How to Use First Aid on Macs?

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Though Macs are world-famous for their reliability and flawless performance, some errors and performance issues may still occur. No Macbook is immune to performance disruptions, especially if it’s long in use, cluttered, and has some viruses in the OS. Thus, if you see any of the following symptoms:
  • Your Mac doesn’t start up from the first time,
  • Some apps freeze upon their launch and don’t work well even after a restart,
  • Some documents stopped opening and cannot be restored,
  • Or your Mac freezes at times, requiring an emergency reboot,
it’s time to conduct some diagnostics and remedy the problems that accumulated in your Mac disk. As a rule, this is done with the help of the Disk Utility feature, with the help of which you can run the First Aid. Read more about First Aid here, and read on to see how disk utility works.
What Is Disk Utility?

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The Disk Utility feature is built into every Mac’s OS, thus requiring no prior download or installation. This function is given to you by the computer’s manufacturer, allowing you to perform a broad spectrum of diagnostic and rehabilitative operations with your operational system. In the Disk Utility menu, you can repair startup disks, external drives, and optimize storage. The repair function is ensured via partitioning, restoring, or formatting a variety of system disks. So, to make use of this feature, you need first to choose the disk of interest, run its diagnostics, and then launch the repair activity.

When Do I Need to Run First Aid?

The signs that your Mac needs some help include:
  • Problems you may face when trying to save new files (the system may issue a saving error)
  • You might notice that the size of your files changes unexplainably
  • You receive cryptic error messages
  • Some files disappear from your folders for no reason
  • The system crashes regularly, leaving you no messages about the reasons for such disruptions
Apple experts also note that running First Aid on Macs should not be predetermined by facing everyday problems or performance issues. A standard recommendation is to use this function every 6 months to take preventive action and remedy the emerging issues while they’re still minor.

What Exactly Can First Aid on Mac Do?

With the help of the First Aid feature, you can run a variety of checks and diagnostics to see whether any part of your Mac’s OS is damaged or requires repair. It covers the device’s drivers, catalogs, identifies disk volume, and assesses catalog and boot blocks.

Repairing Your Disk with First Aid

Users of Macs will be delighted to see how simple it is to run the First Aid function and remedy the emerging disk issues. There is no input required from a user, which means that even laypersons without technical skills and competence can run such helpful diagnostics and repair on their Macs without expensive repair services.

Still, it’s vital to keep in mind that some vital data may be lost in the process of running First Aid. Some data files can be corrupt or infected, meaning that the First Aid assistant will remove them permanently from your system. Thus, to ensure that all vital data is preserved, you need to take preparatory steps before running the First Aid activity.

#1 Take Care of Data Backup

The First Aid process may erase many files or damage them unintentionally, so you need to back up all the vital data first. Use external or cloud storage to back all files up and then continue with the repair.

#2 Start Up Your Device in a Recovery Mode

Running your Mac in recovery mode is necessary if you have trouble with the startup disk. Your Mac will run on a separate macOS partition in this mode, thus giving safe access for the startup disk diagnostics and repair.

#3 Run the First Aid

By taking all these steps first, you will secure essential information and files, knowing for sure that your Mac’s repair will not cost you any vital data.

What If First Aid Fails to Solve the Problem?

Once the First Aid session is over, users expect to see a green alert telling them that everything went well and that the selected disk has no issues. Still, it sometimes happens that the First Aid is helpless against some critical errors. In this case, the system will show a red alert with a list of unfixed errors.

What to do if the First Aid was unsuccessful? Here are some steps to remedy the situation, which you can take on your own without engaging a specialist:
  1. If the check was run for an external disk, the reason for the failure might be a poor connection. Double-check whether the device is connected well, reboot your Mac, and rerun the First Aid.
  2. If the disk can’t be repaired, it requires formatting. It’s an emergency measure that erases the disk completely, thus cleaning all inconsistencies, errors, and data fragments. After that, a quick reset may bring your Mac back to normal.
Only if all these measures didn’t help, it’s time to turn to a professional repair assistant. Try these tips to see whether it works; in most cases, First Aid will be the only all-in-one repair solution you may need for minor operational problems.

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