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Leaving your Mac powered on for a long time not only deteriorates the battery and can also damage other components. Such factors can result in data loss. So, it’s best to shut it down from time to time.

However, either due to too many open applications or because of some disk issues, macs tend to freeze before the shutdown process. 

Nevertheless, we have listed various ways that can help you shut down your mac. There is also a separate section comprising some quick and easy methods to prevent any shutdown issues in the future. 

Why is My Mac Not Shutting Down?

As we mentioned above, the most common reason for your mac not being able to shut down is too many applications running in the background. So, including this, here are all the reasons why your mac fails to turn off.

  • Applications, applications, and applications
  • Too many peripherals connected
  • Errors within the disk volume
  • Outdated OS
  • Hardware issues

How to Fix My Mac’s Shut Down Issue?

Before you begin to look for options, first give some time to your computer to end all the tasks and begin the shutdown process. And if that doesn’t work at all, there are a few different approaches you can take to shut down a frozen mac computer. Everything from minor fixes to some reliable workarounds are listed below.

Unplug Connected Peripherals

Peripherals such as an external mouse, headphones, and second screens are sometimes known to interrupt the mac shutdown process. So, the more devices you’ve got connected to the system, the more your computer has to work to deallocate resources.

It’s also important to unpair Bluetooth devices to increase the chances of a proper shutdown. Hence, we advise you to disconnect any such devices from your system before shutting down the computer.

  1. Click on the Apple menu bar. 
  2. Go to System Preferences. 
  3. Select Bluetooth. 
  4. Then, click the ‘x’ symbol beside your Bluetooth device to unpair it from the system.
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Unmount and Eject External Disks

If you have an external hard disk or USBs connected to the system, you need to eject the disk followed by unmounting it. Unmounting a disk requests the macOS to stop reading and scanning it, whereas ejecting the disk completely severs the connection between the OS and the drive.

So, following these steps avoids any possible interruptions that your external disk could cause during the shutdown process. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Press Command + Space to open the Spotlight. 
  2. Type and then go to Disk Utility. 
  3. Select your external disk from the sidebar. 
  4. Then, click on Unmount. 
  5. Now, click the Eject icon beside your disk name. 
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  6. Unplug the drive. 

Force Quit Apps

Your MacBook always terminates any running application before it shuts itself down. However, buggy and unresponsive applications are sometimes known to block the shutdown process entirely. And any applications that refuse to be closed should manually be forced to do so. 

So first, try and close any running application the normal way. That is, open the application and press Command + Q to terminate the process. However, if it doesn’t do much, you have to force close it through the menu bar. For this, 

  1. Click on the Apple menu bar. 
  2. Select Force Quit.
    You’ll now be displayed a list of applications that are open and running. 
  3. Select the buggy application and click on Force Quit. 
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  4. If you receive any prompt confirmations, accept the alert and Force Quit your application. 

First Aid Your Main Volume

Another step you can take if your MacBook is still not turning off is to use Apple’s First Aid feature. This feature checks your disk volumes for any signs of faults and errors that might have prevented the computer from shutting down. It will also try to repair and restore the volume back to normal if any issues are found. 

The First Aid feature is a part of the Disk Utility tool and can be accessed by:

  1. Press Command + Space to open the Spotlight. 
  2. Type and then go to Disk Utility. 
  3. Select your main disk volume from the sidebar. 
  4. Then, click on First Aid. 
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  5. Click Run when prompted. 

Update macOS

To prevent your MacBook from behaving abnormally, you should update your operating system whenever possible. The developers release updates with newer compatibility patches and security features.

So, it goes without saying that when you’re having trouble shutting down your computer, you should make sure that the OS is up to date. 

To do this, 

  1. Click on the Apple menu bar. 
  2. Go to About This Mac.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. Your MacBook will now automatically start to look if new updates are available. 
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  5. Click Upgrade Now to upgrade your macOS build. 

