MacMost Now 600: Where To Go For Help With Your Mac Or iOS Device

Learn where to go if your Apple product breaks, or you have a problem you can't figure out. You can use Apple's Genius Bar or call their support line. You can also join a local user group or take your Mac to a local repair shop.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, let's talk about how to get help when something goes wrong with your Mac or iOS device.
So in a perfect world, nothing would ever go wrong with your Apple products, but things do break and problems do happen. So, where to go for help. While we try to make MacMost a great place to find out how to do things with your Mac, it's more of a how-to site than a fix-it site. So, here are some steps on how to go and get help if something goes wrong.
So if you still have access to the Internet on your Mac or you can use another computer, one of the first things you may want to do is search the Internet for the problem. So for instance you would just do a plain Google search for a very descriptive term and see what comes up. You may find other people that have solved the problem, other people that are dealing with the problem, or people that have come up with various solutions and what works and what doesn't.
To narrow that search down even more, you may want to go to the mother ship. Go to Apple's site, but not just any part of it. Go to the discussions part, and once you go into there, you'll find the Apple support communities. From there you can dig down to various topics like specific to your device, and jump into it and see what people are talking about and then also use the search field here to search and see what people are saying. Apple employees don't really come here to this discussion forum, it's for users but you may find other users that have experienced the problem and have suggestions for fixing it or at least for the next step.
Now one of the important things I want to convey here is that there really is no substitute for first-hand help. Having somebody actually there with you looking at your Mac is far superior to actually being able to email or post messages to forums. There are so many things to look at. You can go back and forth dozens of times and still not give the person trying to help you enough information for them to actually find out the problem. Think of it like with your car or with your health. You wouldn't expect if your car broke down or you were sick to be able to call a mechanic or a doctor on the phone, explain a few things to them and then say "I know what it is." You take your car in to a mechanic to have them look at it or you go to your doctor to get an exam. It's the same thing with your Mac. It's a computer, it's every bit as complicated as a car and you need to have somebody looking at it sometimes to really figure out what the problem is and give you suggestions.
Now one of the places that you can go for that is the Genius Bar. If you happen to live close enough to an Apple store, you can walk into the Apple store and go to the Genius Bar. The best thing to do is go to the web site first and then make a reservation. Now it's important to note, you can go there with any Apple product. It doesn't have to be under AppleCare. You didn't have to have purchased it in the Apple store. You can make an appointment, walk in with your Apple product and simply ask a question. If the machine needs repairs, then they may tell you what your options are, but the first thing they'll try to do is listen to you and try to give you some advice and that doesn't cost anything.
Now if you're not near an Apple store, you may have to just call Apple. Now you can go to this URL here and find out the phone number to give Apple a call. Phones numbers of course are going to vary depending upon which part of the world you're in. Of course it's also important to realize that getting a Mac repaired is not always going to be free. Now if you've got that first year warranty or you have extended AppleCare, it may be covered. Of course if you damaged it yourself, say by dropping your iPhone into water or something, you may have to pay for that and for older Macs you may have to pay for things as well. It's just like taking a car into a mechanic. Some things may be covered by warranty and other things you're going to have to pay for depending upon the age of the car and the type of warranty you've got.
Now if your device isn't broken, but there's still a problem, then there's no substitute for a first-hand look. The Apple Genius Bar is a great place to go, but another great place to go is a local user group. There are Mac and Apple user groups all over the world. As a matter of fact, you can go to Apple's site right here at groups and you can search for a local user group in your area. Another great place to go is to just look online and do a Google search and see what's in your area. Not every single user group may be listed here.
A user group's great because there may be users there with more experience than you and they may be able to look at your problem and solve it for you. They probably meet locally and probably have some sort of online presence as well. If there's a problem that nobody could solve, at least you could work together as a group to find the solution. It's great to join these groups and belong to them before you have a problem so you get to know some of the people in your community and be a part of that group so that when you have a problem, they're there.
Now if your Mac is broken and you need to take it in somewhere for a repair, Apple stores are one option. Another option is to take it to an authorized service provider. Apple has a list of them right here at this address, and you can go in and search according to your area to try to find a local authorized shop, or you could also just search Google for one as well. Remember, another option is a non-authorized shop. A lot of computer shops will work on Macs and may not have taken the time to actually enroll in this authorized program.
So there's some suggestions on things you can do when you have a problem with your Apple device. I hope you found this useful. Until next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 19 Responses to “MacMost Now 600: Where To Go For Help With Your Mac Or iOS Device”

    9/3/11 @ 3:00 pm

    Hi Gary,
    First, I want to thank you for all the good info you’ve provided in this Outstanding website. My question is, I have a Mac mini server 2010, and I want to upgrade
    to the 2011, Do you know if I can take it to Apple and update/upgrade it to the 2011 without buying a new mini?

