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This is a helpful training guide to assist with passing your Apple Certified Mac Technician exam. Much of this information is directly from the training courses offered. Keep in mind, this information is based off of the ACMT 2018/2019 training and is updated annually in some cases through Apple. We will try our best to update this as needed.

If you see any errors, please let us know.

Happy training!

ESD - Electro Static Discharge

ESD - When two objects made of dissimilar materials rub against each other, excess electrical charge (static electricity) builds up on one object and simultaneously is removed from the other object.  Over time, this friction causes some objects to have electrostatic charge relative to surrounding objects. When this charge finds a means of equalizing, it will do so. In some cases, it discharges to ground.  In other cases, it might discharge to an ungrounded object with a different charge level.

Examples -

Shoes rubbing against carpet when walking.

Getting out of a car with fabric car seats.

A person’s body against the air as that person moves.


A shock emitted when touching a door knob or other metal object.

A shock or crackling of static electricity when removing clothing from a dryer.

A shock emitted when touching another person with a lower static charge.

ESD as low as 10 volts can damage integrated circuits such as logic boards.  In contrast, you will only feel a static shock if it is in the range of thousands of volts.  You can be damaging the equipment you work on without know it.

ESD damage is difficult to identify because a microscopic part of the integrated circuit is usually impacted by the discharge.  It might affect the component immediately or it might show itself only as an intermittent failure at a later time.


  • Wireless “grounding” work - not true - must be hard-wire grounded.
  • They are no longer an issue.  Components are now too well shielded to be an issue.  
  • RAM and logic boards are only components not shielded.  

Some tools claim to be ESD compliant - but are not.


  1. Handle all components by edges - non-conductive edges, avoid touching any edge connectors on any circuit boards and assemblies, avoid touching or handling any components on the surfaces of these boards and assemblies. Never handle or pick up any circuit board by its components such as heat sink.  Hard drives and optical drives are included. Avoid touching gold contacts or gold springs inside of the iPhone.
  2. Ground yourself - ground yourself and the equipment you are working on to an earth or building ground.  Use grounded conductive workbench mat and a grounding wrist strap, and ground the equipment to the mat.
  3. Make sure you are not grounded when you work on plugged-in equipment or when you are working with or around an energized power supply or logic board.
  4. Do not place components on metal surfaces such as filing cabinet or the outside of a metal-shielded ESD storage bag.  Always place unshielded components on a grounded ESD mat. Metal surfaces can hold a static charge that will damage sensitive electronic parts.  
  5. Do not touch anyone who is working on ESD-sensitive circuits or circuit boards of any kind. If you touch that person, there is a potential risk of your electrostatic discharge running through the tech to the components.
  6. Use ESD storage bags - transportation, storage, and handling of boards and assemblies with circuit boards on them.  The best type of bags to use have a metallic coating on the outside that will block any exterior static charges. When you are ready to leave your bench and take a board to a storage place, put the component in a static-shielding bag.  Leave all Apple replacement modules in their ESD-safe packaging until you need them. Do not open up a service part’s packaging until you are grounded at your ESD-compliant workstation. Otherwise you risk rendering the part DOA. If the ESD bag you are using has any holes or worn areas, get rid of it and use a new one.  Punctured surfaces lose the ability to block ESD. When sending Known Bad Boards back to Apple, always use the packing that came with the replacement part to prevent further damage.
  7. Avoid synthetic materials such as polyester, plastic, vinyl - can retain a static charge that are not dissipated by simple connection to ground.  Do not wear synthetic fabrics or bring such items as foam coffee cups into the work area. Packing foam from shipments should NOT be left in the work area.
  8. Regulate humidity - maintain a relative humidity of 70-90% in your work area.  This lessens static charges but is NOT a replacement for properly grounded work area.
  9. Use additional protection - An ionized air generator helps neutralize the charge with surrounds nonconductors.  An ionized air generator is not a replacement because it cannot provide total protection against ESD damage. Static charges frequently cause ESD damage before the neutralizing process of the ionized air generator eliminates the charge.  
  10. Clean ESD mats regularly - at least once a week, best practice is daily.  Use a cleaner designed specifically for ESD mats or the mats will not ground equipment placed on them.

ESD Compliant Work Station

  1. Conductive workbench and ground cord - provides a safe place on which to set sensitive components and equipment.  Consists of these elements: Layer of conductive mesh sandwiched between rubber layers, 1 megohm resister in grounding connector on mat, “soapy” film on surface of mat allows charge to drain away.  (Cleaners for ESD mats restore the “soapy” film - do not use solvent cleaners on ESD mats)
  2. Wrist strap with a built in 1-megohm resister and ground cord - grounds you allowing you to safely touch static-sensitive components without discharging static electricity into them.  Alternately a heel strap may be used.
  3. Static-safe storage bags - place them in static-safe bags as they are removed.  These bags prevent build up of static electricity on the component itself. Also protects the component from being touched by someone who is not properly grounded.
  4. Ground polarity tester - verifies proper grounding of power outlets.  

Setting up compliant work area:

  1. Remove all synthetic materials from work area - retain charges that is not readily dissipated - includes foamed plastics, polyester clothing, and vinyl.
  2. Verify that you have a properly grounded electrical supply - user polarity checker on the a/c outlet you will be using to ground the workstation and tech.  Follow instructions included with tester to interpret the results.
  3. Attach workbench mat to ground.  Once polarity checker results are good, set up ESD workbench mat by attaching it to the ground of your electrical outlet.  
  4. Connect ESD wrist strap (or use ESD heel strap) - connect to the ESD mat or separate grounded connector.  Check instructions that came with ESD equipment for proper use. When wearing the wrist strap, you must be sure the metal section of the strap interior is touching your skin.
  5. Heel strap - if using you will need a grounded floor mat in front of your workbench.  This mat is used along with the ESD mat on top of the workbench. The setup details depend on the specific products used.  

Once the work area is properly set up, equipment is grounded by the ESD mat or shielding in an ESD static bag. The technician is grounded by an ESD wrist strap or a heel strap combined with a grounded floor mat.

Additional ESD compliant tools are black stick, ESD tweezers, capton tape, ESD small parts organizer box, screwdrivers, etc.

Key Points

  • Static electric charge is generated by everyday activities such as walking or getting in and out of a car.
  • Electrostatic discharge occurs when objects or people with a high electric charge touches a non-grounded object.
  • The amount of voltage it takes to damage an integrated circuit is below human perception (as little as 10 volts).
  • ESD damage can cause immediate issues or intermittent failure at a later time.
  • You should be aware of common ESD myths and how to address them with other techs.
  • Practice the 10 Apple ESD prevention guidelines.
  • Before servicing a product, create an ESD-compliant workstation.

Safety First

Apple’s definition of a safety issue:  anything customers report that includes a safety keyword such as fire or injury.  Apple products have potential for cutting, overheating, electrical shock, or fire.  

If a customer claims that an Apple product caused personal injury and/.or property damage, you should always document this as a safety issue, even if mistaken or misrepresent issues as safety issues.

Important to recognize and report safety issues quickly and efficiently - equally important to describe the device’s condition and sequence of events/actions that led to event.  Detailed documentation helps establish a pattern of events that may lead to product design changes in the future and rewrite documentation and support solutions to address potential issues.  Clear records establish accountability and prevents customer from making damage claims based on denial. If an unsafe device is returned to the warehouse rather than processed as a safety issue, some customers may claim Apple tried to destroy evidence or ignored a safety issue.  

Safety keywords:

Certain key words your customer may use when describing an issue should alert you to a potential safety issue.

It is important to be on alert for these descriptions during your interactions. Here are some examples:

  • Acid
  • Allergy, Allergic*
  • Bleed
  • Bump, Bumps, Bumpy*
  • Burn
  • Cut
  • Fire, Flame
  • Hive, Hives*
  • Irritation, Irritated*
  • Itch, Itching, Itchy*
  • Leak
  • Liquid
  • Melt
  • Rash*
  • Reaction*
  • Red, Redness*
  • Sharp
  • Shock
  • Soft (As in "The plastic case feels soft.")
  • Sore, Sores, Soreness*
  • Smoke
  • Spark
  • Splotches, Splotchy*
  • Swell, Swelling, Swollen*

Words marked with an asterisk (*) are associated with skin irritation.

If you hear these words, or if your own inspection reveals that the device or product may be unsafe, be cautious and treat this issue as a safety issue.  If you think there may be a product safety issue follow the required 3 actions:

  • Document the reported issue clearly and using the objective terms as a safety issue in GSX
  • Create a GSX Safety Escalation
  • In response to your escalation, Apple will provide direction on how to proceed.  

Use the right vocal tone, body language and word choice when interaction with a safety issue.

Key Points

  • A safety issue is anything a customer reports that contains key safety words or injury.  
  • It is important to document safety issues with enough detail to allow for careful examination and potential design and documentation changes.
  • It is important to listen to key safety words when a customer reports an issue and to document and escalate safety issues.
  • Position safety issues with customers in a professional yet collaborative way.

Embedded Battery Safety

Embedded batteries are in portable computers and devices.  Design allows for thinner and lighter designs while maintaining battery life.  

Cell packs - parts of a battery that are recharged, hold energy, and provide power to the portable computer or device.  Cell packs could be punctured or damaged during repair or testing because they are not shielded by a protective enclosure or cover.

Case Assemblies with battery - some portable macs, built into the case assembly (bottom or top).  Replacing a defective battery in these will require replacing entire case assembly. Never attempt to separate or remove the battery on built in.  

If you notice something unusual (odor, swelling, discoloration, deformity, overheating), disconnect and stop using the battery.  Follow the safety guidelines in this training course.

Use care when handling the battery or case assembly with built in.  Damage to battery may result in an unexpected, undesired event such as thermal event.  Always work on embedded batteries at a workstation that has properly set up.  

  • Do not subject lithium batteries or lithium battery-powered devices to high levels of force. (may deform, cause mechanical short, or break protection circuit built in to battery - may result in overheating or thermal runaway)
  • Do not puncture, strike or crush lithium batteries or lithium battery powered devices.  Avoid breaking the battery cell wall or containment structure.
  • Do not expose to high temps.  
  • Do not expose to liquids
  • Use non-conductive tools (use only those that are made from, or covered with, a non-conductive material only).
  • Properly connect the battery in the device, charger, or testing equipment.  Batteries have specified and marked postive/negative terminals. Wrong connection will cause it to charge incorrectly, abnormal chemical reactions leading to leakage, overheating, or thermal runaway.  Do not force if it does not fit.
  • Be sure to recharge the battery with the specified battery charger and a/c adapter.  
  • Do not recharge batteries where the temp may become high
  • Discharge battery only in an approved device.  (May damage the battery, reduce life expectancy, or cause event.  Can be discharged at a temp range between -20 C to 60 C. Outside of this temp may affect optimal battery performance and reduce life expectancy)
  • Do not short circuit the battery.  Do not carry or store with metal objects - may short positive/negative terminals resulting in event.
  • Do not directly solder batteries.  Heat will melt the insulator, damaging the exhaust valve and the protection mechanism leading to event.
  • Do not disassemble or modify.  Lithium batteries have a gas exhaust vent and built in protection mechanism to prevent accidents.  The protection circuit module provided with battery packs is not to be used as a shut-off switch.
  • Remove batteries from a device that will not be used for an extended period of time.  Discharge battery to about 50%. Battery state-of-charge should be no less than 50% prior to long-term storage.  If you plan too tore for longer than 6 months, charge to 50% every 6 months. If voltage goes too low during storage, battery may require at least 20 mins of charging with adapter before use.  
  • Do not use batteries that work only for an extremely short period of time.  Lithium batteries have finite life spans.  
  • If something unusual is noticed, stop using battery.  Unusual odor, overheats, vents, sparks, is discolored, deformed or reacts unusually in any way during use, recharging or storage, remove it from device or battery charger and discontinue use.
  • Do not force a battery into a box.  
  • Store batteries in original protective cases.  Place only one lithium battery in each box.
  • Minimize box stacking (stacking on top of each other).

Workstation Setup

Must meet the following criteria - non-flammable ESD compliant work bench, 2 ft or .6m away from paper/combustable materials, within 20 ft or 6.1m of fireproof safety cabinet.  8-10 cups of clean, dry untreated sand in a quick pour container within arm’s reach, ideally located in area with adequate ventilation. Safety lgasses, lens cleaning wipes, ESD bags, cut resistant gloves, nitrile gloves, heat resistant gloves, brush/dustpan, trashcan.  Details found in article OP685. Use battery protective cover whenever opening mac. Immediately disconnect device battery. No metal objects around soft cells of batteries. (Clay or dirt are not recommended)

Use only Apple approved tools to remove/replace batteries or case assemblies containing batteries.  Required tools vary from product to product.  

Battery covers on portables - prevents unintended contact with the battery surface from items such as loose parts, tools, and screws.  Attach protective cover immediately after opening the computer (removing the bottom case), before beginning battery removal, prior to installing a replacement battery, when preparing to package a battery for shipment.  Some computer models covers are equipped with tabs, adhesive, magnetic or plastic clips to secure to battery. Protect the exposed cells at all times. Use the correct battery cover for the product. Never use the wrong cover, worn, torn, or damaged covers.  Cover part numbers are in GSX. Only remove immediately before installing computers bottom case. (Make sure to inspect battery for any damage/debris, pay attention to any dents, dots, or scratches as these may cause thermal events with prolonged battery use).  Covers can be reused as long as free of dust, dirt, and damage.

Verify cosmetic condition

of the cells when performing service on 2010 and later MBA, 2015 and later MB 12”, all MBP with retina displays.  Be sure there is sufficient lighting in the area. View battery from about one foot away. Avoid accidental damage to cell packs when measuring cosmetic issues.  

If dents or dots exceed these guidelines on MacBook Air (Late 2010 and later) and all MacBook Pro with Retina display computers, replace the battery/case assembly with battery.


Diameter Total Number of Dents/Dots
Less than or equal to 0.5mm -
Greater than 0.5mm,equal to or lesser than 1.0mm 10 or less
Greater than 1.0mm,equal to or lesser than 1.5mm 6 or less
Greater than 1.5mm,equal to or lesser than 2.0mm 3 or less

Depth of any dent or dot should not be greater than half the diameter of the dent or imprint.  (ex. Dent 1mm wide should not exceed .5mm deep)


Diameter Total Number of Scratches
Less than or equal to 15mm 5 or less
Greater than 15mm,

equal to or lesser than 30mm

3 or less
Greater than 30mm,

equal to or lesser than 40mm

2 or less

If scratches exceed these guidelines, replace the battery/case assembly with battery.

Swollen battery

Expanded enclosure - device’s enclosure has separated/bulging/split apart due to expanded/swollen battery.  Device may still turn on and work as expected. Not usually a safety concern. Swelling may indicate end-of-life for older batteries or batteries with very few remaining charging cycles.  Electrolyte has been fully consumed and no liquid remains inside the pouch. The gas present in the swollen pouch is likely carbon dioxide (an inert gas).  

Thermal runaway -

cell appears to be suddenly and quickly swelling in real time.  

Do not over tighten screws when replacing a battery.  Turn until finger tight. Over tightening may cause irreparable damage to battery pack.  

  • Do not reuse or reinstall a loose battery or battery that has been removed.  
  • Do not pry battery if tabs break
  • Stop if there is any resistance removing the battery.
  • Replace entire phone if battery is dented, punctured, swollen or otherwise damaged.  

Never attempt to transport or ship a battery or case assembly with battery without battery cover.  Reuse the battery cover that ws included with new battery when returning to apple. Always use tape to seal boxes never staples.  

Only properly trained personnel should handle hot batteries, venting batteries, leakage event, or thermal event.

Hot batteries

- when battery temp rises above 60C or 140F.  Clear work bench of any materials/debris. Unplug computer’s power adapater (battery should immediately start to cool).  Put on heat resistant gloves/safety glasses. Pick up battery/case assembly, and place in fire proof safety cabinet for at least 2 hours.  If not easily removed, place entire unit in cabinet. If battery does not cool significantly in 2 hours, increased likelihood of thermal event.

Venting batteries

swollen or damaged batteries have greater likelihood.  Gases may have an organic-like odor (similar to anti freeze) and may irritating to mucous membranes and respiratory system.  May or may not be an expelling noise. Do not attempt to handle a venting battery. Leave it on the bench and evacuate for 15 mins.  Note any unusual odors upon reentering room. If odors are strong or irritating in any way leave for another 15 mins. If no odors, put on nitrile or latex gloves and safety glasses.  Prepare a disposal bag such as ESD or Ziploc). Clear work bench. Unplug power adapter. Place battery or entire case assembly in bag and seal bag. Put the bag containing battery in yellow fire-proof safety cabinet and notify management.

Leakage Event

- no more than a few drops of free liquid contained in embedded cells.  Usually likely excess liquid came from another source when seen. Regardless of source - immediately eliminate any ignition source or debris near/around leaking battery/device.  Clear work bench. Prepare a resealable plastic bag (DO NOT USE ESD). Put on nitric gloves and safety glasses. Pick up battery/case assembly and place in bag. Place in fire-proof safe temporarily.  Wipe down affected area with water. Use an ESD mat cleaning solution on affected area. Notify management.  

Thermal Event

- Batteries with charge below 25% are unable to produce.  Battery begins to smoke, emit sparks or soot, hear hissing or popping sounds.  Smother immediately with plenty of clean, dry sand, dumped all at once. Never water or fire extinguisher.  The faster you pour sand, the faster the thermal runaway will stop. If you cannot dump the sand right away, the reaction is self-limiting and should be done in 30 seconds or so.  Cell may continue to emit smoke for another minute or two afterwards. Leave room for 30 minutes or let cell rest for 30 mins. Once the reaction has been smothered and battery has cooled, put on heat resistant gloves and safety glasses.  Remove the product and any debris from sand. Place items in cabinet for at least 2 hours min. Report any injuries or ill feelings. Sweep up sand and pour back in dispenser for reuse. Add more sand if necessary. Wipe down affected area with water.  Use ESD mat cleaning solution on affected area. Dispose of damaged battery/device and any debris removed from sand according to usual waste/recycling protocols. Do not ship. Order more sand from vendor. Notify management.

Practice Questions

Question 1:

If you notice something unusual, discoloration, deformity, or overheating of a battery, what is the first precaution to take?

Your answer: Disconnect and stop using the battery.


Question 2:

When servicing portable computers or iOS devices with embedded batteries, what should be your primary concern?

Your answer: Your own safety and the safety of those around you


Question 3:

Which of the following describes a proper workstation on which to service devices with embedded batteries? (SELECT THREE)

Your answer: ESD safe and non-flammable work bench, 8-10 cups of sand in quick pour container within arm's reach and At least 2 feet (0.6m) away from paper and or other combustible materials

Correct., Correct. and Correct.

Question 4:

Which of the following is used to prevent items such as loose parts, tools, and screws from unintended contact with the actual battery surface on a portable computer?

Your answer: Battery cover


Question 5:

When a battery’s temperature rises above its safe operating temperature (60° C/140° F), it can be potentially hazardous. If this were to occur, which of the following steps should a technician take after clearing the workbench of any materials or debris?

Your answer: Put on heat-resistant gloves and safety glasses.


Question 6:

If you notice a battery is venting gases (not thermal runaway), or if you notice unusual odors coming from the battery or device, which step should you take first?

Your answer: Leave it on the bench and evacuate the room for 15 minutes.


Question 7:

After opening a device, you see a few drops of liquid around an embedded battery. You clear the work bench of any materials and debris and put on both nitrile gloves and safety glasses. What should you do next?

Your answer: Pick up the battery and place it in a resealable, plastic disposal bag (such as Ziploc®).


Question 8:

What is the most effective means of stopping a battery that is undergoing thermal runaway?

Your answer: Smother it immediately with plenty of clean, dry sand, dumped all at once.


Question 9:

In the event that electrolyte from a leaking embedded battery makes contact with your skin, which of the following first aid procedures should you take?

Your answer: Flush skin with cool running water.


Key Points

  • Embedded batteries are used in many Apple products and require special tools/handling
  • Always use correct safety tools and ensure workstation meets requirements.
  • Use the Apple-approved tools described in service guide to remove/replace batteries
  • Verify the cosmetic condition of battery cells
  • Use great care and correct techniques when removing/replacing
  • Know the correct specific response and equipment to address specific battery scenarios.

Service Fundamentals

Asking Questions

  • Four probing skill steps: Position, Permission, Probe, Check for understanding

Position - the skill of explaining what you want to do and why.  Helps the customer understand why they should provide you with the info you are requesting.

Permission - You wait for the customer to give you consent before starting to ask questions.  Might be non-verbal (nod) or verbal (“Yes”)

  • Is that Ok?
  • May I go ahead?
  • Will that work?
  • Is that alright?

Probe is a question or other request for information.  Types are either open probes or closed probes. Open probes encourage to respond freely, closed probes limit response to yes/no/specific answer.

Check for Understanding - Verify understanding by reflecting or rephrasing (not repeating) what the customer said.

Position, Permission and Probe

"With your agreement (permission), I would like to ask you a couple of questions so that I can understand your Apple Watch issue (position)." "I see you have brought your iPhone for repair today (position). May I ask you a few questions to begin with so I can fully understand the issue? (permission)"

Open Probes Closed Probes
How are you backing up now? Which AirPod is not working?
Why is that important to you? Did it work yesterday?
Describe the sound it made. What version of iOS is running?
What kinds of things do you use your Mac for? When did you last restart the device?
What did you do next? Were you on the Internet at the time?

Key Points

  • Reflection is not repeating - use phrases such as let me understand, what I’m hearing is, Did I get that right?
  • Repeating exactly what customer says is frustrating.

Key Points #2

  • Position your question, ask permission to ask it, probe politely for the best information.
  • Use open questions to encourage customer to respond freely
  • Use closed questions to gain specific information
  • Use reflecting skills to check your understanding

Interpersonal Skills

Body Language = words/vocal tones are power communication tools.  You are already communicating nonverbally before even speaking. Your attitude and personality may be judged before customer even meets you.  It is your responsibility to keep an open mind when it comes to reading customer body language. Avoid assumptions. (No arms crossed, no eye contact, facing away from customer when speaking, making facial expressions)

Accurately documenting what customer is explaining without customer thinking you are texting on an iPad or doing other work on a computer.  Position what you are doing so customers understand that they still have your full attention. Ex. I am going to take some notes as you describe them if that is ok.  You still have my full attention.

Pay attention to facial expressions - look for smiles, frowns, furrowed brows.  Be mindful of your own expressions.  

Asking “Does that make sense” may force a yes and make customer afraid of sounding foolish.  Instead say “How does that feel?” Allows customer to participate on a human level and freedom to express concerns.

Word value - Spoken words may have a specific meaning but tone, body language, inflection can change the value or the way the customer interprets your words.  

Denotation and Connotation - Denotation refers to literal meaning of a work.  Connotation refers to the idea or feeling of a word based on context or experiences.  Ex. Crash - immediately draws negative feelings (car crash, crashing Mac) based on previous experiences with the word.  Using the word “crash” implies physically broken, data loss, and expensive repairs. Instead, use “The application is having a hard time opening itself” or “The app is not behaving as expected and is unresponsive.”

Intonation - not what you say but the way you say it.  

