MacBooks are great devices to own. They’re the perfect partners to studying or working, and Apple’s ability to make laptops that meet the needs of everyday people makes them worthy of their prestige as a tech brand. Even used MacBooks can hold their own to some of the latest laptops available in the market.
However, everything eventually deteriorates with age. Even the latest MacBook will decline in condition as the years pass on, and you can especially feel the effects of time on older MacBook models. Uncertainty over their conditions is one of the reasons why many steer away from used and recycled MacBooks.
One of the common problems you may experience with used or recycled MacBooks is the error. Depending on the condition of your MacBook, these problems can be anything from your MacBook freezing to hard drive errors.
If you encounter any issues with your MacBook, the best course of action is to have them checked at your nearest service center. However, if you want to save money, the next best thing is to solve these errors yourself. This article will cover the most common problems you may encounter with your MacBook and a guide to help you solve them.
Problem: Your MacBook won’t start
Your MacBook Pro failing to start after pressing the power button can be a worrying dilemma, as there may be multiple factors that can affect your Mac’s ability to power up. The source of the problem can be anything from battery issues to the display, so approach this problem from multiple angles.
You can check the power by pressing the power button for ten seconds before letting it go and pressing it again. If your Mac runs on an Intel processor, you can solve this problem by fixing the NVRAM and PRAM: Upon starting the Mac, press and hold the Command-option-P-R keys for 20 seconds.
Resetting the System Management Controller is also a viable route to take:
1. Click the Apple Menu.
2. Select Shut Down.
3. Press and hold Command-Option-Shift for seven seconds.
4. Press and hold power along with the aforementioned keys for another seven seconds.
5. Wait a few seconds before turning on your Mac once more.
Problem: Your MacBook is overheating
MacBooks are designed to work for hours on end, so red flags should be popping all over your brain the moment you feel your Mac heating up. This means that there’s no clear airflow to allow your machine’s CPU and motherboard to maintain their temperatures. This can be caused by a blockage at the vents or hardware errors.
Another factor that could affect your CPU’s performance is the software installed, as some applications eat up so much CPU power that it doesn’t have enough capacity to run. Here’s how you can take to address this issue:
1. Open the activity monitor to see which apps in your device consume the most power out of your CPU.
2. Locate the apps and force close them.
Problem: Your MacBook is beeping three times
The moment you hear your MacBook make three beeps in quick succession, it means that you have a problem with your RAM. You either have insufficient RAM space to boot your machine, or the RAM is faulty. Here are some ways you can approach this error:
• Access your motherboard and ensure you have RAM installed. If you have two chips, reset them, and try again.
• Try one chip to see which of the two causes the problem. Once you figure that out, consider changing the RAM chip yourself.
• If none of the aforementioned solutions work, you may have a faulty logic board that needs to be taken to a service center immediately.
Problem: Your keyboard is unresponsive
Your MacBook’s keyboard is probably one of the most frustrating things you’ll have to deal with. A faulty keyboard means you can’t use your MacBook at full efficiency, which affects your overall productivity. Fortunately, the key to fixing your keyboard is straightforward:
1. Enter safe mode by rebooting your Mac and holding the Shift key.
2. Safe mode will eliminate unnecessary cache files and repair macOS paths that affect your keyboard’s responsiveness.
Problem: Your MacBook keeps on freezing
A frozen Mac is an endless source of frustration for many users as it gets them off their groove. Unresponsive apps are one of the common reasons why your Mac freezes, but the System Management Controller and PRAM/NVRAM can also affect your screen.
Since these three are the most common culprits behind your Mac freezing, the solutions we have on hand directly address them as well:
• Click the Apple Menu and choose Force Quit. Select Finder before clicking Relaunch.
• Depending on the Mac you have, press Shift-Command-Option and the power button (Macs released before 2016) for ten seconds and turn on your Mac again. Macs with T2 chips can be sorted with a 10-second press of the power button.
• Reset your PRAM/NVRAM by turning off your Mac and immediately pressing Option-Command-P-R for 20 seconds while you turn your machine on again.
Problem: Your Mac’s battery is draining too fast
Your MacBook’s battery power is what makes it a great computer to bring wherever you want to go. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the first parts to go awry among old MacBooks. If you feel your battery life starting to empty more quickly than usual, you can do one of the following:
• Reduce the screen motion on your Mac by clicking the Apple icon then selecting System Preferences, Accessibility, and Display in that order. Check the Reduce Motion option and turn it off.
• If you have too many applications running simultaneously, shut down those you’re not currently using. Leaving these idle programs running will consume CPU usage, which also affects battery life.
• Make full use of App Nap if you have it integrated into your MacBook.
Make the Most Out of Your MacBooks Today
Age is something that comes for all things, organic and otherwise. While performance issues are something that you cannot avoid with used MacBooks, that doesn’t mean that you have to struggle with a poorly optimized machine.
However, it’s essential to recognize if an error is beyond your capabilities. If you already did everything listed in this piece and the problem is still not sorted, it’s best not to tinker any further and leave it to the professionals who know what to do with an old MacBook. Trying to solve a complex error without sufficient knowledge and equipment could lead to irreversible damage.