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How to restart your mac

If your Mac desktop or Mac laptop is acting sluggish or programs are failing to run, you need to know how to restart your Mac computer. Restarting or rebooting your Mac essentially clears your computer’s memory and starts it up fresh. When you restart your computer, your Mac closes all running programs and offers to save any files you’re working on. After you choose to save any files, your Mac will finally boot up again.

How to restart your mac

To restart a Mac computer, you have three choices:

  • Press the power button (or press Control+Eject) and, when a dialog box appears, click the Restart button.
  • Choose the Apple key and then click Restart.
  • Press Control+Command+Eject (or Control+Command+Power button).

Pressing the Control+Command+Eject/Power button is the most reliable way to restart a Mac because it doesn’t rely on the Mac OS X operating system.

Restarting a Mac computer isn’t the same as turning the computer on and off, which completely resets it. If you really want to make sure that your computer starts up correctly, turn it off, wait a few seconds, and then turn it on again. If you’re in a hurry, try restarting your Mac, and if that doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll have to turn it off and on again.

If your Mac freezes, restarting might not work. If your Mac is generally acting weird, restarting isn’t your only option. Macs are known not to need a lot of maintenance or troubleshooting, but if restarting (or rebooting) doesn’t work, consider some other basic troubleshooting options for your Mac.

If your Mac is acting a bit unresponsive, running slowly, programs aren’t running properly, or is displaying any other sort of abnormal behavior, sometimes all it needs is a reboot. Here are a few different ways to do that.

Restart Your Mac Using the Apple Menu

The quickest (and easiest) way to restart your Mac is by using the power options from the Apple menu on the desktop. First, select the “Apple” icon at the top-left corner of the computer’s interface.

In the menu that appears, select the “Restart” button.

How to restart your mac

Your Mac will now restart. Give your computer a minute to come back up and most of your lag or small issues should (hopefully) be fixed.

Restart Your Mac from Terminal

If you’re a bit more technical, you can restart your Apple computer using the Terminal. Go ahead and open the Terminal. You can do this by pressing the Command + Space keys simultaneously to open the Spotlight Search, typing “Terminal” in the search bar, and then selecting the “Terminal” app from the results.

How to restart your mac

Now you’re ready to reboot your Mac. Keep in mind that you’ll need to use the “sudo” command here. Otherwise, you’ll be greeted by the error message shown below.

How to restart your mac

The sudo (superuser do) command gives you superuser security privileges.

To restart your Mac, enter the following command:

Sudo shutdown -r

Replace with the specific time you’d like to reboot your Mac. If you want to do it immediately, type now . If you want it to reboot in an hour, type +60 .

Press Enter and then type your Mac’s password when prompted.

How to restart your mac

Your Mac will now restart at the specified time.

Force Restart Your Mac

If your cursor is frozen and your Mac won’t respond, you can do a force restart. Keep in mind that if you force a restart, you will likely lose any unsaved work in documents you’re working on.

To force a restart, press and hold the Control + Command + Power keys simultaneously until your computer’s screen goes blank. Your Mac will reboot after several seconds.

Alternatively, if you use an iMac or other Mac tower with a physical Power button, you can long-press the button until your display goes black.

How to restart your mac

If your Mac is getting sluggish or otherwise behaving strangely, restarting can often help you clear up its ailments. Restarting may also be required in other circumstances to install new software or other updates. Thankfully, it’s quite simple!

Here are a number of different ways to restart your Mac, and how to do it quickly!

How to restart your Mac

    Click on the  menu button in the upper left corner of your screen.

Click Restart. .

How to restart your mac

  • Click the Restart button on the pop-up menu to confirm.
  • After doing so, the pop-up window begins a countdown from 60 seconds, so if you select Restart and walk away, the computer will complete its task. You can also click the Restart button immediately to end the countdown and reboot the machine. This timer also doubles as a type of safety net: if you selected Restart accidentally, the Cancel button is there to bail you out.

    How to reopen applications automatically after rebooting

    If you need to reboot your Mac but want to preserve your apps and windows, OS X gives you that option, too.