Warm Welcome - One chance to make a first impression.  Apple calls this the “Warm Welcome.” Interpersonal skills are most important here because they set the tone for the remainder of interaction. Give full attention, use customers name, and use open/inviting body language. Prioritize the customer over the issue when beginning an interaction.

Fond Farewell - Make sure customers leaves with positive and lasting final impression.  Make sure issue is resolved, invite them to return for other services, offer ownership opportunities when appropriate, finish notes either before farewell or after they leave, use customer name to help maintain rapport.  

Over the phone - loses the advantage of face to face interaction and reading body language.  Answer the phone call with a smile. Pace speech - briskly enough to be confident but slow enough to be understood.  Too slow - boring, bored. Too fast - nervous, impatient. Do not interrupt what the caller is saying. Reflect your understanding back to customer.  

  • Find a quiet location with minimal distractions to make customer calls.  Pause music if needed.
  • Always conduct yourself as if customer is in the repair areas.  
  • Prepare with a script in case you have to leave a voicemail.  Make sure messages are clear, concise and complete.
  • Avoid calling customers early in the morning or late at night.
  • Announce to other employees that you are about to make a call and keep distractions to a minimum.

Key Points

  • You are already communicating nonverbally before you even speak to a customer
  • Tone or pitch of voice can change the connotation
  • You get only one chance to make a first impression using a Warm Welcome
  • A Fond Farewell involves making sure the issue is resolved.  Invite for additional services and offer ownership opportunities when appropriate.
  • Be mindful of pacing, not interrupting, recapping and having a smile in your voice when on the phone.

Providing Solutions

Telling a customer their device needs repair may make them distressed because - you failed to meet their expectations (may have expected replacement over repair), may be reluctant to part with device, may be reluctant to pay for repairs.

Position repair so that the customer understands the issue and partners with you in finding a solution.  Stay positive and focus on outcome of repair. Choose words carefully. A good repair recommendation always provides some way forward.

“Stop Words” hijack a conversation - they shift customer focus to defensive side.  Avoid using words such as damaged, failed, warning, abuse, you have (accusatory) or misuse.  

Best Practices for recommending new products instead of repairing.

  • Start with a limited number of options
  • ONLY FOR APPLE CERT PURPOSES - NOT SHINY!! A recommendation for a new product, upgrade, or extra service is often the best solution for the customer if the service goal is providing the best possible solution for the customers need…………..
  • The key to having your suggestions accepted is positioning - how you phrase your recommendation.  Be empathetic, agreeable, and supportive.  
  • Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.  They expected a quick fix with loa or no cost.  
  • Present the new solution as an opportunity.  The focus moves from the cost and concentrates on enhanced performance, new features, etc.
  • Setting expectations at check-ins is important.  Should be part of the relationship not a shock. Additionally, let customers know as soon as possible if repair costs are expensive or complex.  Prepare them with I am not sure this can be repaired, this is not looking hopeful, generally this much water damage is quite serious, etc.

When to refuse service

  • A device that has been modified by an unauthorized service provider using non-Apple parts.
  • A device with non-covered accidental damage.
  • A device with no serial number
  • A legacy device we are no longer servicing
  • A customer has misperceptions about the products and services offered.

When refusing service, explain why and offer options.  Never simply shut them down.

Key Points

  • Avoid using stop words or phrases.
  • Be empathetic, agreeable, and supportive when offering recommendations
  • Explain why and immediately say what you CAN do when positioning refusals.

Educational Opportunities

Cornerstones of Adult learning

  • Training is a partnership - collaborate with the training, add opinions, participate
  • Learn only what they do - learn by performing the task.
  • Think like a student - have true empathy.  That’s right!
  • Lead learning out - do not give information as if they know nothing, do not insult intelligence.  Respect, ask leading questions which lead to correct conclusions.  

Lead Learning out -

  • Leverages prior knowledge or skills already in place
  • Building on top of the foundation that the learner supplies and allowing them to be a member of the partnership.
  • Asking smart questions that the learner can answer correctly so they feel part of process and true collaborator.
  • Goes hand in hand with asking the learner to be an active participant and responsible for their own learning.
  • Does not involve interrogation, intimidation.
  • Helps make connections
  • Deepens the student’s role in the learning partnership
  • Asks for students input first and validate if correct.
  • If the student is likely to get the answer correct, asking is more powerful than telling.

Best Practices

  • Do not do what the student should do
  • Sit next to but not uncomfortably close to student
  • The word “there” has no meaning to the student.  Use anchors like it’s next to, is above, it is the bright red box, etc.
  • Do not say “no” or “wrong” Instead use “Try again.”
  • Do not use “just” as it implies the task is too easy, demeaning to customer.  
  • Divide screen real estate into nine “ marker” sections.  Top left, dead center, bottom center etc.

Use analogies to better explain.  

Assess the customers level of technical competence

  • Use probing skills - avoids over simplifying or talking down
  • Use clear simple language - do not use complex words when you do not have to
  • Explain features and their benefits
  • What, why, and next steps.

Correcting a customer - Use the phrase “Turns out” - corrects without blaming or making look foolish.  Avoid the words no, wrong. Other good ones - As it happens…, What really happens, I can see how you would think that but as it turns out…..

Key Points

  • Lead learning out mean leveraging knowledge or skills already in place.
  • Let the customer handle device while you instruct
  • Do not use complicated technical terms or terms that are over-simplified.
  • Use appropriate phrases for letting a customer know they are wrong.
  • Use analogies to better explain a concept

Partnering with the customer

Under-promise but over-deliver - be completely honest even is afraid the truth will upset the customer.  Set realistic expectations. Disappointment definition is expectations not met. Make the customer a collaborator, not adversary. Use neutral, non-inflammatory language.  Set generous margins in terms of time and effectiveness. If a part arrives sooner than you had set expectation for, you are the hero. Use conservative language to set expectations.  Ex. Can, may, might, possible, likely, unlikely, maybe. Do not use promise, on my honor, never fails, guaranteed, always, never.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share feelings of another.  Not to pity. Builds rapport. Three steps - Acknowledge their point of view, align and let them know you are on their side, assure to let them know you are willing to fix the problem and take care of concerns.

Feel, felt, found.  Use in your statements, I can understand how you feel, I felt a lot of pressure when that happened to me, I found that this helped tremendously. Avoid saying I know how you feel and instead say I understand how you feel.

Apologizing -It is appropriate to apologize if there was a misunderstanding about a situation or the customer is having a difficult time.  Do not apologize for the business, the technology, or your manager.  

Try replacing an apology with an appreciation - thank you for your patience, thanks for giving us a second chance, thanks for taking the time out of your day to come in.

Inflammatory phrases that can upset a customer - avoiding responsibility, refusals, getting confrontational, being inappropriately positive.

Avoiding responsibility examples not to say - I am not authorizes to override the cost of the replacement, ringing you out is not my job as I am a technician - find someone on the sales floor, that is not how it works - if you give me a 128GB phone, I have to replace it with another 128 not a 256.

Refusals examples not to say - Unfortunately, you did not get AppleCare+, I cannot make an exception for your accidental damage, I did not say we would not charge you, I said we would replace the device not how much it cost.

Getting confrontational examples not to say - you need to calm down before I get security involved, I bet you are frustrated (if the customer did not say he was frustrated this could allow him to be), You are wrong - your iPhone only has one speaker on the bottom, STOP SHOUTING (yelling to customer).  If you find you are unable to maintain composure ask to step away from the situation and gather your thoughts.

Inappropriately positive examples not to say - Your phone shattered, great, we can get that fixed today.  Liquid damage, awesome, we have options for your. In other words, being overly excited that you know the solution without showing empathy for the customers emotions first.  

Emotionally Hijacked customers - when customer has emotions that are out of your control.  You can use all of the available empathy skills, but the customer was upset before you even began the interaction.  May be unrelated - personal loss, worried about being late, got in an accident on way over, etc. Cannot help but channel their emotions to the issue in front of them.  Can make you feel personally attacked.  

  • Stay calm, speak more quietly than the customer and remember to breathe.
  • Show genuine empathy and keep reinforcing you are there to help them.
  • Try to find a way to say you’re right and so endorse the customer.
  • Describe how the specific behavior is affecting you and your ability to continue the conversation. (only used in extreme situations)
  • Propose an approach that refocuses the discussion.  

Five Step Approach in Action:

  • Speak Calmly
  • Acknowledge issue
  • Align
  • Empathy and ask to address behavior (language, attitude, etc.)
  • Permission to ask questions and suggest a resolution, ask for approval.

If personal safety is a factor, make the customer aware you would like to include manager in conversation.  Partner with the manager, take a break after incident to refocus. Emotional scenes are stressful and should not be dismissed.

Key Points

  • Cautious words and phrases help set accurate customer expectations.
  • Empathy is key to customer satisfaction as it helps you align with the customer and helps avoid conflict with the customer.
  • Acknowledge, align, and assure to demonstrate empathy.
  • Use apologies appropriately.
  • Five step anger method - stay calm, show genuine empathy, try to find a way to say you’re right, describe how the specific behavior is affecting you, propose an approach that refocuses the discussion.

Documenting Customer Interactions

Case notes - remarks and recommendations techs make during troubleshooting.  Describe what the customer said, any tests performed and their results, observations made during a physical examination.  May also include a suggested resolution. Good notes are essential because:

  • Accurately detail device issues to the customer
  • Direct the next tech who works on the repair
  • Build a permanent and complete customer repair history
  • Apple engineers use the data to improve products and customer service.
  • Act as legal documents

Apple repair centers can only see the Work Authorization portion of a repair case.  If the initial notes are poor, the repair center may have a difficult time reproducing the issue or validating the customers concern.  Ultimately leads to repeat repairs, repeat visits, and decrease in satisfaction.

Negatively affect Turnaround Time (TAT) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).

Poor case notes do not accurately describe the issue, are not helpful for the next tech, can cause repetition of troubleshooting and wasted time, can lead to contacting the customer for clarification.  

Good notes include:

  • What info did the customer supply?
  • What did customer see, hear, smell?
  • Has the customer ever seen this happen before?
  • How was the issue verified?
  • Tests ran and results
  • What info did the device itself supply?
  • What resolution was reached or recommendation?
  • Write full descriptions and use declarative phrases.

Clear, concise case notes:

  • Stick to facts and are objective.
  • Use “customer reports” when quoting customer
  • Use neutral terms when describing emotional elements
  • Clear, declarative statements
  • List troubleshooting steps and results using Action/Result format
  • Find a balance between including complete details yet make entries easy to read.
  • Avoid all but standard acronyms, emojis, abbreviations, and tech jargon.
  • Document cosmetic condition using objective descriptions/measurements while avoiding subjective terms such as good, fine, perfect condition, normal wear/tear.
  • Set up next tech for success
  • Professional, avoid inappropriate language
  • Tell a story with beginning, middle, end
  • Provide answers that make sense and do not lead to more questions
  • Proofread notes before saving, avoid typos.

Key Points

  • Clear concise notes are essential because they accurately detail device issues to customer, direct the next tech, build permanent and complete repair history, engineers use data to improve, act as legal documents.
  • Complete case notes negatively affect TAT and CSAT.
  • Effective notes describe completely the interaction and your subsequent actions.

Resource Fundamentals

Excel as a tech by using all available Apple resources

  • Resource usage allows you to provide informed and procedurally correct solutions to customers
  • Resource documents are updated regularly so it is better to look up relevant information than it is to memorize it.
  • Using resources helps you work smarter, not harder
  • Using resources provides a model for customers to resolve their own issues.

Apple Support Site (

  • How-to articles
  • Tech specifications
  • Support Communities
  • User manuals
  • Downloads
  • Troubleshooting articles
  • Service and repair options

Global Service Exchange (GSX) - key service resource available only to Apple authorized techs currently employed at Apple Authorized Service Facilities.  Used by Apple internal support groups, AASP, carrier technicians, self-servicing accounts (SSA), and other groups of techs who service Apple products.

  • Internal versions of public articles
  • Standard Operating Procedures articles
  • Visual and Mechanical Inspection (VMI) guides
  • Service Guides
  • Integrated Troubleshooting charts
  • Service Videos
  • Escalations

Key Points

  • Apple Support site is powerful customer facing resource
  • Apple support articles are available to both techs and customer, are a valuable resource when searching for troubleshooting and installation instructions.
  • GSX is key service resource
  • GSX contains confidential support articles and service info, only techs are able to assess.

Introduction to Service Guides

Global Service Exchange

- GSX - web-based system used by AASPs, wireless carriers, self-service businesses, and education customers.  Used for creating repairs, ordering service inventory, using tech/operational procedures, researching repair history, and requesting reimbursement from Apple for warranty repairs.  

Service Guide

Troubleshooting section

- provides high-level info that includes - links to specific VMI guide to determine warranty coverage (iOS and Mac), Micro-Inspection procedure to determine modifications (iOS), common software troubleshooting procedures (iOS), general troubleshooting including troubleshooting theory (Mac), quick check procedures including resetting NVRAM and SMC (Mac), recovering lost firmware password (Mac).

Symptom charts

- isolate unlikely causes, apply quick checks, follow deep dive flow charts.

Quick Check

- quick, non-invasive checks prior to Deep Dive.

Deep Dive

- flow chart guides through systematic troubleshooting steps to find issue and corrective actions to take.  Based on the Yes/No answer to questions. Usually taken once the device has been checked in.

Take Apart

- designed to help tech repair/replace parts within a unit.  Organized by part, starting with external housing and working towards logic board and other internal parts.  Beginning of this section - find general info about the product such as cable types, tool requirements, procedure notes.

First Steps

- should be performed before repair has begun.  In some cases will include other part removal such as bottom cover removal before beginning repair.  Always complete First Steps before beginning repair.  


- listed in Take Apart - required tools for specific repair in question.  

Steps for removal/reassembly

Follow exactly.  Reassembly steps may not be provided and would need to follow in reverse order.  

Views - designed to help you identify parts, screws, and physical location of component.  Most include exploded view of all parts and screw chart.

Key Points

  • Always use the latest Service Guide when servicing a given device.
  • The Quick Check and Deep Dive sections help techs troubleshoot devices efficiently and accurately.
  • Be sure to follow the First Steps section before attempting to complete the repair in question.

Apple ID

Apple ID is user name that can be used for everything customers do with Apple in macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.  Customer uses an email address to create an account for an Apple Service they create their Apple ID. Same ID lets them access Apple’s other services.

Created from or when setting up a new device or when sign into iTunes or iCloud for the first time.

Needed to create an Apple ID:

  • A valid email address (serves as user name)
  • A strong password
  • Three security questions and answers (verify identity, reset the password)
  • Date of birth

Support References

If an Apple ID is created through the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or App Store, credit card information may be needed. See Apple Support article, HT204034 - Create or use your Apple ID without a payment method for alternate payment methods. Other available resources are:

To use an Apple ID with a service such as iTunes, iBooks, App store, or the Mac app store, sign-in is required. The examples below show you how to sign into iTunes in macOS and iOS.

How do you manage your Apple ID?

Because Apple ID is used across all devices and services, it is important to keep the account information up to date. By signing in to My Apple ID, customers can:

  • Update Apple ID email address to make sure it is an address in use frequently
  • Change the password to help maintain account security
  • Reset security questions to make sure they are easy to remember but hard for others to guess
  • Add a rescue email address to help reset security questions if they are ever forgotten
  • Add additional email addresses to make it easier to communicate and share
  • View and edit devices associated with this Apple ID
  • Edit payment details for this Apple ID

What if you forget your Apple ID?

If you have forgotten your Apple ID username or password, go to for recovery options.

Support References

Apple Support has numerous articles focused on Apple ID. The following Support Articles contain additional information on managing or troubleshooting Apple ID issues:

Two-step verification

Two-step verification is an additional security feature for Apple ID that requires using a trusted device for identity verification.

  • The first step is to enter the Apple ID and password.
  • The second step is to enter a verification code that is sent to a trusted device.

Two-step verification is configured at in the Security section.

Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is similar in approach to two-step verification. It is a security feature for Apple ID that also requires customers to verify their identity using a trusted device. However, two-factor authentication provides a more streamlined approach than two-step verification. It also has different system requirements, one of which is a Mac running El Capitan or later and iTunes 12.3 or later. If two-factor authentication is available for an Apple ID, it can be configured in iCloud Preferences.

Best Practice

While troubleshooting, you may isolate a user’s issue to his or her Apple ID. You should help users resolve issues with their existing Apple IDs, instead of creating new ones. Creating a new Apple ID for a user who already has one can confuse the user and cause the creation of multiple iTunes and App Store accounts.

You can quickly and easily find answers to Apple ID questions using Apple's Support website,

What iOS features require an Apple ID?

  • App, iTunes, and iBooks Stores
  • Apple Music
  • Apple Pay
  • Game Center
  • iCloud
  • iMessage
  • Find My Friends
  • Find My iPhone

What services do customers use that would indicate that they already have an Apple ID?

  • Apple Developer programs
  • Apple Music
  • Apple Online Store
  • Apple Retail services and programs
  • Apple Store app
  • Apple Support Communities
  • Apple TV
  • App Store
  • Find My Friends
  • Find My iPhone
  • Game Center
  • iBooks Store
  • iCloud
  • iMessage
  • iTunes Genius
  • iTunes Home Sharing
  • iTunes Match
  • iTunes Radio
  • iTunes Store
  • iTunes U
  • Jobs at Apple
  • Mac App Store
  • My Apple ID

Key Points

  • Apple IDs created for iTunes, iCloud and with new device setup can be used with all Apple services.
  • Apple IDs can be set up without a payment method.
  • You must sign in with an Apple ID to use some Apple services.
  • It is recommended to use one Apple ID for all Apple services.
  • It is supported to use one Apple ID for iCloud services and a separate one for iTunes.
  • Use to manage your Apple ID.
  • Use to reset a forgotten password, unlock your account, or recover an Apple ID.
  • Two-step and two-factor authentication are available to add an extra layer of security for your Apple ID.

iOS Fundamentals

Helpful Links

Messages App

In the Messages app , you can exchange text messages using SMS and MMS through your cellular service on iPhone, and with other iOS devices and Mac computers using iMessage. iMessage is an Apple service that sends messages over Wi-Fi or cellular connections to other iOS devices (with iOS 5 or later) and Mac computers (with OS X 10.8 or later). These messages don’t count against your messaging plan. Messages sent via iMessage can include photos, videos, and other info. You can see when other people are typing, and send read receipts to let them know when you’ve read their messages. For security, messages sent via iMessage are encrypted before they’re sent.


Memoji is a new form of Animoji, and makes communicating with friends and family even more fun on iPhone models with Face ID. You can personalize your Memoji in Messages, and add Animoji, filters, text, and stickers to photos and videos with new camera effects for Messages and FaceTime.

For more information on creating and using Memoji:

FaceTime App

in the FaceTime app , make video or audio calls to friends and family, whether they’re using an iOS device or a Mac. With the front-facing camera, you can talk face-to-face; switch to the rear camera to share what you see around you.

With iOS 12.1.4 and later, Group FaceTime makes it easy to chat with multiple people at the same time. You can start a Group FaceTime right from the FaceTime app or from a group conversation in the Messages app. The tile of the person speaking gets larger automatically, so you’ll never lose track of the conversation. Note: FaceTime, or some FaceTime features, may not be available in all regions.

Use FaceTime with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch


With Wallet, you can keep your credit, debit, and prepaid cards, store cards, boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons, rewards cards, student ID cards, and more in one place.

With Wallet, you can use passes on your iPhone to check in for flights, get and redeem rewards, get in to movies, or redeem coupons. Passes can include useful information like the balance on your coffee card, your coupon’s expiration date, your seat number for a concert, and more. Students at some universities in the United States can use student ID cards on iPhone and Apple Watch.

Control Center

While your device is locked, Control Center gives access to the camera, calculator, AirPlay, and control/playback of currently playing audio. In addition to those features, brightness, locking the screen in portrait orientation, turning wireless services on or off, and turning on AirDrop are also available. Turn off access to Control Center in apps or on the Lock screen by going to Settings > Control Center.

Open Control Center Swipe up from the bottom edge of any screen. On iPhone X or later or iPad with iOS 12 or later, swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen.

Close Control Center  Tap the top of the screen or press the Home button. On iPhone X or later, swipe up from the bottom of the screen or tap the screen.


Notifications help you keep track of what’s new—they let you know if you missed a call, if the date of an event moved, and more. You can customize your notification settings so you see only what’s important to you. View and respond to notifications on the iPhone Lock screen or in Notification Center. iPhone displays notifications as they arrive, but if you don’t read one right away, it’s saved in Notification Center so you can check it later. To see your notifications in Notification Center, swipe down from the top center of any screen, then scroll up to see older notifications. To close Notification Center, swipe up.

When you have multiple notifications, they’re grouped by app, which makes them easier to view and manage. Notifications from some apps may also be grouped by organizing features within the app, such as by topic or thread. Grouped notifications appear as small stacks, with the most recent notification on top. Do any of the following:

  • To expand a group of notifications to see them individually, tap the group. To close the group again, tap Show Less.
  • To view a notification, tap it.
  • To view and respond to a notification or group of notifications, swipe it right, then tap Open. On models with 3D Touch, press deeply on a notification to view and respond.

Support Reference

Refer to the iOS User Guide for additional information how to dismiss, clear, and manage notifications.


Your personal virtual assistant—Siri is a quick way to get things done by talking to your device. Ask Siri to translate a phrase, set a timer, find a location, report on the weather, and more. The more you use Siri, the better it knows what you need. To use Siri, iPhone must be connected to the Internet and cellular charges may apply.

Siri Shortcuts

Siri Shortcuts enable any app to work with Siri so you can get things done faster. You can customize Shortcuts by creating a simple voice command to kick off a task, or use the new Shortcuts app to carry out a series of actions from different apps with just a tap or voice command. You can create new Shortcuts using iOS 12 Siri & Search settings or using the Shortcuts app.

Support References

For more information on creating and using Siri and Siri Shortcuts:

Key Points

  • Some Phone call features features on iPhone behave differently on GSM and CDMA networks.
  • FaceTime and Messages includes lots of features and benefits. Study them to educate the customer and troubleshoot issues.
  • Wallet & Apple pay features are regional. Check to see where your customer wants to use these features.
  • Personal Hotspot requires a supported carrier plan.
  • You must be familiar with iOS settings to help educate the customer and troubleshoot issues.

macOS Fundamentals

Review default desktop - menu bar (Apple menu, active app menu, Status menu, icon menu), dock

Working with an experienced technician, locate and identify the following Desktop components on a Mac running macOS Mojave. Review what each component does and discuss the functions of the drop-down menu elements.

  • Apple Menu ()
  • Application Menu
  • Menu bar
  • Status menu
  • Spotlight icon
  • Notification Center icon
  • Desktop
  • Dock

The cursor will increase in size temporarily when moved rapidly - allows you to locate the cursor quickly - feature is controlled from the Accessibility pane in System Preferences.

Helpful Links

Pointers in macOS

Drag and drop items

HT204014 - Use Spotlight on your Mac

Spotlight Preferences

HT201236 - Mac keyboard shortcuts

HT204895 - Use Multi-Touch gestures on your Mac

HT204100 - Use Mission Control on your Mac

Work in multiple spaces on Mac

HT204216 - Mac tips for Windows switchers

  • Equivalent of Control-Alt-Delete on Windows = Command-Option-Escape
  • Equivalent to the Windows Key = Command
  • How long to hold down power button to force Mac to turn off = 5 seconds
  • Immediately log out of user account = command-shift-option-Q
  • Finds next occurrence of an item previously found = command-G

System Preferences

Customize your Mac with System Preferences

System Preferences can be organized by category (default) or alphabetically.  If organized by category, 3rd party preferences will be in a section at the bottom.  

