Macbook Pro Not Shutting Down

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Press the Power button on the Mac until the window will pop up and ask whether you want to Restart, Sleep or Shut Down the computer. Beware that if you keep pressing the Power for a long time the MacBook will shut down instead of going to sleep. This is called forced shut down. Not shutting your MacBook Pro down won't affect performance that much. There could be other factors playing a role there. To answer the questions in your title, By default, closing the lid on your MacBook Pro will put it to sleep. The next morning, the machine was at 87% charge when I lifted the lid back up. It did not shut down right away, but about 10 minutes later or so. So I plugged it back in and rebooted, closed the lid again, and unplugged it for another couple of hours. When I opened the lid again, it never shut down again. If your Mac still won’t shut down, the only thing left to do is to figuratively “pull the plug” and force a shutdown. This works on both desktop Macs and MacBooks. To do this, first press and hold the Control and Command keys, then hold the Mac’s power button.

Sometimes your computer might not operate correctly.

Nobody enjoys it when this happens but the reality is, any computer can experience problems – even high-end machines like a MacBook Pro. It could be a small issue that is easy to resolve and caused by user error or the problem could be some sort of mechanical malfunction.

Either way, when you experience a problem with your computer it’s nice to know how to get help.

One alarming issue that can affect your MacBook Pro is when your computer suddenly shuts down when the charging cord is unplugged. This is an infrequent problem but it does occur on this type of computer and if you’ve found this article, it might have happened to you.

Let’s take a look at what might be causing this issue and how to fix the problem and get your computer back to normal again.


  • What to Do if This Problem Happens to You

Symptoms of This Problem

If your MacBook Pro is shutting off when disconnected from its charger, you are most likely frustrated and concerned about what is causing this problem.

Unfortunately, there have been a number of reports of MacBook Pro owners experiencing this same issue and while it is not a common issue, it has happened enough to make it a possibility for any MacBook owner.

This problem occurs after the computer is unplugged from a charging adapter and causes the machine to shut off completely immediately after being removed from the power source. Even if the battery is fully charged, this problem can still occur, making it a confusing and troubling issue if you are experiencing it. Computers affected by this issue seem to only work correctly when connected to a power cord, which limits the functionality of your MacBook.

What makes this problem seem even more strange is that there are usually no signs or symptoms leading up to the computer shutting down unexpectedly.

You would probably think this could be a sign of a bad battery, but many who experience this issue have batteries that are in good condition and operating normally.

What to Do if This Problem Happens to You

The good news about this problem is that it is usually not as big of a deal as it first seems. One of the solutions below should work to get your computer operating normally again and prevent it from shutting off when the power cable is unplugged.

If none of these solutions work, you may have to take your MacBook Pro into an Apple store or other computer repair shop to diagnose and fix the issue.

1. Start With the Small Stuff

If this problem happens to you, start with a quick check on small issues that might be causing your computer to turn off when unplugged. Check on your battery health by holding down the Alt (Option) key and then clicking on the battery symbol from the top menu of your screen. If the condition of your battery says anything other than Normal, your issue might be with your internal battery.

Also, check to make sure that the connection between your computer and charging cable is clean and in good order. Clean any dirt or debris from the connection points as these are magnetic and can collect particles, leading to a poor connection. Inspect your charging adapter for any signs of damage. You might need to get a new cable but do not do so until running through all of the steps listed here.

2. Reset SMC and Cycle Battery

A common cause of this problem is due to leaving your computer plugged in a lot of the time.

This can cause the System Management Controller (SMC) to believe the power level is below a set threshold resulting in it triggering the computer to go into deep sleep mode and shutting off when unplugged.

You can fix this by resetting the SMC and letting the battery go through a few complete charging cycles.

To reset the SMC:

  1. Shutdown your computer if it is not already.
  2. Press the Shift, Control, and Option keys at the same time.
  3. While holding Shift, Control, and Option press the power button.
  4. Hold these four keys for about 10 seconds.
  5. Release the keys.
  6. Power your computer back on.

If you have an older MacBook with a removable battery, remove the battery before running through the SMC reset steps above.

Macbook Pro Not Shutting Down

Next, let your battery run through a few complete battery cycles. A full battery cycle is from full charge to no charge, so let your battery fully charge and then operate it without connecting to power until it dies. Do this 2-3 times after the SMC reset and you should not experience the problem any longer.

3. Perform a PRAM Reset

Another option to try and resolve this issue is to reset the PRAM on your MacBook Pro. Do this by following the steps below:

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Press the power button to turn back on.
  3. Hold down the Option, Command, P, and R keys all at the same time.
  4. Hold down these keys until you hear 2 startup chimes.
  5. Release keys and allow your computer to start up normally.