    1. Click on the  menu button in the upper left corner of your screen.
    2. Click Restart. .

    Check the Reopen all windows when logging back in box.

    How to restart your mac

  • Click the Restart button on the pop-up menu to confirm.
  • This option can be very handy if you need to restart in the middle of a big project, or you want to keep your windows and tabs from your web browsing sessions; if you’d prefer to simply start with a clean slate, however, uncheck the box.

    How to restart your Mac if another user is logged in

    If you attempt to restart your computer and there are other users logged in, your Mac will ask for their usernames and passwords before it can reboot.

    1. Click on the  menu button in the upper left corner of your screen.
    2. Click Restart. .

    Have the other user(s) enter their username and password.

    How to restart your mac

  • Click the Restart button on the pop-up menu to confirm.
  • Other options when restarting your Mac

    If you’re troubleshooting your Mac, you may want a more specific Restart process than OS X performs by default. Here are some of the most common restart options for fixing errors or otherwise cleaning up your Mac. To use them, when you restart normally, you’ll also want to hold down one of the following key commands:

    • Shift-Up Arrow: Restart in Safe Mode, which checks the disk and then loads without extensions, startup apps, and other non-essentials.
    • Option: Restart into Startup Manager, which lets you choose which drive you want to boot from, should you have multiple drives available.
    • C: Restart and boot from an optical or USB drive.
    • D: Restart into Apple Hardware Test (pre-June 2013 Macs) or Apple Diagnostics (post-June 2013 Macs) mode, which can help determine any problems that might exist on your system.
    • Option-D: Restart into the online versions of Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics mode
    • N: Restart from a compatible NetBoot server.
    • Option-N: Restart from a NetBoot server using the default image.
    • Command-R: Restart into OS X Recovery utility, which lets you re-install, repair, or restore your Mac.
    • Command-Option-R: Restart into the online OS X Recovery utility.
    • Command-Option-R-P: Restart and reset NVRAM, which can help clear up speaker, screen resolution, or startup disk problems.
    • Command-S: Restart in single-user mode for troubleshooting or development work.
    • T: Restart in target disk mode, which lets you mount one Mac as a drive for another.
    • X: Restart from an OS X startup volume.
    • Command-V: Restart into verbose mode for troubleshooting or development work.

    How to force your Mac to restart

    If your Mac’s frozen, stuttering, or otherwise won’t let you reboot when you need to, you can forcibly shut it down and restart. With a force restart, you’ll lose any data that hasn’t been manually or automatically saved.

    1. Hold down the power button for 5 seconds until your Mac shuts off.
    2. Press the power button to turn your computer back on.

    Any other questions about restarting?

    Let us know in the comments.

    How to restart your mac

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    I tried to download high Sierra on my MacBook Pro. It could not be installed. The path/system/installation packages OSinstall.mpkg appears to be missing or damaged. Quit the installer to restart your company. How do I quit the installer? I click on the restart button and it just comes back to the same screen.

    VIN,MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2010), iOS 10.1.1

    Posted on Jan 4, 2018 6:24 AM

    I ended up calling Apple for technical assistance. The thing that worked was shutting down and restarting while holding down the space bar. Once the apple logo appeared I let go and waited. The screen then came up and I went to utilities which opened a window showing a number of options the bottom one was Disk First Aid. I ten went through that to repair the hard drive on the computer — first the physical drive then the drive as named on my usual desktop. This took quite a while, but it did resolve the issue and returned me to the way things were before I tried to do the install. Apple tech support was very good and patient while I did this and was reached during their normal open hours without cost.

    Posted on Jan 10, 2018 4:26 AM

    Helpful answers

    • Helpful answers
    • All replies

    I had the same issue on my MacBook Pro (13”, Mid 2012).

    What worked for me, was starting up in Safe mode by holding down the shift key.

    In Safe mode, I was able to open the App Store and install the update. While everything worked a bit slower in Safe mode, it did complete the download, installed the update and restarted in normal mode.

