Mac computer screen goes blue

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More often than not, this just lasts a few seconds and goes away, in which case you can ignore it.

How to Fix Apple’s Blue Screen

If it doesn't, the best way to figure out what's going on is to launch Activity Monitor and pinpoint which program is causing the problem. If it's a powerful piece of software like Photoshop that's causing problems, then it's a good chance you need more RAM in your computer. RAM can help with multi-tasking issues , and if the beach ball comes up when you're running a few programs at once additional RAM will help this is very easy to install yourself. If not, and it's something lightweight like a file syncing service like Dropbox or an instant messenger client like Adium , then it's probably a problem with the software itself.

Try quitting the app and seeing if the problem persists. If the beach ball doesn't return, then you have your problem. When your hard disk is full it can cause spinning beach ball problems. For a lot of us, this just means cleaning up two folders: In a lot of cases, doing the above two steps can free up enough space to continue working. That said, you might still need to free up even more space. To make this process easy, we like Disk Inventory X. With Disk Inventory X, you can look at your hard drive and find the biggest space hogs quickly so you can delete them and move on.

It takes a little time, but if you follow our guide you'll have your hard drive cleared out in no time. Of course, it might also be time to just upgrade the size of your hard drive. A few other oddball things can cause the spinning beach ball.

Mac Problems: Stuck at the Blue or Black Screen

If none of the above work, here are a few more resources that will help you troubleshoot the problem. If you've ever experienced the black and grey kernel panic screen above, then you know how scary and completely unhelpful it is. When one application has a problem, you get the spinning beach ball mentioned in a previous section, but when multiple programs fail—or the operating system itself—you get a kernel panic. Thankfully, it's not usually as big of a problem as it seems. In most cases, a kernel panic will force you to reboot you computer.

Let this happen, and if you load right back into OS X, continue working on your computer as usual. In a lot of cases, the issue resolves itself and you can move along. If not, or if it happens only when you use specific programs, it's time to figure out what's going on. Running Software Update can often fix kernel panic problems because more often than not, it's a software issue.

Click the Apple icon in the top left corner, and select "Software Update.

Drive permission issues are likely causing the problem

If for some reason the kernel panic happens when you're starting up and you can't load OS X, then you'll need to try and start up in safe mode. Reboot the computer and hold down the Shift key until the Apple logo appears. After a little while, you'll load up safe mode, a stripped down version of OS X. Here, you can still run Software Update the same way as you usually would. It's also worth visiting the developer's web site to see if other people are having a problem with a recent update or release. If it's one specific app that always causes the kernel panic, it's best to not use it until an update is issued.

If no software needs updating and you can't get your computer to start without a kernel panic then it might be an issue with one of the programs you have loading up automatically on startup. That means its time to clear out your login items. While you're still in safe mode you can remove any apps that start automatically:. If the kernel panics keep happening and no specific app seems to cause it, you might have a bigger problem. Things start to get really tricky if you're getting kernel panics and you can't isolate the issue with any of the above methods, so here are a few guides we've found helpful for pinpointing the problem with more advanced measures.

This one hit me recently on an iMac.

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Out of nowhere, the screen turned a crazed green and yellow, and then the computer shut down. After several attempts to reboot and trying just about everything listed above it eventually refused to turn on. In my case, my graphics card was toast, and I had to get it replaced, but that's not always the problem. Here are a few things you can do to troubleshoot and figure out exactly why your video card or display is freaking out.

Why does my Mac have a blue screen tint

This doesn't always do that much good, but it's the easiest thing to do and only takes a few seconds. Sometimes this can correct display issues, and if so, continue using your Mac as you did.

how to boot a mac into safe mode

This controls everything on your computer ranging from the power to the fans. Every Mac has a slightly different process for doing this, so head to Apple's official SMC Reset page , find your model, and follow their instructions this usually involves unplugging the power cord on a desktop, or removing the battery on a laptop.

Once you reset the SMC a lot of your setting are restored to factory defaults and your display problems may get solved. The next step to figure out what's going on with your graphics card or display is to boot into safe mode to see if the problems persist. Power on your Mac and hold down the Shift key until you get past the Apple logo. This boots into a stripped down version of OS X. Here, you can see if the display problems are persisting. This might be screen glitches, pixelated graphics, or large black squares everywhere.

If they are, it's probably a hardware issue and you should move on to the next step. If not, it's likely a software problem, and you have a few different options for troubleshooting:. Adobe Flash is used to present a lot of graphics content and interfaces with the graphics system to accelerate this process, so even if it alone is not responsible for a graphics-related problem, it could be conflicting with other plug-ins or system features that are causing the problem.

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Additionally, the Thunderbolt update also may not seem relevant Alan even mentioned he does not use Thunderbolt ; however, something to keep in mind about this is that Thunderbolt interfaces directly with the graphics system and provides DisplayPort protocols over its bus. Therefore it may be a contributing factor. As a first step in approaching this problem, I recommended that Alan run a general maintenance routine to clear caches and temporary items that OS X uses to optimize performance.

Corruption or misconfiguration in these items can result in odd system behavior, including crashes of individual processes that the window session or graphics system may rely on. In addition, whenever problems like this occur I recommend people run through basic OS X troubleshooting steps to see if the issue shows up in various system configurations such as safe boot, or if you create and load a new user account. These general maintenance and troubleshooting routines are not intended to be fixes to problems, but should help isolate when and how the problems are occurring. After performing these routines and observing the problem a little more, Alan found that the blue screens seemed closely associated with his use of Firefox.

While a bit random in nature, when they did happen it was when he was quitting the program, suggesting this program or a feature of it was the root cause. Generally when programs like this cause problems, you can try clearing preferences for them, uninstalling and reinstalling them, or updating them; however, Alan had already updated the program and Firefox is a well used program that is not known to have this problem by itself on the Mac OS.

Therefore, it suggests a plug-in or add-on to the program may be involved in the issue. Realizing this, Alan looked at his browser configuration and realized he had the " BetterPrivacy " add-on for Firefox, which was configured to run various routines when Firefox was quit. Though BetterPrivacy is mainly a cookie management tool, it interfaces with Adobe Flash and manages Flash-based cookies keep in mind that Alan had also updated Flash in addition to Firefox.

With this information, while one option would be to disable or uninstall the BetterPrivacy plug-in, it turns out that Alan's version of the plug-in was out of date, and installing the latest update increased compatibility with his Flash and Firefox combination, resulting in the problem being cleared. Overall this troubleshooting scenario demonstrates that although a problem might at first appear to be a deeper issue with a graphics system or with the stability of the system in general, it may be a more superficial fix that can be rooted out with some basic observation and observance to detail.

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