Open Xcode, select Window-Organizer, goto the Archive tab and find the version of your app that experienced the crash. Right click on the app archive and select 'Show in Finder' Right click on the.xarchive, select 'Show Contents' and find the AppName.dSYM directory. Drag your.crash file and AppName.dsym to Sumbolon. Magic happens. Mar 22, 2016 As Mac OS X users, we have something to be happy about when it comes to app crashes and freezes: rarity. Typically you can work on your Mac for hours at a time without a single issue. However, a crashing app certainly can happen, leading to lost productivity, time and, worst of all, lost work.
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Imagine this: you’re working happily on your Mac when the dreaded beach ball of death appears. A program stops responding or worse, the macOS (or OS X) itself refuses to do anything but stare at you, blankly. You have a frozen Mac app or an OS X freeze. Mac OS not responding can lead to lost productivity or even lost work. Let's go over why it happens, what to do when your Mac freezes or when an Mac OS app stops responding, as well as some tips for preventative maintenance.
We’ll go over frozen apps first, so if your whole Mac freezes, you can jump to the part about fixing a frozen Mac.
Fixing a frozen app: Why Mac OS apps freeze
There can be a few reasons why apps freeze on Mac. First, sometimes an app freezes on its own, and sometimes it takes down the whole Mac with it. Here's what could be happening:
- Apps freeze in the background.
This could mean there are some apps running that you didn't open, they opened themselves. Probably, they're featured in your startup items, so they automatically launch when you start your Mac. If this happens repeatedly, you need to check what apps are running in the background and launch with the startup.
- Processes freeze in the background.
This one is different from apps. One app may be running multiple processes, also system processes can be running on their own.
- Too many apps and processes running.
Same logic as with the previous issue. But the question here is how many is too many? There is no definite answer to this, it very much depends on the hardware capacity of your Mac. You can read how to check it and fix it below.
- Mac system is too cluttered with junk to run even simple tasks.
This is fixable, you can get a Mac optimizing app like CleanMyMac X for the job. Run a scan to find and remove the stuff you don't need, and there's a high change your apps will stop freezing after that.
What to do if an app freezes on your Mac
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A frozen app becomes unresponsive and brings your work to a halt. In the worst case scenario, it can lead to lost work or a corrupted file. Fortunately, there are several options to try, and most are quite simple. Here’s what you can do when a program freezes on your Mac. First, you need to quit it. Then, if the app keeps freezing when you launch it, try the next options.
How to quit a frozen or unresponsive program
Quitting and then re-starting an app is a good way for Mac OS to handle a crash. You can do this from the OS X Dock or from the Force Quit window. To force-quit an app from the OS Dock, follow these simple steps:
- Click anywhere outside of the program
- Right-click (or Control-click) on the frozen app’s icon in the Dock. A menu appears.
- Hold down the Option key on your keyboard so that Quit in that menu changes to Force Quit.
- Select Force Quit.
That’s it. The app is instantly closed. Re-launch it and try again. If you prefer to work with the Dock hidden — or if the Dock itself is unresponsive — you can simply bring up the Force Quit dialog box to perform the same task.
- On your Mac’s keyboard, hit the Option, Command and Escape keys simultaneously (alt + ? + esc).
- The Force Quit dialog box appears with a list of running programs.
- Select the frozen app and then click Force Quit.
- The software will stop running and you’re free to re-launch it at this point.
If you’re using a maintenance utility like CleanMyMac X, it has freezes covered. When CleanMyMac spots an unresponsive app, a notification window with a Quit button pops up, so you could force-quit the app without rummaging around in its menu.
CleanMyMac keeps an eye on other performance issues, too, so if you'd like to get alerts like this one when anything goes wrong, download CleanMyMac X for free and give it a try.
How to fix Mac apps that keep freezing
First, check what apps are running in the background and launch with the startup.
To do it go to Settings > Users and Groups > Login items.
Uncheck anything you think might be causing trouble. In fact, just to be sure, uncheck every app and restart your Mac.
Now, find out which process or program is causing the problem. How to see what programs are running on Mac in general? You need launch Activity monitor.
