How to force shut down a mac

How to force shut down a mac

There are many simple and basic Mac functions that everyone should learn how to do.

These functions can serve a lot of different purposes but they all help simplify things or can make operating your MacBook more efficient and easier to use overall. Some of these functions can help you navigate through your system faster while others help to perform essential operations.

One of these essential operations that everyone needs to know is how to shut down your MacBook. Sometimes you might leave your MacBook powered on for extended periods of time or put it to sleep instead of shutting down.

Regardless of your everyday habits or how often you shut the Mac down, you need to know how to complete this easy task when the time comes.

When to Shut Down Your MacBook

There are different reasons to shut down your MacBook Pro.

Some are simply personal preferences while others are important for the longevity and long-term health of your Mac. No matter what the reason, shutting down your computer is really easy to do whenever you decide it’s time.

To Save Power and Battery

If you are using your Mac but don’t have reliable options when it comes to charging it back to full power, shutting down when not in use can save your battery.

By shutting down the computer completely, you will make certain that your display or other power-hungry functions do not come on while your Mac is not in use. Keeping your MacBook shut down when not in use also saves power, if an environmental impact or overall power use is a concern.

You Will Not Use Your Mac For Awhile

Another reason to shut down your MacBook is if you are not going to be using it for a while.

Maybe you are headed on vacation and not bringing your computer along or maybe you will just be away from your desk for a few days. Either way, shutting down your MacBook in these instances can save power, make sure nothing operates while you are not present, and can prevent family or friends from logging in.

To Prevent Automatic Processes

Whether you know it or not, there are a handful of automatic processes that occur on your MacBook whether it is fully on or even if it is in Sleep mode.

Computer maintenance tasks such as loading new emails, downloading updates, and storing data to the cloud can all happen automatically. This is pretty handy, but if you don’t want these processes to occur automatically, you can shut down your Mac instead of putting it to sleep.

How to Shutdown Your MacBook (3 Ways)

If you want to shut down your MacBook for any of the above reasons or if you just want to learn how, it is really simple and there are a few different methods for accomplishing the task.

Once you learn the different methods for a shutdown, you can use whichever one you wish or have options in the rare event that one method does not work correctly.

Before you shut down your MacBook, always make sure to close and/or save and programs or applications that are open in order to save your data.

Method 1: Standard Shutdown

This is the most common way to shut down your computer and is used frequently (sometimes daily) by some MacBook owners. Before you do that, always make sure to close and/or save and programs or applications that are open in order to save your data.

To perform a standard shutdown:

  • Click on the Apple menu in the top-left of your screen.
  • Then click on Shut Down from this drop-down menu.

How to force shut down a mac

That’s all there is to a standard shutdown. It might take your computer a few seconds or a few minutes to prepare for the shutdown and actually turn off, but the steps above will get your Mac shut down most of the time.

Method 2: Key Command Method

You can also initiate your MacBook to shut down through the use of a simple key command. This is my personal favorite method of shutting down as it is really fast and easy to do once you know the command.

The key command to shut down your MacBook is Control, Eject.

Simply hold down the control button and then press the eject key which is usually on the top left of the keyboard on most Apple keyboards. When you press these keys together the shutdown dialog box will appear and you can click on shutdown to turn off the Mac completely. If you hit your computer’s power but once, this dialogue box will also appear and you can shut down that way as well.

Method 3: Force Shutdown

The final way to shut down your computer is through a force shutdown.

You could use this method if your computer freezes or locks up and no other keys or commands work to gain control back over the machine. These forced shutdowns should only be used if your Mac becomes unresponsive or frozen and should not be done every time you wish to shut down your computer as it can lead to loss of data and other issues.

To force shutdown your MacBook:

Press and hold the power button on your computer until it shuts down or hold down the Control, Option, Command, and Eject keys all at once until your computer shuts down.

Final Thoughts

If you need to shut down your computer for whatever reason, now you know the three main ways to do so on your MacBook Pro.

Remember to always save any unsaved information in any running programs or apps before you shutdown. Also, do not conduct a forced shutdown unless it’s absolutely necessary to an unresponsive computer.

How often do you shut down your computer? What is your main reason for shutting down?

Force restarting a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro is generally considered a last resort, but if the worst happens and your machine freezes up, it’s the quickest way of getting things running again.

alt=”macbook, macbook air, macbook pro” width=”800″ height=”234″ />
Before taking this extreme option though, it’s worth making sure that you’ve exhausted all potential software solutions.

