What to Do if Your Mac Won't Shut Down
Mac Tips

What to Do if Your Mac Won't Shut Down

First, let’s check what are the most common reasons affecting Mac shutdown. Before you logout and switch off your Mac, it needs to run a set of complicated processes in order to stop performing tasks and finish the applications activity. The more programs you’ve opened on Mac, the more time it requires to close them.


Here’s our first tip for a quick and smooth Mac shutdown: let it finish all the processes properly. In case you’re in a hurry and need to leave your Mac immediately, you’d better put your computer into a Sleep Mode. Next, shut down your Mac once you come back home so that you have enough time to close all the applications. Sometimes it takes up to five minutes before your Mac turns off completely. Don’t waste your time staring at the display, make some coffee instead.

We recommend you do the following for a proper macOS shutdown.

  • Make sure you’ve closed all your apps and programs before selecting the Shut Down option.
  • Check the Dock for bouncing app alerts and click Save from the Alert Window for each document. Selecting Cancel stops the shutdown process, in this case you need to save all the files opened and try shutting down again.

If your Mac is still frozen, don’t give up and try these steps instead.

  • Press and hold the power button for a couple of seconds. This will call the dialog box asking if you want your Mac to sleep, restart or shut down.
  • Force your Mac to restart by pressing the Control and power button simultaneously. If your Mac has an Eject key instead of Contol, use the Eject + Power combination.

These simple steps should definitely help to handle a frozen Mac. However, when a hard case happens, you can force your Mac to switch off completely.

  • Press and hold the power button until the screen goes black and the power light goes off. You may hear a whirring sound and a click.
  • Leave your Mac for around 30 seconds before pressing the Power button again.

Now your Mac will definitely shut down. However, note that you can refer to the last method only in case of emergency. If you often force quit your Mac, it seriously affects hardware and leads to system crashes. It’s the same about the software – macOS works smoother if you shut down your Mac properly.


When Mac shutdown issues happen on a regular basis, you’d better find the root of the problem. Take your Mac to the Apple Store or ask a certified technician. With Geek on Demand always available on your Mac you can easily find and prevent most of Mac issues. The Geek On Demand option is one of those MacKeeper offers. Just install the MacKeeper app and enjoy having your 24/7 personal technician.


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