If this didn’t work, complete the steps again but wait until you hear 3 startup chimes instead of 2.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, one of these steps above helped to fix your problem of what to do when your MacBook Pro shuts down after being unplugged.

I’ve had this happen to an old MacBook I had and the PRAM reset did the trick. If none of these steps worked, you might need to take your computer into a repair shop or get a new charging adapter and/or battery.

Also, run through the resets listed above a few times if the problem isn’t fixed on the first attempt.

Have you ever experienced this issue? What worked to fix the problem?

Since you're reading this article, you may ask 'What to do when my Mac won't shut down' or 'How to turn off my MacBook'. You are not alone. Similar questions have been posted by other users:'Mac is not shutting down on High Sierra/Sierra/El Capitan/Mavericks, how to fix?' This article introduces ways to troubleshoot Mac that won't shut down or reboot issues.

How to Correctly Turn off a Mac

It should be easy to turn off your MacBook Pro/Air, iMac. Here's the way to do it right:

STEP 1 Click on the Apple logo in the top left of your screen.

STEP 2 Select 'Shut Down...'.

STEP 3 Then you will see an alert warning that your Mac will shut down in 1 minute. Click Shut Down again.

Tip: If you want to skip the countdown, press and hold the Command key while choosing Shut Down.

STEP 4 If there are apps running with unsaved changes to your files, you should see a warning suggesting you save what you have been working on.

STEP 5 Once all the activities are closed, your Mac should shut down.

What to Do If Mac Hangs on Shutdown

There are times when everything doesn't go smoothly. If your MacBook or iMac won't shut down properly, read on to turn it off.

1. Wait a moment

If your Mac just isn't turning off, the first thing you should do is to wait. As we have mentioned before, when shutting down macOS attempts to close all of the programs. Therefore, if there are too many programs running on your Mac at the same time, more time is needed to close all of them.

When shutting down, wait to see if there are any warning signs, alerts or anything unusual. If yes, note it down; if not, just leave your Mac alone and make a cup of coffee. Go back and check your Mac in five minutes later.

2. Close all apps

Since macOS can shut down only after all apps are closed, sometimes Mac won't shut down or reboot issues can be caused by unsaved files or frozen/crashing apps.

If caused by unsaved files: Check the Dock to see if there are any bouncing app alerts. If yes and you want to save file, click 'Save' on the alert window for each document.

If caused by frozen/crashing apps: Right-click on the app icon and choose 'Force Quit' to end the app.

3. Force a total shutdown

If nothing is working and your Mac still won't shut down, try a force shutdown. Notice that if your Mac is trying to update, DO NOT force a total shutdown. There are several ways to shut down your mac:

  • Press and hold the power button for at least 10 seconds to shut down your MacBook.

To restart mac:

  • Press the power button (or press Control + Eject) and, when a dialog box appears, click the Restart button.

  • Press Control + Command + Eject (or Control + Command + Power button).

4. Further Fixes

Why Mac won't shut down can be complicated. if the issue repeats, go through the following steps to have it fixed.

Imac Will Not Shut Down

♦ Find out if one particular app is frozen or crashing when you shut down. If yes, update or re-install the app.

Macbook Pro Not Shutting Down

♦ If you haven't updated the apps on your Mac for a long time and you suspect it a software issue, open App Store and click Updates > Update All to update all the apps downloaded from App Store.

♦ Try turning off FileVault in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault.

Macbook Pro Won T Shut Down

♦ To check if there's a matter of disk, use Disk Utility to verify or repair the disk which the macOS system is on.

♦ Reset the SMC. Read more in Full Guide to Reset the PRAM & SMC on Your Mac.

♦ Reinstall macOS. Before you do that, you should backup your mac. Read more details in How to Backup Your Mac with or without Time Machine.

Macbook Pro Shutdown Problems

Recover Files After Force Shutdown or macOS Reinstall

Force shutdown or reinstalling macOS can fix Macbook or iMac that won't shut down, however, some people reported that some of their files are gone after a force shutdown or OS reinstalling. Fortunately, they can recover the missing files with FonePaw Data Recovery.

Step 1. Download the Mac version of FonePaw Data Recovery on your Mac. If you have multiple startup disks, remember to install FonePaw Data Recovery on the disk that doesn't contain missing files.

Step 2. Open the program, click the types of your missing files: photos, documents, videos, etc. And select the disk that had the missing files.

Step 3. Click Scan. A quick scan will begin. If your missing files don't come out after quick scan, click Deep Scan. Then click Recover to get back the lost files.

All the above are the ways to deal with Mac won't shut down issue. Does this article help? Feel free to share your comments below!