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.
- In Apple macOS the computer can be shut down by choosing 'Shut Down' from the Apple Menu or by pressing the power key to bring up the power management dialog box and selecting button 'Shut down'. An administrator may also use the Unix shutdown command as well.
- Sometimes you just need to reboot or shut down right away-and we mean right away, with no waiting. Thankfully, whether your Mac is frozen and non-responsive or you just want to shut down and go.
- You can shut down your Mac if you won’t use it for an extended period of time or even perform a forced shutdown, which forces all running programs to shut down immediately. You have three ways to shut down your Mac: Choose the Apple key→Shut Down. A dialog box appears, asking whether you’re sure you.
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.
$ sudo shutdown -s +30. Shutdown the machine in 60 minutes: $ sudo shutdown -h +60. Cancel any of the above: $ sudo killall shutdown “Do all men kill the things they do not love?” The Merchant of Venice. Related macOS commands: kill - Stop a process from running. Login - log into the computer. Osascript - shutdown/restart via AppleScript.
- When to Shut Down Your MacBook
- How to Shutdown Your MacBook (3 Ways)
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.
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.
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?
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.
Whenever possible it is always to shut down computers gracefully. There are 3 ways to gracefully shutdown or restart Macs:
- From Apple menu
- From Terminal app
- 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
Shutdown Mac After 1 Hour
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.
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:
- Press Power button and do not release it until the screen goes black.
- Press Power button while pressing control, option, command keys.
- 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?
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.
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?
Shutdown Mac Keyboard Shortcut
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:
- From Apple Menu
- Using Command + Option + Esc combination
- From Activity Monitor
- From the Dock
- 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.
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:
This will print a list of processes currently running. Find your application and remember the number on the left.
Now type the following:
where 305 is a PID of the application I found with the previous command.
Shutdown Mac Keyboard
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.
Shutdown Mac Terminal
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.
List of shutdown causes in macOS
|5||Correct ShutDown. The shutdown was initiated from the menu or command|
|3||Hard shutdown. Check power button|
|0||Power disconnected. Check power supply/battery|
|-2||Previous Shutdown Cause|
|-3||Multiple temperature sensors exceeded the defined limit|
|-60||Bad master directory block (badMDBErr)|
|-61||Watchdog timer detected unresponsive application, shutting down the system|
|-62||Watchdog timer detected unresponsive application, restarting the system|
|-64||Random Kernel Panics with Shutdown Cause|
|-65||unknown. Potentially linked to operating system issue|
|-71||SO-DIMM Memory temperature exceeds limits|
|-74||Battery temperature exceeds limits|
|-75||Communication issue with AC adapter|
|-78||Incorrect current value coming from AC adapter|
|-79||Incorrect current value coming from battery|
|-86||Proximity temperature exceeds limits|
|-95||CPU temperature exceeds limits|
|-100||Power supply temperature exceeds limits|
|-103||Battery cell under voltage detected|
|-127||PMU forced shutdown|