How to Restart a Frozen Mac: A General Guide

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Hello readers, have you ever experienced a frozen Mac? It often happens when we are working on a project or an assignment and suddenly the Mac just freezes, leaving us helpless. Sometimes we might even think that our Mac has crashed. However, there’s still hope to restart it without losing any important data. In this article, we will explain the 12 steps on how to restart Mac when frozen. By following these steps, you’ll be able to bring your Mac back to life.


Step 1: Press Command + Option + Escape

Pressing Command + Option + Escape will help you to force quit the application that’s causing your Mac to freeze.

When you press these three buttons simultaneously, the force quit applications dialog box will appear. Select the application that’s not responding and click on the Force Quit button. If the application keeps freezing, you can move to the next step.

Step 2: Hold Down the Power Button

Holding down the power button is the method to force shutdown your Mac.

This step is applicable when the first step has failed. Press and hold down the power button until your Mac turns off. It might take a few seconds, but make sure you hold the button until the screen turns off completely. Don’t worry, this won’t harm your Mac in any way.

Step 3: Unplug All Accessories

Unplugging all accessories will help to prevent any hardware conflicts that could have caused your Mac to freeze.

If your Mac has stopped responding, try unplugging all accessories such as printers, cameras, and USB devices. After you’ve unplugged all the accessories, try restarting your Mac. If your Mac still won’t respond, then move to the next step.

Step 4: Wait for a Few Minutes

Just wait for a few minutes to give your Mac time to process any background tasks before doing anything else.

If none of the above steps worked, wait for a few minutes before proceeding to the next step. Be patient and give your Mac time to process any background tasks that might be causing it to freeze. If your Mac still hasn’t recovered after waiting for some time, try the next step.

Step 5: Start in Safe Mode

Starting your Mac in Safe Mode can help to identify any underlying problems that are causing your Mac to freeze.

Starting your Mac in Safe Mode will help you to identify any problems with your system. To start your Mac in Safe Mode, press the power button and hold down the Shift key. Release the shift key when the Apple logo appears. If your Mac starts in Safe Mode, then you know that there’s something wrong with your software or hardware. To return to normal mode, restart your Mac.

Step 6: Check Your Disk

If your Mac keeps freezing, it could be that your disk needs to be checked and repaired.

To check your disk, you need to start your Mac in Recovery Mode. Hold down the Command + R keys when your Mac starts up. Once you’re in Recovery Mode, select Disk Utility and click on Continue. Select your main hard drive and click on First Aid. Wait for the process to complete. If Disk Utility finds any errors, click on Repair Disk.

Step 7: Delete Cache

Deleting cache can help to free up some space on your Mac, which in turn will help to improve its performance.

ToDelete cache, you need to start by opening the Finder. Go to the Go menu and select Go to Folder. Type in ~/Library/Caches and click on Go. Select all the files and folders in the Cache folder and delete them. Also, empty the Trash bin.

Step 8: Reset SMC

Resetting SMC can help to fix some hardware-related problems that might cause your Mac to freeze.

Shut down your Mac and unplug all the cables. Hold down the left Shift key, the left Control key, and the left Option key, and the Power button altogether for about 10 seconds. Release the keys and plug back all the cables. Turn on your Mac and check if it still freezes.

Step 9: Verify Disk Permission

Verifying disk permissions can help to check if there are any issues with your hard drive that might be causing your Mac to freeze.

To verify disk permission, open Disk Utility and select your hard drive. Go to First Aid under the First Aid tab and click on Run. Wait for the process to complete. If any errors are found, click on Repair disk permission.

Step 10: Reset NVRAM/PRAM

Resetting NVRAM/PRAM can help to reset certain system settings that might be causing your Mac to freeze.

To reset NVRAM/PRAM, shut down your Mac and turn it back on. Immediately press and hold down the Command + Option + P + R keys. Keep holding the keys until your Mac restarts. Once it restarts, release the keys. Your NVRAM/PRAM is now reset.

Step 11: Reinstall macOS

If none of the above steps worked, you can try reinstalling macOS to fix any software-related problems.

Before you proceed with reinstalling macOS, make sure you’ve backed up all your important files. Shut down your Mac and turn it back on. Press and hold down the Command + R keys. Follow the instructions on your screen to reinstall macOS. This might take some time, depending on your internet connection speed.