Siri on Mac

Siri can open files, send messages or find answers/info using voice commands.

Practice - Part 1


  • Launch an application from the Dock
  • Observe additional options by control-clicking on icons in the Dock
  • Identify application states (not running, launching, open) using the Dock
  • Add and remove applications, files, and folders to and from the Dock

Applications, Files, and Folders

  • Create files and folders
  • Move files and folders to a folder
  • Move files and folders to a Finder window sidebar
  • Create, edit, and delete a smart folder

Customize how files and other information are displayed on the Finder desktop and in the Sidebar

  • Access contextual menus using a one button mouse
  • Reset the application used to open a file
  • Make an archive of a folder
  • Identify differences in the Finder desktop when Stacks is on versus when Stacks is off.

Practice - Part 2

Basic OS Tools and Techniques

  • Review Mac OS X System Preferences
  • Explore settings in the System Preferences
  • Locate and use About This Mac to identify hardware and software within the Mac system
  • Locate the serial number for the Mac
  • Locate and run Software Update on the Mac system
  • Hide and show running applications
  • Minimize and maximize windows

Search Techniques

  • Locate files on a Mac using Spotlight
  • Select a file in a Spotlight search to see a preview of its contents
  • Locate files on the computer using Finder Search
  • Narrow search to a specific location


  • Configure a widget
  • Add and remove widgets from the Dashboard bar
  • Customize Dashboard behavior.

Key Points

  • There are different cursors in macOS based on what you are doing.
  • Spotlight helps you quickly find things on your computer and shows suggestions from Internet resources.
  • macOS has equivalent key commands for Windows key commands.
  • Customization of the macOS is done via System Preferences.
  • You can use Siri to open files, send messages, or find answers and information.
  • Notification Center lets you view details about your day.
  • There are multiple mouse and trackpad gestures that enable a wide array of macOS functions.
  • Mission Control allows switching between applications or Spaces.

Mail Basics

Mail is Native to several Apple OS and devices.

Before helping customers set up mail, make sure they have email address/password.  

Support References

Apple also provides an online tool called Mail Settings Lookup. It lists account information based on an email address lookup.  Customers can use this tool to verify that the settings are correct before setting up Mail. If the settings are correct, help the customer to login to the email account in Safari.


- Internet Message Access Protocol - best if customer checks email from multiple devices, stored by email provider until they are deleted.  Mailbox stays the same on each device as long as connected to internet. More versatile.


- Post Office Protocol - if used on multiple devices, changes do not appear on every device, new messages delivered to one device may not be delivered to, read, or deleted on other devices.

With Mail for iOS you can view, reply, filter, search, organize, and use Markup right from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Follow the steps in the interaction below to see some of these functions on an iPhone.

If your customer cannot send or receive email in macOS, use Mail Connection Doctor to learn more about the issue.

Support References

Key Points

  • Before you help customers set up email, make sure they have the necessary configuration information.
  • Apple provides an online tool called Mail Settings Lookup that lists account information based on an email address lookup.
  • IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) allows a customer to check email from multiple devices. POP does not.
  • If your customer cannot send or receive his email in macOS, use Mail Connection Doctor to learn more about the issue.

Networking Fundamentals

Why is network connectivity important?

All of Apple's devices are communication tools that rely on some form of network access.  When these devices are unable to connect to the Internet or a network, customers will often feel a variety of emotions such as anxiety, frustration, and anger.  All of us have become dependent on the Internet for work, school, friendships, entertainment, and personal organization. Without Internet access, customers can often show emotion as they have a strong need for this functionality.  It is important that we recognize this when acknowledging, aligning, and assuring our customers' emotions.

Troubleshooting challenges - cannot bring their network into the store, may not know every configuration detail of their network setup, issues may be environmental such as inference or traffic/bandwidth, multiple variables can make isolating the issue difficult, settings can be difficult to configure or explain, 3rd party hardware/software, dependent on IT departments for config settings.  Network troubleshooting is a partnership between customer, Apple, ISP, IT dept, and 3rd party hardware. Apple hardware/software are dependent on other 3rd party variables to establish and maintain network settings.

Goal when assisting with network related issues - verify that the Apple product harware/software are functioning correctly, give customers next steps/options, always try to be helpful.

Other help options - Apple support articles, online 3rd party support articles, contacting ISP, contacting 3rd party manufacturer, contact AppleCare phone center, hire an Apple Consultant for onsite service.

All networks are made of three basic elements - nodes, links and protocols.  Identifying the elements is critical to isolating the issue. Identify the equipment variables involved by asking the customer relevant probing questions.


- any computer or network accessible mobile device - includes switches, gateways and routers.


- connect nodes - cables, phone line, wifi, bluetooth, infared.


- languages needed to communicate elements.

IP addresses

- Internet Protocol - number that IDs each computer across the internet or a network.  Without it, you cannot send/receive info on the internet. Two methods of obtaining IP address - Automatically using DHCP (Dynamic Host Config Protocol) - automatically assigned IP from the router/DHCP server.

Manually - Your ISP or network admin gives you

Working with a Mac running macOS High Sierra, access the Network System Preference join a LAN. Review these articles before you begin.

Network connectivity is typically config when OS are initially set up or upgraded.  Also configured by selecting available wifi network or plugging into ethernet connection.  

Connect to a network through system preferences and network pane.  By default they are usually automatically configured but can be configured manually if needed. By default, network is saved for future use but can be turned off if desired.

Using a Mac running macOS High Sierra, set up a network connection for both wired and wireless networks.

Review these articles prior to the practice.

iOS device - settings > wifi > select network.  Ask to join - periodically scans for new wifi networks and prompted to join new wifi networks not previously joined that it discovers.

Set up wireless connectivity for an iOS device running iOS 11 or later. Review this article prior to exercise.

If possible, practice connecting to all three types of WiFi network described in the article


- short range connections.  Must be paired to device in order to communicate.  System Preferences > Bluetooth. Keyboards, mice, etc. can also be set up in respective preference panes on macOS. Some devices require passcode or PIN in order to pair. Manually connect on macOS by right clicking on devices in bluetooth pane.

On a Mac, use the Bluetooth pane in System Preference to verify Bluetooth connected devices. Bluetooth wireless keyboards, mice, and trackpads are set up using the respective System Preference panes, rather than the Bluetooth System Preference pane.

  • Bluetooth keyboards use the Keyboard pane.
  • Bluetooth mice use the Mouse pane.
  • Bluetooth trackpads use the Trackpad pane.

Pair and then unpair a Bluetooth device to a Mac running macOS High Sierra and a Bluetooth device running iOS 11 or later.  Review these articles before you begin.


- quick transfer of files between 2 apple devices using wifi.  Do not have to be connected to same network because the devices automatically set up a direct wireless connection for AirDrop.  Can also AirDrop from the share feature in applications.

Set up an AirDrop connection to transfer a file between a Mac running macOS High Sierra and an iOS device running the latest version of iOS. Review this article prior to exercise.


- streams music, video and other content wirelessly from Mac/iOS to HDTV via Apple TV.  AirPlay also allows to stream music to AirPlay enabled speakers, receivers, or Airport Express devices.  AirPlay mirroring wirelessly mirrors screen of Mac or device to HDTV. AirPlay 2 (2018) adds ability to play music across multiple speakers and use Siri to control where it’s playing.  Read Apple Support article HT201343 - Use AirPlay to display video from your Mac on an HDTV.

Read Apple Support article, HT202809 - How to AirPlay audio to wirelessly stream content from iTunes on your computer.

Best Practices

  • While mirroring your Mac to a TV or projector, go to System Preferences > Displays. From here, you can adjust settings to provide the best possible Airplay Mirroring image.
  • An HDTV will often apply picture quality enhancements intended to improve the look of film and video sources. In some cases, these enhancements can lead to over-sharpening artifacts when displaying the Mac desktop. Consult the HDTV's manual for guidance on the appropriate settings for use with a computer.

Support Reference

Read Apple Support article, HT202763 - About overscan and underscan on your Mac, Apple TV, or other display.

Set up AirPlay between a Mac or iOS device and an Apple TV. Read Apple Support articles HT202809 - How to AirPlay audio  and HT204289 - AirPlay video from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Support References

Use the following resources and the content of this course to answer the questions on the next page:

Key Points

  • Network troubleshooting is a partnership between the customer, Apple, Internet Service Provider, IT department, and 3rd party hardware.
  • Nodes are devices.
  • Links are communication channels.
  • Protocols are rules for devices using channels.
  • IP addresses can be obtained manually or automatically.
  • Bluetooth devices must be paired to Macs or iOS devices.
  • Bluetooth Keyboard, Mouse, and Trackpad have corresponding System Preference panes.
  • AirDrop enables the quick transfer of files between two Apple devices using Wi-Fi.
  • AirPlay is a technology for streaming music, video, and other content wirelessly from Mac or iOS devices to an HDTV via Apple TV.

iCloud Fundamentals

iCloud is a free service from Apple.  - gives customers access to their music, photos, contacts, calendars, and other materials across multiple devices.  also provides options to back up or locate a missing device. To get the best experience, it is recommended that iCloud users have up to date software.

To set up - if at - customer must already have a valid Apple ID.  Apple ID

To set up using an address, they must own a Mac, iOS device, or Apple TV.  Can use setup assistant either in System Preferences or settings (iOS).

Possible support issues - common issues - sharing Apple ID or iCloud account with another family member or having multiple Apple IDs which causes confusion setting up iCloud.  Using multiple IDs is confusing and may cause issues when accessing purchased content or using some services. IDs cannot be merged.  

While not recommended, some customers may want to use one Apple ID for iTunes Store, App Store, and iBook Store purchases and another Apple ID for iCloud.

iCloud Drive in iOS

- settings - name of account - iCloud Drive - turn on - upgrade all devices in order to access files from anywhere, can decide which services to share on drive.

iCloud Drive in macOS

- system presences - get to know this section and how to purchase more iCloud Drive space.

iCloud photos

- get to know how to enable in macOS, With iCloud Photos, all the photos and video in your customer's photo library are stored in iCloud, and can be accessed from a Mac, iOS device, and on

Make sure to know how to share albums.   You CAN organize your photos on

iCloud features

Archive data on a computer before turning off features, or turn off iCloud completely. (Reviewed - sync features - mail, contacts, calendar, reminders, notes apps where changes are updated on each device -

iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain keeps Safari website usernames and passwords, credit card information, and Wi-Fi network information up to date across all approved devices. Watch the video to learn how to setup, manage, and use iCloud Keychain on a Mac and iOS device. Choosing to use a random security code automatically uses complex security code options.  Apple cannot recover a lost code.

Complex security code allows them to choose an alphanumeric code of their choice.  Random is automatically complex and chosen.  

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone helps customers locate and protect devices if they are ever lost or stolen. Watch this video to learn how to setup and use Find My iPhone on a Mac and iOS device.

Finds approximate location of iOS devices.

Find my iPhone needs Apple ID logged on and find my turned on, needs to be online, awake, and in range of a known wifi network.  Travel to device with car icon, play sound if nearby even if in silent mode, lost mode will lock with passcode can display custom message on screen, attempts to suspend any cards stored in Apple pay.  To turn off lost mode, enter passcode. Cannot be used to play sound if has been erased.  

Family Sharing

Family Sharing enables up to six people in a family to share purchases from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store without sharing accounts. Watch this video to learn how to setup and use Family Sharing on the Mac and iOS devices.

Apple ID is needed.  Set up family sharing through iCloud menu.  

Key Points

  • Customers can pick and choose which iCloud services to use and can archive data before turning off features.
  • If users keep all of your Apple devices signed in to iCloud you can then use Find My Phone to locate, erase, or lock them.
  • Back to My Mac has strict network and router requirements.
  • Family Sharing requires detailed setup and only shares supported content.
  • Although not recommended, customers may use one Apple ID for iTunes Store, App Store, and Apple Books Store purchases and another Apple ID for iCloud.

Basic Troubleshooting

Systematic troubleshooting is a required skill which is used to isolate issues correctly. Technicians should use all the information present, rather than "template match" or jump to conclusions based on familiarity, past experience, or too little information.  

Systematic Troubleshooting

Systematic troubleshooting uses deductive reasoning to correctly isolate an issue before coming to a conclusion. It examines what is possible and what is not possible. Troubleshooting Apple devices may require tests, a thorough examination, a history, and a skilled practitioner.

Template matching - Avoid!  Don’t let previous experience with a repair lead you to the wrong conclusion.  Always use systematic troubleshooting.

Deductive reasoning is at the core of troubleshooting. It is a logical thinking process that moves from general to specific. Deductive reasoning is based on premises. If the premises are true, then the reasoning is valid. The reasoning statement starts with the premise and often uses an if/then format.

IMPORTANT:  The core of the troubleshooting and diagnostic process is the ability to narrow down the information given and draw logical conclusions. To diagnose an issue you need to understand the relevant facts of the circumstances then discard any distractors or irrelevancies. From the relevant facts you can deduce likely causes.

Evaluate, Isolate, Resolve

Apple's systematic troubleshooting supposes that all possible issues are based on one of four root causes: Hardware, Software, the device's Environment or Education Opportunity which denotes the customer's inexperience. The troubleshooting process involves three principal stages:

  • Evaluate  
  • Isolate
  • Resolve

First stage is evaluate the issue.  Gather information about the issue. Consult with customer, Apple resources, and physically inspect device.  Ask yourself what is the customer telling me. Listen to what customer is saying, ask relevant probing questions to determine what information relates to the issue and what does not, Have customer reproduce the issue and observe their actions.  After gathering sufficient information from customer, observed how they are using their device then check issue against Apple resources. Ask yourself what does the device tell me? Perform a visual/mechanical inspection - necessary part of troubleshooting process.  Check for physical obstruction, peripheral, or damage present causing the issue.  

Isolate the problem to one of four problem spaces - Hardware, software, education opportunity, or environment.  Start by asking yourself is device related or not device related. If device related, the issue will exist in the Hardware or Software problem spaces.  If not device related, will exist in education opportunity or environmental problem spaces.

Hardware problem space includes issues related to hardware failures.  Resolutions generally require repairing device with parts or replacing device.

Software problem space - directly related to software installed on a device.  Simply restarting device resolves many issues. Issues may affect system software or only applications/files installed by the user.  Resolutions may include toggling specific settings, resetting specific settings, updating software, reinstalling software. May possibly have to remove specific files, apps, or other data related to the issue.

Educational Opportunities are not actual issues but opportunity to educate the customer and reset expectations related to their device.  Customer may think there is an issue, but really they are misinformed about what the device is capable of or may be performing a task incorrectly.  Validates importance of having the customer reproduce the issue.  

Environmental problems - can be difficult to isolate because they are hard to reproduce.  Ex - dropping calls, unable to join a specific network, wireless interference.  

Key Points - When you properly evaluate and isolate an issue, finding the right resolution for your customer is a simpler process.  Remember to uncover as much information as possible during the evaluation phase. This will aid you during isolation.

Kinds of resolutions you can offer:

  • Repair without using parts.
  • Repair using parts
  • Reinstalling or updating software
  • Educating the customer
  • Directing the customer to 3rd party resources.

When customers are mistaking, avoid blaming them or making them wrong.  Ex - Don’t “You are wrong, iPad with Retina display can take photos” Right - “It turns out, iPad with Retina display can take photos.”

Use gentle corrective phrases - I can see how you would think that, in fact....  The reality is..... The way it works is.... What really happens.... As it turns out....  Let me show you another way to.....

Key Points

  • Systematic troubleshooting is a skill required by techs used to isolate issues correctly using all of the info present.
  • Systematic troubleshooting uses deductive reasoning to correctly isolate an issue before coming to a conclusion.  Accurate troubleshooting relates directly to Apple’s service business success and to meeting its performance metrics
  • Deductive reasoning is the logical thinking process, which moves from general to specific.
  • The core of the troubleshooting and diagnostic process is the ability to narrow down the information given and draw logical conclusions.
  • To diagnose an issue, you need to understand the relevant facts of the circumstances then discard any distractions or irrelevancies.  
  • The troubleshooting process involves three principal stages:  Evaluation, Isolate, Resolve.
  • Apple’s systematic troubleshooting supposes that all possible issues are based on one of four root causes:  Hardware, software, environment, education opportunity.


Continuity consists of several components with unique features. Use the following articles and the links they contain to answer quiz questions about these components.


feature allows a user to start working in one device and then switch to a nearby device to continue that work.  

  • Needs to be signed into iCloud on each device
  • Each device must have Bluetooth enabled.
  • Each device must have Wifi turned on and be connected to the same network via WiFi or Ethernet.

System Requirements

Listed below are the hardware and software requirements to use Handoff.

  • iPhone 5 or newer
  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad (4th generation) or newer
  • iPad Air or newer
  • iPad mini or newer
  • iPod touch (5th generation) or newer
  • iOS 8 or later
  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (2012 or newer)
  • iMac (2012 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)
  • Yosemite or later

How tos

  • On your Mac: Choose Apple () menu > System Preferences, then click General. Select "Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices."
  • On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Go to Settings > General > Handoff, then turn on Handoff.
  • On your Apple Watch: In the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap General and turn on Enable Handoff.

From your iOS device, you have two options.

  1. If you are on the Lock screen, swipe up from the bottom-left edge of the screen, where you see the app's icon.
  2. You can double-click the Home button, then tap the app banner at the bottom of the multitasking screen.

Continuity allows the text messages sent on an iPhone to be sent and received on a Mac or other iOS device. Any Mac that can run Yosemite or later and any iOS device running iOS 8 or later can use this feature.  Customers can set this up on the iPhone under Settings > Messages. Tap Text Message Forwarding to enable the device in the list of devices. The list is generated by signing into iCloud on all devices. Open Messages on the Mac or iPad. When the six-digit code appears, enter this code on the iPhone, and tap Allow.

Review HT207006 - About iMessage and SMS/MMS.

With Continuity customers can answer cellular calls on their Mac or iOS devices. The devices must be using the same Apple ID, signed into iCloud and FaceTime, have Wi-Fi enabled, and be connected to the same network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.  Their devices must have these settings:

  • On iPhone, go to Settings > Phone > Calls on Other Devices, then turn on Allow Calls on Other Devices.
  • On iPad or iPod touch, go to Settings > FaceTime, then turn on Calls from iPhone.
  • On Mac, open the FaceTime app, then choose FaceTime > Preferences. Click Settings, then select Calls From iPhone.

Trick question answer!  You cannot begin a call on your iPhone and transfer to Mac via FaceTime.

Some carriers support Wi-Fi calling on other devices, which is different than Continuity and Cellular Calls. You can set up those devices to make and receive calls even when your iPhone isn't turned on or nearby.

Review HT203032 - Make a call with Wi-Fi Calling for more details.

If a customer's carrier offers cellular hotspot as a feature, and the customer is using iCloud, the customer's Mac can automatically join their iPhone or iPad's cellular connection as long as both devices are signed into iCloud using the same Apple ID.  Advise customers to make sure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are turned on. They can join their instant hotspots like any other wireless network. They should look for the name of the device with the data plan. They will know they are connected when the Wi-Fi logo looks like this:

A customer's device must have an activated carrier plan providing Personal Hotspot service.

If you would like more information about troubleshooting a Personal Hotspot issue please read the support article HT203302 - If Personal Hotspot is not working on your iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular).

With Universal Clipboard, you can copy text, images, photos, and videos on one Apple device and then paste the content on another Apple device.

Review HT206995 - How to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch and answer the following questions.

If your customer has already set up Two-Step Verification and wants to switch to Two-Factor Authentication, visit the support article:

To learn more and to set up Two- Factor Authentication, visit the support article:

Key Points:

  • Continuity services require all devices be signed into iCloud with same Apple ID, have Bluetooth and WiFi running
  • When troubleshooting continuity issues, ensure that the devices you are checking comply with hardware and OS requirements.
  • Handoff requires setup of both the iOS device and the Mac.
  • IMessage is encrypted but SMS/MMS is not.
  • To answer cell calls on Mac or iOS device, the customer’s devices must be using the same Apple ID, signed into iCloud and FaceTime, have WiFi enabled and be connected to the same network via WiFi or Ethernet
  • To use Instant Hotspot, a customer’s device must have an activated carrier plan providing personal hotspot use.
  • To use Auto Unlock, the Apple Watch needs to be quite close to the Mac it is attempting to unlock.

Apple Watch and watchOS

Apple Watch marries fitness tracking and health-oriented capabilities with integration with iOS and other Apple products and services.

Customer interaction / Troubleshooting

- Only works when worn.  You need to enter the customer’s personal space in order to troubleshoot.  Ask for permission to come close or try a troubleshooting step. Individuals personal space is typically 1.5 to 4 feet.  Personal zone. Explain that you would like to partner with in order to resolve. Must stand next and observe them reproduce the issue in order to resolve.  If worn on left wrist, stand next to them on the right. Ask to rest watch on counter. Be mindful of personal space. Show empathy if they feel uncomfortable.

Because you enter the customer's personal space, partnering with an Apple Watch wearer demands highly-polished customer engagement skills. Extra attention must be paid to clear communication and use of the right words, demonstrated respect, asking for permission, and setting expectations. For some operations, the customer is required to wear Apple Watch—the changes cannot be made when the watch is removed from the wrist. This means you will have to stand next to the customer and give him or her directions from the Personal Zone, usually reserved for friends. In addition to feeling that you are "too close", some people some people become nervous when they are observed in the "driver's seat," and others are displeased at having to do the work themselves, they prefer to hand over the Apple Watch and have you fix it. Your skill in setting expectations, describing the process before it begins, and acting professionally and respectfully can put them at ease as you give clear directions for troubleshooting and issue resolution.

The customer relies on your technical troubleshooting expertise. You instill confidence in the customer by showing that you understand the capabilities and specifications of each Apple Watch model. This makes your troubleshooting less prone to avoidable mistakes and it helps the customer do more with their device.  Many perceived customer support issues may not be an actual hardware or software matter at all. Instead, they might be an opportunity to educate the customer.

For example, Fall Detection is a new feature only available on Apple Watch Series 4 models. Customers might hear a friend talking about this new feature and wonder why they do not have this feature on his or her Apple Watch. Instead of performing an unnecessary hardware repair which will not resolve the issue, you can educate the customer.

You will learn more about Fall Detection in the watchOS 5 chapter in this course.

Go to A Quick Look at Apple Watch, page in the Apple Watch User Guide, to see the functional picture of Apple Watch. Starting at the first row, match the function to the number by dragging the items up or down in the right column to re-order them. Tap or click Submit.


Take a few minutes and compare Apple Watch features and specifications using

Apple Watch Series 4 is available in 40mm and 44mm sizes whereas Apple Watch (1st gen), Series 1, 2, and 3 were available in 38mm and 42mm. Even though the watch sizes have changed in Series 4, watch bands are backwards and forwards compatible. For example, a 38mm (1st gen), Series 1, 2, or 3 band works with a 40mm Series 4 watch. Also, a 42mm 1st (gen), Series 1, 2, or 3 band works with a 44mm Series 4 watch.

