Force Mac To Shut Down

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  1. Deep sleep equals shutdown? Basically what I'm trying to achieve is shutting down the Macbook by closing the lid because I find that the Macbook drains a lot of battery even when sleeping. Overnight the battery eats up 20%. I don't want to manually shut it down. @Queen6, hibernate is also equal to shutdown? I'm unfamiliar with the terminology.
  2. Turn your Mac off (you may need to force shut down). Press the power button then immediately press and hold the Shift key (either one). Release the Shift key when you see the login window and log in as usual. When you restart your computer, it will boot back into regular mode.
  1. Force Mac To Shut Down
  2. How To Force Your Mac To Shut Down
  3. Force A Mac To Shut Down
  4. Force Mac Pro To Shut Down
  5. Mac Shutting Down Randomly

On your Mac, choose Apple menu Shut Down. If you don’t want app windows that are open to reopen when your Mac restarts, deselect “Reopen windows when logging back in.” A Mac is completely shut down when the screen is black. Some computers also don’t.

© YouTube/Screenshot/Business Insider If your Mac isn't working right, try force quitting programs. YouTube/Screenshot/Business Insider
  • If you want force an app or program to quit on your Mac, you can use a similar keyboard shortcut to PC's Control+Alt+Delete.
  • Force quitting a program will sacrifice any unsaved changes, so do it with care.
  • In addition to the keyboard shortcut, there are two other ways to force quit a troublesome program.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Sometimes in life, you just have to cut your losses and call it quits. This is certainly the case when your Mac is giving you trouble with a program that's either frozen, or running so slowly that you just can't take it anymore. Rather than sitting there glaring at that rainbow-colored 'spinning wheel of death,' instead just use a force quit override to shut down the program. Then you can restart it and, ideally, get some actual work done.

Just remember that when you force quit a program on Mac, you may lose unsaved work. Sometimes an autosave function will come to the rescue, and you can opt to have websites reopen if you have to quit your browser, but force quitting often means losing some work, so use it only as a last resort.

While PC users have the Control+Alt+Delete shortcut, famously known as the 'three-finger salute,' Mac users have an equally effective way to take the control back from the computer. Here are the three ways to force quit on a Mac.

How to force quit on a Mac using a keyboard shortcut

© Apple/Business Insider Pressing Command + Option + Escape on a Mac is equivalent to pressing Control + Alt + Delete on a PC. Apple/Business Insider

1. Press the 'Command,' 'Option,' and 'Escape' keys. Note that the Option key is also sometimes referred to as 'Alt,' and that the Escape key just reads 'Esc.'

2. The Force Quit window will pop up.

3. Select the application you'd like to close and select 'Force Quit.'

© Business Insider Select the program you want to close. Business Insider

How to force quit on a Mac through the Apple menu

1. Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner of the screen.

2. In the dropdown menu that appears, hit 'Force Quit...'

© Steven John/Business Insider Select 'Force quit...' Steven John/Business Insider

3. The same force quit pop-up menu will appear. Select the offending program and hit 'Force quit.'

How to force quit on a Mac through the Dock

1. Locate the program you want to quit in your Mac Dock.

2. While holding down the 'Option' key, right-click on the program and select 'Force quit.'

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

My friend recently had to forcefully restart her Mac and since she was worried, she asked if forced shutdown or restart could damage a Mac? A forced shutdown or restart does not damage your Mac hardware. What it could potentially do is to corrupt the open files on the hard drive. These files can be anything from an open Page or Word document or files that were being replaced during a system update.

Apple designs computers specifically anticipating unplanned shutdowns and restarts. And now when all new laptops come with solid state hard drives the number of mechanical pieces that could break during sudden power loses got even smaller.

So with hard restarts, the chances that your Mac will be physically hurt are virtually non-existent. The problem with data, however, is still very possible. Let’s dive in what options do you have when the computer gets unresponsive and the challenges associated with each option.