Shut Down Mac via the Keyboard

If you still cannot shut down your computer normally, then you can try to turn it off using the keyboard shortcut keys. Although the core concept is similar to the normal way, this method can bypass the shutdown glitch on MacBooks and iMacs. 

Press and hold the Command + Option + Control + Power button combination to get a pop-up box asking if you want to turn off your computer. Accept it and see if the shutdown process begins. 

If you’re interested in a detailed description of this topic, we have a guide dedicated to the process of shutting down your macbook using the keyboard.

Shutdown via the Terminal

Apple provides you with another way to shut down your computer safely. That is, you can do so directly via the terminal as well. There are some specific commands you have to enter to request your computer to shut down now. So, for this, 

  1. Press Command + Space to open the Spotlight.
  2. Type and then go to Terminal. 
  3. Enter this code:
    shutdown -h now
  4. Enter password when prompted.

Logout and Shutdown

This method is more of a workaround than an actual fix. That is, you can first log out of your account and then proceed to shut down your computer from the login screen.

Logging out of your account suspends all the applications running on your computer. It also alerts you if any documents need to be saved before you log out of the system.

There is a very good chance that this step solves your problems as it did with various users in a number of different forums. So, for this, 

  1. Click on the Apple menu bar. 
  2. Select Log Out that’s on the bottom of the dropdown box. 
  3. Click Log Out when prompted. 
  4. Then, once you reach the login screen, click on Shut Down.
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  5. If any confirmation box pops up, accept to turn off your computer.

Force Shutdown

Force shutting down your MacBook could have drastic effects on your computer. For starters, a force shutdown doesn’t close the running applications. This means, your applications and system files are not saved and bear the risk of data corruption.

However, sometimes, the only way to deal with a frozen mac is to forcefully shut it down. 

You can press the power button and hold it for about 10 seconds to see the screen go black. At this point, you have successfully turned off your computer.

Prevent Further Shutdown Issues

So if you’re finally able to shut down your MacBook, we recommend you follow certain computing habits to avoid this issue in the future. Keep in mind that all these methods should be performed during the system start-up. 

Run the Apple Diagnostics

Apple has provided its user with the Apple Diagnostic tool that checks for hardware issues on the computer. If you’re familiar with the Windows OS, Apple Diagnostics is similar to the Windows troubleshooter. 

However, before you dive in to diagnose the system, startup your MacBook on a stable work surface, like a table, and in a cool environment. Here are the steps to access Apple Diagnostics: 

For Apple Silicon Macs 

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Unplug all external peripherals.
  3. Press and hold the power key until you have the startup options. 
  4. Then, hit Command + D.
  5. Now, your system automatically starts scanning for hardware issues. 
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For Intel Macs

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Unplug all external peripherals.
  3. Hold the D button while you turn on your mac until you see language options. 
  4. Choose a language you’re comfortable with.
  5. Now, your system automatically starts scanning for hardware issues.

Reset SMC

The SMC is responsible for shutting down your computer when you request the system to do so. It’s also responsible for turning on your computer when you press the power button. So, if you have ongoing power issues in your mac, resetting the SMC can help you normally shut down and start up your computer. So,

For Macs With T2 Chip

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Unplug the power cable.
  3. Hold left Control button + left Option button + right Shift key for about 7 seconds. 
  4. Then, hold the power button for further 10 seconds while holding the aforementioned keys. 
  5. Turn on your computer. 

For Macs With M1 Chip

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Close its lid for 30 seconds.
  3. Turn on your computer. 

For Macs Without T2/M1 Chip

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Unplug the power cable.
  3. Hold left Control button + left Option button + left Shift key + power button for around 10 seconds.
  4. Turn on your computer. 

For Macs With Removable Battery

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Unplug the power cable.
  3. Remove the battery.
  4. Hold the power button for 5-10 seconds. 
  5. Reinsert the battery.
  6. Turn on your computer. 

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