If a customer cannot pair their Apple Watch Series 4 to an iPhone, be sure to explain both the hardware and software requirements to them.

  • Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) and Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) come with watchOS 5 installed and are not compatible with previous versions of watchOS.
  • iPhone 6 or newer with iOS 12 installed is required to pair with Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular). This is because the iPhone must include Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology for cellular connectivity.
  • iPhone 5s or newer with iOS 12 installed is required to pair with Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS).

Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) can be identified by a thin red line around the edge of the Digital Crown. The Digital Crown on Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) model is filled in red, not just around the edge.

Apple Watch Series 4 can now detect if you have taken a hard fall and alerts you with a prompt for user response. Apple Watch can initiate an SOS call to emergency services if you are immobile for about a minute. The Fall Detection feature requires Apple Watch Series 4. Customers with previous watch models might be looking for this feature and cannot find it because it is not compatible with their device. It is important to research which software features have a hardware requirement before setting incorrect expectations with the customer.

For Apple Watch Series 4 to call emergency services on its own, the following sequence of events needs to happen:

  1. You take a hard fall and receive a fall alert.
  2. There is little to no motion for about a minute after the alert.
  3. You ignore the “about to call emergency services” message, haptic, and SOS sounds that happen for 15 seconds.
  • Educate customers that Apple Watch Series 4 cannot detect all falls. The more physically active you are, the more likely you are to trigger Fall Detection due to rapid motion that can appear to be a fall.
  • Confirm the customer is using an iPhone running iOS 12.
  • Confirm the customer has an Apple Watch Series 4 running watchOS 5.
  • You can toggle Fall Detection from the Emergency SOS settings in the Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Fall Detection is enabled by default for customers who set their age as 65+ during setup. If the customer is under 65 the feature will be off by default.

Refer to the following Apple Support articles for more information:

Apple Watch Series 4 includes exciting new hardware features, new watch bands, and accessories. Review the links below to learn more about these features.


With watchOS 5, customers will get new features and functionality which allow them to do even more with their existing hardware. As a result, customers are going to have questions about what is new or what has changed.  Certain software features might require a certain model of Apple Watch hardware. As such, your customer might be looking for a feature that does not exist on his or her device. This is an opportunity to educate your customer and avoid unnecessary software or hardware repairs. With each software release, there are numerous new features which can make it difficult for users to stay informed of what is new.

Read each feature presented

The gestures illustrated in the images below are needed to use Apple Watch and its apps. The Apple Watch display not only responds to touch-based gestures like tapping and swiping, but it also uses Force Touch technology to respond to the pressure of a finger.

Find My iPhone includes a feature called Activation Lock that is designed to prevent anyone else from using your Apple Watch if it is ever lost or stolen. Read About Activation Lock on your Apple Watch for more information, then follow the simulation below.

Walkie-Talkie is a new, easy way to have a one-on-one conversation with anyone who has a compatible Apple Watch. Whether you are at a concert or trying to find someone on a crowded beach, you are in touch with a tap. When you open the Walkie-Talkie app, you will see a list of people with an Apple Watch you often call, text, or FaceTime. Choose a contact and invite him or her to join you. Press to talk then let go to listen. Audio sent and received will be instant, and will play automatically.

  • If you turn on Theater Mode or Do Not Disturb, it automatically makes you unavailable to talk with Walkie-Talkie.
  • If you want any of your contacts to be able to reach you at any time, accept their invite and keep your availability turned on.
  • The FaceTime app needs to be installed on the paired iPhone in order for the Walkie Talkie app to appear on the Apple Watch.

Refer to the following Apple Support article for more information:

Podcasts are now available on Apple Watch, so you can stay connected to the stories, personalities, and news you love. The content will sync automatically so the next several episodes are ready to listen to. You can also use Siri to search for and stream any show available on Apple Podcasts. Synced podcasts on Apple Watch are available for playback offline. Settings to customize what is synced (including Notifications from the phone) are available inside of the Watch app > Podcasts.

  • Apple Watch must be charging for Podcasts to sync from a paired iPhone to Apple Watch.
  • A cloud icon indicates which Podcasts are not already downloaded.
  • A progress icon on the Podcast artwork indicates when a download is in progress.

Support Reference

For more information refer to the Apple Watch User Guide.

With Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) and Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular), you can make and receive calls, send and receive messages and get calendar and email updates over cellular even when your iPhone is away from your Apple Watch.  These models will allow for cellular connectivity on LTE (3G and 4G in some locations). To cover the LTE and UMTS bands used around the world, there are three separate cellular models for Series 3, and two separate models for Series 4—each tailored to the locale where it is sold. There is no single model that supports roaming worldwide. For more information visit

In order for Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) and Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) to place calls, you need to setup service with a supporting carrier.

One common issue customers have while setting up cellular service is that their account is an enterprise account and their carrier does not yet support enterprise accounts or requires contacting the carrier to complete setup.

Support Reference

For more information on the cellular capabilities of Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) and supported carriers by country, refer to:

To set up and use cellular service on Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) and Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular), you must first update iOS and watchOS to the latest versions. Once both are up-to-date, check for updates to the carrier settings by navigating to Settings > General > About on the iPhone. If a carrier settings update is available, it will appear once you navigate to this menu. The iOS update has to be installed first because the carrier settings updates have a minimum iOS version number.  It is important to update to the latest carrier settings since they determine if Apple Watch supports cellular service for each carrier. Without the latest software and carrier settings, the Apple Watch may not successfully pair with the customer’s iPhone.  Without the latest carrier settings update, the button to "Set Up Cellular" will not work in the Watch app. The text below the button states, "Carrier does not currently support Apple Watch".

Issues with the customer's carrier or account might affect their service.  Have the customer contact their carrier to:

  • Verify that their account is active and in good standing
  • Make sure there are no outages in their area
  • Check that their device is not blocked from receiving cellular services and is set up with the right data plan and provisioning

If the customer still cannot connect to a cellular network, and they have confirmed with their carrier that there is not an issue with their account or network, the carrier should refer the customer back to Apple.

Best Practices

The troubleshooting performed for cellular connectivity on Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) and Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) is similar to the troubleshooting for cellular connectivity on an iPhone.  Toggle Settings

  • If the plan is active and they are in an area of coverage, have the customer turn on Airplane Mode on the companion iPhone and verify that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are actually turned off on the iPhone. Verify that AirPlane mode does not turn on for the Apple Watch.
  • Wait 20 seconds to allow the user’s paired watch to join a cellular network.


  • If the user still cannot establish a cellular connection, restart Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button then slide to power off. Then press and hold the side button again to power on the device.
  • If the issue persists, have the customer contact their wireless carrier.


  • First, check to make sure you have the latest iOS software installed.
  • Next, tap Settings > General > About to check for an available carrier settings update. If an update is available, you will see an option to update your carrier settings.

Until cellular activation has occurred, Apple Watch will show “No SIM” and no ICCID will be available.

Support Reference

For more information on troubleshooting cellular connectivity on Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) or later, refer to HT207578 - Set up cellular on your Apple Watch.

Can Apple Watch with cellular use two different phone numbers?

You can add multiple cellular plans to your Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 (GPS + Cellular). However, your Apple Watch can only connect to one at a time. When you set up multiple cellular plans using Dual SIM on your iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR, you can add both plans to your Apple Watch, then choose which one your watch uses when it connects to cellular networks. For more information refer to HT209043 - Use Dual SIM with Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) and Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular).


Most Apple Watch troubleshooting involves the following steps:

  1. Reset Watch Settings/Unpair Apple Watch from iPhone.
  2. Ask probing questions to determine the actual issue. Although the customer perceives an issue, Apple Watch might be behaving as expected.
  3. Educate the customer about how to use Apple Watch and what to expect.
  4. Restart Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch and iPhone are designed to work in partnership. Some "Apple Watch" issues result from the customer's perception and are not Apple Watch issues at all. Rather, the issue might be with the iPhone, such as,

  • Airplane mode
  • Notifications
  • Messages
  • Weather app
  • Music streaming

1. Update to the Latest Software

Before you begin

Update the iPhone to the latest version of iOS.

  1. Make sure that the Apple Watch is on its charger and is at least 50 percent charged.
  2. Connect the iPhone to Wi-Fi.
  3. Keep the iPhone next to the Apple Watch, so that they are in range.

Update the Apple Watch

  1. Keep the Apple Watch on its charger until the update completes.
  2. On the iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, then tap the My Watch tab. Tap General > Software Update.
  3. Download the update. If asked for an iPhone passcode or Apple Watch passcode, enter it.
  4. Wait for the progress wheel to appear on the Apple Watch. It could take from several minutes to an hour for the update to complete.

Leave the Apple Watch on its charger while the update completes. Do not restart the iPhone or Apple Watch, and do not quit the Apple Watch app. When the update completes, the Apple Watch will restart on its own.

2. Charge Apple Watch

If battery power is low, a red lightning symbol will appear on the screen of the Apple Watch. Be sure to handle the Apple Watch and accessories safely, and always take off the watch before charging it.

To charge the Apple Watch:

  1. Plug the Apple Magnetic Charging Cable, Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Case, or Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock into its USB power adapter.
  2. Plug the adapter into a power outlet or plug the charging cable into a USB port.
  3. Position the back of the Apple Watch on the charger. The charger's magnets align the Apple Watch, and a charging symbol will appear on the watch face.
  4. Allow Apple Watch time to charge. While the device is charging, a green lightning symbol appears on the screen of the Apple Watch.

3. Restart Apple Watch

Most perceived issues with Apple Watch can be resolved with a restart. A restart forces the device to close all open files and turns off all hardware components.

  1. Press and hold the side button until the Power Off slider is seen.
  2. Drag the slider to turn off the device.
  3. After the watch turns off, press and hold the side button again until the Apple logo is seen.

4. Force Restart Apple Watch

Do not force restart the Apple Watch when updating watchOS. After the Apple logo and progress wheel appears, leave the Apple Watch alone until the update finishes.

Force restart the device as a last resort and only if it is not responding.

To force restart the Apple Watch, press and hold both the side button and Digital Crown for at least 10 seconds, then release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

5. Unpair Apple Watch/Pair with new iPhone

In some cases, it might be necessary to unpair the devices. Unpairing also erases the Apple Watch and restores it to the factory settings.

  1. Keep the Apple Watch and iPhone close together when unpairing them.
  2. Open the Apple Watch app on the iPhone.
  3. Go to the My Watch tab and tap the watch at the top of the screen.
  4. Tap the circled (i) icon next to the watch that is being unpaired.
  5. Tap Unpair Apple Watch
  6. For Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular), choose to keep or remove the cellular plan.
  7. If the customer wants to pair the Apple Watch and iPhone again, keep the plan.
  8. If the customer does not want to pair the Apple Watch and iPhone again, remove the plan. If the customer is not going to pair with a different watch or iPhone, they might need to contact their carrier to cancel their cellular subscription.
  9. Tap again to confirm. The customer might need to enter their Apple ID password to disable Activation Lock. Before erasing all content and settings on the Apple Watch, the iPhone creates a new backup of the Apple Watch.
  10. The customer can use the backup to restore a new Apple Watch. After the Apple Watch unpairs, the Start Pairing message should appear.

To pair with a new iPhone:

  1. Turn on the Apple Watch.
  2. Put on the Apple Watch.
  3. Hold the iPhone over the animation.
  4. Set up as new or restore from a backup.
  5. Sign in with the Apple ID.
  6. Choose the settings.
  7. Create a passcode.
  8. Choose the settings.

For initial setup, refer to the Apple Watch Hardware chapter in this course.

6. Reset Apple Watch Settings

  1. Open the “Settings” app on the Apple Watch and go to “General”
  2. Scroll down and choose “Reset”
  3. Tap on “Erase All Content and Settings”
  4. Enter the passcode for the Apple Watch.

7. Change Watch Band

Change the band

  1. Hold down the band release button, then slide the band across to remove it.
  2. If the band does not slide out, press the band release button again and make sure that you hold it down.
  3. Make sure the text on the band is facing you, then slide the new band in until you feel and hear a click.


these tools help gather information and isolate hardware or software issues. AST 2 for iOS devices has support for watchOS devices. You can engage your customers with the diagnostic to help educate and provide confidence in the resolution you are offering.  In this section you will explore the available diagnostics for watchOS and how to interpret the results.


  • Battery usage - analyzes power usage information to help identify the main causes of battery drain.
  • Display color uniformity - Assists in identifying non-uniform color issues, requires watchOS 3.2 or later.
  • Display image quality - assists in identifying distortion and flickering, requires watchOS 3.2 or later.
  • Display Pixel anomalies - assists in identifying pixel anomalies and debris.  WatchOS 3.2 or later.
  • Quick test that provides a health check of hardware and software.
  • Buttons - assists in identifying issues with buttons. Requires watchOS 2.0 or later.
  • Apple Watch display tests require watchOS 3.2 or later.  The iPhone paired with the Apple Watch must be running iOS 10.3 or later.

Diagnostics can also be started using the Apple Watch serial number.

Important - Do not mail in an Apple Watch to the depot if the battery diagnostics test indicates the battery performance is normal.  The depot has the same diagnostic capabilities as Apple Retail stores and will likely return the device unrepaired if the Apple Watch passes the battery diagnostics.  Instead of mailing in an Apple Watch, refer the customer to

All Apple Watch models include an embedded, lithium-ion, rechargeable battery.  Avoid exposure to heat and open flame. Do not puncture, deform, crus, or incinerate as exposure to ingredients contained within or thei combustion products could be harmful.  During a fire, the battery may emit irritating gases and aerosols may be herniated by thermal decomposition and combustion.

Swollen batteries - while a swollen battery is usually not a safety concern, advise the customer to stop using the device.  If the customer mentions other safety keywords or if you are not sure if the battery has vented (ruptured), follow safety procedures.

For many workouts, Apple Watch senses when you are moving and alerts you to start the Workout app. It even gives you credit for the exercise you have already done. It will also remind you to end your workout, in case you get distracted when you are cooling down. Not all workouts receive the start workout reminder. The start workout feature is designed to work with the following workouts:
  • Indoor/Outdoor Run
  • Indoor/Outdoor Walk
  • Elliptical
  • Rower
  • Pool swim
  • Open water swim

Workout End Reminders will display after Apple Watch detects that you are no longer working out. Workout end reminders work with all workout types.

You can turn off workout reminders from the Settings in the Watch app.

Refer to the following Apple Support articles for more information:

When you get a message containing a website link, just tap it for a view that is optimized for your watch’s smaller screen. This will allow for emails that contain HTML to be previewed. Notifications from the same app are now smartly grouped together. So you scroll less and see more. This new user interface could confuse some customers who are expecting to see a notification for each individual item. This is an opportunity to educate customers that they can still view other notifications in the group by tapping the notification.

What are potential customer support issues?

  • How do I browse the Internet on my Apple Watch?
  • I am not seeing all of my notifications. Can you help?
  • watchOS does not contain a full web browser like iOS or macOS.
  • Notifications are grouped based on the app which sent the notification.
  • Notification settings cannot be changed back to previous watchOS behavior.

For more information, refer to:

The Do Not Disturb feature in watchOS 5 contains new settings. Now you can set it for a specific amount of time, or until you leave your current location. While the feature is very intuitive, it can still cause some confusion for customers who are not receiving calls, messages, or notifications.  The good news is that you access Do Not Disturb the same way as you have before—by swiping up from the lock screen to Control Center. Tapping the moon icon will bring up the new additional options.

  • On Apple Watch, navigate to Settings > Do Not Disturb to modify settings.
  • Swipe up from the watch face to access Do Not Disturb options (moon icon).
  • The "On until I leave" option uses geofencing location services.
  • If the customer has Do Not Disturb turned on until they leave the location, and it does not turn off, they can open Maps to verify that GPS still works. If GPS is working and the watch is showing a location still, then it is most likely a one-time problem with Location services and a HW replacement will not help. If it happens consistently, you should escalate the issue to AppleCare.

Support Reference

Refer to the following Apple Support article for more information:

  • Because you enter the customer’s personal space when helping with an Apple Watch, you must pay close attention to using polished customer engagement skills.
  • There are multiple models of Apple Watch use Apple Supports tech specification to aid with features and capabilities.
  • You should be aware of available accessories for the Apple Watch and which come in the box with Apple Watch.
  • You should be aware of key features of watchOS and how they are designed to function in order to help customers.
  • Apple Watch troubleshooting steps should be followed from least invasive to most invasive.

Apple TV and tvOS

For complete technical specifications, refer to:

Apple TV 4K - HDMI 2.0a - 4K video, especially HDR10 and Dolby Vision, requires an HDMI cable compatible with these formats.  Gigabit Ethernet.

Apple TV HD - HDMI 1.4, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, USB-C Port for service and support ONLY.

Remote features - Dual microphones for Siri, Touch Surface, Menu button, tv/home to see recently used apps double press or single press for Apple TV app or to go to home screen.  Siri button. Volume up/down, play/pause.

For more information about the Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote, refer to:

Apple TV (4K) is Dolby ATMOS-compatible.

This feature allows the user to be immersed in three-dimensional audio.

Details of this feature can be found in HT204069 - Play audio in Dolby Atmos or surround sound on your Apple TV.

Sign in to your TV provider in Apple TV Settings. After you sign in, any other supported app automatically signs you in so you do not need to enter your information again.

tvOS on Apple TV 4K takes full advantage of 4K and HDR to deliver an amazing experience that makes it easy to enjoy TV in the highest quality ever. During setup and whenever you connect a new 4K TV, tvOS on Apple TV 4K automatically detects its capabilities and helps you optimize your setup for the best possible picture so that you always get the most out of your TV.

If there is more than one Apple TV associated with the same iCloud account, customers can keep the same appearance and apps for each device. Learn more about One Home Screen in the support article, HT200126 - Move and hide apps on your Apple TV.

This feature allows you to listen to your favorite songs across every Apple TV, HomePod, and AirPlay 2-compatible speaker you have in your home. Or play something different in every room at the same time.

Information on system requirements for AirPlay 2 can be found in HT208728 - AirPlay system requirements.

Please note that AirPlay 2 requires tvOS 11.4 or later.

iOS 12 allows you to sign in using Autofill passwords to apps on your Apple TV.

If your customer's Apple TV has a device issue, rule out software issues first before considering a hardware replacement. When troubleshooting software, attempt the quick fixes in the order listed, from least to most invasive.
  1. Update to the latest software
  2. Force an app to close
  3. Restart
  4. Reset (4th generation) or Reset All Settings (3rd generation or earlier)
  5. Restore

Note that these steps may not be effective for all issues. Apply only the steps necessary to isolate and resolve the user’s issue.

Force quit an app by - Double press the home button to see preview screens of the apps recently used.

Then swipe up on the touch surface of remote to move the app’s preview screen up and out of preview.

Restart an Apple TV if it is having issues. You can restart from Settings, use the remote, or unplug it from power.

  • Use Settings: go to Settings > System > Restart
  • Use the remote: Hold down the Home and Menu buttons. Let go when the light on the device flashes.
  • Unplug Apple TV: If the Settings menu and the remote do not restart the Apple TV, unplug it from power. Wait six seconds, then plug it back in.

Tip - resetting all settings - if Apple TV reboots three times, a recovery model screen will provide the option to reset all settings.

If less invasive steps do not resolve the issue, you can restore the customer's Apple TV.

  • Restore from Settings: Go to Settings > System > Reset and select Restore.
  • Restore using iTunes: Connect the Apple TV HD to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable. In iTunes, select Restore Apple TV.

Because Apple TV 4K does not have a USB-C port, restore using iTunes is only available with Apple TV HD.


Restore will delete all user data and settings on the Apple TV, including apps downloaded from the App Store.

If a customer is unable to use a particular Apple TV feature, a basic step is to verify that their Apple TV model supports that feature.

Review each scenario below. Identify the cause of the issue. Click on the scenario to reveal the answer.

Customer states that their Apple TV HD refuses to output 4K HDR video to their Ultra High Definition 4K TV.

Apple TV HD does not support 4K video output. Customer will need an Apple TV 4K to output 4K video to their 4K TV.

Customer wants to restore their Apple TV 4K by using a USB cable to connect to iTunes on a Mac.

Because Apple TV 4K does not have a USB-C port, restore using iTunes is only available with Apple TV (4th generation).

Customer is unable to connect their Apple TV 4K to their A/V receiver using an optical digital audio cable.

An optical digital audio port is not included on Apple TV 4K. Advise customer to connect using HDMI instead.

Learn what to do if your Apple TV won't turn on, or won't connect to a network. Learn how to set up your Apple TV 4K for the best 4K, HDR, or Dolby Vision experience. Learn how to troubleshoot the Apple TV remote.

Run AST 2 - MRI Health Check to assist in isolating hardware issues. MRI Health Check is a quick triage tool that checks for the presence of hardware components and performs a series of short tests to verify hardware functionality on Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD  models. To run MRI Health Check, enroll the Apple TV serial number in the Diagnostic Console, then on the Apple TV go to Settings > General > About > Start Diagnostics with Apple.

HDMI Cable Check

4K video, especially HDR10 and Dolby Vision, requires an HDMI cable compatible with these formats.

Detailed information about this can be found in HT208074 - About 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision on your Apple TV 4K.

  • Because Apple TV 4K does not have a USB-C port, restore using iTunes is only available with Apple TV HD.
  • If an Apple TV running the latest tvOS reboots three times, a Recovery Mode screen will provide the option to Reset All Settings.
  • If an Apple TV is having issues, attempt less invasive software fixes first, before considering a whole-unit hardware replacement.
  • 4K video, especially HDR 10 and Dolby Vision, requires a compatible HDMI cable. Apple recommends HDMI cables that have the Compatible Dolby Vision mark. An example is the Belkin Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable.
  • AST 2 - MRI Health Check tests the following Apple TV components: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Sensors and the internal cooling fan on Apple TV 4K.


Uses apple devices to control and automate home.

Can be used to:

  • Turn off the lights using an iphone
  • From an ipad, see who is knocking on the door
  • Control accessories remotely with the help of Apple TV
  • Organize accessories by room
  • Manage multiple accessories at the same time
  • Use Siri to control accessories
  • Add and manage speakers

the following is required to use Home app:

  • An iphone, ipad, or iPod touch running the latest version of iOS
  • One or more HomeKit-enabled accessories
  • An Apple ID to sign into iCloud on your device
  • iCloud Keychain turned on in the iCloud settings
  • location services turned on with Home set to “While Using”

*Customers must have an active iCloud account using iCloud Keychain to share Home details with other iOS and Apple TV devices.  If the iOS device is the only iCloud-connected device, customers will not be prompted to turn on iCloud Keychain. Remind customers to retain the 8 digit HomeKit setup code from the HomeKit accessory packaging.

Look for “Works with Apple HomeKit” on packaging.  

After accessories have been setup and added to the Home app, customers can control them with Siri commands and questions, such as:

  • "Turn off the lights in the family room."        
  • "Set the temperature to 68 degrees."
  • "Did I lock the front door?"
  • "Good night!"
  • "Play music in the living room"                                                  

Hold the home button on iOS device and speak the command. if "Hey Siri" is enabled, say, "Hey Siri", followed by the command. When the action is performed, Siri will confirm that it is complete with a message.

Some accessories cannot be controlled by Siri commands if the device is locked. If a customer asks Siri to unlock a door, they must unlock their device first.

