How to troubleshoot your Mac

You can get help, right on your Mac. If that doesn’t work, ask iMore!

If you are new to Mac, or are having a problem with your Mac for the first time, there are a number of different ways you can troubleshoot your issues. You can look up guidance right on your Mac, search iMore’s How-to guides, or contact Apple for additional help. If you are stuck, don’t fret. The Apple community is the most helpful technology community around.

How to use the Help program on Mac

Your Mac comes with a very useful Help program that can be used with just about every aspect of your computer. All you have to do is type in your query and the Help program will dig up information to solve your problem.

  1. Click on Help in the Menu bar at the top of your Mac’s screen.
  2. Type in a query, like “downloading apps” or “new user.”
    • If you have Finder selected (click on your desktop screen), you can check out What’s new in macOS, New to Mac, and Get to Know your Mac, for more help.

  3. Select the search result from the list.
  4. Click on a related link to open a specific app or program relating to your issue.

Some useful things you should know about the Help program:

  • Use the keyboard shortcut command-shift-/ to quickly access the Help program.
  • Help will show search results based on the app you are using. For example, if you are using Safari, it will show results for help with Safari. If you have Finder selected, it will show results for Finder.
  • When searching for help using a command for a program, you can hover over menu results and an arrow will appear next to where you will find it in the app menu.

How to use the iMore forums for help with your Mac

If your Mac can’t help with your problem, the iMore community can. Not only is our writing staff great at troubleshooting problems, but our fantastic readers are always on-hand to help with even the simplest of problems. So don’t be scared to ask anything in the forums. Our forum users understand that when you are new to Mac, you might need extra help.

Sign up with iMore.com — it’s free!

  1. Click the Menu icon at the top left corner of your browser window. It looks like three lines stacked on top of each other (☰).
  2. Select Sign up from the drop down menu.

  3. Enter a username, email, and password. Or sign up using Facebook, Google +, Twitter, or with your Microsoft account.
  4. Click Continue.

  5. Verify your email address. Open your email inbox and look for an email from Mobile Nations. Click the Verify link to sign in.
    <img src="https://www.imore.com/sites/imore.com/files/styles/xlarge/public/field/image/2016/10/troubleshoot-imore-forums-mac-screenshot-03.jpg?itok=ejJAOX-B" width="1600" height="379" alt="Verify your email"  class="image-xlarge aligncenter lightbox" />
    
  6. Click on your User name.
  7. Select Manage Profile.
  8. Fill out your profile information.

You can now participate in the iMore forums.

How to ask a question

Chances are, if you have a problem, someone else has had it in the past, too. You can search for a solution by typing your query into the search field. If you don’t see a thread discussing your issue, you can post a new thread.

  1. Click on your avatar at the top left corner of your browser window.
  2. Select the iMore Forums from the drop down menu.

  3. Select a topic, like iPhone 7.
  4. Click on Post New Thread.

  5. Fill out the thread form.
  6. Click Submit Question.

How to chat with Apple support online or on the phone for help with your Mac

If searching on your Mac doesn’t help, and if the iMore forums can’t solve your problem, you can go directly to the source: Apple support.

If you’re just looking for some basic how-to solutions, you can get help in 140 characters or less via Twitter using @AppleSupport. The company tweets out plenty of helpful advice about new features on iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

If Twitter doesn’t help, you can talk directly with an Apple support technician either online or on the phone. If you start out in a chat, but discover your problem is more complicated, you can always ask to speak with a support technician on the phone.

  1. Visit Apple’s support page.
  2. Select Mac (or if your issue is with another device, select it from the list of options).
  3. Select a category that your issue falls under.

  4. Select a topic.
  5. Select Chat, Talk to Apple Support Now, Schedule a Call, or Call Apple Support Later to contact Apple support.
    • Apple will contact you through the channel that you specified (unless you selected Call Apple Support Later, in which case, you will need to contact Apple).

How to set up a Genius appointment at an Apple retail store for help with your Mac

Sometimes, the problem is more difficult than simply going through a series of steps as suggested by your Mac, iMore, or even Apple technical support. Sometimes, you have to bring your Mac in for diagnostics and possible repairs. If there is an Apple Store near you, you can schedule an appointment at the Genius Bar.

  1. Visit Apple Support
  2. Select Mac (or if your issue is with another device, select it from the list of options).
  3. Select a category that your issue falls under.

  4. Select a topic.
  5. Click on Bring in for Repair.

  6. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  7. Select a location.

  8. Select an Apple Store near you.
  9. Pick a date and time.

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