How to find Activity Monitor on Mac: You can do it via the Spotlight Search or just open Launchpad and type it in.
How to open Activity Monitor in Finder: launch it from Applications > Utilities folder > Activity Monitor.
When it opens, you'll probably see hundreds of processes in each tab, but the ones you need now are CPU and Memory tabs. Click on the % CPU sign to sort processes by their influence on your Mac's work. The heaviest ones will show up on the top. They could be your main issue, but don’t rush to deal with them. Some, like kernel, are important system processes and you shouldn’t mess with them.
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How to kill a process on Mac OS
However, sometimes your problem does lie within a specific process, you can force quit it (Apple doesn't call it 'to kill a process on Mac', they make it sound fancy). But we're not at Apple HQ, so here's how to kill a Mac OS process:
- Open Activity Monitor.
- You see a list of processes. You can sort them by clicking on %CPU or % Memory in relevant tabs.
- Find the process you want to kill and choose it.
- Click on the octagon with an X sign.
Occasionally the problem isn’t with the Mac app, but with the Mac OS itself. If you’re experiencing troubles regularly, it’s time to ask why your Mac keeps freezing. There are several possible reasons, so let’s start with the simplest potential solution.
First, the file you were working with at the time of the freeze may be the issue. To help determine if this is true, try opening a different file with that app and work with it for a while. If it behaves normally, quit and then go back to the file you were working with at the time of the crash. If the errant behavior persists, you may have found your problem. Salvage what you can into a new file.
Make sure that your software and OS X are up-to-date. This is easy to do with software purchased from the Mac App Store. The same goes for OS X. Launch the Mac App Store on your Mac, and you’ll see the list of pending updates, including any for the OS X itself. For third-party software purchased outside of the App Store, visit the manufacturer’s website.
What to do if Mac OS X freezes
If you cannot force-quit a program, or if the Mac OS is completely unresponsive, it’s time for the most obvious action — a reboot.
You can bring up the Restart/Sleep/Shutdown dialog box instantly by hitting Control plus the Power button. Option four, Shut Down, is selected by default.
Alternatively, you can press and hold the Power button for 1.5-2 seconds to bring up the same dialog box. If things aren’t hopelessly messed up, you’ll get a chance to save your work before your Mac shuts down. If that still doesn’t work, a more drastic option is available.
How to force reboot a frozen Mac
Press Command ?, Control and Power (on earlier MacBook models, use the Media Eject key instead of the Power button) to restart your Mac immediately. Note that you won’t have the option of saving anything in this scenario, but it will definitely reboot your icy Mac.
Once your Mac has restarted, you might find that the hard restart has corrupted the file you were working on. Salvage what you can from it and create a new file.
How to fix a frozen Mac
After the reboot, ensure that your Mac has enough free hard drive space for the OS X, and enough free RAM to do what you want. CleanMyMac X can help you here, too. It removes all the useless files that take up space on your hard drive: app leftovers, mail attachments, cache files, and so on. That way, you can free up additional disk space for the OS X without deleting any of your own files. Plus, CleanMyMac X keeps tabs on how much RAM you’re using and lets you free some up with a tap.
Finally, if system cleanup also fails to fix the problem, you can try to run a clean install of your Mac OS. Just follow the instructions: How to clean install macOS Sierra 10.12
Note: If you don’t know which system your Mac runs, click the apple icon in the top left corner and choose About this Mac. You’ll see the name on the popup window.
That’s it, we hope this guide has helped you fix a frozen Mac. Remember, with day-to-day maintenance, your Mac can offer years of reliable work. On the rare occasion of a frozen program or even frozen OS X, these tips will help get you working and productive again. And software like CleanMyMac X can do some of the monitoring and maintenance for you, so you can focus on what needs to be done.
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App crashes on the Mac are generally pretty rare. But when they do happen, you might want to trace back their cause. You can troubleshoot app crashes by looking at macOS crash reports. But you need to know how to read crash reports on macOS to decode the cryptic language of the reports. Learn how to read crash reports on macOS here.