  • If it’s just an application that’s frozen rather than the operating system, hold down the Option (⌥) key then right-click the offending app’s icon in the Dock and select Force Quit.
  • If the OS is frozen but the mouse cursor still responds, click the Apple () symbol in the upper left corner of the screen and select Restart. Otherwise, try holding down the Control (Ctrl) key and pressing the power button. If the system shutdown dialog appears, select Restart from the available options.

On MacBooks with physical function (F1–F12) keys, the power button is the key in the upper right corner of the keyboard (if it’s an older Mac with an optical drive, this is also the Eject button).

How to Force Restart Your Mac

  • Press and hold down the Command (⌘) and Control (Ctrl) keys along with the power button (or the ‌Touch ID‌ / Eject button, depending on the Mac model) until the screen goes blank and the machine restarts.

If your MacBook repeatedly freezes and you’re unsure what’s causing the problem, consider restarting your Mac in Apple Diagnostics mode to check if it’s a hardware issue.

How to force shut down a mac

Having spent some years coding applications for macOS we’ve created a tool that everybody can use. The all-round problem fixer for Mac.

How to force shut down a mac

So here’s a tip for you: Download CleanMyMac to quickly solve some of the issues mentioned in this article. But to help you do it all by yourself, we’ve gathered our best ideas and solutions below.

Features described in this article refer to the MacPaw site version of CleanMyMac X.

Do you encounter a frozen app on your Mac and can’t quit it normally? That spinning beach ball makes you crazy? Instead of just sitting and getting more frustrated, force quit an app that’s not responding. Thankfully, you’ve got options to close the unresponsive apps.

We’ve prepared five Mac force quit ways, so you can pick the one that works best for you. Moreover, we’ll tell you how to prevent the programs from hanging and what to do if your whole Mac stops responding.

How to Force Quit Mac Applications

Force quit from the Apple menu

Here’s how to force quit an app from the Apple menu:

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Select Force Quit.
  3. Choose the app that’s not responding.
  4. Click on the Force Quit button.

Force quit from the Dock

If you wonder how to force quit an app on Mac using the Dock, check out these simple steps:

  1. To open the dock menu, right-click on the application icon you want to shut down or click on the item and hold.
  2. Hold an Option (Alt) button, so the Quit menu changes to Force Quit.
  3. Click Force Quit.

As simple as that!

Force quit using the keyboard shortcut

Alternatively, you can use a force quit Mac shortcut to close an unresponsive app. Do the following:

  1. Press and hold the following keys: Command + Option + Esc.
  2. Select the program you want to quit from the dialogue box.
  3. Click Force Quit.

This method of force quit command Mac is especially useful if your mouse cursor is lagging a bit.

Force quit using the Terminal

If you prefer a command line method to solve the problems, you can quit an unresponsive app via Terminal. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Launch the Terminal.
  2. Type the following command: killall [application name]. For example, if Spotify isn’t responding, type killall Spotify.
  3. Click Enter. Your application will be shut down immediately.

If an app’s name consists of more than 2 words (like “Google Podcasts”), you should put its name in quotation marks.

Note that the killall command works at the system level and the auto-save option doesn’t work. Be careful not to lose your unsaved data.

A better way to force quit apps — CleanMyMac X

A smart maintenance app like CleanMyMac X has a problem of force quit on Mac covered. You can easily force quit program on your Mac with an Optimization utility. It has a special Hung Applications tool that allows to identify and fix the unresponsive app right away.

How to force shut down a mac

This helpful program also shows you the apps that consume too much memory a.k.a. Heavy Consumers. A direct access saves you time and allows to fix a frozen app in a matter of seconds. CleanMyMac also takes care of other performance issues, so if you want to get alerts when something goes wrong on your Mac, you can download its free version and give it a try.

Fixing an app that hangs frequently: Short tips

You may notice that a particular app freezes quite often. It is natural to assume that there is something wrong with that application. But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to fix the hanging app.

First of all, update an app to the latest version. App developers are constantly working on improvements, trying to deliver the best experience to users. The latest update may resolve all problems with the freezing app.

The next step is to clear the app’s cache, especially if you use it frequently. If there’s not enough free storage, a program won’t run smoothly. Once you delete the cache files, an app may start working normally.

You may also try to delete an app and reinstall it. Usually it resolves the problem of a frozen app.

What to do when your Mac freezes

Typically it’s just an app that hangs, but on rare occasions the Mac may freeze entirely and become completely unresponsive to anything. This is often accompanied by fans that work quite loudly, demonstrating a fully frozen Mac. To solve the problem, you need to shut down your computer and boot it again.

Here’s how to force reboot your Mac:

  1. Hold down the Power button until your Mac shuts down completely. This may take about 5 seconds.
  2. Wait a few seconds and then hit the Power button again to boot the Mac.

