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I have a Macbook Air 2014 that I updated from Yosemite to High Sierra 10.13.4 just recently, but now the laptop freezes multiple times per day :(

Here are the things that I've tried:

  • Upgrade softwares/browsers

  • Reset NVRAM

  • Reset SMC

  • Run in Safe Mode (In which Chrome completely glitches. I've tried to cut down my number of extensions, but even a simple Google search doesn't show. Safari is fine.)

  • Download Onyx and run the maintenance check.

Usually the culprits are Chrome, SimpleNote (a syncing note-taking app), and Microsoft Powerpoint, but the laptop can also freeze anywhere.

Any other tests/methods you would recommend? Thanks so much!

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I'm getting the exact same thing on my iMac. Only solution is to hold the power button and do a hard reset. I've tried Onyx, resetting the SMC and system reinstall. Using Onyx doesn't help so the frustrating solution is to live with hard powering off.

I agree - Onyx and tools that try to "clear all the caches" are only a last ditch effort if you have a good backup and are willing to erase and reinstall the OS.

  • SMC doesn't cause freezes - it causes power transition issues like sleep / wake / blowers)
  • PRAM saves the volume and boot options - again, not really going to help once the system is running

Now you should do the harder fixes since they take time.

  • verify that a brand new user account is also freezing and hanging if you just use Chrome or the one app that freezes on your main account without all your settings and other programs.
  • If the freezing happens in the new account or you can't isolate the freeze, then back up one last time and erase the Mac. reinstall the OS and verify the freeze is gone. Once you're sure the freeze is gone, erase and reinstall - letting Migration Assistant bring back your apps / settings / data.

It's super rare for the freeze to come back after that, but it can happen and then you have to do the hardest of all - pin it to a specific app or a specific set of data you need to remove from the Mac.

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  • If you do a system reinstallation and don't load your backup - does that still freeze your system? That would let you know it's actually High Sierra on your hardware and not something in your data or apps or settings.
    – bmike
    Sep 24 '18 at 11:52

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