17 Tips for Getting Mac Support Now That You Work From Home

Updated to Computer Troubleshooting Tips by Harper on Jun 3, 2021

As COVID-19 swept across the world in early 2020, governments found themselves having to make drastic decisions that would have been unimaginable when many people celebrated the beginning of the year. In line with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, many businesses found themselves having to ask employees to work from home, with little or no support.

Having to stay and work from home saw some of the 100 million active Mac users across the world having to work without the Mac support that many would have taken for granted only a few months back. As a result, many found themselves struggling with tasks they used to accomplish with ease in the office.

This article provides 17 tips that you can use to get Mac support from home. It’s vital to start by saying that whatever support you get, you need to be careful that you’re not giving your details to scammers masquerading as Apple employees or authorized representatives.

What are the Common Tech Problems with Mac?

Before we look at the tips that you can follow to get Mac support when working from home, let’s start by looking at some of the problems that you can expect to encounter:

1. Data Accidentally Emptied From Trash

The Mac provides a folder where all deleted files are stored. This provides you with a chance to keep deleted files if you may need one of them soon. Files sent to trash may get wiped from a MacBook either deliberately or by accident. In such cases, you would need to find a way to recover deleted files on Mac.

2. Folders/Mails Disappearing

Some folders and emails just seem to vanish. This problem usually occurs after a macOS software upgrade. Sometimes, the emails and folders are not necessarily missing. They could have been moved, or you may be looking for emails in an incorrect account in instances where you have more than one account.

Sometimes, all it takes to have your emails back is to quit Mail and then open it again. However, if the problem persists, Apple advises that you will need to rebuild the mailbox in Mail on Mac.

3. External Drive Not Mounted

Sometimes, the Mac fails to mount the external drive. This could be attributed to several reasons, including failure to properly eject the external drive the last time you used it, after the macOS update, or installing Sims4 with Wineskin.

You can do several things to deal with this issue: relaunch the Finder, run general maintenance, use another port, or check if the device has different types of ports and try using each one. Sometimes, the drive may need a high power source and require you to plug in a power adaptor.

4. Time Machine Failed to Backup

The default software for data backup on Macs is called Time Machine. This system ensures that your files are automatically backed up on the external drive. If the files are deleted, it can also restore them.

You know that the Time Machine is not working when it states that it cannot use your backup disk to restore files. Sometimes this problem happens because your external hard drive is not compatible with Time Machine.

5. Mac Hard Drive Errors

Some of the symptoms of a corrupt hard drive are a clicking sound during operation, accidental partition deletion, file errors, and booting issues. A corrupt hard drive puts you at risk of data loss. This can result in unexpected behaviors and could prevent the Mac from starting.

6. MacOS Performance Issues

It's common for Mac users to start complaining that their computers suddenly become slow after they have updated macOS. In most cases, the problem has to do with too many applications running at the same time. The place to start looking for solutions to this challenge is the Activity Monitor. It shows you the applications that are using your disc space.

7. Mac Won't Start

A computer that won’t start is every Mac user's biggest nightmare when working from home. It could be because of issues with your Mac’s processor, a displaced RAM module, or a blown fuse.

Sometimes, a Mac that won't start can be solved by holding the power button for about ten seconds and then letting it go. If this fails, it may be time to contact Apple Support.

8. Mac Starts, Then Stops

Sometimes the Mac will turn on but fail to complete the startup. This may be due to a hardware issue, incompatible FireWire or USB device you plugged in, or memory upgrade issues.

Tips to Solve Common Mac Problems

Now that we have an idea of some of the most common Mac problems you may encounter while working from home, let's look at some tips on getting support:

1. Diagnose the Problem

Finding out what is wrong with your Mac can be as simple as taking note of what you did on your system just before the problem started. In this case, the support you need will be within the messages that the system gives you. For instance, if your Mac shows you the error message, "You need to restart your computer", it most likely is a kernel panic. The solution is simple: restart your computer.

Other symptoms of a failing Mac that you may get as a note on the Mac include outdated system software, insufficient disk space, and incompatible peripheral devices. You may also check your device's activity monitor or run a disk utility check to pinpoint the problem.