As you may presume, this method is not perfect. Any unsaved information may be lost due to the sudden shutdown. However, sometimes it’s the only way to make your computer running.

That’s it. We hope this guide has helped you to force close Mac app that’s not responding. Keep in mind, with regular maintenance, your computer will be at tip-top shape, running at its best. And software like CleanMyMac X can help you keep an eye on your Mac. It can reset and delete apps, free up RAM, clean up the system, take care of the startup programs that slow down your computer, and speed up your Mac with its maintenance scripts. And that’s what will help you avoid problems with frozen apps on your Mac.

Press and hold down the Command (⌘) and Control (Ctrl) keys along with the power button (or the ‌Touch ID‌ / Eject button, depending on the Mac model) until the screen goes blank and the machine restarts.

How do I unfreeze my MacBook pro 2017?

Question: Q: How do you unfreeze the 2017 MacBook pro

  1. Press and hold the power button until you see options, then click Restart or press R.
  2. If the pointer freezes on the screen or your Mac becomes unresponsive, press and hold Control-Command while you press the power button to force a restart.

How do you turn off MacBook Pro when it is frozen?

What to do if your Mac is frozen

  1. Press and hold the Power button on your Mac until the screen goes black and the power light goes off. You may hear a wiring sound and a click.
  2. Leave the Mac for around 30 seconds before pressing the Power button again to switch it back on.

How do I shutdown a frozen MacBook?

How to force an app to quit on your Mac

  1. Simultaneously press these three keys: Option, Command, and Esc (Escape).
  2. Select the app in the Force Quit window, and then click Force Quit.

What should I do if my Mac is frozen?

First, you need to bring your Mac back to life. When it’s unresponsive – either as a result of an app or the computer is struggle to function — you can either click Restart, from the main menu, or press Command-Control-Power (Eject for keyboards and iMacs) to get it to restart.

How do you fix a frozen screen on a Mac?

If a frozen Mac prevents you from clicking the Restart command on the Apple menu, hold down the power button for several seconds or press the Control+Command keys and then press the power button. If all else fails, pull the plug, but remember that powering down without logging out should be used only as a last resort.

How do you fix a frozen Macbook Pro?

Answer: A: Three ways. Click apple logo located at the top left of the menu bar and select force quit. Hold down the option, command, and escape buttons and select force quit.

Why is my Mac screen frozen?

Main reasons a Mac can freeze: Too many apps running. Too many browser tabs open. Not enough hard drive space.

How do I force shutdown my Mac 2020?

To force shut down your Mac, press and hold the power button until the screen goes black. This might take 10 seconds or more; just keep holding the button. After your Mac shuts down, wait a few moments to let it cool off, then briefly press the power button again to restart it.

Is it bad to force shutdown Mac?

2 Answers. A forced shutdown doesn’t damage your hardware nor does it weaken your security. What it could potentially do is corrupt files because you are turning off the computer while they are open/active. However, it won’t repair a file that has been corrupted or the data lost – it simply can’t recreate data.

Is it bad to restart your Mac a lot?

“You don’t necessarily have to restart every time your Mac suggests it, but you should if you can,” says Steingart. Just remember, before you restart, to save all your work and make sure it’s not a time when you urgently need to use your Mac, he says. Certain updates will take your computer a while to complete.

How do I shutdown a Mac that is not responding?

You can force quit any apps that aren’t responding or won’t close. Right-click (or two-finger click) the app’s icon, hold the Options key on your keyboard, then click “Force Quit” and the app should close. You can then try shutting down again.

Is Force Shutdown bad?

Force shutdown is safe, but cutting power source is NOT. If you unplug or get power surge or shutdown your computer but turning a power switch, this can damage power supply and possibly motherboards and other components. EDIT: Force shutdown can also have a impact on your data and corrupted system files.

Does force shutdown damage the laptop?

While your hardware won’t take any damage from a forced shutdown, your data might. Beyond that, it is also possible that the shutdown will cause data corruption in any files that you have open. This can potentially make those files behave incorrectly, or even make them unusable.

How do I turn off an unresponsive computer?

If you’re working with a frozen PC, hit CTRL + ALT + Delete, then click “End Task” to force-quit any or all applications. On a Mac, try one of these shortcuts: To stop a process, click Command + period (.)

How do I force shutdown my computer using the keyboard?

Option 4: The ol’ keyboard combo An oldie but goodie, pressing Alt-F4 brings up a Windows shut-down menu, with the shut-down option already selected by default. (You can click the pull-down menu for other options, like Switch User and Hibernate.) Then just press Enter and you’re done.