    Feb 25, 2018 2:03 AM

    There’s more to the conversation

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    I have experienced this same problem. According to the info on macOS High Sierra my MacBook Pro mid to late 2010 should be compatible. I can’t get into my computer to use it. I am locked in a loop with the message “macOS could not be installed on your computer The path /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg appears to be missing or damaged. Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.” This is followed by a Restart button.

    Quitting the Installer just puts me back in the loop with no way to access my Time Machine backup disk or my previous OSX version.

    Jan 8, 2018 4:39 AM

    I am having the same problem, all the same pop ups. Has anyone gotten this resolved? A quick reply would be great.

    Jan 9, 2018 7:09 PM

    I ended up calling Apple for technical assistance. The thing that worked was shutting down and restarting while holding down the space bar. Once the apple logo appeared I let go and waited. The screen then came up and I went to utilities which opened a window showing a number of options the bottom one was Disk First Aid. I ten went through that to repair the hard drive on the computer — first the physical drive then the drive as named on my usual desktop. This took quite a while, but it did resolve the issue and returned me to the way things were before I tried to do the install. Apple tech support was very good and patient while I did this and was reached during their normal open hours without cost.

    Jan 10, 2018 4:26 AM

    I had this issue as well and then was able to go to the start up disk in the menu bar which came up accidentally when I was moving the mouse around. This is a MACpro 2015 laptop. We need to upgrade our MACmini because the tax program requires High Sierra. But is this an issue with High Sierra. Very disconcerting.

    Jan 13, 2018 3:13 PM

    Thanks for the response. The apple tech got me through it. Did you retry to install High Sierra on your computer?

    Jan 14, 2018 12:36 PM

    Thanks for the response. The apple tech got me through it. Did you retry to install High Sierra on your computer?

    Jan 14, 2018 12:38 PM

    I only got the message after I turned on the computer. If I get it again I will contact apple. Supposedly I have High Sierra when I look at About This Mac and I have had a couple messages asking if I want to learn more about HS. Just concerned if I turn it off again.

    Jan 14, 2018 2:31 PM

    Restart while holding down the space bar did nothing for me. I had to hold down Command+R to get to Disk First Aid

    Feb 8, 2018 7:25 PM

    I had the same issue on my MacBook Pro (13”, Mid 2012).

    What worked for me, was starting up in Safe mode by holding down the shift key.

    In Safe mode, I was able to open the App Store and install the update. While everything worked a bit slower in Safe mode, it did complete the download, installed the update and restarted in normal mode.

    Feb 25, 2018 2:03 AM

    I was having the same problem with the same MacBook and I had an Apple tech helping me but nothing she tried worked, she told me to take it to a store to get someone to work on it. She even tried to completely wipe my computer but the erase process wouldn’t work because it could never unmount the disk.

    So I decided to try some of the replies and the one that worked for me was holding the space bar down during startup. It let me back in to my Mac finally but did not update my software. I particularly don’t want to try to upgrade to High Sierra again if it’s going to do that. I’d like to know if the space bar during boot worked for anyone else and if trying to upgrade again was successful. I would hate to try to do it again and get really locked out this time.

    Mar 19, 2018 12:35 AM

    Same problem. Somehow after googling and trying all the hints which were not working I ended up to choose HD to be rebooting (normal) disk. I think that it was in safe mode under Utilities, at least that was the view I could see that there was installation package looping – eject option didn’t work though.

    Mar 25, 2018 8:46 PM

    Hold down space bar didn’t work for me either. Try your way and run the “First aid” but nothing is wrong according to it.

    Mar 30, 2018 10:23 AM

    After trying hold down “space bar” ( not working for me) “command +R” methods, run first aid didn’t fix proble for me, I try the Safe Mode method, it works for me. Thanks!

    How to restart your mac

    Stuck in the middle of some significant issues on your Mac and left with no possible way to troubleshoot? And wondering how the experts fix your MacBook and relive them back to the normal? Well, you are on the right page. Recovery Mode was launched in the year 2010 with the release of OS X 10.7 Lion to let users play geeky when their Mac needs it most. Let’s walk through this step-by-step guide to start your Mac in recovery mode.

    What is Mac Recovery Mode?

