Force Restart Mac 3 Ways to Restart or Force Shut Down Any Frozen Mac

Force Restart Mac 3 Ways to Restart or Force Shut Down Any Frozen Mac

Force Restart Mac: 3 Ways to Restart or Force Shut Down Any Frozen Mac

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We will walk you through how to forcibly restart or shut down your Mac in the event that it has completely frozen up on you. This will allow you to get it operating again.

In spite of the fact that Apple produces some of the most dependable computers available, there is still a chance that your Mac will become unresponsive at some point. When anything like this occurs, applications stop responding, the pointer morphs into a spinning beach ball, and the fans in your computer start to spin at a very fast pace.

We’ll walk you through the process of using the “force shutdown” command to fix your frozen Mac. A forcible shutdown is different from a regular shutdown or restarts in that it turns off your Mac without allowing it to save any files or applications before doing so. You may also come across the term “hard reset,” “force restart,” or “force reboot” while discussing this process.

Before You Put Your Mac Through a Hard Shutdown

The Macintosh window should be closed.

You should only resort to using the force shutdown feature on your Mac if absolutely nothing else will work. It is possible for you to lose whatever unsaved progress you have made in open documents, and it may even cause files in your operating system to become corrupted.

It is an especially poor idea to force shut down your Mac while it is updating its software because doing so may result in your Mac having only half of its operating system installed.

Open the Apple menu on your Mac and select Shut Down from the menu bar. If this is not feasible, try to perform a standard shutdown by selecting it. This is a safer option, but you may notice that it causes your Mac to shut down more slowly than usual if it needs to first finish updating or close down applications.

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Before you try to force your Mac to shut down, you should follow these procedures to minimize the possibility of losing data in the event that it won’t shut down normally.


If you want to make sure that your computer never freezes again, try utilizing CleanMyMac X. Scan and get rid of trash files with ease, check for and eliminate malware, free up RAM, and optimize your Mac in the most effective methods imaginable.

Save Open Files

When you are working on a significant project on your Mac, it is most likely to become unresponsive. If this is the case, you don’t want to risk losing any work that hasn’t been saved by forcing your Mac to shut down before it’s ready.

You should make an effort to save each of the files that you currently have open by either hitting Cmd + S or selecting File > Save from the menu bar.

Save feature available in Apple Pages

Take a picture of your work-in-progress on your phone in case your Mac becomes unresponsive and you are unable to save anything. This will allow you to recover your work at a later time. Even though this is less than ideal, it is preferable to the alternative of losing all of your hard work permanently.

Delete data from the external storage

If you force your Mac to shut down, it will not have the opportunity to remove its external discs in a secure manner. If you eject these devices improperly, you run the risk of causing permanent damage to the data on them, regardless of whether you use them for Time Machine backups or external storage.

You can safely eject your external storage by going to your Desktop and dragging the drive to the Trash icon in the Dock. This will eject the drive. Alternatively, you can launch Finder and select the Eject button that is located in the sidebar next to your drive.

External Disks in Finder on Mac

Stop Using All Apps

If your Mac won’t shut down regularly, the problem is typically caused by one of your applications that has become unresponsive or frozen and won’t quit. You can help the situation if you manually close each app in turn. There is a possibility that carrying out these steps will unfreeze your Mac, in which case you won’t have to forcibly force it to shut down or restart.

To exit the currently active app, either press Cmd + Q or click the program’s name in the menu bar and select the “Quit” option. You can determine which other apps are still active by using the Cmd + Tab shortcut to cycle through your open applications.

Cmd + Tab panel displaying currently running applications

If you have any apps that won’t close, you can access the Force Quit window by pressing the Option, Command, and Escape keys simultaneously. Select the application that is not responding in this window, and then click the Force Quit button to close it.

After every app has been closed, you should make an attempt to normally power down your Mac by utilizing the Apple menu. If you are still unable to accomplish that, or if you are unable to close every application, then continue reading to learn how to force your Mac to shut down or restart.

