5 Ways to Force Shut Down Mac If It Is Frozen/Unresponsive

Last updated: Jan 3, 2024
Summary: This post introduces 5 ways to help you force shut down your Mac if it stops responding. 10 tips to help you fix Mac won’t shut down are also included.

You can click Apple > Shut Down to turn off your Mac normally. However, if you can’t shut down your Mac using the normal method or your Mac computer is completely unresponsive, you may want to force shut down it. This post introduces 5 ways to let you easily force shut down Mac or MacBook Pro/Air.

force shut down Mac

1. Force Shut Down Mac with Power Button

The easiest way to force close your Mac is to use the Power button. You can press and hold the Power button on your Mac or MacBook. After about 10 seconds, your Mac will completely shut down and turns to a black screen. After that, if you want, you can press the Power button again to restart your Mac.

2. How to Force Shut Down Mac with Keyboard

If you want to turn off your Mac if it freezes, you can press the Command + Option + Control + Power keyboard shortcut. Hold these keys for about 10 seconds until your Mac is powered off completely.

3. Force Turn Off Mac with Terminal

If you can still open apps on your Mac, you can use the Terminal app to force shut down your Mac. You can click Spotlight Search to search and open the Terminal app. Then you can type the command sudo shutdown -h now and press Enter to shut down your Mac immediately.

If you want to set a shutdown timer to turn off your Mac, you can use time in this command. For instance, you can type sudo shutdown -h +60 and press Enter. Your Mac will shut down in an hour.

4. Disconnect the Power Cable to Force Close Mac

If the above two ways don’t work, you can unplug the power cord from the back of your Mac desktop computer and your Mac will be shut down.

5. Remove the Battery to Force Shut Down Mac

If your MacBook has a removable battery and none of the above ways work to shut down it, you may choose to remove its battery. Wait for a while and reinsert the battery, and press the Power button to turn on your MacBook.

Before you conduct a force shutdown on your Mac, you should first try to save any currently opened files, quit currently running apps, and eject external devices. You should not often force shut down your Mac computer and it should be used as a last resort when it becomes completely unresponsive. It's recommended to try to restart Mac first if it is frozen. Still, you should save your work regularly and better make a backup to prevent data loss.

10 Other Tips to Fix Mac Won’t Shut Down

If you can’t shut down your Mac computer, below are some other tips to help you fix Mac won’t shut down issue.

Tip 1. Close all open apps and files before shutting down your Mac.

Tip 2. If the problem is caused by a particular app, you can update or uninstall and reinstall the app.

Tip 3. Unplug any connected external devices on your Mac.

Tip 4. Update your Mac to the latest version.

Tip 5. Repair the disk with Disk Utility if your Mac startup disk has some problems.

Tip 6. Scan and remove any malware or virus on your Mac if your Mac won’t shut down.

Tip 7. Start your Mac in Safe Mode to troubleshoot the problems on your Mac.

Tip 8. Run Apple Diagnostics to detect and fix Mac hardware issues.

Tip 9. Back up your Mac and try to reinstall macOS.

Tip 10. Contact Apple Support for help if you still can’t shut down your Mac.

Make Your Mac Run Faster with BuhoCleaner

If your Mac runs slow and runs out of space, you can use BuhoCleaner to release more free space for your Mac.

BuhoCleaner is a professional Mac cleaner program that helps you clean up Mac space and boost your Mac’s speed.

You can use this application to scan and remove junk files on your Mac with one click. It also lets you completely uninstall unwanted apps on your Mac. You can also use it to find and delete large files and duplicate files on your Mac. To boost the startup speed for your Mac, you can use the Startup Items feature that lets you manage startup items on your Mac. More professional Mac cleanup features are included in this software.

Download and install BuhoCleaner on your Mac computer and try it now.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide


How to force shut down Mac? This post offers 5 ways with detailed explanations. Still, 10 tips to help you fix Mac won’t shut down are also provided for your reference. A Mac cleaner app is provided to help you speed up your Mac and free up disk space. Hope it helps.


Cassie has been writing about technology for her entire career life - over 10 years. She enjoys diving into how Apple products work and then breaking it down in a way that anyone can understand.