Graceful shutdown

Whenever possible it is always to shut down computers gracefully. There are 3 ways to gracefully shutdown or restart Macs:

  1. From Apple menu
  2. From Terminal app
  3. Scheduled
  4. Hold Power button for 2 seconds

From Apple menu

In order to shut down or restart from Apple menu click on Apple logo in the top left of the screen. This will drop down a list of menu options which include Sleep, Restart, and Shutdown. Click on Shutdown item.

The operating system will pop up a message that your Mac will shut down and a clock counting down from 1 minute. You can cancel the process or click on the Shut Down button to skip the countdown.

If you have any open applications you may see warnings that suggest you should save your data. Once all the apps are closed, your Mac should shut down.

From Terminal app

Start Terminal app from ApplicationsUtilities folder or by using key combination Command and Space and typing Terminal.

In the terminal window type
sudo shutdown -h now

where -h stands for ‘halt’

Hit Enter, type in the password and hit Enter again. The computer will shut down cleanly similar to shutting down from Apple menu and you would not need to wait a minute like with the first option.

If you want to reboot instead of shutting down type following:
sudo shutdown -r now

Scheduled Shutdown

If you need to shut down at some point in the future, you can try to schedule it.
Open System Preferences from Apple menu (by clicking on Apple logo). Open Energy Saver folder. At the bottom right corner click on the Scheduled button. In the popup window check the box next to “Sleep” and schedule sleep, restart or shutdown.

Hold the Power button for 2 seconds

Press and hold the Power button for 2 seconds. MacBook will display a list of options: Restart, Sleep, Cancel or Shutdown. Immediately release the Power button.

Choose the option you need. On Mac laptops, the Power button is usually in the right top corner. The new MacBooks with touch bars have a Touch ID instead in the same place where the Power button is used to be. The Touch ID is used to log in to the computer but it also serves as a Power button when needed.

Note however that if you hold the Power button for less than 2 seconds and release the button the MacBook will go to a sleep mode.

If Mac does not immediately shut down then give it some time. Shutdown process can be a long process because MacOS doing things to make sure that no data is lost or corrupted especially if you have a lot of open applications. So close all open applications and give the computer at least 5 minutes before proceeding with more radical measures.

Forced Shutdown

What if the computer got stuck and it does not shut down? What if the Finder app all your applications disappeared but your Mac still does not stop? What if your computer is not unresponsive and graceful shutdown is not an option? In these cases, you may use a force shutdown as a solution.

There are several ways to force shutdown or restart the Mac:

  1. Press Power button and do not release it until the screen goes black.
  2. Press Power button while pressing control, option, command keys.
  3. Press Power button while pressing control and command keys to restart MacBook.

The last 2 methods are much quicker, and you don’t need to wait for several seconds for Mac to realize that you want to shut it down.

What damages can hard restart/shutdown cause?

Force Mac To Shut Down


First apparent issue is losing your data. If you’ve been working on a document and had to forcefully restart the Mac, then the chances are that the last changes you made to the document will be lost.

How To Force Your Mac To Shut Down

It all depends on kind of application; some applications continuously save the changes in the background and after the restart, they may let you restore the last changes from a backup copy.

But what about the operating system itself? Hard restarts, when done occasionally, are unlikely to damage the file system on Mac because it uses so-called File System Journaling, the technology that helps to reduce the potential for directory corruption due to power outages.

But if you find yourself pushing Power button very often even journaling may at some point fail and result in a corrupted hard drive directory. A corrupted hard drive directory can cause files to get lost or corrupted.

Corrupted files when being saved with new data as a corrupted folder may no longer inaccurately reflect what available disk space. If operating system files get corrupted, then the Mac may have so-called kernel panics – measures that operating system does when in case of major data loss or fatal errors.

What MacOS does after forced shutdown?

Force Mac To Shut Down

When a Mac is started after forced shutdown the MacOS will automatically run a file system check and try to fix the things if it can. As a result, a startup process may take longer than usual because there is a disk check happening at this point. Sometimes you may see messages such as Previous Shutdown Cause followed by a number in the console. The error messages and their descriptions are listed below.

