Personal Computers: Running Into Problems With Your Mac

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show
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Larry Meiller learns the most common problems faced by Mac users. Plus, get your computer questions answered.

Featured in this Show

  • Frozen Mac? Don't Power Down Just Yet

    Apple may have a reputation for making secure and long-lasting devices, but even Mac users inevitably have issues with their computers from time to time.

    According to Jesse La Grew, a technical team lead within the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Information Technology, problems with Macs can often involve applications that utilize a lot of CPU processing or memory, or that act in an unexpected way, La Grew said. One thing that can happen as a result of those things is a frozen computer.

    La Grew warned that for those who just power down when their computers freeze, there’s a potential downside.

    “If you have open files, you might lose data if you were working on it,” he said.

    Fortunately, when it comes to certain software like Microsoft Word or Keynote, there might be recovery mechanisms to lessen the likelihood of that happening, he said.

    One utility La Grew said he uses frequently, especially if one application in particular is freezing up, is the Activity Monitor. The program is like Task Manager on Windows — essentially, it shows all the programs running on the computer, along with information about whether a specific program is unresponsive and how much CPU and memory it’s using.

    “If it’s utilizing a lot of those resources, you might not have to shut down your computer entirely — you can shut down that one application and restart it when you need to use it,” he said.

    According to Lewis Painter with Macworld, Mac users can also use Activity Monitor when their computer is running sluggishly overall. If the memory usage chart included in the utility is an amber or red color at any given time, it means that the operating system is struggling to manage memory usage. That issue can be fixed by closing some of the applications that are hogging the most resources.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Cheyenne Lentz Producer
  • Jesse La Grew Guest

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