    In layman’s language, it is a built-in recovery system for your Mac. The feature operates through various utilities from a particular disk partition that is set apart during macOS installation. The tool can be of immense help in accomplishing numerous tasks. Let’s have a look at them;

    NOTE: There are times when the function fails to work. Under such scenarios, you can use Internet Recovery Mode.

    • Erase your computer before passing it over to someone. To delete your data and remove Apple ID.
    • Completely erase your disk.
    • Restore the older macOS version.
    • Fix a startup failure issue.
    • Scan and repair disk.
    • Set up Mac to boot from an external drive.
    • Fixing Network Connectivity Error.

    How to Boot a Mac in Recovery Mode?

    1. Restart your Mac.
    2. Press and hold Command (⌘) + R.
    3. Release the keys once you see the Apple logo, spinning globe, or another startup screen.
    4. You should be asked to enter your Mac password.
    5. Once entered, you’ll be on the recovery mode screen that should look like this!How to restart your mac

    If you couldn’t boot Recovery Mode or the Apple logo didn’t appear, make sure you press and hold the keys in combination together when your Mac restarts. The press and release of the keys have to be in a proper manner. If still, you couldn’t use it, shut down your Mac, switch it on, and try again by holding down the same keys at the moment the screen awakes.

    When your Mac finally boots loads recovery, there are four major tools on your screen.

    • Restore From Time Machine Backup: If you’ve Time Machine backup available, you can restore your Mac using this feature.
    • Reinstall macOS: This one can help you to download and reinstall macOS as per the key combination you use.
    • Get Help Online: Using this mode, you can browse the web in Safari and get help online. There are built-in Apple Support links you can access to resolve your error. However, a point to be noted here is you can not use plug-ins and extensions in the recovery mode.
    • Disk Utility: This option can help you to repair or completely erase your disk and another compatible storage device.

    Apart from these major tools, there are additional options available in the menu bar. In the Utilities Menu, you can use Startup Security Utility, Network Utility, and Terminal.

    Does Recovery Mode Delete Everything on a Mac?

    Loading recovery mode doesn’t delete anything from your Mac unless you step ahead to reinstall the macOS or use Disk Utility without taking a backup. Otherwise, you can comfortably boot your Mac without worrying about your data loss while stuck with a major technical issue.

    How to Exit Recovery Mode

    Before moving forward with one of the macOS recovery tools, make sure you have a basic understanding of each tool. Also, it’s necessary to have your Mac data backed up, if you’re proceeding with reinstallation.

    If you don’t know much about these macOS recovery tools and don’t want to proceed without backing up your data, it’s safe to exit.

    1. Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner.
    2. Choose Restart or Shutdown to go back to the desktop or switch it off accordingly.

    You can also choose a different Startup Disk option if you want to switch to another disk from the menu.

    How to Open Terminal on Mac in Recovery Mode

    A terminal can be run using the Recovery mode.

    1. Run your mac in recovery mode as above.
    2. Click on Utilities in the top menu bar.
    3. Click Terminal.How to restart your mac

    What to Do If Recovery Mode Doesn’t Work on Mac?

    Due to some reason, you may not able to boot the macOS recovery mode. However, finding the exact reason can be tricky, you can consider these workarounds and get it quickly fixed.

    Signing Off

    Thanks to macOS X 10.7 that introduced recovery mode and made the disk repair and macOS reinstallation process easier. As you get to know in the tutorial, starting your Mac in Recovery Mode isn’t harmful to your data in any way. It is made for providing technical support when it’s needed.

    You may want to read these:

    В любой момент можно выйти из системы, а также перевести компьютер Mac в режим сна, вывести его из режима сна, перезагрузить или выключить.

    Выйти

    На Mac выберите меню «Apple»

    Если Вы не хотите, чтобы окна открытых приложений повторно открывались при следующем входе, снимите флажок «Снова открывать окна при повторном входе в систему».

    Если компьютер Mac настроен для использования несколькими пользователями, другой пользователь может выполнить вход после того, как Вы выйдете из системы.

    Режим сна

    На Mac выберите меню Apple

    > «Режим сна». Если Вы используете ноутбук Mac, просто закройте крышку.