Step 12: Contact Apple Support

If your Mac still won’t respond after all these steps, you might want to consider contacting Apple support.

Apple support has a team of experts who can help you to identify the problem and fix it. They can either walk you through the process or send you to a certified repair shop. You can contact Apple support through phone, email, or chat.


Aside from the 12 steps mentioned above, there are other explanations that might help you to avoid Mac freeze.

– Always remember to keep your Mac up to date. Install the latest software updates to ensure that your system runs smoothly.
– Don’t overload your Mac. Make sure you only have the necessary applications open, and close those that you’re not using.
– Keep your system clean and organized. Remove any files or documents that you no longer need.
– Use a good antivirus program to protect your Mac from viruses and malware.
– Invest in a good backup system to avoid losing any important data in case of a system crash.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks that might help you to avoid Mac freeze:

Tip 1: Keep Enough Free Space

Make sure you have enough free space on your Mac’s hard drive. A full hard drive can cause your system to slow down and freeze.

Tip 2: Close Unnecessary Applications

Close any applications that you’re not using. Keeping too many applications open can use up your Mac’s memory and cause it to freeze.

Tip 3: Manage Startup Programs

Unnecessary startup programs can slow down your Mac’s performance, causing it to freeze. Manage your startup programs by removing the ones that you don’t need.

Tip 4: Clean Your Mac Regularly

Regularly clean your Mac by removing any files or applications that you no longer need. Use a cleaning tool to help you remove any leftover files or documents.

Tip 5: Get a Good Antivirus Program

Invest in a good antivirus program to prevent your Mac from getting infected with viruses and malware.

Tip 6: Backup Regularly

Always backup your important files and documents to avoid losing them in case of a system crash.

Tip 7: Use a Cooling Pad

Using a cooling pad can help to prevent your Mac from overheating, which could cause it to freeze.

Tip 8: Keep Your Mac Clean and Dust-Free

Use a can of compressed air to clean your Mac’s vents and ports. This will help to prevent dust from accumulating, which could cause your Mac to overheat and freeze.

Tip 9: Don’t Ignore System Warnings

If your Mac starts showing warning messages, don’t ignore them. Address them immediately before they turn into bigger problems.

Tip 10: Get Professional Help When Necessary

If you’re not comfortable fixing your Mac’s problems, seek professional help. This will save you time and prevent you from making any costly mistakes.

That’s all for now! We hope that this article was helpful for you to fix your frozen Mac. Remember to follow the steps carefully and be patient. If you still have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us or Apple support. Happy restarting!

Advantages and Disadvantages


1. It is a simple and quick solution to restart a frozen Mac. If you are in a hurry to finish a task and your computer freezes, you can easily restart it using this method.

2. It can help to clear any temporary issues that caused the freeze, such as a glitch in a particular app. After the restart, your Mac may work more efficiently and smoothly.

3. This method does not require any technical knowledge or skills. Anyone can easily restart their Mac using this method, even if they are not tech-savvy.

4. Restarting your Mac using this method will not affect any of your data or files. It only resets your Mac’s state, allowing it to start fresh.

5. If you are experiencing a recurring freeze, restarting your Mac can be a temporary fix until you identify and fix the root cause of the problem.


1. If you had unsaved work before your Mac froze, restarting it using this method will cause you to lose your progress. Always save your work frequently to minimize the risk of losing data.

2. If your Mac freezes regularly, relying on this method to restart it can be tedious and time-consuming. You may need to investigate and fix the root cause of the problem to prevent the freezing from occurring in the first place.

3. Repeatedly restarting your Mac using this method can cause hardware issues in the long run. If you notice that your Mac is freezing frequently, it may be time to seek a more permanent solution or consult with a technician.

4. Restarting your Mac using this method does not always guarantee that the freeze will not occur again. It only provides a temporary fix, and you may need to address the underlying problem to prevent future freezes.

5. In some cases, restarting your Mac using this method may not be effective in fixing a freeze. In this case, you may need to seek alternative solutions, such as force quitting an unresponsive app or seeking technical support.


