Log out, sleep, restart, or shut down your Mac
You can log out or put your Mac to sleep if you plan to use it later. At any time, you can restart or shut down your Mac.
- On your Mac, choose Apple menu Log Out. If you don’t want the app windows you currently have open to reopen when you log back in, deselect “Reopen windows when logging back in.”
If your Mac is set up for multiple users, other users can log in after you log out.
On your Mac, do any of the following:
- Choose Apple menu Sleep.
- Press and hold the power button until you see the restart, sleep, or shut down dialog, then click Sleep, or press S (or use the Touch Bar).
- To put a portable Mac to sleep, just close the display.
To wake your Mac, press the Space bar, click the mouse or trackpad, or open the display.
For security, you can set an option to require a password after waking your Mac. You may be able to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch or use Touch ID instead of entering your password.
On your Mac, do any of the following:
- Choose Apple menu Restart.
- Press and hold the power button until you see options, then click Restart or press R (or use the Touch Bar).
- If the pointer freezes on the screen or your Mac becomes unresponsive, press and hold Control-Command while you press the power button to force a restart.
Important: If you force a restart, you may lose unsaved changes in open documents.
If you don’t want the app windows you currently have open to reopen when you restart your Mac and sign in, deselect “Reopen windows when logging back in.”
On your Mac, do any of the following:
- Choose Apple menu Shut Down.If you don’t want the app windows you currently have open to reopen when you restart your Mac and sign in, deselect “Reopen windows when logging back in.”
- Press and hold the power button until you see the restart, sleep, or shut down dialog, then click Shut Down, or press Return. If you don’t want the app windows you currently have open to reopen when you restart your Mac and sign in, deselect “Reopen windows when logging back in.”
- If your Mac won’t shut down, press and hold the power button for 6 seconds to force a shutdown.
Important: If you force a shutdown, you may lose unsaved changes in open documents.
A Mac is completely shut down when there is a black screen; some computers also don’t show an active power light or have any fan or drive noise.
Always shut down your Mac before opening the case to install additional memory or other devices inside the computer. You may also need to shut down before connecting or unplugging certain peripheral devices. If you are unsure, refer to the documentation that came with the device.
You don’t have to shut down your Mac when connecting or disconnecting cables, such as USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt, telephone, microphone, headphone, or Ethernet.
Important: If you have a portable Mac, wait for it to shut down completely before closing the display. If you close the display while the Mac is shutting down, it may not shut down properly and may start up more slowly the next time you turn it on.
How To Force Restart A MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro
Force restarting a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro is generally considered a last resort, but if the worst happens and your machine freezes up, it’s the quickest way of getting things running again.
Before taking this extreme option though, it’s worth making sure that you’ve exhausted all potential software solutions.
- If it’s just an application that’s frozen rather than the operating system, hold down the Option (⌥) key then right-click the offending app’s icon in the Dock and select Force Quit .
- If the OS is frozen but the mouse cursor still responds, click the Apple () symbol in the upper left corner of the screen and select Restart. Otherwise, try holding down the Control (Ctrl) key and pressing the power button. If the system shutdown dialog appears, select Restart from the available options.
On MacBooks with physical function (F1–F12) keys, the power button is the key in the upper right corner of the keyboard (if it’s an older Mac with an optical drive, this is also the Eject button).
Touch ID button on a 2018 MacBook Air*
On a 2018 MacBook Air, the power button is the Touch ID button in the top-right corner of the keyboard, and on a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, it’s the Touch ID surface on the rightmost side of the Touch Bar.
How to Force Restart Your Mac
- Press and hold down the Command (⌘) and Control (Ctrl) keys along with the power button (or the Touch ID / Eject button, depending on the Mac model) until the screen goes blank and the machine restarts.
If your MacBook repeatedly freezes and you’re unsure what’s causing the problem, consider restarting your Mac in Apple Diagnostics mode to check if it’s a hardware issue.
How to restart your Mac computer in 4 different ways, including when it’s frozen
You would think that in this day and age, there would be a more advanced way of fixing a device’s technical issues than the old “turn it off and turn it on again” technique, but for so much hardware, restarting is still the best solution to many issues.
In the restart process, a Mac closes all programs, allowing itself to start fresh when back up and running, and it installs any awaiting updates, theoretically meaning the system will be more optimized and running better than before.
Whether you know there are updates waiting or you just know there’s something off about the way your Mac is running, knowing how to restart a Mac is critical knowledge. Here are three ways to restart and one to shut down.
How to restart a Mac computer in 4 ways
Restarting through the menu bar
1. Click the Apple icon in the top left hand corner of the screen.
2. In the dropdown menu that appears, hit “Restart…”
3. The computer will shut down and come back on a few moments later.
Restarting with a keyboard command
1. Simultaneously hit the “control” key and the eject button, which is in the top row of the keypad and has an upward facing arrow atop a thin line.
2. Select “Restart” in the popup window.
Click “Restart” in the window that appears.
Force restarting with a keyboard command
1. Press the “control,” the “command” and the eject keys at the same time.
2. Beware, this will immediately restart your computer and you may lose any files you’re working with.
Restarting from a manual shutdown
If your computer is not responding to any of these restart methods, then you need to fully shut it down.
To force a manual shutdown, simply hold down the power button (the silver circle at the top corner of the keypad) for about six seconds. The computer will shut down and be turned off completely. Wait a short while to turn it back on.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How do I force restart my iMac?
- Press “Control,” “Command” and “Esc” at the same time. If an application is frozen you may not need to reboot. …
- Press and hold the power button for about five to seven seconds. The computer should shut down. …
- Press “Control” and “Command” while you press the power button.
2. What is PRAM reset?
You can reset or “zap” the PRAM on a Mac by pressing and holding the Command, Option, P, and R keys right as you turn the computer on. Yes, there are four keys you need to hold down at the same time. Once you hear the startup chime a second time, the PRAM has been reset and you can release the keys.
3. What is SMC?
SMC stands for System Management Controller, a critical low-level component on Mac hardware. Much like the name sounds, the SMC controls and managements system hardware for power consumption, battery charging and battery function, thermal activity and fan activity, LED lighting for keyboards and displays, GPU functionality with video mode changes and video output, sleep and wake, and other core hardware functionality on a Mac.
4. How to reset SMC?
Resetting SMC is different for non-portable Macs, but it’s still easy enough and the problems it addresses are the same. On any desktop Mac, here is how you reset the System Management Controller:
- Shut down your Mac
- Disconnect the power cord
- Press and hold the Mac’s power button for 5 seconds
- Release the button
- Reattach the power cables and boot the Mac as usual
5. Is it safe to reset SMC?
There is a very slight risk. In 99,9999% of all times, if the computer are working perfectly and has no hardware issues the computer till work 100% properly after SMC reset. However there has been cases where the SMC reset fries the logic board, although, those cases had shown other hardware symptoms.
The SMC is responsible for these and other low-level functions:
- Responding to presses of the power button
- Responding to the display lid opening and closing on portable Macs
- Battery management
- Thermal management
- The SMS (Sudden Motion Sensor)
- Ambient light sensing
- Keyboard backlighting
- Status indicator light (SIL) management
- Battery status indicator lights
- Selecting an external (instead of internal) video source for some iMac displays