|Tip 141||Recover Crashes and Lock-Ups|
I’ve owned Macs since 2003, and I’ve only ever had one crash that’s rendered the computer completely unresponsive. All I did was press and hold the power button for five seconds. This forces the computer to switch off. As an alternative, however, some people report that holding down Shift+Option+Command for a few seconds would also cause the computer to power down.
If an application has become unresponsive—that is, the spinning mouse cursor (aka the beach ball of death) has appeared, indicating the computer is busy—but the rest of the system seems to be working fine, many users report that simply starting Activity Monitor somehow fixes things. To start Activity Monitor, open Finder, click Applications, and then double-click Activity Monitor within the Utilities folder. Some users with troublesome systems keep Activity Monitor as an icon on the Dock for just such contingencies!