Production, Troubleshooting

How To Stop Garageband From Crashing

Written By : Andrew Siemon

If you’re having issues with Garageband crashing, then you’re in the right place. There are a number of ways we can deal with this problem, and we’ll run through each one of these individually.

To stop Garageband from crashing, you can:

1) Lock tracks in Garageband.
2) Put inactive parts of your hard disk to sleep
3) Shut down other energy-intensive applications
4) Delete old files that are taking up too much space.
5) Use an external hard drive for files you don’t want to part with, but aren’t currently necessary.
6) Ensure your computer is plugged into an external power source.
7) Ensure your computer isn’t overheating.
8) Delete Garageband from your computer entirely and then re-install it.

While the tips listed above are a great way to improve the performance of your computer and Garageband, ultimately, they all dance around the real issue which is your computer which probably doesn’t have enough storage capacity, RAM, and processing speed. This 2019 MacBook Pro on my Product Page is going to meet all your needs and you won’t have to bother with any of the tips I’ve outlined in this article.

1) How To Lock Tracks In Garageband

a) To do this, click on Track in Garageband’s toolbar, or use the command, (Option + T).

b) From here, you want to click on the option, “Configure Track Header.”

c) Then check the box that says, “Lock Track,” on any of the tracks that you don’t intend on changing at the moment.


Apparently, what this does is that it creates a small audio file of the locked track, which means that it plays back the audio file as a saved file, rather than processing all of the information in MIDI or Audio format.

2) Put inactive parts of your hard-disk to sleep.

a) To do this, you want to go into the System Preferences which looks like the gear icon at the bottom of the screen.

b) Click on the “Energy Saver” icon.

c) Check the box that says, “Put Hard Disks To Sleep When Possible.”


3) Shut down other energy-intensive programs.

This one is self-explanatory, you just want to turn off any other running applications in the background, whatever they may be. Google Chrome and other browsers tend to take up a lot of memory, so it’s worth shutting them down.

Another thing that you can do is restart the computer entirely before you turn on Garageband and get ready to start making music.

This will shut down everything on the computer and then when you open Garageband, the software will have the entire computer to itself.

It’s also worth noting that plug-ins actually take up a lot of energy, so if you have 15 different plug-ins turned on on 14 different tracks in Garageband – by the way, I have a guide that shows you the trick for adding more than 5 – you’re taxing your computer’s power by quite a bit.

Truthfully, any more than 6 plug-ins per track is a bit overkill anyway, on many of them, I’ll only have 3-5 running at one time.


Another thing to add is that if you have a bunch of different Audio tracks, for instance, you’ve recorded 6 different guitar parts and then 1 bass part, you want to make sure that you’ve turned the yellow Monitoring button off on the in-active tracks.

As I explained in my article all about latency, this has the added benefit of also helping with the elimination of lagging audio which is obviously incredibly annoying.

4) Delete old files that are taking up too much space.

Another thing that you can do is delete all of the files on your computer that are taking up way too much space.

a) What you want to do, is click on the Apple icon on the top-left of the toolbar on your computer’s main screen.

b) Click on “About This Mac.”

c) From here, you want to click on “Storage.”

d) Click “Manage.”

e) And then a menu will appear showing where your computer is holding the most data, including applications, music creation files, documents, and other files.


f) Put whatever you don’t need in the “Trash,” and then “Empty Trash” and delete it from your computer entirely.

One weird place that holds up a lot of data for me is iMovie, which has on its own, a media library where a lot of old movies and videos have been made but haven’t been deleted.


Every once in a while, I might delete all of iMovie’s library to clear up a ton of space on the computer, usually, it’s around 10GB of space.

A long time ago, I also put my entire iTunes library on this external solid state drive on my Product Page and started using Spotify instead.

5) Use an external hard drive for old files

While many of the tips noted above can help solve the problem, in my personal experience, I’ve found that deleting old files and applications has made the biggest difference.

Toward the end of my last 2011 MacBook Pro’s life, Garageband was crashing on a pretty regular basis, which was quite annoying.

However, I noticed that after I had my computer restored the one day, and all of the files were wiped off it completely, the computer started working extremely fast again, Garageband included.

The crashing issue vanished.

If you want to stop Garageband from crashing all of the time, I would get your hands on an external harddrive, particularly the one I’ve talked about in my other article (and I actually already linked to it earlier).

When you have an external hard drive, you can take all of your old files that you don’t need that much anymore and put them all on the external hard drive.

Assuming you’ve picked up the Seagate 1TB external hard drive that I recommended, I’ll give you a brief tutorial on how to go about using it.

a) Plug the Seagate Backup Plus 1TB into your computer.

b) Open up your finder and click on “Seagate Backup Plus” from the menu.

c) Select the folder – or create one – where you want to export your files that are taking up too much space.

d) Open up the file folder where your documents/videos are, and then drag and drop them into the Seagate Backup Plus and wait the necessary amount of time.

I find that it usually takes about 2 minutes for 10GB to transfer, but if it’s 10GB and more, it might take up to 10 minutes or so.

Once you’re done making the transfer, click on the “Date Added,” option in the finder to organize the files based on when they were added to the hard drive to ensure the transfer was made properly, and then go ahead and delete the files from your computer by emptying the trash.

6) Plug your charger into the computer while using Garageband.

This one is self-explanatory. Power your computer with an external power source while you’re using memory-intensive software such as Garageband.

According to one user on Quora, most major laptops have a configuration within them where the computer is automatically put on a power-saving mode when it’s not plugged in.

7) Ensure your computer isn’t overheating.

To help with your computer’s cooling unit, apparently, it’s a good idea to clean the computer with an electrostatic dusting product like a Swiffer Duster, or a microfibre cloth.

Make sure that you don’t use a damp cloth, the reason being that the moisture will turn the dust into a dusty mud, which might make the problem even more severe.

Another thing that you can do is get your hands on a compressed air can and shoot air at the computer in between all of the keys.

Obviously, you could take your computer into the Apple store as well, and have them replace your cooling unit if it’s not working as it should, but this is the last resort, because who wants to pay $300 for this – I know I don’t.

8) Delete Garageband and then Re-Install it.

This one might scare people, because you might worry that you’ll lose all of your files, however, you won’t.

All of your stems and instruments are saved elsewhere on the computer, so if you delete Garageband and then re-install it, all of the old files and instruments should still be there.

This is a method that you can use for a number of other problems as well, however, I have a new computer, so I can’t say that I’ve had a ton of issues with Garageband ever since I started using the 2018 MacBook Pro.

What you want to do from here, is go into your applications menu, and then right-click on the Garageband icon, and then hit the button, “Move to Trash.”

YouTube Video Tutorial

How To Stop Garageband From Crashing


I hope this article/video was helpful for you. Make sure to share this on social media with your friends if they’re having issues as well.

Andrew Siemon is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to all things music, including music production, music theory, recording, and how to use the most popular DAWs. Starting out as a metal guitarist, Andrew has since moved into other areas of music production including hip-hop and fusion

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