Mac Shuts Down During Boot

If your Mac gets stuck on a blank screen or loading screen, you can manually shut down and restart it to try turning it on again. A restart could possibly solve some software bugs and help you successfully boot up your Mac. To perform a hard shutdown, just press and hold the power button on your Mac for about 6 seconds until it powers down. Turn off the computer by choosing Shut Down from the Apple menu, or by holding the power button until the computer turns off. Unplug all cables from the computer, including the power cord. Wait 10 seconds. Plug in the power cord while simultaneously pressing and holding the power button on the back of the computer.

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Mac or MacBook stuck when shutting down or restarting? How to fix?

You might finish work on your Mac, attempt to shut it down, only to find that it is stuck on a desktop picture without any icons. Or perhaps the MacBook freezes on a black screen, but you can still hear sounds from the device (HDD, etc.) Furthermore, you might attempt to unplug the power adapter and remove the battery, but still notice that the computer has not completely shut down. If you encounter these issues when attempting to restart or shut down a Mac computer, this article may be useful.

Unfortunately, many people encounter these problems, which commonly arise following an operating system update. Windows users who have recently switched to a Mac computer will probably not be too surprised, since this is a common issue on Windows platforms. Fortunately, Macs have built-in tools to solve these problems. The first step when troubleshooting these issues is to force the Mac to shut down and reset System Management Controller (SMC) and Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory (NVRAM). Follow this guide to resolve Mac restart and shut down issues.

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What is SMC and what is its function?

System Management Controller (SMC) is a low-level Mac hardware component that controls computer power consumption, battery charging and functionality, thermal and fan activity, GPU and video mode functionality/video output, sleep/wake modes and led lightning management, and other hardware functionality. Resetting the SMC might solve issues related to these devices.

Reset SMC of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Retina, or MacBook Pro with an integrated battery

  • First, shut down the device and connect the power adapter to the Mac.
  • Hold down the Shift, Control and Option keys while clicking the power button.
  • Finally, release all keys simultaneously - the light on the MagSafe adapter might change color to signify that SMC has been reset.
  • After a successful reset, reboot the computer in the usual way.

To reset SMC on a non-portable device, follow these instructions:

  • Shut down the Mac.
  • Disconnect the power cord.
  • Hold down the Mac power button for five seconds.
  • Release the button, reattach the power cable, and boot the Mac in the usual way.

For more information and detailed instructions read this guide.

Reset NVRAM

NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) is small area of Mac memory that stores certain settings in a location accessible by the macOS. The memory area stores information such as speaker volume, screen resolution, startup disk selection, and any recent kernel panic reports. To reset the NVRAM, shutdown the Mac. Turn it on, and after the loading chime, hold down the Option, Command, P and R buttons together. Keep holding this combination for at least 20 seconds. The display should appear as if the computer is restarting. If you hear the start up chime again, release the buttons.

What is a kernel panic?

Sometimes shutdown problems are caused by recent 'kernel panic' events - resetting the NVRAM should solve these issues. Kernel panics often result in various system crashes involving restarts and shutdowns. A kernel panic is essentially a system error when the Mac operating system is unable to quickly or easily recover. These errors are commonly the result of actions when the Mac attempts to write or access memory incorrectly. They are often caused by corrupted software, software bugs, or malware. Sometimes, they are caused by damaged or incompatible hardware, including faulty external devices connected to the Mac.

Launch Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test

Apple Diagnostics and Apple Hardware Test are built-in tools that can help to diagnose problems related to the Mac's internal hardware, including parts such as system memory, logic board, and wireless components. Furthermore, these tools are accessible even if the MacBook (or other Apple computer) is unable to boot properly. Follow the steps below to run the diagnostic tool.

Before you start troubleshooting, bear in mind that none of these tools are able to inspect external components, such as external storage or devices, not manufactured by Apple. Also, these particular tools examine hardware only and do not check operating system status.

  • For Macs released after 2013, owners should look for Apple Diagnostics, which is included in their computers.
  • For computers released in 2012 or earlier and running OX X version 10.8.4 or later, use Apple Hardware Test, which is also included with the system.
  • If you have a Mac that was released in 2012 or earlier and running OS X version 10.8.3 or earlier, use the system software disc or USB flash drive that came with the Mac.

How to run Apple Diagnostics

Disconnect all external devices except the keyboard, mouse or trackpad and display. When all unnecessary components are disconnected, restart the Mac, and then press and hold down the D key while the computer restarts. Apple Diagnostics launches automatically - follow the on-screen instructions to proceed and a list with the problem detected will be displayed.

How to run Apple Hardware Test

Unplug all external components except the keyboard, mouse or trackpad and display. When all external devices are disconnected, restart the Mac, press and hold down the D key while the computers restarts. When Apple Hardware Test launches, a window with a list of languages will appear. Choose your preferred language and press Return or click the right arrow. If Apple Hardware Test did not launched, try to run it from the Internet. Reconnect the Apple computer to the network through Wireless or Ethernet and then restart. After the start up chime plays, hold down the Option and D keys. When Apple Hardware Test prompts, select your preferred language and follow the on-screen instructions. If the tool detects problems, they will be displayed on screen. Take a note of these details for contacting Apple Support or a certified service provider.