  • Partner with your customer when evaluating a Home app related issue.
  • Use your resources to troubleshoot Home app and HomeKit related issues.
  • Set proper expectations with customers regarding scope of support for HomeKit.

Apple Pay & Wallet

Apple Pay and associated features may not be available in all regions. To check for availability, review the support article, HT207957 - Countries and regions that support Apple Pay.

3 main features:

Device Account number - Apple creates unique device account number to encrypt and protect actual account numbers.  Never stored on Apple servers.  

Secure Element - safely stores the the number on a chip inside the device.  It is isolated from the OS.  

NFC - allows wireless communication to occur between 2 controllers - 1.5” distance is required.  

To use Apple Pay in supported regions customers must have the following:

Support References

In certain countries and regions, customers can also add rewards cards to Wallet and use them with Apple Pay. For more information check out the Get help adding cards to Apple Pay page. In Japan, customers can transfer their Suica cards to Apple Pay on their iPhone or Apple Watch.

Use student ID cards in Wallet on iPhone or Apple Watch

Students, at participating colleges and universities, can add their student ID cards to Wallet, and use their iPhone or Apple Watch to access places like dorm rooms, libraries, and campus events. The card in Wallet can also be used to pay for laundry, snacks, and dinners around campus.

On Mac models without built in Touch ID you can complete purchase using Apple Pay on your eligible iPhone or Apple Watch.  On your iphone, go to settings > Wallet & Apple Pay and turn on Allow Payments on Mac.

Person to person payments with Apple Pay and Apple Cash are not available on macOS.

Pay with Touch ID capable iPhone - rest a finger on Touch ID and hold iPhone within a few centimeters of the contactless reader until Done appears with check mark on the display.

Pay with Apple Watch - double click the side button and hold the display of Apple Watch within a few centimeters of the contactless reader.  The customer will feel a gentle tap.

Pay with Face ID - Double click side button then glance at display to authenticate Face ID.  

  • To pay with a different card instead of the default card:
    • IPhone X - Double click the side button.  When default card appears, tap it, then tap to choose another card.  Glance at iphone to authenticate and then hold top of device near reader.
    • IPhone 8 or earlier - hold device near the reader without resting finger on Touch ID.  When default card appears, tap it, then tap to choose another card. Rest finger on Touch ID to pay.
    • Apple Watch - double-lick the side button. When default card appears, swipe left or right to choose another card.  Hold watch near reader to pay.
Devices running the latest version of iOS and watchOS can use Apple Pay to pay within apps without having to enter card information, shipping and billing addresses, or contact information. If the app supports Apple Pay, the app will present a "Buy with Apple Pay" option at checkout. The way apps present the option might differ. Be sure to look for Apple Pay as a payment option, or the Apple Pay button. Tap on the Apple Pay button during checkout and follow the prompts to verify information. Place finger on Touch ID to complete the transaction, double-click the side button and glance at the display to authenticate Face ID on iPhone X, or double-click the side button of your Apple Watch.

Starting with iOS 10, watchOS 3, and macOS Sierra, some websites support Apple Pay purchases within Safari. When a customer visits a site that supports Apple Pay in Safari, a corresponding button appears at checkout. When Apple Pay is selected, a window will appear asking the customer to verify purchase details and confirm the payment. When completing a purchase in Safari, the customer will be asked to confirm payment. The confirmation works differently depending on the device:

  • Safari on iOS will use Touch ID or Face ID to confirm purchases.
  • Safari on macOS directs customers to confirm from either an Apple Watch or iPhone that is nearby, has Apple Pay set up, and is signed into the same iCloud account.
  • Touch Bar enabled portables can be used by authenticating with a saved fingerprint when checking out via Apple Pay on supported websites.

Apple Pay transactions involve financial institutions, merchants, terminals, and vendors. It is important to determine the proper scop of support for incoming questions.  You can answer questions related to setting up Apple Pay, how it works in Wallet on eligible devices, and basic troubleshooting of configuration.

A contactless payment reader can be used to test functionality of Apple Pay hardware in Apple Watch or iPhone and later.  When completed at Apple with steps in GSX, it does not affect cards or bank accounts connected to Apple Pay.

Customers should be directed to their respective financial instruction if they have questions about:

  • Declined payments
  • Making credit card payments
  • Disputing chargers or payments
  • Cancelling a card
  • Reporting a lost or stolen card
  • Requesting a replacement ATM/Debit card.

If a customer has an issue related to their Apple Cash card that is outside your scope, assist them with setting up a call through the Contact Apple Support page.  Guide the customer through the questions on the page, but allow them to enter their own info. They will be able to set up a convenient time to get the assistance they need.  If a customer is leaving their device for service, have them follow the steps in this support article to turn off Apple Cash on the device being serviced.

Customers with a student ID card in Wallet should remove it before proceeding with service to ensure their data is protected.  Partner with customers who have a student ID card in Wallet on their iPhone or Apple Watch to remove it before proceeding with service.  Your customer can always reprovision their student ID card from the eAccounts app, and add it to Wallet just like they did when they first set it up.

How to remove student ID card from devices that do not turn on-

  • Have customer go to their Apple ID account page, sign in, and click their device.  In the information that appears, go to the Apple Pay section and click Remove All. The customer’s cards will be removed from Apple Pay even if the device is offline and not connected to a cellular or WiFi network.  The customer can use the eAccounts app - free on the App Store - or contact their school card office to remove their student ID card.

Refer to the following articles to learn more:

Key Points -

  • Apple Pay may not be available in all regions.
  • Each device uses a separate Secure Element meaning that setup must be completely separately.
  • If you disable wrist detection, remove your passcode or sign out of iCloud, all credit and debit cards will be removed from that device.
  • Before accepting a device for service, partner with the customer to ensure any student ID cards have been removed to ensure their data remains secure and protected.
  • Scop of support includes questions related to setting up Apple Pay, how it works in Wallet app, and basic troubleshooting of configuration.

Diagnostics fundamentals.

Which diagnostics should you use-

  • Triage - For Apple technicians, triage refers to the act of quickly and efficiently evaluating the device’s symptoms.  Triage requires you to reproduce the device issue, determine the extent of the device issue, determine the cause of the device issue, determine if the issue is caused by software, hardware, environment, or user action which requires education.
  • Extended testing - some device symptoms are not easily triaged within limited time at the service counter.  For example, intermittent issues or those that reproduce after an extended period of operation require check in the device for extended testing.  Apple provides diagnostic tools to assist with this.  
  • Post-repair Verification - to verify that the device issue has been completely resolved, and that no new issues arose during the repair, Apple provides diagnostic tools to run after repair is completed.  

AST 2 and AST 1 badges

  • Green = OK.  Expected module, component or subsystem was expected, found and successfully communicated with the diagnostic.
  • Yellow = caution.  Further investigation is required.  For example, a device running non-current version of iOS will flag with a yellow badge in the software module of mobile resource inspector.  A yellow bad does not mean that the module failed testing - another good example is 3rd party RAM installed in MRI.
  • Red = check failed.  The expected module, component, or subsystem was not found.  The module could be malfunctioning, missing, or could have a loose cable connection that requires reseating.

Presence check vs. functional test -

Presence check

- many diagnostic tools and suites are capable only of detecting if a module is present and has power.  Does not tell if functional.  Examples of these are MRI (Mac Resource Inspector, Apple Diagnostics, Apple Hardware TEst.

Functional test

- a diagnostic test that goes beyond presence testing to determine if a module is functioning as expected.  In general, functional testing requires that the kernel extension (driver) software for that module be loaded.  Apple examples - Storage, cooling system diagnostic, graphics and display, full system diagnostic (OS), Apple Service Diagnostic (OS).

AST info:

  • AST 2 can test iPhones running iOS 8.1 or later.  Displays a blue bar when is online and ready for testing.
  • AST 2 can test Macs from mid-2014 onward.  The orange bar indicates that this device is restarting to an OS-based diagnostic.
  • AST 2 can test iPad 2 or later.  The gray striped bar indicates that the device is no longer connected to the diagnostic console.  
  • Tap the “i” to the right of each test suite for a more detailed description of that suite’s function, including suggested uses.
  • AST 2 provides a brief description of the function of each test suite.
  • AST 2 provides an estimate of how long it will take for that suite to run.

Types of Apple Diagnostics:

IOS and Mac Diagnostic - Apple Service Toolkit 2(AST 2)

Mac Diagnostics - Apple Service Toolkit 1 (AST 1), Apple Service Diagnostic (ASD)

Customer Mac Diagnostic - Apple Diagnostics, Apple Hardware Test (AHT)


is a cloud-based diagnostic system to help technicians triage and verify repairs for iOS devices (8.1 and later), Apple TV HD and later (tvOS 9 and later), Apple Watch, HomePod, and Mac computers (mid 2014 and later.  Start an AST 2 diagnostic session by inputting the device serial number into the serial number field and entering a customer-reported symptom, in the Diagnostic Console.  Then follow onscreen instructions to start the diagnostic session on the customer’s supported iOS or Mac device.


is a suite of diagnostic tools that checks older intel based Mac hardware components and provides detailed diagnostic logs for review.  AST 1 runs on a local server managing multiple Ethernet clients via NetBoot.  AST 1 is required to run diagnostics on a MacBook Pro mid 2014 and older intel-based Macs.  

Apple Service Diagnostic

is a diagnostic utility that performs comprehensive testing of all major hardware components in a Mac computer, including logic board, memory, graphics functionality, and sensors. Due to the length of time required to run, ASD is suggested for extended troubleshooting, as well as comprehensive post-repair verification.  There are 2 versions of ASD:  ASD in AST and standalone ASD.  ASD is not appropriate to use in front of the customer due to length and complexity.  ASD is only support on early 2014 or older Macs.  

Apple Diagnostics

is a simple hardware diagnostic utility, built in to Macs introduced June 2013 and later. Customers can use Apple Diagnostics to help determine which hardware component might be causing an issue. It also suggests solutions and provides a reference code which customers can provide to technicians for assistance. It is accessed by turning off the Mac, then turning it on while pressing and holding D on the keyboard.

Apple Hardware Test (AHT)

is the customer-facing utility that shipped with Mac computers introduced prior to June 2013. As of June 2013, Apple Diagnostics replaced Apple Hardware Test for new computers. Customers can use AHT to help determine which hardware component might be causing the issue. If it finds an error, AHT shows an error code which customers can provide to technicians for assistance. It is accessed by turning off the Mac, then turning it on while pressing and holding D on the keyboard.

Diagnostics should be run before and after performing a modular repair, before restoring the customer’s device, and before selling AppleCare+ where available.  As a best practice, run iOS diagnostics whenever you are able to.  If you cannot run diagnostics, update case notes with reason why diag could not be run.

  1. Run diagnostics on all iOS devices before repair or before selling Apple Care+
  2. If running 10.3 or later - use Diagnostics Mode to run the recommended AST 2 diagnostic after a same unit repair.
  3. If running 8.1 or later - Run AST 2 for iOS - MRI
  4. If running earlier than 8.1 but can be updated, ask permission to update the iOS to latest version then run AST 2 for iOS - MRI.

AST2 for iOS -

  • If running 10.3 or later - go to settings > privacy > analytics and tap start diagnostics with Apple Support.
  • If running 10.2.1 or earlier, go to settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & Usage and tap start diagnostics with apple support.  
  • Obtain users permission to proceed with the diagnostic.  Explain that Apple may collect diagnostic data from this device, but that no personal information is collected.  If the user agrees, he or she can tap agree to proceed.
  • Device selection scree will be displayed.  You must tap the plus sign next to each device to run diagnostics.
  • Select a suite name to begin diagnostic test.


- Mobile resource inspector - quick triage tool that checks for the presence of hardware components and performs a series of short tests to verify hardware functionality.  Suggested uses:  during initial triage of all devices, before and after any modular repairs, after restoring a phone, and before selling AppleCare+.

Battery Usage

- detailed analysis of daily usage that provides an in-depth look at battery condition, charging data, and energy impact of individual apps.  Suggest use for devices exhibiting charging or battery issues.  This diagnostic requires six or more hours of device use before it can provide results.  Review the following articles to learn about battery cycle count, full charge capacity and maximizing battery performance, including what happens when batteries chemically age.

  • Batteries
  • iPhone Battery and Performance

Audio Suite

Audio - Plays a set of chordal tones through the internal speaker and listens for those same tones via built-in microphones. Suggested use: distorted or no audio from internal speaker, sound issues from one of more of the built in microphones.

Display Suites

Display Backlight & Color - Displays a series of colors and patterns that assist in identifying non-uniform color or backlight issues. Suggested use: individual or sections of non-uniform color, dim or uneven brightness or backlight, light bleed.

Display Image Quality - Displays a series of colors and patterns that assist in identifying distortion and flickering. Suggested use: distorted image or flickering on the display.

Display Pixel Anomalies - Assist in identification of areas of the display panel that have responding or non-responding touch pixels. Suggested use: Multi-touch slow to respond, isolated areas are not responding, erratic response to touch.

Buttons and Switches Suites

Home Button, Sleep/Wake Button, Side Button (iPhone 8, 8 Plus and later), Volume Button, Ring/Silent Switch - all of these suites assist in identifying issues with the respective button or switch. Suggested use: for devices exhibiting issues with buttons or switches

Unexpected Touch

Unexpected Touch - Assists in the identification of unexpected touch events. Suggested use: false touch.

Hardware Device Interface (HDI)

HDI Integrated Current Checker - Assists in troubleshooting devices that will not turn on. Requires an Integrated Current Checker (ICC) Tool connected to a Hardware Diagnostic Interface (HDI) host Mac. Suggested use: determines if a device will turn on after charging.

HDI Serial Number Reader - Used to determine the serial number of a device that will not turn on. Requires Serial Number Reader (SNR) tool connected to a Hardware Diagnostics Interface (HDI) host Mac. Suggested us: for devices that will not turn on and a serial number is needed.

Full Device Diagnostic

Full Device Diagnostic - All-in-one diagnostic suite that assists in identifying hardware and software issues by running a series of automated and interactive tests. Suggested use: during initial triage of devices that require multiple diagnostics. Requires iOS 9.0 or later.

Rear Camera Calibration

Rear Camera Calibration (on supported models) - Performs calibration of the rear camera(s). Requires iOS 11.2 or later. Suggested use: inability to switch to the telephoto camera for optical zoom beyond 2x in bright light conditions, after rear camera repair.

Face ID

Face ID - Performs a check on the sensors for Face ID. Suggested use: for devices exhibiting issues with Face ID.

Post-Display Repair

Post-Display Repair - Assists in identifying hardware issues by running a series of automated and interactive tests. Requires iOS 10.3 or later. Suggested use: determine the functional state of a device after display repair.

Refer to Diagnostics Mode for more information.

Camera Image Quality

Camera Image Quality - Assists in identifying camera image quality issues with the front or rear cameras. Requires iOS 10.3 or later. Suggested use: for evaluating camera image quality after repair.

Triage - refers to the act of quickly and efficiently evaluating the device’s symptoms.  Requires you to:

  • reproduce the device issue
  • Determine the extent of the device issue
  • Determine the cause of the device issue
  • Determine if the issue is caused by software, hardware, environment, or educational opp.

MRI icons/meanings

MRI is a quick triage tool that checks for the presence of hardware components and performs a series of short tests to verify hardware functionality.  


Verifies presence and functionality of internal Apple storage devices.

Verifies storage device by performing surface and multi-block scans. Suggested use: startup issues, slow performance.

Display Anomalies

Assists in identification of pixel anomalies in LCD panels. Displays a series of colors and patterns that assist identification of pixel anomalies and debris. Suggested use: individual or single-line pixel anomalies; distinguishing between pixel anomalies and debris. This is not used for graphics anomalies or no-video issues.

Image Persistence

Displays a series of patterns to attempt to reproduce image persistence issues on LCDs. Verifies that the device’s display panel does not retain images after a set of checkered patterns has been displayed for 3 minutes. Suggested use: screen burn-in, lines, patterns being retained on the display panel.


Interactive test that prompts the user to verify that each key on the keyboard responds correctly when pressed, and that the keyboard backlight is visible. Suggested use: unresponsive or stuck keys, dim or uneven keyboard backlight.


Interactive test that prompts the user to verify that all areas of the trackpad respond to touch, and that the trackpad clicks appropriately when pressed. Suggested use: erratic or unexpected cursor movement, poor feedback when clicking.

Power Adapter

Checks that the power adapter connected to the computer is healthy, of sufficient wattage, and that the battery is charging properly. This suite must be run over a Wi-Fi connection to check all available ports. Suggested use: not charging, unexpected charging behavior, unexpected power off.

Touch Bar Pixel Anomalies

Displays a series of colors and patterns on the Touch Bar that assists in the identification of pixel anomalies and debris. Suggested use: individual or single-line pixel anomalies; distinguishing between pixel anomalies and debris.

Touch ID & Touch Bar

Performs a series of automated and interactive tests to verify the presence of the Touch Bar and functionality of the Touch ID sensor. Note: the computer may restart multiple times during testing.

Touch Bar Response

Interactive test that prompts the user to verify that all areas of the Touch Bar respond to touch. Suggested use: touch is slow to respond, isolated areas are not responding, erratic response to touch.

Always ensure that repaired devices are fully functional, with no issues, before you return them to the customer.

Run diagnostic tools for post-repair verification when repair is complete, after reassembly:

  • For iOS devices run the recommended AST 2 diagnostic based on the same unit repair that was performed.
  • For newer Macs that are supported by AST 2, run the appropriate post-repair verification suite of diagnostic tests in AST 2 (full system diagnostic is a great choice)
  • For older Macs that are only supported by AST 1 run ASD in AST 1 (or standalone ASD).

Run diagnostics tools for post-repair verification at Customer Pick up:

  • For iOS devices run AST 2 - MRI for the customer to demonstrate that the device is functional for them.
  • For Mac run AST 1/AST 2 - MRI for the customer to demonstrate the repair’s success.
  • Avoid running repair verification systems such as Full System Diagnostic or ASD in front of customer as they have long run times.

Full System Diagnostic

- in AST 2 performs comprehensive testing of hardware functionality.  There are 2 versions:  EFT (Extensible Firmware Interface) and the OS version.  Full System Diagnostic (EFI) performs comprehensive testing of hardware functionality and memory module integrity on supported Macs.  It is an extended diagnostic tool that performs a compressive check on all hardware, including memory, logic board and sensors.  It does not load an operating system or any hardware kernel extensions (drivers).  Full System Diagnostic (OS) is an extended diagnostic tool that performs a comprehensive check on all hardware, including the cooling system, storage devices, and graphics hardware, within a known-good OS.  Since it loads the kernel extensions for a supported Mac’s hardware components, it is ideal for comprehensive functional testing.  Suggested use - hard to reproduce issues, post repair testing.  Full System Diagnostic is compatible on Mac desktop and portables from mid 2014 21.5” onward.

Apple Service Diagnostic

Just like Full System Diagnopstic, ASD comes in 2 versions - EFI and OS.  ASD (EFI) will perform comprehensive testing of a Mac’s memory modules, as well as presence testing for most other hardware components.  ASD (OS) loads known-good macOS, including hardware kernel extensions, to perform functional testing of hardware componenents such as the cooling system, storage devices, and graphics hardware.  ASD is part of the available tests in AST 1 - supports models from early 2009 to late 2013.

Should I run EFI or OS version?

Suggested use for EFI - hardware component presence check, comprehensive testing of memory and storage.  OS - goes beyond presence of component and checks component functionality.  Suggested for functional testing of most hardware components.  Certain components cannot be fully tested with OS is loaded such as memory and storage.  When in doubt, err on the side of more post-repair verification than not enough post-repair verification.

Mac Models that use AST2

  • M2014 or later 21.5” iMac
  • L2014 and later 27” iMac 5K
  • L2014 and later Mac mini
  • 2017 iMac Pro
  • E2015 and later MacBook Pro 13”
  • M2015 and later MacBook Pro 15”
  • E2013 MacBook Air and later -11” and 13”
  • E2015  and later MacBook Retina 12”

Extended Testing

Some device symptoms are not easily triaged within limited time at the service counter.  Ex.  Intermittent issues.  

Full System Diagnostic in AST 2 and ASD in AST 1 are ideal tools for extended testing since these are able to thoroughly test all major hardware components and their ability to operate under load for extended periods of time.  Other tests are:

Cooling System Diagnostic

In both AST 2 and AST 1 - tests fans, sensors, and thermal efficiency while simulating heavy usage - ideal for extended with heat related issues such as runs hot, excessive fans captivity, unexpected sleep or shutdown, slow performance.  

Memory Test

The extended Memory Test in AST 2 tests each memory location using multiple read/write algorithms.  Suggest for use if experiencing kernel panics, no video, startup issues, unresponsive system, or issues with integrated graphics.

Graphics and Display

Graphics and Display test suite in AST 2 verifies communication with display and test graphics performance with performing 2D and 3D rendering.  Suggested for distorted video, intermittent or no video.

Key Points

Some diagnostic suites in AST 2 and AST 1 are used for specialized purposes, not for general troubleshooting.  The repair procedure in the Service Guide will tell you when a specialized diagnostic suite needs to be run.  This is another important reason why you should always follow the service guide when performing modular repairs.

Blank Board Serializer

After replacing a Mac Logic board, always run AST.  When you start up AST 2 or AST 1 on a system that has no serial number on its logic board, Blank Board Serializer will open up automatically.  Please note that you cannot call up Blank Board Serializer for a system with a serial number already present on the logic board.  Setting the serial number is permanent.  Double check that the serial number is correct.  Enter the serial number of the Mac into Blank Board Serializer not the serial number of the logic board.

Trackpad Calibration Check

On Mac notebooks with Force Touch trackpads, you must run the Trackpad Calibration Check after every repair or whenever the computer has been reassembled.  To run this check, you will need the model-specific weight replacement rubber template and the 200g and 800g weights.  Check the service guide of the Mac notebook under test for more info.  Run the Trackpad suite after a top case with keyboard has been replaced or if the user is having issues related to trackpad functionality.  

Top Case to Logic Board Configuration

Run this suite after replacing either the logic board or the top case on a Mac with Touch Bar.  The suite configures the logic board and verifies calibration of top case components.

Trackpad Keyboard Mapper

Run the Trackpad Keyboard Mapper whenever the Service Guide tells you to do so.  Keyboard mapping data is stored on a chip on the trackpad in certain Mac notebooks.  Keyboard language, layout, and function keys are contained in this mapping data.  Keyboard mapping data must be programmed into the trackpad whenever the trackpad is replaced.  If this is not done, only very basic, generic keyboard functionality may be available, the keyboard may not operate correctly, or the keyboard backlight function keys may not control the keyboard backlight brightness.

Compatibility for AST 2:

  • E2015 MacBook Air 11” and 13”
  • E 2015 MacBook Pro Retina 13”
  • Mid 2015 MacBook Pro Retina 15”
  • 2017 MacBook Air 13”

Compatibility in AST 1:

-MacBook Air 11” M2013 and E2014

-MacBook Air 13” M2013 and E2014

Key Points

  1. Running diagnostics consistently leads to more accurate and efficient identification of issues and higher customer satisfaction.
  2. Interpret diagnostic results correctly, use your resources, and do not jump to conclusions.  A yellow badge result does not necessarily indicate something wrong with the device - re-run the test to be sure.
  3. Diagnostics that run in EFI (firmware) are fast, but not as thorough.  They are useful for quick triage and checking presence of hardware components.  
  4. Diagnostics that load an OS are comprehensive but take more time.  They are useful for extended functional testing and for comprehensive post-repair verification.
  5. When in doubt, always err on the side of more post-repair verification than not enough post-repair verification.
  6. AST 2 is a cloud-based, unified interface for running diagnostics on both iOS devices and Macs.
  7. AST 2 teaches you how and when to best use it.  The best way to find out more about what a diagnostic suite does, and suggested uses for that suite, is to tap the “i” to the right of the name for more info.

