Tech / Apple / Apple Tutorials

8 Common MacBook Issues & How To Prevent Them

Published 23 November 2021

Last updated on 9 December 2022

Although MacBook owners pay a premium price for a device, they should not expect flawless performance. Even though Macs are known for their reliability and durability, these computers still can cause some hiccups, as all technology has its quirks.

Sure, if you consider the average time one spends in a computer service shop as a Windows MS user and a macOS user, the latter seems to have the edge. Nevertheless, MacBooks are no different from other computers or digital devices because they still break down eventually. 


Since most MacBook models come with integrated hardware you cannot replace, you want to avoid potential issues for as long as possible. Otherwise, you will need to spend a lot of money in the service store or be forced to purchase a new computer.

Some potential problems are more common and easier to solve than others. As a rule of thumb, if the issue is too difficult to manage, you should not risk it. Doing the work yourself might lead to even bigger problems.

Knowing what to expect and how to deal with it should be handy. Below, you will find 8 common MacBook issues and ways to counter them.

Feel free to check out our blog on the best Mac tips & tricks.

1. AirPlay Malfunctioning

AirPlay allows Mac users to stream media from one device to another. For example, from iPhone to MacBook or from iPad to a MacBook. Remember, though, that devices must be from Apple and connected to the same Wi-Fi network for AirPlay to work.

Having said that, AirPlay might still give you problems even though you did what is necessary.

Fixing AirPlay

If airplay not working properly has become a common occurrence, you should not expect the issue to solve itself. No, what you need is to take some action.

Once you confirm that both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, check for firewall and parental restrictions and disable them if they are active. Next, find out if your devices are up to date and compatible with one another. Finally, try restarting the devices or disconnecting and connecting to the internet.


2. Screen Flickers

Screen flickers can get on your nerves quickly, particularly if they become too frequent. More often than not, there is one cause behind this problem, and that is the incompatibility between the operating system and the hardware. Or, to be more precise, the graphics processing unit.


Fixing Screen Flickers

If the flickering started after you updated to the latest macOS version, try downgrading it back to what it was before. Doing so should solve the problem, and you will need to wait for a hotfix from macOS developers.

Regardless, if the issue persists, it is better to take the MacBook to a computer service store. After all, tinkering with a laptop’s screen without technical knowledge is bound to backfire.

3. Spinning Beach Ball


A spinning beach ball is one of those issues that might not seem too problematic initially, but the worse it gets, the more annoying it becomes. If the ball spins for a bit and disappears, you might not even notice it.

On the other hand, once the spinning becomes too frequent and prolonged, it will likely snowball from there, causing additional trouble.

Fixing Spinning Beach Ball

A common cause behind this issue is insufficient memory, disk space, and CPU. Launch Activity Monitor to see which processes are consuming the most resources. Using Activity Monitor frequently is a good tip in general, as you can get a better idea of what is happening with your Mac.

To free up the MacBook’s resources, quit redundant background apps and make more free storage on the drive by removing files permanently or moving them to external storage.

4. Loud Noise and Overheating

Loud noises and overheating are not good signs. If anything, they indicate that the device is experiencing significant issues, and you need to manage the problem before it becomes too prominent.


Fixing Loud Noise and Overheating on MacBooks

Some MacBook owners get a cooling pad and rely on the accessory to manage the issue.  It is a decent approach, but it might not be enough to solve the problem for good. The odds are that there is too much dust inside the laptop; unless you clean it regularly, it will continue to snowball out of control.

Unless you know how to take the MacBook apart to clean it thoroughly, it is better to leave the task to someone with experience. You will need to pay money for the job, but at least minimal risks are involved when a professional is cleaning the device.

5. No Internet Connection

A poor Wi-Fi signal could be the result of different factors. However, there are a few ways to troubleshoot this particular issue.

Check this blog written by our experts if you have a Wi-Fi connection but no internet.

Fixing a bad Internet Connection

For one, you could try to use an ethernet cable. Even though it limits the laptop’s portability, an ethernet cable boosts the connection. But you would need to buy a thunderbolt ethernet adapter for your MacBook as they do not have ethernet ports anymore.

Thunderbolt ethernet adapter apple

Third-party peripherals could be in the way as well. A wireless printer, for instance, might be jamming the signal, and moving the internet router to a different location could be enough to solve the problem.

If you cannot determine the cause and solve the situation yourself, get in touch with your internet provider. Since they have more information in front of them than you, they might be able to get to the bottom of the problem and offer you a solution. 

6. Memory Leaks

Leaving your computer turned on for too long causes memory leaks. After a while, applications distribute the device’s memory incorrectly, resulting in poor resource management and performance problems.

Fixing Memory Leaks


The simplest solution to memory leaks is to restart the MacBook every few days. Once you do that, you should notice how much smoother the laptop runs. 

If you are not too keen to restart your Mac frequently because it takes too long to load, ensure that there are few or no desktop icons and shortcuts. Also, remove startup items so that unnecessary applications do not waste time loading each time you boot the computer.

7. Poor Battery Lifespan

Dealing with battery problems can be quite annoying for a laptop user. You want to ensure that the percentage is high enough for you to use the device, particularly when you do not have an electric outlet nearby.

Fixing Battery Problems

Limiting background processes, disabling visual effects, and shutting the computer off instead of using the sleep mode, are some of the most effective methods to prolong the MacBook’s battery lifespan.

Apple MacBooks have got some great new technology to prevent overcharging.

8. MacBook won’t turn on/charge

Macbook power button from a top-down view

This can sometimes be difficult to fix, but that entirely depends on what’s causing the issue. Usually, a MacBook refusing to turn on or charge indicates a problem with the battery. However, there are a plethora of other things that could be causing the issue.

Some of these can include a broken power button or your MacBook reaching the end of its lifespan as it has too many battery cycles. In a worst-case scenario, it could just mean that the laptop is dead, but you should cover all other possibilities before you come to this conclusion.

If you’re ever stuck, bringing it to a PC service shop so the problem can be identified is probably the best action.

Fixing a MacBook that won’t charge or turn on

In most cases, a MacBook not turning on or charging can be fixed with a quick replacement of the battery. Batteries in devices like these don’t last very long after 3-4 years due to battery wear.

If you’ve determined that a faulty battery doesn’t cause the issue, it could be something as simple as a faulty power button which can easily be fixed at a service repair shop for a fairly low service fee.

Alternatively, you can always try holding the power button down, hoping that something happens to your MacBook. Sometimes it’s a very simple thing causing the issue, such as the MacBook crashing on a black screen. This force restarts your MacBook, so it’s always worth a try, just in case the issue is as simple as this.


How long should a MacBook last?

This depends on how the device is treated during ownership. If treated well and looked after properly, your device should last up to around 8-10 years before noticing major issues.

The only issues you’ll encounter before this will be reduced battery lifespans and reduced speeds due to more performance-intensive updates.


To sum it all up, there are quite a few significant issues that you could face as a MacBook user. Knowing more about them is worth it because you can fix these issues and have fewer worries about maintaining your MacBook in a good condition.


About Author

An unwavering enthusiasm for games, films, literature, and comics has always been a profound element of my life. I possess skills in SEO, mastery in using Adobe Software, proficiency in Microsoft Office, and a keen understanding of SQL Database operations.