some very easy-to-use tools to help optimize and clean up your disk space, such as optimizing the files already stored in iCloud, removing items from iTunes you've already watched or listened to, emptying the Trash automatically, and reviewing the files stored on your Mac to delete unused or old ones.
    macOS recommendations
  1. Select the Apple menu, then App Store.
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with App Store highlighted.
  2. You will now see the app store pull up. Select Updates.
    macOS 10.14 Mojave or LaterApp Store side bar with Updates highlighted.
    macOS 10.13 High Sierra or EarlierApp store menu bar with Updates highlighted.
Any version of macOS 10.7 (Lion) or older can check for available updates through the Apple Menu and Software Updates.

Disk Utility is designed to be easy to run, and help fix many small issues with your Mac's storage disk. Keep in mind, though, it is also designed to do major repairs and has the capabilities to cause problems if not used correctly. This guide will walk you through the proper options to select to use it safely.

Disk Utility can take a long time to run, especially on larger hard drives. Please make sure you won't need your computer for at least 1 hour before beginning this step.
  1. Select Apple Menu > Restart.
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
  2. Immediately after your Mac restarts (some Mac computers play a startup sound), press and hold the command ⌘ and R keys until the Apple logo appears, then release the keys.
    Mac keyboard with command and R keys highlighted
  3. Select Disk Utility, then Continue.
    macOS Utilities with Disk Utility and Continue highlighted
  4. Select your hard drive, then select First Aid at the top.
    Disk Utility with drive and First Aid highlighted.
  5. A message telling you First Aid will check and repair errors. Select Run.
    Disk Utility First Aid dialog with Run highlighted.
  6. Disk Utility will scan your hard drive, and attempt to repair any issues it has.
    If you are prompted to complete the repairs yourself, or get an error about disk failure, reach out to Apple Support immediately.
  7. If the repairs complete successfully, select the Apple Menu > Restart to restart your Mac.
    Apple menu with Restart highlighted.
  1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu (1), then select Restart... (2).
    Apple icon in the upper-left corner displaying a menu beneath with the restart option highlighted.
  2. Immediately press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard.
  3. Release the Shift key when you see the login window.
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