      9/3/11 @ 4:08 pm

      There are no “upgrades” like that. Same as for cars — you can’t upgrade a 2010 to a 2011. It just doesn’t work that way. You can add more memory and a new hard drive to a 2010, but it won’t have the new basics and features of a 2011.

        9/4/11 @ 11:32 am

        Thanks Gary

    9/4/11 @ 2:48 pm

    Gary, greetings, first of all, congratulations for the video popcast, i’m a subscriber and it’s very helpful.

    Now, I’ve got a Macbook White 13′, last night it fell on the floor, the screen cracked, though the whole laptop seems to be working fine, i’m aware that the screen can be replace but also i know that it’s very expensive, it took me 2 years to safe money to buy the macbook, where can i seek for help or possible solution, i wish i could afford a $600 screen replacement but it is no posible for me.

    I live in Costa Rica and its really dificult to get Apple products assistance here, thanks in advance Gary

      9/4/11 @ 6:27 pm

      I don’t have any specific advice — I don’t think there will be any way to bring down the cost of the repair unless you can do it yourself, but that takes some expertise.

        9/5/11 @ 9:11 am

        Thanks for replying Gary, though I’ve got another question, I’ve found another macbook for repairing parts, it is pretty much the same as mine but different processor speed configuration, i thought I might be able to buy it and then get the screen from that one and replace it with the broken one but, are those the same type of screen? will it work on my macbook? thanks for the help Gary

          9/5/11 @ 9:29 am

          Maybe, but I don’t know. You’d need to look up technical information about each model and then figure out which screen part they use. I can’t tell you from here — I probably couldn’t even tell you if I had them in my hands, as I would have to take them apart. But that is getting a little out of my area of expertise. I’m a how-to-get-things-done-on-your-mac guy, not a hardware engineer.

            9/5/11 @ 9:36 am

            Gotcha, i’m trying to figure things out with both mac models, but yeah, thanks a lot Gary

    Tom Pham
    9/7/11 @ 5:41 pm


    I’m wondering if you can help me. I’m using the latest Lion and I have a problem with the same apps opening up when I restart the computer (I know you almost never restart but I do after maintenance with Onyx). In particular, when I start Safari, the same two pages I had open from 6 sessions ago reappear in the dock. They always reappear after I quit Safari and opening it up again. Have you heard of this problem? I’ve tried the Apple Support pages and others have the same problem. Experts there suggest unchecking “Restore windows when quitting…” I’ve done that and it doesn’t seem to work. This never happened in Snow Leopard. I’m regretting the Lion upgrade. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    9/8/11 @ 12:07 pm

    I have been waiting for a video like this,and again Gary you have come up trumps.
    I have an iMac.The screen has been replaced 3 times,and its just come back from Apple`s Authorised Dealers,and this time they replaced the Graphics Card. A spokesperson said i would take this higher (Consumer Law) we only have your Mac for about a week,and the problem you have seems to occur over a longer period of time. These people are great, even the Apple Tech guy phoned me up and said what did Apple say when you phoned them up. Its a long story? I have done everything in your video accept the local user group. When i am done here i will try that. As i said before i am not a crawler,but i am very surprised about this video, Thanks very much Gary.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    9/11/11 @ 8:25 am

    Well i tried looking for a user group near me. The nearest was York,but guess what the site is under going reconstruction?

    Alan Jones
    9/26/11 @ 1:04 am

    > I am a Scottish European living in Germany. However, my recently
    > purchsed iPad refuses to accept me as an English speaking customer. I
    > cannot use the British Apple Apps. sites, being told that my credit
    > cards are only good for Germany – probably due to the credit card
    > mailing address. As I don’t want to read Shakespear in German, what
    > can I do? Apple have not answered my question on three occaisions.

      9/26/11 @ 6:42 am

      The problem is though that if a developer has chosen to make an app available only in the UK and you are not in the UK, then there’s not much you can do about it. But that is a rare case. Most app developers make their apps available worldwide. Is the problem with just that one app? I sell apps in the store that are available everywhere. So maybe contact that app developer and find out what they can do for you. Or, choose a different app.

    Robert Bromfield
    6/18/12 @ 2:36 pm

    I have just downloads the MacMost app but i can’t find it anywhere, i have been into my apps in iTunes but can’t find it

      6/18/12 @ 4:13 pm

      Download it again, then. Or, search for it.

    10/17/12 @ 8:29 am

    I have multiple issues. One being I cannot view videos in a timely manner. It only loads a few seconds at a time which is why I did not watch your video. Also, it is now very slow to open site pages, sometimes not at all or so slow I give up. I also downloaded the mountain lion update, yet it still says I need to update……I’ve done it 3 times. Their is also an iPhoto update available that says it will take 9 hours to download, but does not make any headway when attempting to do so. I have a Macbook Pro……..Thank you…….Melinda

      10/17/12 @ 8:33 am

      It sounds like you simply have a very slow Internet connection. Perhaps upgrade that, or if you are paying for a fast connection now call your ISP and sort out the problem.

Comments Closed.