Opening Crash Reports on macOS
Whenever an app crashes in macOS, it automatically generates a crash report. It also pops up a dialog box informing the user that “[App Name] quit unexpectedly.” From this dialog box, you’ll have the option to reopen the application, ignore the crash, or click the “Report…” button. The last will reveal the crash report immediately, allowing savvy users to troubleshoot the app’s recent demise. You also have the option of sending a copy of the report to Apple, so they can collect data about what’s causing applications to crash.
1. Open the Console application by typing Console into Spotlight or navigating to Application/Utilities/Console.app.
2. Click on User Reports in the left menu. Select a crash report from the middle pane. Note the time and app names in each report’s title. Once you select a report, view the details in the right-hand pane.
How to Read Crash Reports on macOS
Crash reports should be read from top to bottom. We’ll take it from the top.
Mac Os App Crash Message Download
The first several lines of the crash report tell the user what “process” (AKA application) crashed. This process name will also be in the title of the crash report. We can see the text of our own crash report reproduced below for examination. Note the process name and identifier, which will come up later.
When did the process crash?
Once we know what crashed, we will want to know when it crashed. That information is included in the second part, along with a little info about our system.
What caused the crash?
The third part of the report gives us the most important detail: why the crash happened. When applications quit without warning, they send up a flag indicating why they’re quiting. There’s a number of reasons (the popular ones are below) and they can help explain why the application crashed. macOS crash reports call this flag the “exception type,” and we can find it in this section. We will also learn which thread crashed, typically thread 0. That might help us pinpoint the cause of the crash too.
The information prefixed with “Termination” provides more detail about what quit the application and how. In this case, we learn than a segmentation fault caused the application to crash, and the process “exc handler” was in charge of closing out the misbehaving application. Apple lists some common exception types in their technical documentation. You’ll find this listed in your own crash reports under “Exception Type”:
- Bad Memory Access (
SIGBUS) – the app didn’t access memory properly. Will be followed by an “exception code” expanding on what kind of memory error occured.
- Abnormal Exit (
SIGABRT) – abnormal exit. This is usually due to an uncaught C++ exception or a call to the function
- Trace Trap (
SIGTRAP) – like
SIGABRT, but this exit gives the attached debugger the chance to trace the error.
- Illegal Instruction (
SIGILL) – the process issued an instruction that wasn’t understood or couldn’t be processed.
As we can see from our crash report, the application most likely to access memory it didn’t “own” and crashed as a result. It looks like the application expected to be able to send data somewhere, but found out that the destination was no longer valid when trying to communicate. This could be due to an unusual user state causing the application to map memory incorrectly, or even a bug in the software. Provided the crash doesn’t happen again, we can likely safely ignore it.
What lead to the crash?
After all that information, we’ll see the “backtrace.” This is a list of all the running functions and tasks, in reverse chronological order, leading up to the crash.
There are four columns to this report. The first reports the event’s number in reverse chronological order, starting at 0. The second is the process’s identifier. The third is the address of the process in memory. The fourth is the name of the program’s task.
This part of the crash report isn’t that useful to a typical user. But for a developer, it’s essentially. Regardless of its utility, the backtrace can be baffling. It’s “symbolicated”: at least some memory addresses are replaced with function names. Sometimes symbolication can be completed, leaving untranslated memory addresses sprinkled throughout the backtrace. Even with complete symbolication, it can be hard to know how to read crash reports in macOS. It depends largely on how thorough developers name and describe their functions, and on how well you can put together the pieces of this puzzle. The more you know about programming for macOS, the better you’ll be at interpreting a backtrace.
Conclusion: Is This Useful?
Knowing how to read crash reports on macOS is an essential skill for developers. It will help devs figure out what’s crashing and why. Users, however, might not get as much value from the reports. Crash reports can offer some troubleshooting information for persistent crashes, but you need a thorough understanding of the OS and the application to make good use of the data. Nevertheless, persistent users might get a useful error code to Google, or be able to provide tech support with the right information to solve the problem. If you want to dig into the technical information about crash reports, check out Apple’s technical note on crashes and crash reports.
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