Why do Macs freeze up?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by KadMac, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. KadMac macrumors regular

    KadMac

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    #1
    I was at the store the other day testing out some of the Macs that were out and I saw that when I placed the curser over certain applications, it gave the never ending beach ball. I felt like I needed to do a control+alt+delete like in Windows to solve the issue.

    I couldn't figure out how to close the program and I have seen this happen a few times when using the Macs on display. I thought Snow Leopard was suppose to be reliable and stable? It seems to me like it has the same issues Windows deals with. I sure hope not.

    How do I get rid of the neverending beachball? Do I just have to restart the computer?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Option + Command + Esc to access the Force Quit menu:
    Picture 7.jpg
     
  3. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a

    Cameront9

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    #3
    The nice thing about Force quit is that unlike Window's "Ctrl-alt-delete," Force Quit actually quits apps when you tell them to....
     
  4. KadMac thread starter macrumors regular

    KadMac

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    Sep 13, 2009
    #4
    Ah, I see. Thanks!

    Is it a common thing to have to force quit a program on Mac like it is for say a Windows computer?
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #5
    Not nearly as common. Of course, it depends on the app and your system resources and configuration, but as a rule, it's fairly uncommon, compared to Windows.
     
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #6
    An additional tip: If an app has actually frozen (that is, there's a spinning beachball when you put the pointer over one of its windows, as opposed to it just refusing to respond), if you right-click (or regular-click-and-hold, or control-click) on its Dock icon, the system will put a Force Quit option into the menu that pops up. This is faster than bringing up the Force Quit dialogue.

    Note that if you just get a regular "Quit" option instead of "Force Quit" on the popup menu, that's a sign that the system thinks the program isn't actually frozen--it's in some way responding to queries from the system (it's the same method the OS uses to add the "(not responding)" text after a program's name in the Force Quit dialogue). That doesn't necessarily mean it hasn't frozen--bugs can cause a program to respond to some system queries, but refuse to actually quit when you tell it to--but that's rather uncommon, so you might try waiting a little longer or seeing if there's a dialogue that the program is waiting for an "OK" to or something.

    Also note that if a program is in the middle of doing something that takes a while, it's possible you will see the "Force Quit" option and the beachball even though it's running normally, because the program has stopped responding temporarily while it's busy. This can happen, for example, with iDVD when it's doing an encode, and can even last a LONG time in some cases.
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #8
    Interesting aside: Flash, due presumably to being such a complete mess, is very prone to crashing. Which, prior to 10.6, would crash the browser along with it.

    In 10.6, however, Flash is run as an external process, so if it crashes you just get a dialogue informing you of that, and you can continue browsing with Safari as if nothing had happened. That alone is worth the price of admission as far as I'm concerned.
     
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #9
    Flash the major culprit and it still hiccups under 10.6. At least 10.6.2 fixed that from what I can tell.

    After that it's video playback that tends to hang.
     
  10. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    May 28, 2005
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    Pa
    #10
    I wish I ran the same OS X you do... my force quit is worse then Window's control alt delete and never seems to work! I always have to log out or reboot to get anywhere.
     
  11. KadMac thread starter macrumors regular

    KadMac

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    Sep 13, 2009
    #11
    That is not very reassuring. :(
     
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #12
    There's something about accessing the Force Quit window while in Finder to close another application that tends to freeze Force Quit. I've been told this several times but I can't remember this specifics.

    I'm surprised that this problem invoking Force Quit is still around. It didn't seem to happen under PowerPC.
     
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #13
    I can't say I've ever had the Force Quit window stall on me, but then 95% of the time I just right click on the Dock icon because it's so much faster. I really do recommend that unless it isn't working.

    And personally, the ONLY time I've ever had trouble force-quitting an application was when an I/O device (like an external hard drive or memory stick) had stopped responding but hadn't dropped offline entirely--that will cause a blocking error that you can't force quit around. Though in that situation, unplugging the problem device from the computer (which is no worse than forcing a restart) will immediately cause everything to kick back in.

    There also used to be some directly related problems with volumes mounted over the network, but 10.5 resolved a lot of them, and 10.6 has cleared up any that remained for me--I haven't had such an issue since upgrading, and ALL my files are accessed over the network on account of having multiple computers at home.
     
  14. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #14
    Hmm. Seems to work with me. Does it do this on the same progrom each time or is it random? I haven't had a problem with force quit. Granted I don't do it a lot thou.
     
  15. Nano2k macrumors regular

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    #15
    It's fantastic how even in the face of adversity OSX comes on top again... imagination is a never ending source of information...
     
  16. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #16
    Your computing experience is directly proportional to the amount of care you put into it's maintenance. A machine w/ no hardware issues will run buttery smooth provided one doesn't have less than 25 mb of space left on their hard drive because they've installed a whole bunch of useless (and questionable?) applications, widgets or messed up system settings. OS X is a little sexier than NT in the application regard because Apple likes when programmers put all their data in the single .app so deleting it is easy, but some apps do some really nasty things in some pretty wild places :eek:

    Lean is good.
     
  17. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    May 22, 2008
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    Milwaukee, WI
    #17
    Force Quit, great idea! :apple: I use it all the time...

    For Excel and Word.
     
  18. HellDiverUK macrumors 6502

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    Oct 24, 2009
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    Belfast, UK
    #18
    Not sure what you guys are doing? I've never had any app lock up on me in a year of Mac use. Even using Adobe and Microsoft apps...
     
  19. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

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    Jun 3, 2002
    #19
    I've had Finder lock up on a few times which is a pain to try and get responding again, another way is to open up the Application "Activity Monitor", any application that has "hung" should be highlighted in Red and you can then Quit/Force Quit.

    Indeed a few times I've had to do the old "hold-down-power-button" because the system has become so unresponsive; and no it's because of a hardware fault but because Finder has hung! Don't really get that issue on NT kernel generally as its a special keyboard hook.

    Though being said you do tend to see it less on a OSX system.
     
  20. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #20
    Maybe GCC just sucks at compiling for X86.
     
  21. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    Milwaukee, WI
    #21
    Way to go! You just jinxed yourself. ;)
     
  22. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    #22
    Clearly you play no website games that rely on Flash! I've had plenty of browser lock ups. But you're right, all the other programs are pretty darn stable. I've had to dump iTunes a few times, but that was because it was having a hard time reading a disc during the ripping process and wouldn't come out of it.
     

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