How do I get my laptop to unfreeze?

If Ctrl + Alt + Delete doesn’t work, then your computer is truly locked up, and the only way to get it moving again is a hard reset. Press and hold down on the power button until your computer turns off, then press the power button again to boot back up from scratch.

MacBooks, like iPhones, rarely ever get stuck to the point that they’re unusable. A MacBook may freeze but in most cases, it will be usable again in a while. Of course, that’s not always the case. A MacBook can freeze and since it has a battery, you can’t just power it off unless the battery too runs out and that can take hours. What you can do instead is force shut down a MacBook.

Force shut down MacBook

Force shutting down a MacBook is literally the same as force shutting down a PC. It just seems like it won’t work because unlike a PC, the power button on a MacBook looks like any ordinary key but it can force a shut down.

Tap and hold the Power button on your MacBook for five seconds. When your screen goes black, it indicates that the Mac has been shut down. If you tap the key again, it will boot the system.

How to force shut down a mac

The power button isn’t the only way to force a shut down. If your MacBook has an Eject key, you can use the Command+Option+Control+Eject key combo to force a shut down.

It goes without saying that a forced shut down will result in data loss. When you boot back to your desktop, you will see a message informing you that the Mac was forcefully shut down and it will offer to open the apps that you previously had open. macOS will likely be able to re-open all the apps but it won’t save any work unless the app has a built-in auto back-up feature that saves work as you go along.

How to force shut down a mac

A forced shut down is a very temporary fix if your MacBook is freezing too often. These laptops and the OS itself are generally very stable so if your MacBook keeps freezing something is very wrong with.

If you’ve recently dropped your MacBook or spilled something on it, the frequent freezes may be an indication of hardware damage. If you’ve been modifying it via the Terminal and have modified a core system file, it is likely that it is causing the system to freeze. Of course, problematic apps may also be the reason. If you suspect an app is to blame for the constant freezing, start your Mac in safe mode and remove it. The app itself may not be malicious however it may be poorly developed or it may have a bug that causes problems the system is unable to handle.

How to force shut down a mac

Having spent some years coding applications for macOS we’ve created a tool that everybody can use. The all-round problem fixer for Mac.

How to force shut down a mac

So here’s a tip for you: Download CleanMyMac to quickly solve some of the issues mentioned in this article. But to help you do it all by yourself, we’ve gathered our best ideas and solutions below.

Features described in this article refer to the MacPaw site version of CleanMyMac X.

Before we get our hands dirty, here’s a word of warning. If you’re wondering how to reboot a MacBook Pro, bear in mind it’s the last resort when all other methods to unfreeze your Mac had failed. Don’t try it too often, as it may harm your system. No question, your Mac can handle rapid power losses, and your hardware most likely won’t be hurt. What’s at risk, though, is your data because each time you force reboot a Mac, it affects the consistency of the file system. Now that you’ve been warned let’s go.

Symptoms your frozen Mac needs a force restart

  • Applications are not responding
  • The pointer is not responsive
  • Loud fan noise
  • The screen goes black
  • Mac unable to restart

Can you move the cursor? If yes, try this

Before you force restart a Mac, it’s always recommended to first try a software solution.

  • Go to the Apple menu
  • Choose Restart
  • Click Restart in the menu that appears

Two ways to force restart a Mac

The simplest method: hold down the Power button till your Mac shuts down. Press the button again to restart it.

If your Mac hangs for good and the pointer is inactive:

  • Hold down Control-Command while pressing the Power button.

This is an alternative key combination to force restart a Mac. By the way, if you are on an iMac, the Power button is found on the back of your Mac. Voila!

Is Shut Down any different from Restart?

The difference between Shut Down and Restart is quite self-explanatory. When you perform a restart, your Mac will turn on again, loading its previously active apps. As for shut down, your Mac won’t start until you press the Power button again. Interestingly, all new Macs have an automatic reboot feature built-in. So even if you sit and do nothing, your frozen Mac would eventually reboot by itself, though it takes a bit of patience.

How to force shut down a frozen Mac

If you need to force shut down a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, all you need is again to press a Power button on your Mac’s keyboard.

  1. Press and hold the Power button for 2 seconds.
  2. Choose Restart, Sleep, or Shut Down in the menu that appears.

If you don’t want to reload the baggage of your previously opened apps, tick off “Reopen windows when logging back in.” We recommend you deselect this option when your Mac is slow to lighten the weight on your RAM.

How to force shut down a mac

If your Mac won’t shut down:

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. Hold the button until the Mac shuts down.