Intro to Mac Hardware 2019

General system requirements for macOS:

  • OS X 10.8 or later
  • 2GB memory
  • 12.5GB available storage

Mojave Compatible:

  • Early 2015 or newer MacBook
  • Mid 2012 or newer MacBook Pro
  • Mid 2012 or newer MacBook Air
  • Later 2012 or newer Mac mini
  • Late 2012 or newer iMac
  • Mid 2010/2012 (with ended Metal-capable GPU), Late 2013 Mac Pro
  • iMac Pro (2017)

Find Serial number using macOS

  • Search How do I find the Serial Number in Finder Help (newer Macs)
  • About This Mac
  • On the enclosure of some models (bottom foot iMac, bottom enclosure of Mac mini, bottom of Mac Pro (trashcan).

Use Check Coverage

Although a Mac may be compatible with Mojave, it may not be able to take advantage of all of the new features available in the OS.

Key Points:

  • You must know the system requirements for macOS to avoid issues with software and hardware upgrades.
  • A Mac may be able to run macOS but not meet system requirements for certain features (eg. Metal 2)
  • The best way to identify a Mac model is by looking up the serial number.
  • Serial numbers are on various physical locations on a Mac, but can always be found in About this Mac.

macOS setup and Maintenance

Set up a drive:

  • Partition and format before a new drive can be used.  Can create multiple volumes
  • Fomatting creates the file system on the volume.
  • Disk utility is the tool used to configure storage drives (in utilities)
  • Boot Camp needs to be done in Boot Camp Assistant
  • Use internet recovery or another external bootable drive in order to erase internal drive.
  • USB flash drives are unable to be partitioned in disk utility
  • Erase by selecting drive in sidebar and click on erase and select format (default is Mac OS extended or APFS if in High Sierra or newer macOS)
  • Secure erase - fastest option is chosen by default but does not securely erase data.  Choose security options when erasing.  
  • Multiple partitions - partitioning is non-destructive and designed to maintain data, but have backup just in case.  APFS drives give option to add a volume than create a partition. APFS allocates disk space on demand but you can select specific sizes while creating.  If not APFS, choose partitions and sizes. Format appropriately and specify the size then click apply.

For more information, review the following Apple Support articles:

If you or a customer attempts to install macOS on an unsupported system, the customer may think something is wrong with their machine.  You may believe there is a hardware issue when really it is software incompatibility.  

Support References

For more information on requirements for installing macOS, review:

Running 10.8 or later can upgrade to Mojave through the app store.

Support References

For more information on upgrading to the latest OS, including system requirements, visit Some incompatible software is automatically disabled when you upgrade.

macOS recovery - command + R

Internet recovery - command + option + R

The latests version of macOS is factory installed on new Macs.  They will be guided through the Setup Assistant after powering on.  

Mac is designed to work with compatible versions and builds of the OS.  If attempting to use a version or build that is not compatible you may see one or more of the following:

  • Mac does not start up, or shows prohibitory (🚫) at startup.
  • You see a message that you are using an unsupported/incorrect version
  • Mac does not respond to trackpad, mouse, or keyboard.
  • Apps unexpectedly quit
  • Mac does not sleep or wake
  • Do not hear sound from Mac
  • Fans operate at faster/louder speed.
  • Image on display appears to shrink or has black bars around it, or appears tinted.
  • You cannot use bluetooth or wifi.

See HT201686 - Use the Mac operating system that came with your Mac, or a compatible newer version and HT204156 - About the screens you see when your Mac starts up for more information.

Migration Assistant:

Transfers customers accounts, documents and settings from another computer to new Mac.  Accessible in setup assistant or through utilities as standalone app.  

Support References

Review the following Apple Support articles:

HT205749 - Set up your new Mac.

Key Points:

  • To use a disk as a startup disk for mac, use the GUID partition scheme and macOS Extended (journaled) (hard disk drive) or APFS (flash based storage) volume formats.
  • The disk utility in Recovery can be used to erase the disk and reinstall OS.
  • macOS has system requirements including supported Macs, memory required, and storage space needed. Some macOS features have additional system requirements.
  • macOS is factory installed on new Macs and can be reinstalled if needed using recovery.
  • An Apple ID and password is required when upgrading macOS in the App Store.
  • Migration Assistant can help move data from old Mac or PC or Time Machine backup to new Mac.
  • Setup Assistant launches automatically on a new Mac and helps user connect to networks, transfer data, enable location services, and login to iCloud.

macOS User Accounts

  • Apple menu > System Preferences > Users and groups > unlock > add user (cannot change user folder name later)

Account Types

  • Administrator - all control, can be multiple
  • Standard - Set up by admin - can install apps and change settings, but cannot add/change users - can be upgraded to admin later
  • Managed with parental controls
  • Sharing only users - access files only but cannot change settings/users
  • Group - grants multiple users the same access privileges.  
  • Guest user - deletes everything upon log out.  Cannot change settings or users.  

Deleting user

Admins only, remove from users/groups in system preferences.  You can save the home folder (as disk image), don’t change the home folder, or delete the home folder entirely.

Managing Passwords

  • Not recommended to leave user password blank
  • Use Password Assistant to generate memorable, letters/numbers, numbers only, random or FIPS 181 compliant.

Autofill in Safari

  • Safari suggested passwords -
  • Use key with down arrow to have safari generate a password
  • The password will be saved in Keychain for future use on specific website

Keychain Access

  • Stores passwords securely
  • Can view and manage login and other usernames/passwords
  • Encrypted container that securely secures

Changing/resetting a user account password

  • Can change the password used to log in to Mac - users/groups preferences - login keychain password is also updated with this method
  • Change password in case it is forgotten - recovery or any other administrator on Mac.  - creates new default keychain for passwords.

Key Points

  • When the login password changes, the user needs to create a new keychain with Keychain Access.
  • Autofill can be used to help generate secure passwords for online accounts.
  • Password Assistant can help generate a secure password
  • If a user forgets their password, an Administrator account can be used to reset the user’s password
  • Different accounts vary in features and abilities, it is important to ask probing questions when helping customers set up accounts.

macOS Security

System Preferences has security and privacy

Only certain options can be changed without admin password

Unlock the lock to make changes

  • check advanced in options


- security feature in macOS that helps to keep applications from having an adverse effect on Mac.

FileVault 2

Encrypts information on the Mac.  Filevault 2 encodes data on the startup disk so that unauthorized users, apps, utilities cannot access info.  Provides the following benefits/considerations:

  • Full disk, XTS-AES 128 encryption
  • Fast and unobtrusive initial encryption
  • Requires recovery HD on startup drive
  • Not supported in RAID configs.


Included in macOS and is used to control connections on a per-application basis rather than per-port basis.  Ensures network ports are open only for legitimate apps. Similar to blocking channels on a TV. Provides these benefits/considerations:

  • Block all incoming connections
  • Block or allow specific applications
  • Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connections
  • Enable stealth mode

Location Services

Controls which apps are allowed to use Macs location.  The approximate location is determined using info from local wifi networks and collected by location services in a manner that does not personally identify the user.  

EFI Firmware Password

Additional layer of protection for your Mac and prevent it from starting up from anything other than startup disk.  Provides these benefits/considerations:

  • Typical restart/shutdown/power on to default startup disk is unaffected
  • Startup manager (option at startup) present a lock screen for password entry
  • Boot from recovery (command + R) presents a lock screen for password entry
  • Disables all other startup boot modifiers

Key Points

  • Most security settings are accessed in System Preferences Security & Privacy preference pane.
  • Gatekeeper helps protect from apps that could adversely affect it
  • FileVault 2 allows users to encrypt their entire startup disk
  • If user forgets both password and recovery key for FileVault, they will not be able to login/access data.
  • OS includes application firewall that can control an apps access to the network.  

macOS File System

Default startup volume name is called Macintosh HD.

To access startup volume/root level - select Finder > Go > Computer > Macintosh HD.  

Applications folder

Library folder

- contains important support files used by macOS and certain applications, supports all local users, only admins can make symptoms.  

System Folder

- default location for resources required by OS.  Rare that anyone would need to change anything in here.

User folders

- also includes shared folder

Home Folder

- Subfolders are included here - desktop, documents, downloads, movies, music, pictures and public specific to each individual user. Additional User Library is not visible.

User Library

- contains files used by macOS and apps, personal fonts/preferences.  Hidden so nothing is accidentally deleted. Can be seen by holding option button when clicking on “Go” in Finder menu.

Library Folders

  • System library folder - core system functionality - necessary frameworks for core apps like finder are stored here for example.  There are many hidden options here but default can only see library.
  • Root level library folder - system wide resources not required by the OS.  Only admins can change this library. (/Library)
  • User Library - separate user resources such as keychain, only accessible to that specific user and not other users on Mac.  Can help determine user specific issues. (~/Library)

Never move or change the name of installed folders and applications.  Example: If customer changes the name of their user library folder (~/Library) the OS will automatically create a new Library folder for that user.  Preference and account settings for macOS and apps will change back to default settings. If this happens, drag the new ~/Library folder to the trash and rename the old folder using its original directory name “Libary.”

~/Applications is not a default user folder.  It is created when a user installs a user-specific application.

Reason for so many libraries:

Due to 3 different libraries containing resources on a Mac, there might be multiple copies of similar resources available to the system and user at any given time.  macOS is designed to handle this by searching for resources from the most specific (user library), then to less specific (root library), and then on to least specific (system library).  Segregating resources into multiple libraries provides increased administrative flexibility, resource security, and system reliability. Resource domains are more flexible because admins can choose to allocate certain resources to all users or just specific users.  It’s more secure because a standard user can add resources to only their own home folder.


- Actual drive hardware.  Two most common - hard disk drives or flash memory (form of solid state drives).  Other forms can include SD cards, USB Flash drives, network-attached hard drives.

Fusion Drive

- combines high-capacity hard drive with high-performance flash storage.  Manages data automatically and intelligently, keeping frequently used apps/documents/photos/other files on flash storage and infrequently used items on hard drive.  It is an option in select Mac models. (Can see with Target Disk model only if other Mac is using 10.8.2 or later (Mountain Lion)


- process of dividing drive space into sections.  Each volume works as separate drive and assigned a partition scheme.  

  • GUID - Globally Unique Identifier - default partition scheme used by Intel-based Macs. Only partition scheme that allows intel-based Macs to start up.
  • APM - Apple Partition Map - This is the default for PowerPC-based Macs.  Intel-based Macs can also access this type of partitioning for tasks such as data transfers.
  • MBR - Master Boot Record - default partition scheme used by most non-Mac computers.  Although Macs cannot start up from this type, Macs can access this type.


- act of creating a file system on a volume.  Necessary to enable the OS to store and retrieve data on the volume.

  • APFS - Apple File System - default file system for Macs with SSDs.  It can also be used with older systems with traditional HDDs or external direct-attached storage but must run High Sierra or newer.  APFS can be formatted to be encrypted and/or case-sensitive.
  • Mac OS Extended (Journaled) - default for Macs without SSDs.  Variation of Mac Extended format which adds advanced file system journaling.  Journaling helps preserve volume structure integrity. macOS Extended (Journaled) - can be encrypted and/or case sensitive.
  • MS-DOS (FAT) - Used for disk that will be used with a Windows computer.  Volume is 32GB in size or less. Partition name must be eleven characters or fewer.
  • Ex-FAT - Used for Windows - No size limitations, name must be 11 characters or fewer.

Key Points:

  • Storage refers to actual drive hardware, Macs typically come with SSD or HDD.
  • Partitioning - process of dividing drive space into section
  • macOS has standard folder structure at the root level of the hard drive - need to be familiar in order to troubleshoot
  • Library folders contain support files (fonts, plug-ins, preferences used by the OS and apps).
  • User’s home library folder is hidden - option + “Go” to view

macOS Permissions

Permissions are settings which determine who can view and alter files on the computer.  You change some permissions settings in macOS at the bottom of the Info window for a file, folder, or disk in the Finder and for network shared items in System Preferences > Sharing.

2 Types of Permissions Supported in macOS

  1. Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) permissions let you control access to files and folders based on three categories of users:  Owner, Group, and Others.
  2. Access Control Lists (ACLs) provide an extended set of permissions for a file or folder, allowing multiple users and groups as owners.  ACLs are compatible with multiple platforms including Windows.

Owner - The user who created a file or folder.  Almost all files and folders in your home folder will have your username listed as the owner.  If you are the currently active user in macOS and you copy a file from another volume to your desktop then you are the “owner” of that file.  MacOS appends (Me) to help the user identify files they own.

Group - A group is a collection of user accounts that has its own separate set of permissions.  Specifying permissions for a group allows you to assign permissions to an entire set of user accounts.  The default group for all users in macOS is “staff.”

Others (everyone) - Others includes any user account that is not the owner or part of a group assigned to a file or folder.  This class of permissions simply applies to everyone else.

If a user is included in more than one category of users, each of which has different permissions, the following rules apply:

  • Owner permissions override group permissions.
  • Group permissions override others permissions.


  1. Read & Write - You can open a document or folder and change its contents if you have the read/write permission for it.
  2. Read only - You can open a document or folder if you have the read permission for it.  A user can open and view the contents of a file. For example the /System folder - is a read-only folder for most user accounts to prevent tampering with macOS.
  3. Write Only - You can make changes to a folder if you have the write permission for it but you cannot open the folder.  This means you can put items in the folder, but you can not see which items are in that folder. This makes it a “Drop Box.”
  4. No Access - You cannot read or write to the file or folder.

Execute Permission

Execute (- - x) You can open an application if you have the execute permission for it.  This permission is generally for applications and cannot be modified without using developer tools like Terminal.

Do not change permissions on an item unless an Apple Support article tells you to.  Within macOS, all files and folders have a specific set of permissions associated with their read/write/execute status.  The permissions cannot generally be seen by a customer, and routinely are protected by macOS.

How to assign permissions to users and groups

Administrator can assign/limit access for alternate users on the computer.  

  1. In the Finder, select a disk, folder, or file and then choose File > Get Info
  2. Locate the Sharing & Permissions and click the triangle to view options.
  3. Click the lock icon in the lower-right to authenticate with an admin username and password.
  4. Select a user or group from the Name volume and then choose one of the following from the pop up menu in the priveledge column:
    1. Read & Write - can view AND change
    2. Read Only - Can view but not change anything
    3. Write only - creates a drop box where user can add to but cannot view/change what is in the folder
    4. No Access - blocks all access

In macOS only read & write and Read only are displayed for individual files.  Folders add options of Write Only and No Access.

How do you apply permissions to all items in a folder or a disk?

  1. In finder, select a folder or disk and then choose file > Get Info.
  2. Locate Sharing & Permissions and click the triangle to view options.
  3. Click the lock icon to authenticate with admin username/password.
  4. If the user’s name is not listed in the Name column, click add (+) to add the correct user.
  5. Select the correct pop-up item from the Priveledge menu and then choose “Apply to enclosed items” from the action pop-up (the icon looks like a gear)
  6. Any changes can be undone as long as the window is still open and apply to enclosed items has not been performed.  To revert, choose revert changes from action pop up menu.


Do not select “Apply to enclosed items” when setting permissions to a user’s home folder.  This can lead to adverse effects, such as:

  • Being unable to change preferences
  • Being unable to remove or save files
  • Sudden iPhoto and iTunes issues
  • Preview and TextEdit suddenly quitting upon launch.

You may use this feature to change the permissions of a folder contained within the home folder.

Is there an easy way to change an item’s owner?

Select a folder or disk, then choose File > Get Info.  Click the lock icon to authenticate with an admin username and password.  Find the Sharing & Permissions pane. If the new owner’s name is not listed in the Name column, click add to add the new owner.   Select the name of the new owner, then choose “Make that user the owner” from the Action pop-up menu at the bottom.

What are symptoms of permissions issues?

  • Unusual application behavior such as 3rd party app appears in the dock as a question mark or is unable to connect to the internet, the installer may have incorrectly set permissions on the files and folders it installed.
  • macOS stops responding - the file system and permissions might become corrupted by power interruptions or improper shutdowns.
  • Software can only access the current user’s files
  • Unable to empty the trash - if folders where do not have write permission end up in the trash, user will be unable to delete these folders or files enclosed.

System Wide Permissions Issues

Issues across multiple users.  To verify, check to see if the suspected permissions issues are present in a test user or guest account.

Beginning with OS X El Capitan system file permissions are automatically protected.  It’s no longer necessary to verify or repair permissions with Disk Utility.  

For operating systems before El Capitan, system-level issues can be resolved by using Disk Utility to repair permissions.  To repair, follow these steps in HT201560 - Repair disk permissions with Disk Utility

User Specific Permissions Issues

User specific permissions issues are those that are seen in only one user.  To verify, check to see if the suspected permissions issues are present in a test user.  Examples of issues:

  • changes that you make in system preferences aren’t saved after you quit system preferences.
  • Changes that you make to the dock aren’t saved after you log out of your user account.
  • You’re asked for an admin name and password when moving certain items in the home folder
  • When saving changes to an item, you get a message that the file is locked or you cant save.
  • Preview, TextEdit, or other sandboxed apps unexpectedly quit when opened.
  • ITunes says that your device cannot be synced.
  • Imported photos and videos don’t appear within the app, but do appear in Finder.

The above symptoms indicate that the home folder contents have had their permissions modified. To resolve user specific issues in macOS, terminal is required. When working with Terminal, make sure the customer's data has been successfully backed up before following these steps in Apple Support article, HT203538 - Resolve issues caused by changes the permissions of items in your home folder.

File or Folder Specific Issues

Only seen in one or a few files and folders within a specific user.

To verify, check to see if the suspected permissions issues are present in other files/folders within that specific user.  If the issue is only apparent with some files and folders, this is most likely caused by modified permissions to some files and folders within a specific user.

If you do not have permission to open or save a file or folder, you might be able to change the permissions settings

Key Points

  • You can view and modify permissions using the Finder’s Get Info window.
  • macOS uses two kinds of permissions - POSIX and ACLs - on every file and folder on your storage.
  • Changes to a folder’s permissions can be applied to enclosed items in the folder.
  • Read & Write, Read Only, Write Only, and No Access permissions are available privileges in the Finder.
  • Prior to OS X El Cap, the disk utility could be used to repair system-level permissions issues.
  • MacOS after El Cap - system level file permissions are automatically protected and the Disk Utility no longer includes the ability to verify or repair permissions.

Time Machine

to learn how Time Machine backs up Mac, including system files, apps, music, photos, emails, and documents.

Built in back up system in Mac.

to learn how Time Machine can be used to restore data, depending on customer needs.

to learn about Local Snapshots.

to learn about the process of excluding items from backup.

Key Points

  • Without a backup, information can be difficult and expensive to recover or entirely lost.
  • Time Machine is a seamless solution to making a scheduled and comprehensive backup of your Mac.
  • Time Machine allows restoring a single file, multiple files, or even your entire startup disk, depending on your needs.
  • If you run out of space it is possible to move Time Machine backups to another drive or Airport Time Capsule.
  • Time Machine options include excluding and removing items from a backup to save space.

Power Management

Power States

  • Wake
  • Sleep
  • Power Nap
  • Safe sleep
  • Standby

Understanding power states helps you explain to customers how to save energy on their Mac. It can also help you evaluate and isolate power issues on a Mac.


Wake is the state a Mac occupies when it is on and in use.


When Mac is not in use, save energy by putting it to sleep. When a Mac is in sleep, it is on but consumes less power.  It takes a Mac less time to wake from sleep than it does to start up after being turned off.

Macs manufactured in 2013 or later enter standby after being in sleep mode for three hours.  Some earlier models enter standby after just over an hour of sleep. Put your computer to sleep by choosing Sleep from the Apple () menu. These and other states allow the Mac to conserve energy.

Support References

If the Mac will not go to or stay in sleep, the customer can change the Energy Saver preferences in System Preferences. For those Mac models with a sleep indicator light, the light pulsates on and off slowly. If the battery on a Mac portable is completely depleted and the computer goes into Safe Sleep, the light does not illuminate at all.

How to troubleshoot a Mac with no sleep indicator light

  • connect a USB device that has a power-on or activity LED.  As power is restored to the USB and the system wakes from sleep, the LED lights up.
  • Press Caps key multiple times to see if the embedded LED light turns on.
  • Open display and press and alphanumeric key to wake the computer from sleep.
  • A computer that has been asleep for an extended period can consume the remaining charge of the battery.  Restore power to the computer with known-good power adapter and check that the MagSafe indicator light shows an in progress battery charge.  The computer will boot from a hibernation file and start from where it left off.  

Power Nap

Power Nap is a special sleep mode that allows a Mac to automatically wake to perform certain tasks, then go back to sleep again when it is finished.

Read Apple Support article, HT204032 - How Power Nap works on your Mac, for more information on Power Nap, including supported Mac models.

Safe sleep

Safe Sleep prevents information from being lost if the Mac is completely shut down during sleep, which could occur if the battery runs down or is replaced. If a progress bar appears when the Mac wakes from sleep, this means the Mac was in Safe Sleep.


The SMC, or System Management Controller, is responsible for many of the low-level functions on a Mac.

Resetting SMC instantly shuts down the computer, with some side effects:

If the computer is in safe sleep or standby mode, it will reboot from a hibernation file.

If the SMC reset is performed while a Mac is in “Wake” state, any unsaved data can be lost.

If the computer is already shut down, there will be no side effects.

Given these side effects, complete the steps outlined in the Before you reset the SMC section of HT201295 - How to reset the System Management Controller (SMC) on your Mac. Also ensure that the latest firmware updates have been installed.

Power Adapters

Portable Mac computers are charged using AC power adapters. Use the appropriate wattage power adapter for the Apple portable. A compatible higher wattage adapter can be used without issues, but it will not make the computer charge faster or operate differently. Lower wattage adapters will not provide enough power and might cause power-related symptoms.

Battery life is the amount of time your device runs before it needs to be recharged. Battery lifespan is the amount of time your battery lasts until it needs to be replaced. To maximize battery life between charges, a customer can perform the following actions. More about battery life for portables.

Adjust Energy Saver Preferences

The Energy Saver preference pane includes several settings that determine power levels for your Mac. Your Mac knows when it’s plugged in and runs accordingly. When using battery power, it dims the screen and uses other components sparingly.

Adjust Display Brightness

Dim the screen to the lowest comfortable level to achieve maximum battery life. For instance, when watching a video on an airplane, you may not need full brightness if the cabin lights are off.

Turn off Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi consumes power, even if you are not using it to connect to a network. You can turn it off in the Wi-Fi status menu in the menu bar or in Network preferences.

Quit Applications and disconnect peripherals

Disconnect peripherals and quit applications not in use. Eject an SD card if you’re not currently accessing it.

