How to Reboot a Frozen Mac

We have all been in a situation where our Mac refused to function how it was expected to. It could have been either caused by a single application freeze or your MacOS becoming unresponsive causing your Mac to misbehave. The reasons can be many, but the end result is the same – frustration and panic. After all, no one wants to lose their precious files and data stored in the Mac. In this article, we have listed down all the common scenarios that you can face if your Mac gets frozen. You can jump to the section that best matches your scenario and reboot your frozen Mac to retrieve all your files and save your work.

Common Symptoms of Frozen Mac

All of us want our computers and Macs to run fast, but despite that, sometimes it keeps freezing because of varied reasons and becomes unresponsive or the software gets stuck in a loop. Some of the common symptoms to know that your Mac has frozen include:

How to Force Quit a Frozen App

When your Mac does not seem to be working, the primary task for you should be to ascertain whether your Mac system is frozen or there is an error with just one app. You can do that by trying to use your mouse and keyboard. If they are working fine, then chances are, that your Mac is not frozen but only an app is frozen. If you see the waiting cursor or the ‘spinning beach ball’ there is a chance only one of the apps is unresponsive.

Here are some ways to force quit a frozen app:

How to Fix a Frozen Mac

In the above part, we explained the steps to be undertaken in case only one app is frozen. But what if your entire Mac system is frozen and not just one app? In such a case, you can follow the procedure mentioned below:

  1. Click on the Apple icon and choose ‘Restart’.
  2. If you are unable to use your mouse and cannot click on the Apple icon, restart your Mac by pressing Command-Control-Eject.
  3. Unfortunately, if your keyboard is also not responding, the only option left for you is to press the Power button until your Mac shuts down. After some time, start your Mac again. When you restart your Mac now you may find some of your files that were previously opened are now damaged or corrupted. In such a case, you can copy its contents on a new file and delete the corrupted one. Try to recover as much as possible.

How to Force Shut Down a Frozen Mac

Before we tell you the procedure to force shut down a frozen Mac it is important to know that this should be strictly done as a last resort and should not be attempted on a routine basis. This is because, as you force shut down your frozen Mac it affects the consistency of the file system even though your Mac is built to handle such incidences. Now let’s begin.

To force shut down your frozen Mac, the first thing you need to do is press the Power button on your Mac's keyboard. Hold it for 2 seconds and then choose to shut down, sleep or restart your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air from the menu that appears on the screen.

If you do not wish to reopen the windows that were previously opened on your Mac, then deselect ‘Reopen windows when logging back in’. This is especially recommended if your Mac is running slow so that it doesn’t make the RAM slower.

shut down a frozen Mac

Even now if your Mac does not shut down, then you can press and hold the Power button for about 6 seconds. Your Mac will now shut down. The flipside to doing this is that you will not be able to save the previously opened apps and data on your Mac.

How to Reboot a Frozen Mac with Bootable Media

You can download and install the user-friendly Recoverit Mac data recovery to create bootable media to reboot your frozen Mac and easily recover data from your crashed system. Recoverit data recovery is a reliable and convenient to use by a novice as well with its step by step procedures which are easy to follow.

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Alternate Ways to Fix a Frozen Mac

The first option to fix your frozen Mac is to try rebooting it. But force rebooting your frozen Mac each time is not good for the system. So it is recommended that you try these alternative ways before that to fix your frozen Mac.

  1. Restart your Mac in Diagnostics mode – Reboot your Mac while pressing D key. When you do that, a dialogue box will appear on your screen and will automatically launch the Apple Diagnostics tool. This tool will check your Mac for any errors in the drives. After the process is completed, you can follow the prompts and finish the diagnostics.
  2. Clean up your Mac – Try running CleanMyMac app on your Mac to eliminate any unused or old apps, system junks and other extensions that can slow down your Mac. This app is also effective in freeing up your RAM and uninstalling apps that are not needed.
  3. Reinstall your MacOS – Reinstall your MacOS by downloading the MacOS High Sierra Installer and creating a bootable drive.
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