If you still suspect that there could be some problems with the disk you can run a Disk Utility from ApplicationsUtilities folder. Or you can start it by clicking Command and Space and typing Disk Utility.

Click on First Aid button if you want to check the disk for errors. The app will repair the issues if necessary.

Shutting off a computer while it is working is like using a bazooka when chasing a fly: the fly will be killed but the entire room will be blown off as well. So, instead of forceful shutting or restarting a Mac, it may be beneficial to kill the bad application that causes the computer to get unresponsive.

Ways to Force Quit applications

When working with Windows users kill bad apps from Task Manager which can be summoned by clicking 3 magic keys: Ctrl, Alt, Del. This combination, however, will not work in MacOS. Instead, Mac users can force quit the apps. There are 5 different ways to force quit applications:

  1. From Apple Menu
  2. Using Command + Option + Esc combination
  3. From Activity Monitor
  4. From the Dock
  5. Using Terminal app

From Apple Menu

This is a preferred option. In order to close a frozen application from Apple menu click on Apple logo in the top left of the screen. This will drop down a list of menu options from which you select Force Quit. This will open Force Quit Applications windows.

Force A Mac To Shut Down

Select the bad application and click on the Force Quit button. You will see one final warning that you will lose any unsaved changes if quit application.

After the application was killed there will be a confirmation message.

Using Command + Option + Esc combination

By using Command + Option + Esc combination you can get to the same Force Quit window quicker. The process is the same as in the first option.
This method is especially handy if the mouse is not responding.

From Activity Monitor

Start Activity Monitor from ApplicationsUtilities folder in Finder. Or start it by clicking Command and Space (this will open a Spotlight Search window) and typing Activity Monitor.

Find the frozen process (usually with the note “Not Responding”). Select the app and click on the icon in the left corner of Activity Monitor toolbar that looks like a Stop Sign. The Activity Monitor will ask for confirmation to quit the selected application.

From the Dock

When you right-click on an application in the Dock, you see an option to “Quit” if the application is running. When the app becomes frozen the option changes to Force Quit. If not, then you can change Quit to Force Quit using right-click while holding Alt key. Click it to force quit the program.

Using Terminal app

It is possible to kill the application using the terminal app, but first, you need to find out its PID (process identifier).
To find PID type following in Terminal:
ps -ax

This will print a list of processes currently running. Find your application and remember the number on the left.
Now type the following:
kill 305

where 305 is a PID of the application I found with the previous command.

Forcing Mac to quit the application has almost the same downsides as forced shutdown but on a smaller scale. When you close an application the right way, it will clean everything it was doing on the background and prevent to quit without saving the data.

When you force quit on Mac you risk losing your work but this generally has no impact on the operating system. When choosing between force quit and forced shutdown former is an infinitely better option.


Force Mac Pro To Shut Down

List of shutdown causes in macOS

Mac Shutting Down Randomly

5Correct ShutDown. The shutdown was initiated from the menu or command
3Hard shutdown. Check power button
0Power disconnected. Check power supply/battery
-2Previous Shutdown Cause
-3Multiple temperature sensors exceeded the defined limit
-60Bad master directory block (badMDBErr)
-61Watchdog timer detected unresponsive application, shutting down the system
-62Watchdog timer detected unresponsive application, restarting the system
-64Random Kernel Panics with Shutdown Cause
-65unknown. Potentially linked to operating system issue
-71SO-DIMM Memory temperature exceeds limits
-74Battery temperature exceeds limits
-75Communication issue with AC adapter
-78Incorrect current value coming from AC adapter
-79Incorrect current value coming from battery
-86Proximity temperature exceeds limits
-95CPU temperature exceeds limits
-100Power supply temperature exceeds limits
-103Battery cell under voltage detected
-104Battery issue
-108Memory issue
-127PMU forced shutdown