Below are some basic suggestions for situations where an application or your Mac is behaving erratically. These are listed in the order I recommend trying first:
1. Quit & Relaunch. If an application (program) is misbehaving try qutting and re-opening the program. This often fixes little quirks and strange behaviors. For example, in the recent case with iChat, just choose ‘Quit’ from the iChat menu and then click iChat’s icon in the Dock to re-open the program.
2. Restart. If step 1 doesn’t help, restarting the computer will often cure many software and computer woes. Just choose ‘Restart’ from the Apple menu. Any open documents which are unsaved will prompt you to save them before the computer restarts.
3. Force Quit. Sometimes a program gets stuck, frozen or just won’t quit. You can force quit a program two ways:
a. Option click it’s icon in the Dock and choose ‘Force Quit’ from the resulting menu.
b.Press Command-Option and the esc key (top left of most keyboards) at the same time. This brings up the Force Quit Applications window as shown below. Select the program you want to force quit and then press the “Force Quit” button:
4. Command Control Power (laptops only). If the machine freezes, won’t restart or otherwise isn’t responding, you can tell the machine to restart by pressing the Command, Control and the round power button (upper left on most Mac laptops) all at the same time. This should restart the computer.
5. Power Button for 5+ seconds. If all else fails and you need to turn the machine off, press and hold the power button for 5+ seconds. The machine should shut off completely. A second press of the power button should start it up normally.
Kirk van Druten – LANSharks Consulting