1. What should I do if my Mac freezes?

If your Mac freezes, the first thing you should try is Force Quitting the application that is causing the problem. This can be done by pressing Command + Option + Esc keys simultaneously. If this doesn’t work, you may need to restart your Mac.

2. Why does my Mac freeze?

There are various reasons why your Mac may freeze, including insufficient RAM, software conflicts, hardware issues, and malware infections.

3. Can I restart my Mac while it’s frozen?

If your Mac is completely frozen, you may not be able to restart it using the usual methods. However, you can try a hard restart by holding down the power button until your Mac turns off and then turning it back on again.

4. Will a restart delete my files?

No, restarting your Mac will not delete any of your files or documents.

5. What happens during a restart?

During a restart, your Mac will close any open applications and then shut down. Once it is off, it will start up again, running any necessary checks and then opening your desktop and applications once complete.

6. Can I set my Mac to automatically restart?

Yes, you can set your Mac to automatically restart by going to System Preferences > Energy Saver and selecting the checkbox next to “Restart automatically after a power failure.”

7. What if my Mac won’t restart?

If your Mac won’t restart, you may need to perform a Safe Boot by holding down the shift key while starting up your Mac. Alternatively, you can try repairing the disk using Disk Utility or restoring your Mac from a backup.

8. Should I force restart my Mac frequently?

No, you should only force restart your Mac if it is frozen or unresponsive. Frequent forced restarts can lead to data loss and potentially damage your hardware.

9. Can I restart my Mac remotely?

Yes, if you have enabled the remote login feature on your Mac, you can restart it remotely using Terminal or other remote access tools.

10. How often should I restart my Mac?

There is no fixed rule for how often you should restart your Mac. However, it is recommended to restart it at least once per week to clear temporary files and speed up performance.

11. What if my Mac restarts repeatedly?

If your Mac restarts repeatedly, it may be due to a software issue, hardware problem, or malware infection. You may need to seek professional assistance to diagnose and resolve the issue.

12. Can I cancel a restart?

If you have initiated a restart but then decide to cancel it, you can do so by pressing and holding the power button until your Mac turns off. Alternatively, you can force restart it if needed.

13. How can I prevent my Mac from freezing?

You can prevent your Mac from freezing by keeping your software and operating system up to date, running regular maintenance tasks such as clearing cache files and freeing up disk space, scanning for viruses and malware, and avoiding running too many applications simultaneously.

How to Restart Mac When Frozen

It can be frustrating when your Mac suddenly freezes and stops responding. At times, the spinning beach ball appears, and your cursor becomes unresponsive. This problem can be caused by various issues, including software malfunctions and hardware problems. However, restarting your Mac can help resolve the issue and restore your computer to normalcy. This article discusses how to restart your Mac when it freezes.

Steps to Restart Your Mac When Frozen

The following are some of the steps you can take to restart your Mac when it freezes:

Step 1. Force Quit the Applications

If there is a specific application causing your Mac to freeze, you can use Force Quit to close it. To do this, press the Cmd + Option + Esc keys simultaneously to bring up the Force Quit Applications window. Select the application that is causing the problem and click the “Force Quit” button, then restart your Mac.

Step 2. Restart Your Mac Normally

If your Mac fails to respond after trying to force quit the application, you can restart your Mac. Click on the Apple icon on the top left and choose “Restart.” Your computer will shut down and restart, and the frozen application will close. This method can be effective, especially if the problem is software-related.

Step 3. Restart Your Mac in Safe Mode

You can also restart your Mac in Safe Mode. This mode ensures that only essential software is running, which can help diagnose and fix any problems with your computer. To enter Safe Mode, restart your Mac and hold down the Shift key until you see the Apple logo. Once you are in Safe Mode, you can troubleshoot the issue and restart your Mac in the normal mode once you have solved the problem.

Conclusion and Closing

In conclusion, a frozen Mac can be frustrating, and you may wonder how to restart it when it happens. The above steps can help you restart your Mac safely and restore it to normalcy. If the problem persists, you can seek assistance from a professional to fix any hardware or software issues. Finally, always ensure you back up important data regularly to avoid losing your files in case of a major problem with your Mac.

Thank you for reading this article. We hope you found it helpful. Stay safe and take care.