Key Points

  • Understanding power states will help you determine what troubleshooting steps to take
  • Safe sleep allows Macs to restore the contents of RAM to the hard drive.
  • The System Management Controller is responsible for many low level functions and should be reset as part of troubleshooting.
  • Desktop and portable Macs have different methods of resetting the SMC.
  • Power Adapters come in different wattages.  While you can use a higher wattage adapter without issues, lower wattage adapters will not provide enough power.  
  • Optimizing battery life best practices are a mixture of settings on the Mac and usage behaviors by the customer.


to learn how to use the Network pane in System Preferences to connect to the Internet, manage network connections, and configure advanced options.

Be sure to familiarize with the advanced network settings in system preferences.

Familiarize with locations in network settings.  Edit locations to add new locations/remove locations, etc if different settings are required.

If you cannot connect to the Internet, there may be a problem with your cables, your devices, your network settings, or your Internet service provider (ISP). On a Mac running macOS Sierra (10.12) or earlier, you can use Network Diagnostics (macOS Sierra 10.12 or earlier) to isolate and resolve the issue.

to learn how to setup file sharing and printer sharing in macOS.

Familiarize with network sharing options.

Familiar with sharing files in macOS via network sharing.

Printer sharing is only for wire connected printers (not wireless via WiFi, etc.)

Key Points

  • Use the Network pane of System Preferences to set priority of network ports, manually configure network settings and create sets of network.
  • use locations (sets of network preferences) to make network configuration easy for the customer and to help you troubleshoot network configuration issues.
  • Use Network Diagnostics to evaluate, isolate, and resolve network connectivity issues in macOS (macOS 10.12 and older).
  • Use the Sharing pane in System Preferences to control access to the computer.
  • As more sharing features are enabled, more opportunities to access the computer are opened.

Troubleshooting Tools

For more information on basic software troubleshooting, see the Apple Support article, HT203161 - Isolating issues in Mac OS X.

Force quit

Built in software troubleshooting tool that allows you to stop unresponsive application without affecting other running applications.  This is less invasive than a force restart on the machine.

Use force quit when a specific application stalls or is unresponsive or switching to another app that is not stalled to preserve data before restarting the computer.

For more information on Force Quit, see the following Apple Support articles:

HT201276 - How to force an app to quit on your Mac

If an app freezes or quits unexpectedly

Why install software updates?

One of the best ways to resolve software issues.  Updates can resolve software compatibility issues, apps that unexpectedly quit, issues involving EFI and SMC firmware.  Also, keeping your software up to date is one of the most important things that you can do to maintain the security of your Apple product.

What customer issues/concerns would prompt me to use software updates?

  • A specific app stalls or is unresponsive
  • An app fails to launch or unexpectedly quits during use
  • An app fails to open
  • An app reports that it is not compatible.

For more information on Software updates, see the following Apple Support articles:

Activity monitor

Helps monitor the activity of processor and disk, memory, and network activity.  Also checks:

  • CPU Processor activity
  • Memory - shows info about how memory is being used
  • Energy - energy impact of applications
  • Disk - Amount of data being written/read
  • Network - amount of data being written/read via network interfaces

Use when

  • Slow Mac
  • Unresponsive app
  • Slow network performance
  • Fan running continuously
  • Battery runtime

For more information on Activity Monitor, see the following Apple Support articles:

Familiarize yourself with each pane.

System Information

Provides detailed information such as:

  • Operating System Version
  • Computer specs and serial number
  • Hard disk volumes: types and number attached.
  • Installed preference panes, extensions, and apps
  • Connected USB, Thunderboth, and FireWire peripherals.

Use in situations when:

  • Verification of system requirements for new hardware or software product
  • Verification of network connections, including active services, IP addresses, and type/speed of network connections.
  • Verification of a connected module (memory module peripheral, hard disk partition, or volume)
  • Verification of a serial number when logic board has been replaced

For more information on System Information, see the following Apple Support article:


Displays a live stream of log messages.  Shows diagnostic info about your Mac and any connected devices.  Provides an essential overview of diagnostic information recorded by OS from a central location.

Use when:

  • unexpected shutdowns
  • Apps quitting unexpectedly
  • Directed by apple support article
  • Customer requests to send usage and diagnostic info to Apple
  • Discovery of additional technician info that might assist with an issue.

For more information on Console, use the following resources:

Go to Applications > Utiliies

Open Console

Select or search for the messages, reports, logs you wish to view

Note the information provided by each entry

Note that each entry is time stamped to pinpoint when and how frequently error occurs.

Disk Utility

View, manage, troubleshoot connected disks.  Includes internal and external hard drives, flash-based storage, disk images, and DVDs.  Can repair, securely erase, partition, and verify disk integrity.

Use when:

  • Issues related to directory damage
  • Verifying or repairing hard disk
  • Erasing and securely erasing hard drives
  • Creating or resizing partitions
  • When told by an Apple Support ARticle.  

Beginning with El Cap, system file permissions are automatically protected.  The option to repair/verify these permissions is no longer present. Repairing permissions or verifying with disk utility is still available in earlier OS.

Director damage symptoms include a machine that does not start up, is slow to start up, or stalls during start up.  Customer may also state that they are experiencing slow performance or apps that error out without opening.


  • Power outages
  • Unexpected shut downs
  • Consumed batter causing unexpected loss of power
  • Loose power cable
  • Hardware failure

For more information on Disk Utility, see the following Apple Support article:

The most secure erase option meets US DoD standard for securely erasing magnetic media.  Writes over data 7 times. Not an option in disk utility with solid state drives.

If you try to repair the startup or boot volume using First Aid, you will receive a message warning “in order to run First Aid, the boot volume must be frozen.”  (Have to do in recovery for example)


A text based app that lets you interact directly with industry-standard UNIX foundation of macOS.  Provides direct command-line access to the UNIX environment.

Should only be used by those with extensive UNIX experience.  Terminal is most often used by system admins, software developers, and other technical users.  In general, not required when troubleshooting Macs.

Use terminal only when an Apple Service Guide instructs.

For more information on Terminal, use the following resources:

Key Points

  • macOS has built in tools to help troubleshoot software issues and support articles that walk you through using them/
  • Force quit allows a user to stop an unresponsive app without affecting other running applications.  
  • Software updates can resolve software compatibility issues or apps that unexpectedly quit.
  • Activity monitor helps monitor the activity of a computer’s processor, disk, memory, and network activity.
  • System information provides detailed information about the computer’s hardware, software, and network in an easy-to-read layout.
  • console is an application which display live stream of log messages..  It also shows diagnostic info about your Mac and any connected devices.  
  • Disk utility is used for viewing, managing, and troubleshooting connected disks.
  • Terminal command-line access to the UNIX foundation is normally not required when troubleshooting Mac computers.
  • Only use terminal when directed to do so by an Apple resource.

Troubleshooting Startup

Standard Startup Process

The standard startup process begins when the power button is pressed and ends when the desktop appears.  The entire process is comprised of these three stages:

  • Hardware = system powers on, test, and prepares the hardware.
  • Firmware - Firmware is loaded.  Firmware is permanent software embedded in the hardware.  If FileVault is enabled, the user is prompted to provide a username and password.
  • Software - the boot loader (a program that places the OS into memory) is loaded.  The OS loads and starts everything else required at the login state. The OS then sets up the user’s environment.

Safe Boot startup and starting up from the recovery system do not follow the standard startup process described above.

Power on Self Test

Step 1 - when you press the power button, the Mac provides power to the logic board and performs a quick check of the hardware.  The hardware check is called the Power-On Self Test (POST). Test resides in the read-only memory ROM of the computer. If POST is successful, Mac will emit a start chime (2016 or older) and continue the start up process.  If a fault is detected the computer might:

  • Sound a series of error tones
  • If equipped with one, flash the front LED
  • Produce no chime or sounds (if older than mid-2016).

If any of these occur, the screen will remain black.

If there is no chime, a series of error beeps, or a flashing LED on the computer after you press the power button, try the following steps to troubleshoot the hardware:

Use known good power and cable- Start with the least invasive, least costly quick fix first. Check basic power flow.

Reset NVRAM - This will reset startup disk settings.

Reset SMC - Reset the SMC to resolve power issues.

Research LEDs and startup tones- Consult hardware-specific resources to match specific LED codes or error beeps to specific symptoms.

Remove peripherals- Remove any third-party or other added internal or external devices and try again.

Run Diagnostics - Run Mac Resource Inspector (MRI), Apple Diagnostics, or Apple Hardware Test (customer diagnostics), if possible, to identify common hardware failures.

Mac computers can produce several tones when starting up. Mac computers prior to early 2016 should produce the familiar POST chime at startup. If you hear something other than the POST chime, and the Mac is from Early 2016 or even earlier, it might mean there is a problem with your Mac.


While firmware loads, the Mac displays a blank gray or black screen.  Firmware decides which startup disk to use from:

  • hard disk
  • Recovery HD
  • Internet recovery
  • Installation disc
  • NetBoot server

If the Mac fails to advance past a blank black or gray screen, displays the prohibitory symbol, or flashes a folder with question mark symbol, the firmware has not found the correct files necessary for startup. If this screen displays for more than one minute, try the following firmware troubleshooting steps:

  1. Reset NVRAM - This will reset startup disk settings.
  2. Remove peripherals- Remove any third-party or other added internal or external devices and try again.
  3. Access startup manager - hold down option on boot to see if there are other bootable drives.
  4. macOS Recovery - try starting up from the recovery partition and attempt to repair and verify the permissions and startup volume disk.
  5. Run Diagnostics - Run Mac Resource Inspector (MRI), Apple Diagnostics, or Apple Hardware Test (customer diagnostics), if possible, to identify common hardware failures.
  6. Reinstall macOS - If you can start up from the recovery partition, but resetting NVRAM fails to resolve the blank gray screen, reinstall macOS. Be sure that the customer's information is backed up before proceeding.

Folder icon - Mac could not find any local or network based startup disk.

Prohibitory symbol - Mac could not find a valid system folder from which to start up.

Software Boot-loader

When the Apple logo is displayed, the boot loader has been successfully loaded from the startup disk.  The boot loader is a specific file called boot.efi, which is found in the /System/Library/CoreServices/ folder

Software - FileVault Login

User is prompted to log in a FileVault login prior to kernel files loading.

Software - kernel

Kernel and related files load - also checks the directory and starts services such as launch agents.  A progress bar is displayed during this process.

Software - login window

Once completes loading all necessary kernel and extensions, login window will load.


Desktop - if FileVault is not enabled on the system, macOS will prompt fo a name and password.  Or the computer will automatically log in directly to the customer’s user account. Auto login preferences can be adjusted in the Users & Groups pane of System Preferences.

User Environment - the finder opens and macOS looks for user accounts and user-owned files, also starts runner user processes including Finder and Dock.

Login Items - then opens login items which can be adjusted in the Users & Groups pane of System Preferences.

If the Mac is stuck on the Apple logo, stuck on the progress bar or kernel panics, try the following software troubleshooting steps:

  1. Run Diagnostics - Run Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test, if possible, to identify common hardware failures.
  2. Verify OS and build - verify in MRI that this machine has the correct OS and build.
  3. macOS Recovery - try starting up from the recovery partition and attempt to repair and verify the permissions and startup volume disk.
  4. Safe mode - boot the Mac into safe mode to see if the issue still persists.
  5. Reinstall macOS - If these techniques cannot resolve the issue, reinstall macOS. Be sure that the customer's information is backed up before proceeding.

Safe boot or Safe Mode

Safe Boot, or Safe Mode, is an effective way to evaluate and isolate startup issues. Safe Boot prevents certain software and extensions from automatically loading or opening.

Safe Boot might take longer than normal. A progress bar will appear, indicating the disk's directory is being checked. This process can take several minutes. The login screen will display Safe Boot in red in the upper right corner of the screen upon successful boot. If FileVault is enabled, the FileVault password must be entered before Safe Boot can begin. You cannot perform a Safe Boot if a firmware password is enabled.

Example Situations and Scenarios

Startup stops at Apple Logo or the Apple Logo with progress bar

  • Wait 5-10 mins - The system performs a disk directory check automatically if it was shut down improperly.  This process may take longer on larger hard disks.
  • MacOS Recovery - start up from recovery partition and attempt to verify and repair the startup volume disk.
  • Reset NVRAM - Try PRAM/NVRAM resets
  • Run Diagnostics - run storage diagnostics through AST.  Verify the integrity of the internal drive. If possible, dock the system drive external and attempt to boot from the disk, isolating any individual hardware issues.

If you can boot in Safe Mode, or chec k other log files using Terminal when booting from the installation disc or recovery partition.  

Stops at light gray screen after Apple logo

  • Safe Mode - see whether corrupt fonts or extensions are causing the issue.
  • Console - check the logs in Console under system.log or Console Messages for failure errors around the time of the last boot attempt.
  • MacOS Recovery - Use disk utility to run First Aid.
  • Reinstall macOS

What if there is no login window?

  • Safe Mode - if login window appears in Safe Mode, open system preferences to verify that the login options in the Users & Groups pane are configured correctly.  Remove any recently installed or third-party login items or launch agents.
  • MacOS Recovery - repair the startup volume’s directory in disk utility.
  • Reinstall macOS

What if you do not see the user environment?

  • Test User - login to another user if possible.
  • Open App - if the dock or menus are not available, try opening a file or app.
  • Recovery - start up from recovery and run Disk Utility’s First Aid.
  • Console - Examine Console logs on the problematic volume (system.log and any crash logs)
  • Reinstall macOS.

Key Points

  • The three stages of Mac startup are Hardware, Firmware, and Software.
  • You should know the visual and auditory cues of the startup process in order to troubleshoot startup issues.
  • Safe Boot or Safe Mode can help evaluate certain startup issues.
  • Using diagnostics and understanding Mac startup tones can help isolate hardware startup issues.
  • MacOS Recovery is useful both for an alternate way to startup the customer Mac and as a means to reinstall the system software if needed.

Systematic Troubleshooting for Mac

Apple’s systematic troubleshooting process supposes that all possible issues are based on one of four root causes:  Hardware, Software, Environment, Education Opportunity. Process involves three principle stages: Evaluation, Isolate, Resolve


  • What does the customer tell you
  • What does the device tell you
  • What do Apple resources tell you
  • Ask probing questions
  • Run relevant diagnostics
  • List for any potential safety issues.
  • Apply the quick checks that are recommended.
  • Eliminate irrelevant possibilities until you are left with the most likely cause.

Begin by eliminating information that is not related to the issue.

Follow up with probing questions to help narrow the possibilities.

Use a combination of both open questions and closed questions.

What does the device tell me?

Always run diagnostics relevant to the issue you are experiencing.


  • Have the customer reproduce the issue
  • Determine if you are dealing with a device issue, or an issue not related to the device.
  • Isolate the issue to the correct problem space:  Educational opportunity, environment, software, or hardware.
  • Use non-invasive troubleshooting techniques before you move forward with more invasive methods.

Safety Response

Listen closely for any potential safety issues.  Words such as shock, fire, smoke, spark, liquid, or swelling indicate a safety issue that needs to be addressed.


AFter evaluating and isolating the issue correctly, common resolutions could be:

  • Repair without using parts
  • Repair using parts
  • Reinstall or update software
  • Educate the customer
  • Direct the customer to third-party resources.

Problem Spaces

If the issue is device related, it is going to exist in the Hardware or Software problem spaces.

If the issue is NOT device related, it is going to exist in the Educational Opportunity or Environment problem spaces.

Hardware problem space

  • issues related to hardware failures
  • Resolutions will generally require repairing the device with parts or possibly replacing a device.  

Software Problem Space

  • Issues directly related to software installed on a device.  
  • Simply restarting a device will resolve many software issues.
  • Issues may affect system software or only applications and files installed by the user.  
  • Resolutions may include toggling specific settings, resetting specific settings, updating software, or reinstalling software.  Sometimes removing specific files, apps, or other data related to the issue.

Educational Opportunities

Not issues, but opportunity to educate customer and reset their expectations related to their device.  Customer may think there is an issue, but they are really misinformed about what the device is capable of or may be performing a task incorrectly.  

  • Always important to have the customer reproduce the issue.

Environmental Problem Space

Can be difficult to isolate because they are hard to reproduce.

  • May include dropping calls, unable to join a specific network, and wireless interference.

Some basic troubleshooting links:

HT201542 - Potential sources of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interference

HT201735 - How to connect to the Internet with your Mac

HT202480 - How to use network locations on your Mac

HT202663 - Check for Wi-Fi issues using your Mac

Key Points

Troubleshooting process involves three stages:  Evaluate, Isolate, Resolve

Answer 3 questions when you are evaluating:

  1. What does the customer tell you
  2. What does the device tell you
  3. What do Apple resources tell you

Isolate the issue to the correct problem space then identify the best resolution for your customer.

Repairing all Macs


Use the appropriate tools and have them ready prior to repairing any Mac.  Never use tools that are not appropriate for the repair.

Apples uses mainly Phillips, Torx, and flathead screw drivers but can use others.

ESD safe tweezers

ESD safe nylon probe (black stick)

ESD safe screw box with multiple compartments

Volt meter

Felt tipped perm marker

Microfiber cloth

These are just a few of basic tools needed.

Also uses specialized tools depending on the repair/mac.

For example:

MacBook service stand - for 12” retinas

Foam wedge support stand - for display assemblies in portables

iMac corrugated stand for VESA mount iMac

IMac locking wedge - for iMacs with stands

CPU riser spring press for reassembling CPUs

VHB kits - slim iMac adhesive.

6” silicone roller - cleaning iMac displays

Specific screwdrivers - such as Trilobe, pentalobe driver

Embedded battery cover - portables

Display extension cables for iMac

CDM - customer data migration tool kit

Key cap lever and slider tools

Antennae tool

IMac wireless card tool

Bale retrieval tool for VESA mounts

Mac mini logic board removal tool

Track pad calibration weights

And many more!

What constitutes a quality repair experience?

The Apple standard is high.  You are responsible for correcting issues and repairing the relationship between Apple and customer.  Set yourself up for success by identifying everything you need before you begin the repair to ensure a more efficient repair process.

Common repair habits:

  • be sure you have access to all service related systems
  • Gather all necessary information related to the repair
  • Be sure workstation is configured properly, ESD precautions are being followed, clean ESD mat, wear ESD wrist strap, have ESD bags
  • Make sure all safety protocols are in place
  • Gather all needed tools
  • Keep workstation organized

Make sure that Mac Activation Lock has been turned off before performing any repairs for applicable Macs.

During Repair

Keep organized repair station and follow the prescribed workflow noted in Apple documentation to be more efficient and less likely to make costly repair mistakes.  

Maintain good repair habits:

  • continue to stay organized
  • Maintain ESD precautions
  • Continue to observe safety protocols
  • Update case notes throughout the repair
  • Maintain organizational system of parts/screws
  • Handle each connector type as instructed in order to minimize damage
  • Use correct tools in the correct way

Screw Organization best practices

ESD safe screw tray provides a convenient way to manage the wide variety of screws that are removed and replaced during re-assembly.  

  • Keep track of screws and parts removed.  Loose screws can cause a thermal event.
  • Screw organization is as important as documenting a repair case properly
  • Fellow technicians should be able to easily identify and follow your organization process.
  • What makes sense to you may not make sense to another tech
  • Clearly document and outline your screw organization process.
  • Refer to service guide screw chart chapter and take apart steps to aid in the identification of screws.

Connector types:

Card Connectors - Ex - Airport card, PCIe SSD, GPU - lift as little as possible to grasp, slightly wiggle from side to side and pull lightly to remove.

Horizontal-Install connectors - Ex - MacBook Air camera connector, 2010 camera connector, etc.  Use 2 black sticks to pull out horizontally directly out of connector.

Japan Solderless Terminal (JST) Connectors - ex. Speaker connectors, microphone connectors, slide pointed end of black stick underneath cable and use black stick as platform to remove from board straight up

Locking lever connectors - trackpad connectors - use pointed end of black stick to flip locking leaver straight up and use pull tab to remove the cable.  

Multi-Pin Horizontal Insert Connectors - Most display connectors on portables and slim - use pointed end of black stick to flip lock bar up and ease connector out of connector.  Never hold connector by lock bar.

Platform connectors - many battery connectors!!  Grasp connector with fingernail or black stick and pull straight up, never pull cables.

Pull-Tab connectors - Some battery connectors (MacBook Air), power supply connector - grasp ull tab or connector and pull straight out.  If no pull tab, use fingertips and pull gently and evenly.

Solid platform flex connector - power flex connector as in on MBA and MBPr, trackpad connector.  Some have foam pad and lock bar (newer portables).  

Wireless antenna connector - Airport card - use ESD tweezers to grasp neck of connector and pull straight up, be careful not to damage.

Interposer - Used in some versions of MacBook Pro Retina.  Carries power from the battery to the logic board.  

Low profile solid platform connectors - similar to above.

When repair is finished

Complete post-repair tests and diagnostics.

Store it in a way no damage can occur.

Mac Repair Completion Steps by Model Date

Before 2015 2015 2016 2017 2018
AST 1 or AST 2 Repair Verification AST 2 Repair Verification AST 2 Repair Verification AST 2 Repair Verification AST 2 Repair Verification
Trackpad Calibration for Portables Trackpad Calibration for Portables Trackpad Calibration for Portables Trackpad Calibration for Portables
Dual-Featured Auto Boot Disable and Re-enable for Portables Dual-Featured Auto Boot Disable and Re-enable for Portables Multi-Featured Auto Boot Disable and Re-enable for Portables
Top Case to Logic Board Configuration Top Case to Logic Board Configuration MacBook Pro Models with the Apple T2 chip need System Configuration for Logic Board, Touch ID, Display, and Top Case Replacement
iMac Pro with the Apple T2 chip requires System Configuration for Logic Board and Flash Storage Replacement Mac mini (2018) requires System Configuration for the Logic Board.
MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018) requires System Configuration for the Logic Board and Touch ID.

Verify that the original customer issue has been resolved, no new issues have been introduced during the repair, and the Mac will pass required diagnostics.

Recommended diagnostics on all Macs to verify a repair:

  • MRI - to verify that all components are connected and properly detected.
  • Full Systems Diagnostic - run both EFI and OS versions of these tests.  For older Macs use ASD EFI and OS.
  • Some Macs require additional diagnostics any time they are repaired.  Ex. MacBook 12” Early 2015 requires trackpad calibration any time the unit has been opened.


It is essential to clean the computer before returning it to the customer. Please refer to:

It is important that the customer receives a clean and undamaged device when it is returned from repair service.  Use protective packaging and careful handling to keep products clean and safe.

Key Points

  • Familiarize yourself with safety protocols and procedures BEFORE servicing.
  • Use the correct tools for the repair
  • Identify everything you need BEFORE you begin the repair
  • Keep an organized repair station and follow the recommended workflow as noted
  • Provide your customer with complete resolution by completing post-repair verification tests and diagnostics.

Servicing iMac

Power Supply Warnings!

Models produced in Late 2011 or earlier require at least one hour to discharge.

Models produced in Late 2012 or later require two minutes to discharge.

Display warning!

Use extreme causing when troubleshooting with display panel removed.  Avoid touching the LED backlight board, logic board, or power supply while computer is plugged in - the power supply retains a charge whether or not the computer is actually on.  Before working near a power supply, unplug the power cord and wait the appropriate time for it to discharge.  

Power supply covers

Use protective power supply covers when the power supply is exposed.  Secure the covers with Kapton or painter’s tape.