Needless to say that when you force restart a Mac, all your unsaved projects may be lost. It’s unfair, we know.

Why does my Mac keep freezing?

The obvious explanation is your Mac lacks memory. Or, to put it another way, there are too many active processes running on your Mac. First off, go to Activity Monitor to check your memory usage.

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor
  2. Click the Memory tab.

Now, look into how heavily your Memory is loaded. Quit apps that eat up too much memory for no reason. While this may work as a temporary solution, it doesn’t stop your Mac from freezing up again. You can either force reboot your Mac each time or opt for a radical solution. Below are a few more ideas you can try.

More ways to fix a frozen Mac

Restart your Mac in the Diagnostics mode

Shut down your Mac and reboot while pressing the D key. Within the menu that appears, launch the Apple Diagnostics tool. This will check your Mac’s drive for errors. From then, follow the prompts to finish the diagnostics.

Clean up your Mac

Remove old unused apps, system junk, and pervasive browser extensions. For this purpose, try running the CleanMyMac X application on your Mac.

How to force shut down a mac

It’s quite effective in removing all junk from your Mac and has several helpful utilities, like RAM free up or app uninstaller. Download it for free here.

Reinstall your macOS

This is the most radical of all methods; that’s why it’s so effective.

  • Check out how to clean install macOS Sierra for macOS High Sierra
  • How to clean install macOS Mojave
  • How to clean install macOS Catalina
  • How to clean install macOS Big Sur

Hope this guide has helped you. Before you force shut down this article, feel free to share it using the social buttons below. Cheers!

Freezes, crashes, hangs… they happen, even with the best Mac apps. Here are four ways you can force-quit an app that’s not responding:

  1. Click the Apple menu and choose Force Quit (or press Command-Option-Escape), select the offending app, and click Force Quit.
  2. Option-right-click (or Control-Option-click) the frozen app’s Dock icon and choose Force Quit.
  3. To force-quit the frontmost app immediately, press Command-Shift-Option-Escape.
  4. Open Activity Monitor, select the process in the list, click the X button on the toolbar, and click Force Quit.

If one method doesn’t work, try it a second time, and if that doesn’t work, try another. If nothing works, restart your Mac. Remember that you may lose unsaved changes when force-quitting an app.

How to force shut down a mac

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How to force shut down a mac

Mac users will tell you there are few things more frustrating than the spinning rainbow wheel – also known as the wait cursor, which signifies your computer is struggling to handle its current tasks.

When an application isn’t responding how it normally would, you could wait until your screen unfreezes. Sometimes, though, you don’t know how long that will take. The simplest thing to do when faced with the spinning wheel is to force quit the frozen application.

Force quit is a feature that effectively shuts down the unresponsive application. However, when using the force quit feature it is important to know that if your work isn’t saved, you may lose it when force quitting a frozen application like Microsoft Word or any web browser.

How to force quit on Mac from the Apple menu

  1. First, identify the app that is unresponsive. If you have multiple apps open, the simplest way to indicate the unresponsive app is to look at the cursor. If the cursor looks normal, the app is still responsive. If the cursor resembles the rainbow spinning wheel, the app is unresponsive.
  2. Once you’ve identified the unresponsive app, locate the taskbar at the top of your screen. In the far left, select the Apple logo to access the dropdown menu.
  3. In the dropdown menu, select “Force Quit. ”

How to force shut down a mac

Click on “Force Quit. ” Meira Gebel/Insider

How to force shut down a mac

Force quit the application that is unresponsive. Meira Gebel/Insider

How to force shut down a mac

Select “Force Quit.” Meira Gebel/Insider

How to force quit on Mac with a keyboard shortcut

If you have trouble accessing the Apple icon in the taskbar, use the keyboard shortcut Option + Command + Esc and then follow the steps above.

How to force quit on Mac using Activity Monitor

A Mac’s Activity Monitor is an easy way to locate troublesome applications, see how much energy or CPU power they are using, and force them to quit.

  1. First, launch Activity Monitor. You can do this by using the Spotlight feature (Command + Space) or by going to Finder > Applications > Activity Monitor.
  2. Once Activity Monitor is open, find and select the app you want to force quit.
  3. After you’ve selected the app, select the stop icon (resembling an octagon with an “X” in the middle).

How to force shut down a mac

Click on the “X” icon. Meira Gebel/Insider

How to force shut down a mac

Click on “Force Quit.” Meira Gebel/Insider

What to do if force quit isn’t working on a Mac

The force quit feature is the simplest way to shut down faulty applications, but sometimes you can’t even do that. If force quit isn’t an option and your screen is completely frozen, restart your Mac.