What to Do When Your MacBook Wont Shut down

Macs are still the same as other computers. They sometimes won’t boot up, and they sometimes won’t turn off. If your MacBook refuses to power down, here is how to shut it down, permanently solve the problem.

Powering off your Mac is just a simple click. Hover the cursor to the Apple logo bar at the top left of your screen, and select “Shut Down” and choose in again in the box. If you feel it annoying, just press the Options button while clicking on the menu to avoid confirmation box on the screen.

You now need to wait for the shutdown process. Even when you check the box “Reopen windows when logging back in” you still need for your Mac to close running apps and services before it shuts down.

However, in case your Mac won’t shut down, it’s time to perform a few solutions.

Check Software That Prevents Mac from Shutting down

Sometimes software can prevent your MacBook from powering off properly. You can see a popup message saying that “Application blocked shut down”. In this case, you should close all the running apps on your Mac by right-clicking on the icons in the Dock and select “Quit.”

You can force close any apps that won’t close or are not responding. Simply right-click on the app’s icon, then hold down the Options key and choose “Force Quit” to close the app. Now, then try to shut them down again.

If it does not work, there is a chance that the background process has been crashed, so it causes the shutdown issue. All you need is to open Activity Monitor by pressing Command + Spacebar keys and searching for it. Hover to the CPU tab. Descend the order of the “% CPU” column to check whether they are using large CPU amount. Just click on them to highlight them, and choose the “X” icon at the top left to close the process.

Unplug Peripheral Devices

Peripheral accessories are also the main cause that prevents your MacBook from shutting down correctly. So, you‘d better unplug all the attached peripherals and try to shut it down again.

You can disconnect all external drives by right-clicking on them and then select “Eject” option or drag the volume drive into the Trash can. If you are not able to get them to eject, then there is an issue occurring. You might see a popup with an option: “Force Eject…” that you should try.

Alternatively, you can force eject peripherals through Terminal commands (replace “DISK” with the name of your drive). Just enter the following commands:

diskutil unmountDisk force /Volumes/disk

To check the list of attached drives on your Mac, run the following command:

diskutil list

Force Restart Your Mac

If your MacBook won’t shut down, another task you should try to force restart your Mac. To do so, just press and hold the Control + Command keys at once then hit the Power button. If your Mac doesn’t have the Power button, then you need to hold down the Control + Command + Eject buttons (or Touch ID button). Keep holding them four about 10 seconds until your Mac’s screen goes black. Wait for about 1minute before booting your Mac up again.

A force restart can fix several problems, which prevent your Mac from shutting down properly. If the issue happens more frequently, then you should get to the source by following solutions mentioned below.

Update Your Mac to The Latest macOS Version

If the problem is caused by the software, you need to take steps towards addressing it. If an app is the main reason that stops the shutdown procedure, you should check for an available update of that software to fix the issue. After that, restart your Mac without running that problematic software.

MacOS Mojave update

You should also keep your MacBook up-to-date to avoid unexpected issues. To check for a software update, simply navigate to System Preferences > Software Update. From there, you can turn on the automatic update option by choosing “Advanced…” then ticking on the relevant boxes.

Boot Your Mac into Safe Mode

Booting your Mac into the Safe Mode can help you get rid of many problems occurring on your device. When entering the mode, your Mactonish hard drive will be scanned for any issues and the detected ones will be addressed. All the system caches and other things will also be removed after entering the Safe Mode. To boot your MacBook into Safe Mode, just do the following steps:

  • Try to force shut down your Mac
  • Press the Power button and then hold down the Shift key
  • Release it when the login window shows up and you simply sign it as usual.
  • After you restart your Mac, it will automatically return to the normal state.


System Management Controller (SMC) takes responsibility for a few functions on Mac devices, including power management, battery charging system. In some cases, the SMC is the cause of power issues, so you should reset the SMC if you are encountering the shutdown problem. Read on this post to know how to reset SMC as well as PRAM/NVRAM on your Mac.

If none of the mentioned solutions helped you in fixing shutdown problem, you should format the hard drive and then reinstall MacOS X. Before proceeding, you should first create a backup using Time Machine to save important files. If possible, avoid using the third-party software to back up your data.

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