The Best Ways to Forcibly Restart or Shut Down Your Mac

If your Mac has fully frozen over and is not responding to any input, the only way to solve it is to either force it to shut down or force it to restart. Whether your Mac is powered by an Apple silicon chip or an Intel chip, the procedures for forcibly shutting down or restarting it are precisely the same. This is true whether you have a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, or any other form of Mac.

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Here are the three distinct approaches to taking care of it:

1. Keep your finger on the power button.

The power button can be found on every Mac. The function key is typically located in the top-right corner of the keyboard or the Touch Bar on a laptop, such as a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. It’s possible that the Touch ID sensor is blank, or it could have a power icon or an eject symbol printed on it.

Apple MacBook’s on/off button

You can access the power button on an iMac by looking behind the screen in the bottom-left corner of the display. If you turn your iMac around so that the back is facing you, the port is in the bottom-right corner. It’s a tiny button on the back of a Mac mini if you’re using one.

button for turning on the iMac

You can force your Mac to shut down by pressing and holding the power button until the display turns black. This could take up to ten seconds; simply maintain pressure on the button in the meanwhile. After your Mac has completed its shutdown process, wait a few moments to allow it to cool down, and then press and hold the power button for a split second to begin the restart process.

Hold down the power button for as long as it takes for the Apple logo to display on the screen if the screen was already black when you began.

2. Make Use of a Shortcut on the Keyboard

There are two keyboard shortcuts that can be used to force your Mac to shut down. The first shortcut makes an attempt to securely close apps before forcing your Mac to go down, while the second shortcut shuts down your Mac without first shutting anything. As a result of this, it is recommended that the first shortcut be attempted first.

Pressing Control, Option, Cmd, and Power together will cause your Mac to shut down in a secure manner. If you continue to hold down the power button, your Mac will shut down in an unnatural manner; instead, use one of the other buttons to give it a brief tap.

Apple MacBook keyboard has a shortcut to shut off

This keyboard shortcut might not work if your Mac is unable to securely quit all of its applications; in that case, you will need to manually shut down your computer instead. To accomplish this, press Control + Cmd + Power without the Option key. This time, in order to prevent your Mac from powering off, you will need to hold down the keys for a few seconds.

Apple MacBook keyboard with a shortcut for the force shut down

3. Deplete the Power Source

Even if your Mac is completely frozen, you should be able to use one of the two ways described above to force it to shut down. However, there are some extremely unusual circumstances in which neither of these will operate.

In that scenario, the next best way is to disconnect the power supply or completely discharge the battery. Once more, it is essential to be aware that turning off your Mac in this manner could result in irreparable damage. You run the risk of losing any data that has not been saved, or even worse, you could corrupt files on your hard disc.

Only in the event of an absolute emergency should you disconnect the power supply from your Mac.

Unplug the power cable from your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro, and wait for the battery to run out of juice before replacing the battery. Depending on the condition of your battery, you may have to wait the entire night for this to take effect. However, at some point in time, your Mac will turn off. Once it does, make sure it is fully charged before turning it back on.

Charger for a MacBook

Instead of taking the battery out of the top of older models of the MacBook, you may take it out of the bottom of the machine. Your MacBook will power down much more quickly when you use this method.

If you own an iMac, a Mac mini, or a Mac Pro, all you need to do to disconnect the power cord is locate it on the back of the machine. After your Mac has had some time to cool down, you should wait a few moments before reconnecting the power line and turning it back on.


After being forced to either shut down or restart, your frozen Mac should generally begin the boot process once more most of the time. The applications that were giving you trouble should now function normally, and you should be able to resume working on the significant projects you were previously engaged in.

Having said that, if there was an underlying issue that caused your Mac to freeze in the first place, it is possible that it will refuse to boot up again. Problems could arise from a variety of sources, such as outmoded software or defective hard drives. You are in luck because a good portion of these issues is amenable to self-correction.

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