    Выход из режима сна

    На Mac нажмите клавишу пробела либо нажмите кнопку мыши или трекпада. Если Вы используете ноутбук Mac и его крышка закрыта, просто откройте ее.

    В целях безопасности можно сделать так, чтобы нужно было обязательно вводить пароль при выводе Mac из режима сна. Возможно, Вы сможете разблокировать Mac при помощи Apple Watch или использовать Touch ID вместо ввода пароля.

    Перезагрузить

    На Mac выберите меню Apple

    Если Вы не хотите, чтобы окна открытых приложений повторно открывались при перезагрузке Mac, снимите флажок «Снова открывать окна при повторном входе в систему».

    Выключение

    На Mac выберите меню Apple

    Если Вы не хотите, чтобы окна открытых приложений повторно открывались при перезагрузке Mac, снимите флажок «Снова открывать окна при повторном входе в систему».

    Компьютер Mac полностью выключен тогда, когда экран стал черным. На некоторых компьютерах перестает мигать лампочка питания и исчезает шум вентилятора или накопителя.

    Важно! Если Вы используете ноутбук Mac, дождитесь его полного выключения, прежде чем закрывать крышку. Если закрыть крышку компьютера Mac во время его отключения, он может не отключиться до конца и при следующем включении будет медленнее загружаться.

    Всегда выключайте компьютер Mac, прежде чем открыть корпус компьютера для установки дополнительной памяти или других устройств внутрь компьютера. Вам необходимо также выключить компьютер, прежде чем подключить или отключить определенные периферийные устройства. Если Вы не уверены, то проверьте документацию, прилагающуюся к устройству.

    Нет необходимости выключать компьютер Mac при подключении или отключении кабелей, например USB-C, Thunderbolt или Ethernet.

    Важно! При необходимости можно выполнить принудительную перезагрузку — например, если Mac перестает реагировать на внешние воздействия. Для этого нажмите и удерживайте кнопку питания, пока Mac не выключится. Несохраненные изменения, внесенные в документы, могут быть потеряны.

    How to restart your mac

    One of the biggest advantages of using a physical keyboard is that you can perform different tasks quickly by pressing combinations of keys typically known as keyboard shortcuts. On the Mac you can perform tasks like restart, shutdown, sleep or log out from current user account quickly by pressing different keys at the same time. This is not only a quicker way of doing things on the Mac but is also useful when your Trackpad or Mouse stops working, or your Mac gets stuck for some reason. Read on to learn about the super useful keyboard shortcuts for OS X.

    Shut down or Restart with keyboard shortcut

    Power button:

    • Press the power button to turn on the Mac or wake from sleep.
    • Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds without lifting to force your Mac to turn off.
    • Press and hold power button for 1.5 seconds to get the turn off dialog. This dialog will ask if you want to restart, shutdown or put the Mac to sleep. You can also access the dialog box quickly by pressing Control + Power buttons (Eject button on Macs with optical drive).

    Command + Control + Power Button: Press this keyboard shortcut to force restart your Mac.

    Command Control + Media Eject button: Press this combination to quit all apps and restart the Mac.

    Command + Option + Control + Power Button: Press these buttons to quickly turn off your Mac.

    Log out of current user account with Keyboard Shortcut

    Command + Shift + Q: Press this key combination to log out of the current user account. Log out will happen after confirmation.

    Command + Shift + Option + Q: When you add Option key to the mix, you will not be asked to confirm and log out will occur right away.

    Put Mac to Sleep with Keyboard shortcut

    Shift + Control + Power (or Eject) button: Press this key combination to quickly turn off the screen, and put Mac to sleep.

    Mac OS “sad face” of old

    Occasionally, a Mac can become stubbornly uncooperative and refuse to accept inputs. It’s time for a reboot. Here are some simple techniques to force a restart your Mac with escalating abruptness.

    The first thing to know about Mavericks is that it changes the behavior of the Power button. In Mavericks, if you quickly tap the Power button when the Mac is powered up, it will put the Mac to sleep.

