How Do You Force Restart A MacBook?

MacBook laptops sometimes run into processing errors that freeze normal functionality. In some other scenarios, some errors might cause the MacBook to malfunction. In these situations, force restarting the MacBook is a go-to solution to the problem. 

If Mac wont restart, force shutting down your MacBook is a viable way to stop all processes. This force stop will end both running programs and processes before restart. Troubleshooting the reason for your MacBook not restarting is important to apply a lasting solution to the problem.

Things to Do Before Force Restarting a MacBook:

Force shutting down and restarting your MacBook should be the last resort because a force restart can result in unwanted results with the operating system and external hard drives. In particular, forcing a restart during a software update can leave your Mac with half-installed software. 

Alternative to forcing a shutdown, there are steps to take to silently shut down your Mac. These methods of shutting down your laptop will save you the stress of dealing with any other issue that might spring up due to force shut down.

A safer way of shutting down properly is by going to the Apple menu and selecting the Shut Downoption. Although this might take a bit longer in some cases if there is a pending update. Shutting down this way reduces the risk of losing important updates and data.

In addition, safe shutting down allows you to save all documents you are working on before shutting down. Force restarting might lead to losing all the work you have been doing on the unsaved document. By simply saving and closing the document, you are sure that your work is safe.

A force shut down might also damage any external hard drive that is connected to your Mac. Safely ejecting the external hard drive reduces any chance of corrupting the files it contains. In a situation where there is file transfer between your Mac and the hard drive, the files might become corrupted in their destination. 

How to Force Restart A MacBook?

If your MacBook is frozen and you are unable to perform any of the above safe shutting down steps, forcing a restart becomes your last option. Below are some recommendations on how to force restart your MacBook.

Power Button:

Every laptop model has a power button useful for powering on or powering off the laptop. In a situation where your MacBook is suddenly frozen, one button that can help you get past it is your power button. 

To use the power button to initiate a force shut down, click and hold on to it until the screen goes blank. This should take about 10 seconds thereabout. For 30 seconds to a minute, let your MacBook laptop cool off a bit to end all processes and programs before initiating a restart. 

Keyboard Shortcut:

To force restart your MacBook, the keyboard shortcut option comes in handy in some scenarios. This option provides two methods to force restart. One of which closes the app first before shutdown. The other forces the Mac to shut down without closing any program or process. In both options, the first option is the best of the pair.

To initiate the first option, click Control, Option, Command’, and Powerkey combination. Make sure you do not click and hold down the power button. This initiates the force shutdown process for the MacBook. In a rare situation, this option might end up not shutting down the MacBook due to some application obstruction. In these rare cases, the second option is the go-to option.

To force shutdown your MacBook using the second option, press Control, Command’, and Powerkey combination. This time around, you should hold down the keys for a little longer before your MacBook shuts down.

Battery Drain:

In some rare cases that might affect the system management controller, the two steps above might not be applicable to force a restart. The system management controller is responsible for managing power, keyboard, sensors, battery, LED, and other hardware functionalities. 

If you are in this rare scenario, the best option is to disconnect your Mac from the power supply or drain the battery. Depending on the battery health of your Mac, it might take a long period before your battery is exhausted and your Mac goes off itself. Eventually, it goes off and you can recharge and restart your MacBook.

These are all the possible ways to force restart your MacBook. Try out and see which method works for you. If all the methods mentioned above don’t work and your MacBook won’t turn on after trying these methods, please refer to the article about solutions to MacBook not turning on to get help. You may also like:

Nirmal Sarkar
Nirmal Sarkar

Nirmal Sarkar is a Biotechnologist from the city of Joy, Kolkata. He is the founder of this blog and covers a wide range of topics from Gadgets to Software to Latest Offers. You can get in touch with him via

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