How to Unfreeze a MacBook Pro

Fix your freezes

If your MacBook Pro has frozen and you can't get it to work, it can be a massive problem for your productivity levels. Whether it's a matter of your laptop overheating or a problem with macOS, it's very inconvenient, but it doesn't have to be a permanent problem. Here's how to get your MacBook Pro working again. 

What Causes a MacBook Pro to Freeze?

Are you wondering how to fix a frozen MacBook Pro? We get it. A MacBook Pro that keeps freezing is a big problem, but it can have a simple fix. It can be due to a malfunctioning program, an issue with macOS itself, or a hardware fault such as overheating or a RAM problem. 

You can do many of these fixes at home, but there are certain cases where the MacBook Pro needs to be professionally repaired by Apple or may even be beyond repair.

Before reaching that stage, it's wise to narrow things down to the specific problem you're dealing with, as well as try to troubleshoot the issue.

Troubleshoot When a MacBook Pro Freezes

If your MacBook Pro has frozen, try these troubleshooting tips to get it back up and running:

There are many different reasons why your MacBook Pro may have frozen. If the step doesn't relate to your problem, skip it and move onto the next most relevant one.

  1. Force quit the app. If you think an app is causing your MacBook Pro to freeze, try force quitting the app using Command+Option+Escape to display the Force Quit Applications window.

  2. Try force quitting an app via the Apple menu. Click the Apple icon on your laptop and scroll down to Force Quit to close the app. 

  3. Force quit the app via Activity Monitor. A more effective way of force quitting an app or errant process can be by using Activity Monitor. 

  4. Shut down the MacBook Pro. If you can't force quit the app and your Mac isn't responding, shut down the computer. You'll lose all unsaved work, but it can fix most freezing issues.

  5. Unplug any peripherals attached to your Mac. Sometimes, a peripheral can be causing an issue with your MacBook Pro. Try unplugging it to see if it corrects the problem.

  6. Boot into Safe Mode. Try using your Mac's Safe Boot mode to check your computer is working correctly.

  7. Free up disc space. All computers can slow down substantially if they're low on disc space. Try removing apps and documents to speed up your MacBook Pro. 

  8. Reset your Mac's PRAM or NVRAM. Resetting your Mac's PRAM or NVRAM can solve some basic hardware issues where your system effectively gets confused. It's a simple fix.

  9. Repair permissions. If you're using a MacBook Pro running OS X Yosemite or earlier, you may need to repair permissions to ensure any application you have issues with runs correctly. Doing this isn't required since OS X El Capitan as macOS automatically repairs its file permissions.

  10. Reset your MacBook Pro. As a last chance solution, try resetting your MacBook Pro by wiping all the information off its hard drive and starting afresh. Make sure to have backups of all your important documents, so you don't lose anything valuable.

  11. Contact Apple customer support. If you continue to have issues with your MacBook Pro freezing, contact Apple customer support. If your laptop is still under warranty, you may be able to get it repaired for free. Failing that, Apple customer support can still advise you on any other repair options and assist you further. 

  • Why won't my MacBook Pro turn on?

    If your Mac won't turn on at all, there's probably a power issue. Check the power connections and swap out the power cable or adapter if you have a spare. Next, remove all connected peripherals from the Mac, reset the SMC, then try turning on your computer again.

  • How do I fix it when my MacBook Pro's screen isn't working?

    To fix Mac display problems, reset the PRAM/NVRAM and the SMC if you can, then restart your computer. If you're still having issues, use Safe Boot to troubleshoot your graphics software and hardware.

  • How do I fix it when my MacBook Pro won't start up?

    If your MacBook Pro turns on but won't start up, disconnect all accessories and try using Safe Boot. Reset the PRAM/VRAM and the SMC if possible, then run Apple's Disk Utility to repair the hard drive.

  • How do I fix the spinning pinwheel of death on MacBook Pro?

    To stop the pinwheel of death on a Mac, force-quit the active app and repair the app's permissions. If you're still having issues, clear the Dynamic Link Editor cache and restart your computer. If the problem persists, you might need to upgrade your RAM.

  • How do I restart my MacBook Pro?

    Go to the Apple menu > select Restart or press and hold Control+Command+Power. If that doesn't work, press and hold the Power button to force restart your MacBook Pro.

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