Try booting in a Safe Mode

A Safe Boot deletes system caches, rebuilds the Mac boot database on the hard drive - this frequently solves various issues. Furthermore, Safe Mode is probably the best way to check if the issue is global or limited to a particular user folder. Shut down and restart issues might be related to third-party software that is loading automatically. Safe Mode checks the system for errors and attempts to solve detected errors.

To enter Safe Mode, first shut down the Mac using whichever method works in your situation. When the computer has completely shut down, wait for approximately 10 seconds and press the power button again. When you hear the start up chime, immediately press and hold the Shift key, and release it when you see the Apple logo and progress indicator.

Bear in mind that safe boot takes much longer than usual, since the computer loads and also performs a system check. If the Mac works correctly, click the Apple logo and select restart.

Use terminal to clear your Mac

Experienced users often use Terminal to solve various issues - in this case, it also contains various options to try. First, open Terminal by using spotlight - hold command and press the spacebar, and type Terminal. Alternatively, go to the utilities folder through finder. Once Terminal has launched, type the following commands one-by-one and press Return after each command.

  • rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/*
  • rm -rf ~/Library/Saved Application State/*
  • sudo rm -rf /Library/Caches/*
  • sudo rm -rf /System/Library/Caches/*
  • atsutil databases -removeUser
  • sudo atsutil databases -remove
  • sudo atsutil server -shutdown
  • sudo atsutil server -ping
  • sudo rm -rf /var/folders/*

When you have tried all commands, restart the Mac.

Alternative methods to solve your shut down and restarting issues:

  • We recommend Combo Cleaner to clean Mac cache files and malware.
  • Remove all printers by going to System Preferences and selecting Printers & Scanners, and then add the required devices again.
  • Before shut down or restart, force quit any running apps by pressing Command, Option and Esc together.
  • Relaunch Finder before shut down from the force quit menu.
  • Ensure, the Trash is empty.
  • Try to shut down the mac via Terminal, type sudo shutdown -r now and press Return.
  • Enter Recovery Mode by holding Command and R while booting, go to disk Utility and run Repair disk, or First Aid to the hard drive.

Video Showing how to solve issue Mac stuck while shutting down or restarting:

These key combinations apply only to Mac computers with an Intel processor, not Mac computers with Apple silicon.

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. Or use Option-Command-R or Shift-Option-Command-R to start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet. macOS Recovery installs different versions of macOS, depending on the key combination you use while starting up. If your Mac is using a firmware password, you're prompted to enter the password.
  • Option (⌥) or Alt: Start up to Startup Manager, which allows you to choose other available startup disks or volumes. If your Mac is using a firmware password, you're prompted to enter the password.
  • Option-Command-P-R:Reset NVRAM or PRAM. If your Mac is using a firmware password, it ignores this key combination or starts up from macOS Recovery.
  • Shift (⇧): Start up in safe mode. Disabled when using a firmware password.
  • D: Start up to the Apple Diagnostics utility. Or use Option-Dto start up to this utility over the Internet. Disabled when using a firmware password.
  • N: Start up from a NetBoot server, if your Mac supports network startup volumes. To use the default boot image on the server, hold down Option-N instead. Disabled when using a firmware password.
  • Command-S: Start up in single-user mode. Disabled in macOS Mojave or later, or when using a firmware password.
  • T: Start up in target disk mode. Disabled when using a firmware password.
  • Command-V: Start up in verbose mode. Disabled when using a firmware password.
  • Eject (⏏) or F12 or mouse button or trackpad button: Eject removable media, such as an optical disc. Disabled when using a firmware password.

If a key combination doesn't work

Down

If a key combination doesn't work at startup, one of these solutions might help:

  • Press and hold all keys in the combination together, not one at a time.
  • Shut down your Mac. Then press the power button to turn on your Mac. Then press and hold the keys as your Mac starts up.
  • Wait a few seconds before pressing the keys, to give your Mac more time to recognize the keyboard as it starts up. Some keyboards have a light that flashes briefly at startup, indicating that the keyboard is recognized and ready for use.
  • If you're using a wireless keyboard, plug it into your Mac, if possible. Or use your built-in keyboard or a wired keyboard. If you're using a keyboard made for a PC, such as a keyboard with a Windows logo, try a keyboard made for Mac.
  • If you're using Boot Camp to start up from Microsoft Windows, set Startup Disk preferences to start up from macOS instead. Then shut down or restart and try again.

Remember that some key combinations are disabled when your Mac is using a firmware password.

Mac Shuts Down During Bootable

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Mac shuts down during boot

Mac Shuts Down During Boots

  • Keyboard shortcuts that you can use after your Mac has started up.