Safety Stuff

  • Remove rings, watches, necklaces, metal-rimmed eyewear, and other metallic articles.  
  • Do not wear mobile phone or other signaling devices such as Apple Watch.  These may cause a dangerous startle reflex during energized work.
  • Do NOT wear ESD wrist strap if the iMac needs to be plugged in during repair as it may increase risk of electric shock.
  • Remain alert!  Be aware of the proximity of grounded objects to your body.
  • Use the nylon probe tool (black stick) or other non-metal extension tool as needed.  Keep fingers away from potentially energized parts.
  • The glass on the display panel is NOT tempered.  If display is still attached to housing and broken, secure broken glass with packing tape and carefully follow removal procedure.
  • Handling a broken display requires caution and special tools.  First put on safety glasses and material handling gloves. You will also need large ESD bags, large box for disposal, packing tape.
  • IMacs include an internal coin battery on the logic board.  Battery provides power to the real-time clock (RTC) and NVRAM when the computer is not connected to power source.  If battery is installed incorrectly or is replaced with incorrect battery there is a chance of thermal event.  
  • Be careful not to stress display connectors and cables when tilting the display open.  Do not completely open display until cables/connectors are disconnected.
  • Use caution when removing VHB (iMac adhesive) from the display panel to prevent damage to the black Mylar protective file that is located on the display panel glass.  Peel VHB from center points and not the ends to avoid.
  • If Mylar is peeled or wrinkled on the display use finger to press file back on to the panel.  It should be smooth and undamaged. If Mylar is pulled away from display, the display panel may need to be replaced.
  • For Mid 2011 21.5” and 27” iMac - align logic board to rear housing by plug in cables to the Thunderbolt and also to the furthest left USB while tightening screws.
  • For slim iMacs 2012-2016 - Plug one USB cable and two thunderbolt cables while tightening the logic board for proper alignment for 27”.  For 21.5” use SD card, one USB and two thunderbolt cables for alignment while tightening.
  • 2017 iMacs - have a different alignment procedure where MLB and housing have matching pins and holes.  You use only one of the 2 possible connectors during the installation process.  
  • Closely follow the cable routing when reassembling (take pictures if needed prior to disassembling!).  Do not leave cables behind the logic board or other components when reassembling.
  • Do not life the SSD or Flash storage connector at an angle when inserting it into the connector.  Lifting the flash storage at an angle can damage the LB connector.
  • Later iMacs require Wireless Card Support Tools to stabilize whenever antennas are detached or card is removed.  
  • Always remove the VHB from each antenna (all the VHB really)
  • Run appropriate diagnostics - mid 2014 21.5” onward uses AST 2 and Full System Diagnostics.  Older uses AST 1 and ASD EFI and OS.

27” slim iMac notes

  • there are 4 antennas but only 3 can be replaced
  • You must replace both speakers even if one is damaged
  • Do not break the small cable behind the power supply - built into housing!

Key points

  • Older iMac models can require up to one hour to fully discharge once unplugged.
  • More recent iMac models require 2 minutes.
  • User Power Supply Covers whenever the power supply is exposed.
  • Plug in recommended cables to the back of an iMac while reinstalling the logic board for correct alignment
  • Carefully review the videos and articles describing the model when working on an iMac model for the first time.

IMac Pro servicing

Available accessories for the iMac Pro:

  • Space Gray Magic Mouse 2 - in the box
  • Space Gray Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad - in the box
  • Space Gray Magic Trackpad - available when ordering iMac Pro

the iMac Pro specifications page

  • the BR2450 backup coin battery is more powerful version than previous models.  Must be installed with engraved or + side facing up. Apple does not sell this battery as a service part.
  • Data may be lost unless the customer backs up (T2)
  • Default security systems prevent from starting up on external drive
  • NetBoot is not currently supported on 2017 iMac Pro
  • Flash storage modules must be paired to the iMac if replaced.
  • Some data MAY be transferable using Data Transfer Utility prior to LB or storage replacement.
  • Startup in Recovery Mode to use the Startup SEcurity Utility to change the defaults to allow external boot.  Admin access is required.
  • Replacement flash storage must be reinstalled into the same connector it was taken out of.  The storage is marked with 00 and 01 which corresponds to the numbers on the connectors on the LB.
  • The flash storage devices are paired to the logic board and data cannot be accessed or recovered when installed in another logic board
  • Every time you install a replacement DIMM in one of the inner memory slots (2 or 4), you must install an EMI absorber on the DIMM to avoid Wifi and Bluetooth signal interference.
  • One absorber is included with each replacement DIMM service part.  3rd part DIMMS in slot 2 or 4 also require the absorber.
  • Replacement power supply includes new bus bars which must be attached before installation can take place.  Logic board bus bar screws must be installed with an adjustable torque driver set to .75nm. Power supply bus bar screws must be installed with an adjustable torque driver set to .85nm.
  • Customers can remove the stand and install the VESA mount adapter.  Improper installation can result in retraction of mechanism into the iMac Pro enclosure.
  • Amended functions in AST 2 for iMac Pro - In image persistence test, tones are not played after 4 minutes have elapsed, you will need to refer to the Diagnostic Console to determine with it is time to look at the UUT’s screen.
  • An interactive headphone jack test is now part of the AST 2 Audio Suite for iMac Pro and requires a set of headphones for testing.
  • Requires special tools for removing and replacing MLB.  Mac Configuration Utility must be used to properly configure the logic board.
  • Has a dual fan assembly.
  • These speakers also work as pair and must be replaced together.
  • Wireless card is not removable.
  • Use logic board service tray with stiffeners for iMac Pro.
  • The logic board must be removed in order to replace RAM and storage.  Storage is paired to the board.
  • AST 2 is used to serialize the logic board.  You need iMac Pro, usb-C data cable with either usb-A or usb-C on other end, known good computer, and ipad.  Host computer must be on 10.13, have Mac Configurator installed, and be connected to the internet.
  • DFU mode is holding down power button for 10 seconds while plugging in power cord to wall.  Display will remain blank but should show up on host computer in Configurator.

Key Points

  • iMac Pro ships with Space Gray Magic Keyboard with Number Pad and Space Gray Magic Mouse 2
  • All 2 minutes for the power supply to discharge before opening
  • Use power supply cover when performing troubleshooting that requires an open iMac Pro
  • NetBoot and starting up from external drives is blocked by default.  NetBoot is not supported on 2017 iMac Pro
  • New tools for iMac Pro 2017 are:  Wireless card support tool, logic board tray and stiffeners, display extension cables, and new VHB strips.
  • Do not use the display removal tool on the top center 3 inches of display due to microphone cables and camera.
  • Logic board must be placed on the logic board service tray with stiffeners installed for repairs including flash storage, memory and battery.
  • Replacement power supply includes new bus bars, which must be attached before installation can take place.  If the bus bars are damaged during repair, they must be replaced. The can be ordered as a separate service part.
  • Replacement logic board and flash storage require initialization using the Mac Configuration Utility and AST 2.

Servicing Mac mini

Mac mini Late 2014 requires an internal coin battery on the logic board.  This battery provides power to the real-time clock and parameter RAM. If it is installed incorrectly or replaced with an incorrect type of battery, there is rick of thermal event.  Positive pole should be facing upward from logic board.

Late 2012 Mac mini and Mac mini Server - antenna plate and housing are sharp, use care to avoid injury and damage to antenna cable.

Late 2014 model - RAM is soldered to logic board.

2018 model - RAM can be replaced.

Late 2014 - Service tools include suction cup and logic board removal tool.  Not required for the 2018 model. Suction cup tool is used for removing the bottom cover to get into Mac mini.  

Power socket is held in proper place by the power socket retention clip.  The cowling for the AC inlet is removable. The socket rotates within a groove in the housing and must be aligned correctly before the retention clip can be inserted.

Late 2012 - mini and Server - the bottom screw (LB and heat sink screw) is a threaded standoff that fan screw will screw into.  If the fan screw that screws into the heat sink screw is lost or damaged, the entire logic board will have to be replaced (there is no replacement part for just the cowling screws).

2018 model - Use black stick to remove the bottom cover.  T6 security bit is required to remove the antenna plate screws.  Remove the antenna connector before removing the plate by moving clockwise and detaching antenna cable.  Fan screws are on diagonal angle! Power button now has a flex cable. If the cable is torn, the entire I/O wall needs to be replaced.


  • Power button
  • Power cord
  • Gigabit Ethernet (Optional 10GB Ethernet CTO)
  • 4 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports
  • HDMI
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 2 x USB-A ports

Key Points

  • The coin battery inside Mac mini models must be installed properly
  • Antenna plate and housing inside L2012 model are sharp and can cause personal injury if not handled with care.
  • RAM inside L2014 is onboard and not upgrade able.
  • Connectors used in all models are fragile
  • Torque drivers are required tools for service L2014 model.
  • Antenna plates are attached to wireless cards and must be removed carefully.
  • Memory can be replaced in 2018 model
  • Care must be taken when removing the power supply cable from the LB in the 2018 mode - connection is tight.

Secure Boot


The trademark name for a type of screw head or screw driver bit characterized by a 6-point star-shaped pattern.


The twisting or turning force used to tighten screws and other fasteners, measured in units of inch-pounds (in-lb), kilogram-centimeters (kid-cm) or Newton-meters (Nm).

Servicing Mac Pro

L2013 and M2012 models - internal coin batteries on LB.  

Always shut down Mac Pro before opening it.  Wait 10 minutes to allow the internal components to cool.  

L2013 and M2012 both contain diagnostic LEDs.

L2013 - be aware of potential hazards of the bus bar and bus bar screws to avoid injury.  Hazardous energy (>240VA) exists on each of the bus bars throughout each of the logic boards when the power supply 12 Vdc output is energized.

L2013 - when housing is removed a safety interlock circuit on the I/O board immediately de-energizes the power supply output.   You can override the safety interlock circuit and energize the power supply output by using a magnet. Overriding the safety interlock should only be done for the purpose of observing the status of the LEDs.  Do not disassemble the system with the safety interlock defeated!

L2013 - Serial number is located on bottom of cylinder.

Earlier - serial numbers are located under need video output ports.

HT205044 - Mac Pro (Late 2013): Installing or replacing memory

2013 - if you service either graphics card A or B, or the processor board on the thermal core, you must run the Cooling System Diagnostic in AST.  

Hall Effect Sensor

L2013 models - magnetic sensor that will prevent operation of the computer with the housing removed, located inside the outer casing.  Aligned to engage the safety interlock sensor near the power button.

View Diagnostic LED steps

  • Turn off unit
  • Remove AC power cord and all cables/peripherals that might be connected.
  • Remove the housing
  • Connect the AC power cord.
  • Hold a magnetic source approximately 1 inch to the right of the power button, immediately to the right of the vertical EMI gasket of the I/O wall.
  • Press the power button while magnet is in place.  Removing the magnet will immediately power off the computer.

Diagnostic LEDs

  • STatus LEDs do not illuminate unless the DIAG button on the I/O board is being pressed.
  • Error LEDs illuminate red when there is an issue.
  • Warning LEDs illuminate yellow when a thermal problem is detected.  This type of LED is only found on the CPU riser card.


Single Processor Configuration

A quad-core Mac Pro (Mid 2012) has one processor and four memory slots.  You can install 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB DIMMs for a total of up to 32GB of memory.

You can install different size DIMMs in Mac Pro (Mid 2012). However, for best performance, Apple recommends you install equal-size DIMMs (all 2GB, all 4GB, and all 8GB) filling the slots in the order listed in the table below. Note that you cannot place a DIMM in slot 4, without first placing a DIMM in slot 3.

Number of DIMMS Fill these Slots
Two DIMMs 1 and 2
Three DIMMs 1, 2, and 3
Four DIMMs 1, 2, 3, and 4

Dual Processor Configuration

A 12-core Mac Pro (Mid 2012) dual-processor supports 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB DIMMs for a total of up to 64GB of memory.

You can install different size DIMMs in Mac Pro (Mid 2012). However, for best performance, Apple recommends you install equal-size DIMMs filling the slots in the order listed in the table below. Note that you cannot place a DIMM in slot 4, without first placing a DIMM in slot 3; you also cannot place a DIMM in slot 8 without a DIMM in slot 7.

Numbers of DIMMs Fill these slots
Two DIMMs 1 and 2
Three DIMMs 1, 2, and 3
Four DIMMs 1, 2, 3, and 4
Six DIMMs 1, 2, 3, and 5, 6, 7
Eight DIMMs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, 6, 7, 8

HT205043 - Mac Pro (Mid 2012 and earlier): How to remove or install memory

M2012 Processor Diagnostic LEDs

The dual-processor board and single-processor board include a diagnostic LED for each processor. The following illustrations show the location of each LED and its associated processor. These error LEDs are normally off. A red illuminated LED indicates the associated processor may be missing or in overtemp state.

How to identify Single-Processor and Dual Processor in 2012

A quick way to identify between single-processor and dual-processor configurations is to open the side panel and inspect the processor heat sinks on the processor board. The configurations look like the following:

2012 Troubleshooting CPU Diag LEDs

  • Determine if the error LED follows the processor heat sink.
  • Verify the heat sink is physically undamaged and properly connected to the processor board
  • Check that adequate thermal grease is applied and verify the fan is operating.
  • For dual processor boards ONLY - determine if the error LED follows the processor by swapping processor A and B locations.
  • Also has backplane diag LEDs
  • For Memory LEDs - Red indicates its associated DIMM may be poorly seated or failed.  The System Profiler or System Information will not reported unseated or failed memory.  Try this procedure - Remove and reseat DIMM, restart computer, if still illuminated replace with new DIMM, restart and verify no longer illuminated.
  • If 2 LEDs illuminate at the same time for 3 DIMM and 4 DIMM or 7 DIMM and 8 DIMM slots, may mean something else.

2013 DIMM chart.

There are four (4) DIMM slots.  To optimize system cooling, Apple recommends installing DIMMs as shown:

Total Memory DIMM Slot 1 DIMM Slot 2 DIMM Slot 3 DIMM Slot 4

All UDIMMs are 1866MHz DDR3 ECC. Do not mix UDIMMs and RDIMMs. DIMMs that are not properly installed or do not meet the system requirements may effect system performance or not be recognized.

Do not rock or wiggle - pulls straight out.

Key Points

Safety Concerns -

  • Coin battery must be installed properly
  • Should be allowed to cool for 5-10 minutes before opening
  • Follow all electrical safety guidelines when examining diagnostic LEDs
  • Only override the safety interlock when directed to do so by service guide


  • Use the new screws supplied and tighten them with an adjustable torque driver to the specific torque required by service guide.
  • Carefully review memory configuration instructions for the specific Mac Pro you are servicing.
  • Follow memory installation best practices and tips when installed DIMMS inside 2013.

Take Apart

  • 2013 requires many specialized tools and service fixtures - have on hand before beginning

Post Repair

  • Run Cooling System Diag if repairs were done to GPU, processor board or thermal core.

MacBook Air Servicing

Battery Replacement - New procedures!  - first Mac notebook to feature a replaceable battery.  

Does not have a sleep LED.  To troubleshoot without one - connect a USB device that has power on or activity LED, press Caps key, open display and press an alphanumeric key to wake, charge with good adapter and check that MagSafe light shows

2018 Model has both standard and UV liquid contact indicators.

2018 - battery and speakers use adhesive strips similar to those used in later iPhones.  

Beginning with 2015 model, speakers must be replaced as a pair.

2018 logic board replacement means also have to replace the Touch ID.

2018 has a removable metal battery service tray.

Must run Trackpad Keyboard Mapper in AST if you replace a trackpad or top case on:

  • M2013-E2014 11” and 13”
  • E2015 11” and 13”
  • E2015 13” and Mid 2015 15” MacBook Pro
  • 2017 13”

SMC - chip on LB that controls all power functions.  Should be reset if experiencing no start up, not displaying video, sleep issues, or fan noise issues.  It shuts down the computer with some side effects: If in sleep mode, it will restart from a hibernation file.  If loaded into OS, data from open applications can be lost. If it is already shut down, no side effects.

visit HT201295 - Reset the System Management Controller (SMC) on your Mac.

Flow of Power

The routing of the keyboard/power button signal goes from keyboard > cable > trackpad > IPD Cable > MLB.  

Power on Pads

Can be shorted to power on a computer - location varies per model.  

Key Points

  • MBA models have built in lithium-ion polymer batteries
  • Do not include sleep LEDs
  • While MacBook Air models have similar external ports, I/O speed will vary.
  • Do not over-tighten the screws that hold in the battery
  • Have fragile cables/connectors
  • Batteries must be covered and disconnected from LB whenever the bottom case is removed.
  • Will wobble on flat surfaces if bottom case screws are not properly installed.
  • Some models also require Trackpad Keyboard Mapper diag ran after repair.
  • 2018 model has replaceable battery and trackpad.

Servicing MacBook

12” has dual microphones, headphone jack and one USB-C port

Review the following Apple Support articles for more information on MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017) - technical specifications and USB-C ports.

Do not have fans

Components are in the bottom case as well as the top case - be careful when opening!!

If a new battery is needed which includes replacing entire bottom case

Has Butterfly grounding clip on bottom screw of logic board

Top case contains keyboard and trackpad - per Apple, non-replaceable.

TCON board is attached to display

Audio board ports are color matched to case

After removing screws in the bottom case, insert the flat end of a black stick between the top and bottom case, starting at rear of the computer. Do not push stick in too far due to battery.  With bottom case loosened and not removed, use 2 hands to turn over the computer so that the Apple logo is facing up. Do not raise the top case too high before battery power is turned off or cables are disconnected.

Press and hold battery disconnect button until the LED light goes dark (about 5-10 sec).  Confirm the LED light is off. If not lit from beginning, press battery disconnect button and hold 5-10 secs.  Repeat two more times to ensure power is disconnected. (Check before pressing button that no power source is plugged in.)

Turn so that Apple logo is facing down and use black stick to disconnect trackpad IPD connector from the trackpad.  Turn back over and proceed to open.

Do not set the top case on the speaker/antenna modules.

Speaker/antenna modules must be replaced as a pair.

Replace Thermal interface pads with logic board.  (1. Remove existing thermal interface pads. 2. Wrap an IPA wipe around the pointed end of black stick and clean off excess adhesive.  3. Dry and apply new thermal interface pads.

Never get alcohol on the gold Battery Management Unit connectors or the graphite surface in the LB area.  Do not scratch the graphite surface - doing so means that the battery must be replaced.

Use a USB-C to USB-A and 5w power adapter to apply low voltage power before powering on after opening and reassembly.  It can take up to 10 secs to hear the power connect sound.

If battery charge remaining is less than 6%, it can take up to 10-15 mins to hear the power connect sound after charging.  

Once it has been verified that the unit turns on with low power, disconnect 5w adapter and apply power with the 29w adapter to charge.

Trackpad Calibration Check is to be run after every repair or whenever the computer has been reassembled.  Also recommended to run the Trackpad Response Test after a top case with keyboard has been replaced or if user is having issues related to trackpad.

After installing a new top case, the Microphone Equalization Reset in AST 2 must be run as well as Trackpad Calibration Check.

Key Points

  • Have built in lithium-ion polymer batteries
  • Relies on a single USB-C port
  • Have internal button on LB to shut off power from battery
  • Include LCIs
  • Service stand is required to safely service with damage
  • Keep screws organized - different colors
  • 2015 model requires the use of low voltage 5w power adapter to power on after assembly
  • Trackpad Calibration check required each time unit is opened.

Liquid Contact Indicators


Only visible when bottom case and most of the modules have been removed in MacBook.  Small white dots that turn red when they have come in contact with liquid.  

Accidental Damage


  • Liquid spills/corrosion or residue
  • Cracks - displays, enclosure surfaces
  • Punctures or dents affecting functionality/usability
  • Pressure or twisting damage to display/case
  • Damage to I/O or MagSafe ports
  • Signs of forced entry or removal

Servicing MacBook Pro 13”

Early 2015 - Trackpad Calibration Check after EVERY repair or whenever the computer has been reassembled.

BMU interlock screw is a shoulder screw with gold-plated washer- helps complete the signal and enables power to flow from battery to the logic board.  Battery is built in and connected to the logic board by the BMU - must be removed before performing service procedures. (Late 2012 and early 2013 models)

Wireless card has thermal pad attached to underside - make sure remains with card when removing - can be ordered as a part.

Interposer is in L2012/E2013 models only - Only parts that require removal are logic board assembly (with MagSafe, heat sink, fan ducts, and fans attached), logic board, MagSafe, audio board, trackpad and top case.

Speakers are paired and offered as a kit.  Must be replaced together.

L2012/E2013 models - if trackpad cable needs to be replaced, must replace entire trackpad.

2016+ do not chime when powered on or restarted

Auto Boot - Two features - Boot on Lid Open and Boot on AC Attach.  Must be disabled before servicing.

Touch Bar - display integrated into the top of the keyboard that changes automatically depending on the app used.  Right side has Touch ID sensor.  

2016/2017 have BMU

Calibration of Force Touch on 2016+ models must be verified after every repair.

Do not tilt I/O flex cable past 90 degrees in 2016/2017 models

Touch ID is paired to logic board and must both be replaced together.

2016+ LB tilts at special angle when removing

Each time the battery is disconnected from LB, the computer needs to be connected to power adapter to turn on again.  

Key Points

  • Have built in lithium-ion polymer batteries
  • Batteries can only be services but AASP
  • Top cases include many parts such as battery, trackpad, keyboard
  • Some models have interposer board and BMU Interlock Screws.
  • 2016+ does not chime
  • 2016+ includes Auto Boot
  • Batteries must be covered and disconnected whenever bottom case is removed
  • Review service guide carefully
  • Will wobble on flat surfaces if the bottom case screws are not properly installed.
  • Some models require Trackpad Calibration Check after reassembling
  • 2016+ require Auto Boot to be disabled before repair and re-enabled after repair.

Servicing 15” MacBook Pro

M2015 requires Trackpad Calibration Check

All MBPr 15” models have 2D bar codes - techs must have updated bar code scanners

Wireless card comes with gasket attached to underside.  Make sure remains with card, is available as a service part.

I/O cable guide- plastic guide attached to I/O board - cables should be routed back into the guide after reinstalling the board.  Replacement boards do not come with cable guide so it must be transferred from old board. Is available as a separate service part.

Speakers are paired and must be replaced together.

L2013 ONLY - bottom case screws should should be replaced each time.  Old ones should be discarded.

2016+ do not have chime

2016+ has Auto Boot - disable before services and re-enable when service completed.

2016+ does have BMU.  

2016+ - Calibration of Force Touch must be verified after every repair

Vent antenna assembly houses 3 wireless antennas and ground clip

2016+ has special angle to install to help antennas underneath.

Each time battery is disconnected from LB, computer needs to be connected to the power adapter to power on again.  

Key Points

  • Lithium-ion polymer batteries
  • Batteries can only be serviced by AASP
  • Mid2012-2015 top case includes many parts such as battery, trackpad, keyboard
  • 2016+ does not chime
  • 2016+ has Auto Boot
  • Batteries must be covered and disconnected from LB whenever bottom case is removed
  • Wobble on flat surfaces if the bottom case screws are not properly installed
  • Some models require Trackpad Calibration Check after reassembly
  • 2016+ Auto Boot must be disabled before serve and re-enabled after service.

Category:Certification Training