2. Use Data Recovery Software

If you have lost data stored in Trash or your files and emails are missing, you can recover those using data recovery software. However, to use this software, you will need to start by downloading it to your computer. The best software in the market can help you recover files from Macintosh HD, SD card, USB drive, or external hard disk.

3. Fix Port Issues

If you mount an external storage device, but your Mac fails to recognize it, you may try:

4. Fix Time Machine Issues

If Time Machine loses your backed-up files or fails to back up your files successfully, you should either restart your Mac or:

5. Fix Hard Drive Errors

The most significant risk with the hard drive failure in a Mac is the loss of data stored in the hard drive. This is the reason why it is essential to back up all valuable data regularly.

The best form of support for Mac users working from home is to have a fully compatible software solution with the latest macOS or earlier versions. This will ensure that you can recover data from any storage device.

6. Fix Performance Issues

If you feel that there may be issues with the macOS version on your Mac, you'll need to act proactively by resolving your macOS performance issues. You can either erase all the files on your device or install a new macOS version. You may also reinstall your current version or revert to an earlier version.

Whatever you do to fix performance issues, ensure that all your vital data is backed-up. Because you may not always remember to do so, you would always want to use the services of a reputable data recovery software system.

7. Fix Start-up Issues

Your Mac may try to solve startup problems on its own by doing a Power-on-self-test (POST). Another possible fix is to safely replace the RAM module in its slot because startup issues can result from displaced RAM chips.

For the Mac to do more self-tests, use the Safe Boot feature. To do this, shut down the computer and start it up while holding Shift. If this works, try to start your Mac in normal mode immediately.

8. Use Phone Support

Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to go back to the basics. Apple support is available via phone right across the world. Apple advises that "before you call, have your serial number ready or start your support request online and we'll connect you to an expert".

See a list of all the phone numbers around the world here.

9. Download the Support App

Apple has a support app that promises Mac users "personalized access to solutions for all of your Apple products and services". With this app, you can troubleshoot issues, connect with a real person, and find authorized service providers in your area.

10. Set an Appointment at the Genius Bar

The Apple Genius Bar provides support for both hardware and software issues. The Genius Bar provides an allocated time (15 minutes for Macs) per customer per appointment. If your issue requires more time, you will need to book a subsequent appointment.

11. Find Authorized Service Providers Near You

Authorized Apple service providers are similar to Genius Bars but are more accessible and don't require an appointment. They are less-equipped than Genius Bars to help and cannot give replacement devices. If anything else goes wrong with your device while in the care of an authorized service provider, they are not obliged to fix it for you.

12. Join Apple Support Communities Online

Whatever issues you are experiencing with your device have likely been experienced by other users. You can visit Apple support forums to see if there are other customers with similar issues and how they solved them.

13. Search for Answers

Sometimes the solution to your Apple issue is only a search away. For many Mac users working from home, Google is the first resort. You need to be careful when looking to Google for answers by checking credible websites dedicated to assisting Mac users, such as AppleInsider.com, MacRumors.com, or Macworld.com, among others.

14. Contact Local Apple Consultants

The Apple Consultants Network consists of independent local companies that offer IT solutions and services to people and companies that use Apple products. Apple promises that "whether you're looking for customized assistance for your home, school, or business, you can easily locate a consultant to help you". To find an Apple consultant near you, enter your ZIP code here.

15. Check Social Media

Apple provides support services on social media platforms like Twitter (@AppleSupport) and YouTube.

While social media can be a great place to find support, you need to be careful not to divulge sensitive information like your phone number. The internet is a hive of activity when it comes to scammers posing as Apple tech support agents.

16. Contact an Apple Home Advisor

It looks like Apple acted proactively because, in 2013, the company introduced At-Home Advisors. In describing this service, Apple says that these advisors will be responsible for answering questions about products and services, "enriching customers’ lives by helping them access the wonder they’ve come to expect from Apple".

The Apple Home Advisor is probably the person who will respond to your call for support the next time you call an Apple contact center wherever you live around the world.

17. Call Company Tech Support

While most of us are working from home, many companies have put in contingency measures to ensure that employees who are stuck at home can still receive assistance. So, it may be a good idea to call your company's technicians to find out what type of support you can get while working from home.