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My OS X has fallen, and it can’t get up! How to fix common Mavericks problems

four alleged images of mac os x 10 leak prior to wwdc 2014 mavericks macbook

Though Apple has legions of fans and plenty of admirers, their products are not immune to bugs, snafus, and other assorted problems. The same goes for Mac OS X Mavericks, Apple’s latest operating system.

Many of those who downloaded Mac OS X Mavericks after its release have encountered numerous issues pertaining to functionality, compatibility with certain programs, and even installation. Below is a collection of problems we’ve seen OS X Mavericks users experience, along with the solutions to those problems.

How to get iPhoto working again in Mavericks

Some that have upgraded to Mavericks indicate that they can’t open iPhoto after the install is done. They also say that they’re unable to update the software from Mavericks, leaving them completely stuck in a bind.

Fortunately, there’s a simple fix. All you need to do is hit up this link, where you can download and install iPhoto 9.4.3.

How to fix the slow Time Machine problem and make it run faster

Has your external hard drive slowed to a crawl after the move to Mavericks when trying to use Time Machine? You’re not the only one. There’s a fix you can try, though it takes sort of a “scorched earth” approach to the problem.

If you simply reformat the drive in question, this should do away with any issues with data transfer speeds when using Time Machine.

How to reinstall Java after upgrading to Mavericks

Multiple Mavericks users have said that after upgrading to the latest version of OS X, they find that Java has been removed from their system. However, Apple created a page to address this issue, where you can swiftly re-install java. Click here and click the blue Download button.

How to make make iCloud save your password

Is iCloud asking you to re-enter your password every time you use it since installing OS X Mavericks? If so, there’s a simple fix that will swiftly do away with this nuisance.

With Mail open, go to Mail-Preferences and click Accounts. From there, click on the Advanced tab and open the Authentication drop down menu. If Apple Token is not selected, do so. This should fix the problem.

How to keep Mail from crashing

Some have reported on the Apple forums that whenever they try to open the Mail app in Mavericks, it crashes immediately. There’s a simple fix that has worked for many of those that have experienced this issue, so give it a try.

First, open Terminal. You can do so by clicking Spotlight in the top left hand corner in Mavericks (symbolized by a magnifying glass), typing in Terminal and clicking on it when it comes up. Then this in without the quotes: “defaults delete ColorQuoterColorList” and press Enter.

How to fix the constant Welcome to Mail message problem

Have you encountered the Welcome to Mail message every time you open the Mail app in Mavericks? You’re only supposed to see this message the first time you open Mail, but some users report that they have to deal with it every time they open Mail. Here’s how to fix it.

Open Mail. Then, in the top Menu Bar, click on Mail, Preferences and in the new window that pops up, click on Accounts. Then, deselect the “Enable this account” check box for every account you’ve set up with Mail that appears in the Account Information tab. After that, close Mail and re-open it. Repeat the same process to re-enable all of the accounts you set up with Mail. This should get rid of the constant Welcome to Mail message.

How to fix the Time Machine Mavericks install issue

We’ve seen OS X Mavericks users report problems involving Time Machine, the backup service built into OS X. Some users have said that attempting to install Mavericks has at times produced this error message:

“This disk is used for Time Machine backups.”

Fortunately, there’s a simple fix you can use to get around this problem: All you have to do is open System Preferences in Mavericks, open Time Machine, and switch Time Machine from On to Off. Next, try installing Mavericks again. The Time Machine error message shouldn’t appear.

How to fix a buggy Menu Bar in OS X Mavericks

Some Mavericks users have noted that the Menu Bar started behaving strangely once they downloaded and installed Mavericks. Fortunately, there are a couple of easy fixes you can try.

Click on Finder, click Go in the Menu Bar at the top of the screen, and click Go to Folder. Then, copy and paste  “~/Library/Preferences/” (without the quotation marks) into the dialog box that pops up. Next, click Go. After that, delete the “” (again, without quotes) file by dragging it into the Trash. After that, reboot and the Menu Bar should behave normally.

But what if that doesn’t do it? It’s possible that the Menu Bar is functioning correctly but simply hidden from view. If you think that’s what’s going on, you may have the Translucent Menu Bar option enabled without even knowing it. This could be keeping you from seeing the Menu Bar altogether.

To disable this feature, go to System Preferences, and type in “Translucent Menu Bar” in the search bar located in the upper-right corner of the System Preferences menu. Click on the result that appears, which should point you to the “Desktops & Screensavers” menu. There you can un-check “Translucent Menu Bar,” which should make the Menu Bar re-appear.

How to make iWork, iPhoto, iLife and other apps work in Mavericks

If you’re having trouble getting any of the above apps to work after downloading and installing Mac OS X Mavericks, there are a couple of simple things you can do to try to get them working again.

First, try rebooting and then re-opening the App Store. Some users have reported that after rebooting their Mac or MacBook and re-opening the App Store, they’re able to update whatever app hasn’t been working for them, which in turn fixes the problem.

If that fails, check to see if Mavericks is marking any of your apps as an unfinished download. To do this, open the App Store, click Store in the menu bar at the top of the screen, and click Check for “Unfinished Downloads.” Next, enter your Apple ID and password if prompted. Your non-functional apps may show up here as unfinished downloads/updates. Un-pause the download(s) and install. Your apps should start working again after the download is complete.

How to fix the ‘Contacts app not syncing’ problem

Some Mavericks users have complained that their Contacts app is completely devoid of any contact information whatsoever after upgrading to Apple’s latest version of OS X. Sound familiar? Here’s a fix you can try – it’s a bit of a pain, but it should work.

Open Contacts, click Contacts in the menu bar at the top of the screen, and click Accounts. Then, delete every active account you have. Do this by clicking on each one in the column on the left side of the newly opened window, and then clicking the minus button at the bottom left corner of the window. After you’ve deleted all of your accounts, close the Contacts app and reboot your Mac. Once you’re back in Mavericks, open Contacts, click Contacts in the menu bar at the top of the screen, click Accounts, and re-add the accounts you just deleted. This should result in Contacts syncing with the accounts you just added.

How to Fix the Wi-Fi disconnect problem

Have you been staring at an exclamation point where a healthy Wi-Fi signal icon should be after installing OS X Mavericks? You’re not alone. Others have noted that they ran into the same issue as well. Luckily, there’s a fix you can try that has proven successful.

First, boot into Safe Mode by pressing and holding the Shift key right after pressing and holding the power button. Next, open System Preferences, then Network, and click the Assist Me button at the bottom of the window. Finally, go through the process of creating a new Wi-Fi network, choose your network, enter the Wi-Fi password, and reboot your machine. After that, you should be able to connect to your Wi-Fi network again.

Note: We all put together guides on how to fix issues pertaining to Mavericks download, install and other problems.

How to Fix OS X Mavericks Install Problems

How to Fix OS Mavericks Download Problems

How to Fix Mavericks Mail Gmail Sync Problems

How to Fix Mavericks and McAfee Compatibility Issues

We’ll be continuously updating this guide as we identify more problems and locate the methods you should use to fix them.

Editors' Recommendations

Konrad Krawczyk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Konrad covers desktops, laptops, tablets, sports tech and subjects in between for Digital Trends. Prior to joining DT, he…
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