Macos Force Restart

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If your Mac computer suddenly becomes frozen, or begins to act slow and sluggish, restarting your Mac can help clear its memory and process items at a normal speed upon bootup. To use any of these key combinations, press and hold the keys immediately after pressing the power button to turn on your Mac, or after your Mac begins to restart. Keep holding until the described behavior occurs. Command (⌘)-R: Start up from the built-in macOS Recovery system.

Some System Updates for macOS require the device to restart to finish the update process. This article covers deploying macOS System Updates to a group of Macs through Addigy Policies. If you'd like to deploy updates to individual machines, check out our article GoLive - System Updates.

When deploying System Updates through your Addigy Policies, you have a few options for how your devices should handle these restarts:


Install ONLY updates that do not require a restart.

This option opts out of deploying updates that require a restart. This is designed to be as low-touch as possible. Updates that require a restart will be completely skipped for this policy. Because updates that require restarts are skipped, end-users in the policy will not be impacted at all by updates. We recommend this option for people new to Addigy and hesitant about managing updates for their devices. If you'd like to install updates that require restarts but want to restart them manually, then we recommend installing the update via GoLive.

Restart immediately after update without prompting the user.

This option is the most forceful option available. It guarantees that the device will install the updates as quickly as possible. The user will not be prompted before the update or before the restart. This option works well with our Deployment Schedule option to only deploy updates on specific days and during specific hours. We recommend not using this option unless you are sure no users will be at the devices when the updates go out.

Prompt the user to restart. If declined, continue prompting after X hours.

This option prompts the end-user with an Apple-like badge notification in the top-right of their screen. If the user accepts the restart, then the update is downloaded and installed. The badge notification will change to display the progress to the user and warn them when the restart is about to happen. This option is the most user-friendly, but updates can be postponed indefinitely by users. This option will never be forcefully installed even if no user is logged into the Mac.

Prompt the user to restart. If declined, continue prompting after X hours. Force a restart after X attempts.

Just like the previous option, this prompts the end-user with an Apple-like badge notification. If the user accepts the restart, then the update is downloaded and installed. The badge notification will change to display the progress to the user and warn them when the restart is about to happen. Additionally, the install and restart will be forced after a specified number of attempts. This will be indicated in the notification to the user and will not have the option to postpone. We recommend this option for organizations that want to give some choice to their users, but need security updates installed in a timely matter for compliance purposes.

For example, setting the update for force after 9 attempts will give the user nine opportunities to cancel the update. The 10th prompt will be mandatory.

If you have an Addigy account and have additional questions, you can create a ticket by emailing [email protected]

Alternatively, you can submit a support request within Addigy.

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.

Macos Force Restart

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.

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

Reboot Mac Command Line

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.

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.

Macos Force Restart Windows 7

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

Macos Force Restart Windows 10

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