    However, if you hold down the Power button for 1.5 seconds, then let go, you’ll get the Restart/Sleep/Shutdown dialog box.

    How to restart your macAn alternative way to bring up this dialog box immediately, if that 1.5 second hold isn’t practical, is:

    . where the “+” sign means hold these keys down at the same time. If you elect to restart or shutdown, and if things aren’t too hosed up, you’ll be offered chance to save your work in each open application that’s still responding.

    However, if that doesn’t work for some reason, and/or the dialog box fails to appear, and you need to force a restart of the Mac immediately, you can try:

    There will be no dialog box as the Mac restarts, and you will generally lose unsaved work at this point. (This works even if you have a recent Mac without an optical drive.)

    Finally, as a last resort, or if the Mac isn’t responding to the keyboard, you can hold the Power button down for a full 5 seconds. That will force the Mac to completely shut down. Again, unsaved work will generally be lost. Then you can use the Power button to restart the Mac.

    For those physically separated from the Mac, there are several ways to reboot a misbehaving Mac remotely. One well-known way is to try to SSH to the frozen Mac from another computer. It may well be that the mis-behaving Mac can still respond to the low-level SSH command. ( System Preferences > Sharing > Remote Login must have been previously enabled.) Then you can enter:

    You’ll need an administrator’s password to do this.

    There are other methods as well, but this is getting a bit far afield for a single Quick Tip. Finally, for additional reference, see Michael Johnston’s “Mavericks: Accessing the Shut Down Dialog via the Power Button.”

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    If you plan to give away, sell, or trade in your Mac, the first thing you should do is erase the data on it and perform a factory reset. This article shows you how.

    How to restart your mac

    First, Back Up Your Data

    Before you do anything, you should back up the files on your Mac. You could do this manually by copying across files onto an external drive. If you use iCloud, your photos, mail, contacts, documents, and so on should be automatically backed up in cloud storage.

    How to restart your macHowever, we highly recommend that you take the time to perform a Time Machine backup of your system using an external drive. That way, the same backup volume can be used by Apple’s Migration Assistant during a macOS installation to quickly transfer your applications, files and settings from the old Mac to a new one.

    Unlink your Apps

    There are certain apps that will need to be manually unlinked from your Mac before you say goodbye to it. Some third-party apps require licenses that only work on a limited number of computers, so think about any licenses you may have purchased.

    Similarly, you should de-authorize your iTunes account on the Mac, as this removes its access to content that you bought from the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or App Store, including things like music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books.

    To learn how to de-authorize your iTunes account, check out our dedicated guide.

    Sign Out of iCloud

    It’s also important to disable Find My Mac and sign out of ‌iCloud‌ in macOS. That way you’ll know for sure there isn’t anything lingering on your Mac that links your Apple ID to this machine. The following steps show you how.

      Click the Apple () symbol in the top left corner of your Mac’s screen and select System Preferences. .
      How to restart your mac

    Click iCloud in the preference pane.

    Uncheck all the boxes in the list to remove copies of the related data on this Mac.
    How to restart your mac

  • Click Sign Out.
  • How to Erase and Reset Your Mac

    Now that you’ve taken the above precautionary steps and unlinked your purchases and accounts, it’s time to erase your Mac’s drive and reset the system to its factory defaults.

    1. Click the Apple () symbol in the top left corner of your Mac’s screen and select Restart. .
    2. Click Restart.
    3. Hold down the Command and R keys as soon as you hear the Mac tone indicating a reboot.
    4. Wait for the macOS Utilities screen to appear, then click Disk Utility.
      How to restart your mac

  • Choose your Mac’s system drive, usually named Macintosh HD, then click Erase.
  • Select the Format option Mac Extended (Journaled) or APFS.
    How to restart your mac

  • Click Erase, confirm the action if prompted, and wait until formatting is complete.
  • Next, close Disk Utility and click Reinstall macOS.
    How to restart your mac

  • Follow the installation prompts and allow the procedure to continue until you see the Setup Assistant appear.
  • Press the keys Command+Q to shut down your Mac.
  • And that’s it. You’re now ready to sell your Mac, pass it on, set it up as new, or restore a backup.