Frequently Asked Questions - Macintosh

Why do the desktop icons look like generic icons and not the usual picture icons?

Answer: The desktop database may have lost track of which icon pictures belong with which icons. Rebuild your desktop by doing the following. Press and hold the shift key, the option key and the apple key and restart your machine. When your machine restarts you will see a message that the computer is starting with extensions off. You will then get a message asking if you want to rebuild the desktop. You can release the keys and click o.k. Once the computer is finished booting, restart it once more. This time, do not hold any keys downs. Just let it boot up normally.

Windows seem to take longer to open, files seem to take longer to open and the system is generally running slow. How can I resolve this?

Answer: Your desktop file is probably sorting through an abundance of unnecessary information. It may be time to slim down the desktop file. Try rebuilding your desktop file. Rebuild your desktop by doing the following. Press and hold the shift key, the option key and the apple key and restart your machine. When your machine restarts you will see a message that the computer is starting with extensions off. You will then get a message asking if you want to rebuild the desktop. You can release the keys and click o.k. Once the computer is finished booting, restart it once more. This time, do not hold any keys downs. Just let it boot up normally.

My computer is frozen or locked up. How can I fix this?

Answer: Try to force quit the application you were using when it locked up. To do this, hold down the apple and the option keys, then press the esc key. A message should appear asking you if you want to force quit the application you were using. Click the “force quit” button. If you do not get this message or if after you click force quit the computer is still locked up, restart the computer by pressing the computer's main physical power button until the computer powers down. Sometimes the power button is located behind the computer/monitor.

Why does my display image shimmer?

Answer: The shimmering of an image on your monitor can be caused by interference such as a lamp, a fan, or other appliance that is very close to it. It can also happen when it is plugged into the same circuit as a large appliance such as a refrigerator or air conditioner. You can test for interference problems by temporarily moving your computer to a different location. If the problem goes away, you know that something was causing interference. If the problem remains, there may be an internal problem with the monitor and you should call a service technician.

What can I do if I cannot empty the trash?

Answer: Try holding down the option key as you empty the trash. If this fails, quit all programs and then try again. If you still cannot empty it, restart the Mac and try again. Still no luck – start the Macintosh with extensions off (holding the shift key down when you start up) then try to empty it. (Remember to restart to turn your extensions back on.)

Is there any general maintenance procedures I can perform on my Macintosh?

Answer: Yes, it is good idea to rebuild the desktop once a month. Rebuild your desktop by doing the following:

  1. Press and hold the shift key, the option key and the apple key and restart your machine. When your machine restarts you will see a message that the computer is starting with extensions off. You will then get a message asking if you want to rebuild the desktop. You can release the keys and click o.k. Once the computer is finished booting, restart it once more. This time, do not hold any keys downs. Just let it boot up normally.
  2. You will also want to keep a current back up of your data. Hard drives can crash without warning and it is wise to keep a copy of your data