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Common Reasons for Mac Freezing and How to Resolve It – Updated 2023


Why is my Mac experiencing random freezes?

Random Mac freezes can be attributed to a variety of factors. Even seemingly minor issues, such as running too many programs and apps simultaneously, can trigger freezing problems.

If this freezing issue occurs frequently and you haven’t updated your operating system in a while, it’s essential to seek a long-term solution.


Here are some of the primary reasons why Macs tend to freeze:

  1. Excessive Running Applications: Running too many applications can exhaust your Mac’s memory resources, leading to freezing.

  2. Background Processes: Numerous background processes can also consume memory, contributing to system slowdowns.

  3. App Crashes: A single app crash can significantly affect your Mac’s overall performance, potentially leading to freezes.

  4. Multiple Open Tabs: Having an excessive number of open browser tabs can strain your Mac’s memory and cause freezes.

  5. Email Attachments: An accumulation of email attachments can impact your system’s performance, leading to freezes.

  6. Outdated macOS: An outdated macOS can be susceptible to bugs and security issues, which may result in freezing.

  7. Insufficient Disk Space: Running out of hard drive space can hinder your Mac’s ability to operate smoothly and lead to freezing.

  8. Hardware Problems: Disk or RAM-related hardware problems can also contribute to Mac freezing.


What to do if your Mac freezes?

If your Mac experiences freezing issues, here are some steps to resolve the problem:

  1. Reset SMC and PRAM: Try resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) and Parameter RAM (PRAM) to resolve minor issues. You can find a step-by-step guide on how to reset these settings on ZA Support’s YouTube channel.

  2. Force Quit Unresponsive Apps: Identify and force quit any frozen or unresponsive apps, especially those running in the background.

  3. Free Up Disk Space: Clear out unnecessary files and applications to free up disk space, as an overloaded drive can lead to freezing.

  4. Organize Your Desktop: A cluttered desktop can slow down your Mac and cause various problems. Organize and clean up your desktop to improve performance.

By addressing these common issues, you can potentially resolve Mac freezing problems and ensure a smoother computing experience.


As you can see there are a lot of factors that can cause your Mac to freeze. If you have tried everything it might be a consideration to bring the Mac in for a diagnostic. A yearly health check can also prevent this from happening in the first place.  If you need to book your Mac in for an Apple diagnostic click here.


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