How to Restart Apple Laptop

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Knowing how to restart an Apple laptop is essential for every Apple laptop user. Customers may need to complete it for various reasons, whether a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or any other model. It could be troubleshooting software issues, installing updates, or refreshing the system. Here’s a comprehensive guide to restarting your Apple laptop, including different methods and troubleshooting tips.

Why Restart Your Apple Laptop?

Restarting your Mac can resolve many common issues. Here are some reasons why you might need to restart:

  1. Software Installation: Many software installations require a restart to complete.
  2. System Updates: macOS updates often require a restart to finalize the installation.
  3. Performance Issues: If your Mac runs slowly or erratically, a restart can help clear out temporary files and refresh system processes.
  4. Network Problems: Restarting can fix network connectivity issues.
  5. Troubleshooting: If your Mac is freezing or apps are not responding, a restart can often resolve these problems.

Methods to Restart Your Apple Laptop

How to Restart Apple Laptop

Method 1: Using the Apple Menu

The simplest way to restart your Mac is through the Apple menu.

  1. Click the Apple icon. It is situated in the upper-left corner of your screen.
  2. Choose Restart. Select “Restart…” from the drop-down option.
  3. Confirm: A dialogue box will appear asking if you are sure. Click “Restart” again to confirm. If you have unsaved documents, you’ll be prompted to save them.

Method 2: Using Keyboard Shortcuts

If your Mac is unresponsive, you can use keyboard shortcuts to restart it.

  1. Control + Command + Power Button: Press these keys simultaneously. It will force your Mac to restart.
  2. Control + Eject: This combination creates a dialog box where you can choose Restart.
  3. Command + Option + Power Button: It forces a restart without offering to save any open or unsaved documents.

Method 3: Using Terminal

For advanced users, restarting via Terminal can be efficient.

  1. Open Terminal: You can find Terminal in the Applications > Utilities folder.
  2. Enter Command: Type sudo shutdown -r now and press Enter.
  3. Authenticate: Enter your administrator password when prompted. Your Mac will restart immediately.

Method 4: Using Recovery Mode

If your Mac usually won’t start, you should use Recovery Mode.

  1. Shut Down Your Mac: Press the power button until it turns off.
  2. Turn On Your Mac: Press the power button, then immediately hold down Command + R until the Apple logo appears.
  3. Use Disk Utility: Once in Recovery Mode, you can use Disk Utility to check for disk errors and restart.

Troubleshooting Restart Issues

How to Restart Apple Laptop

A. Mac Won’t Restart

If your Mac won’t restart, try these steps:

  1. Force Restart: Press and hold the power button for about 10 seconds. It will force the Mac to shut down. To turn it back on, kindly wait a few seconds and click the power button again.
  2. Safe Mode: You can use the Shift key to trigger a Safe Mode restart at startup. Issues can be diagnosed and repaired with the help of Safe Mode.
  3. Reset NVRAM/PRAM: Hold down Option + Command + P + R for about 20 seconds during startup. It resets the non-volatile RAM and can resolve startup issues.
  4. Reset SMC: For MacBooks that don’t have detachable batteries, turn the computer off and hold down the Shift, Control, Option, and Power buttons for ten seconds. To restart the Mac, release all keys and press the power button again.

B. Frequent Restarts

If your Mac is restarting frequently or unexpectedly:

  1. Check for Updates: Ensure your macOS and all apps are up to date.
  2. Check Startup Items: Sometimes, third-party software can cause issues. Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items, and remove any suspicious items.
  3. Run Diagnostics: Use Apple Diagnostics to check for hardware issues. Shut down your Mac, turn it on, and immediately press and hold the D key.
  4. Check for Malware: Although rare, malware can cause problems. To check your Mac, use a reputable antivirus program.

C. Restarting After an Update

Sometimes, your Mac might get stuck during an update restart:

  1. Be Patient: Some updates take longer to install. If the progress bar appears stuck, wait a bit longer.
  2. Safe Mode: You can enter Safe Mode at startup by holding the Shift key. Verify whether the update is complete.
  3. Reinstall macOS: If all else fails, you should reinstall macOS. Boot into Recovery Mode (Command + R) and choose “Reinstall macOS.”

D. Best Practices for Restarting

Adhere to these recommended measures to guarantee a seamless restart procedure and prevent data loss:

  1. Save Your Work: Always save your documents before restarting.
  2. Close Apps: Close all applications to prevent any issues.
  3. Disconnect Peripherals: Remove external devices that might cause problems during Restart.
  4. Backup Your Data: Regularly back up your data using Time Machine or another backup method. It ensures you keep essential files in case something goes wrong.

Additional Tips for Restart Your Apple Laptop

A. Automate Restart

You can schedule automatic restarts for maintenance purposes:

  1. Open System Preferences: Select System Preferences by clicking the Apple menu.
  2. Energy Saver: Select Energy Saver (or Battery on macOS Big Sur and later).
  3. Schedule: Click on Schedule and set your Mac to restart at a specific time.

B. Use Third-Party Software

There are third-party applications available that can help manage and automate restarts. Some popular options include:

  1. CleanMyMac X: This tool offers maintenance features, including scheduled restarts and system cleanups.
  2. MacKeeper: Provides tools for optimizing performance and managing automatic restarts.

C. Monitoring Restart Logs

If you’re facing frequent restart issues, checking system logs can be insightful:

  1. Console App: Open Console from Applications > Utilities.
  2. System Logs: Look for logs around the restart time to identify patterns or specific errors.
  3. Seeking Professional Help

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps and your Mac still has restart issues, it might be time to seek professional help. Go to an authorized service provider or the Apple Store. They can perform more in-depth diagnostics and repairs if necessary.


Restarting your Apple laptop is straightforward, but knowing the different methods and troubleshooting steps is essential if you encounter issues. Whether using the Apple menu, keyboard shortcuts, Terminal, or Recovery Mode, understanding how to restart your Mac correctly can help keep your system running smoothly. 

Additionally, you can handle any difficulties that arise quickly and effectively by adhering to best practices and learning how to troubleshoot typical problems. You can extend the life and functionality of your Apple laptop by updating your macOS and apps, identifying possible problems, and understanding when to seek expert assistance.

FAQs About How to Restart Apple Laptop

How often should I restart my Apple laptop?

It’s generally a good idea to restart your Apple laptop at least once weekly to refresh system processes and ensure smooth performance. However, more frequent restarts might be beneficial if you use your computer intensively or notice it slowing down. Regular restarts help clear temporary files, reset memory, and apply essential system updates.

What should I do if my Apple laptop won’t restart?

If your Mac won’t restart, try the following steps:

  1. Force Restart: hold the power button for about 10 seconds until your Mac turns off, then press the power button again to turn it back on.
  2. Safe Mode: When your Mac boots up, hold down the Shift key to boot it in safe mode. It facilitates the identification and fixing of issues.
  3. Reset NVRAM/PRAM: Hold down Option + Command + P + R for about 20 seconds during startup.
  4. Reset SMC: For MacBooks with non-removable batteries, hold down the Shift, Control, Option, and Power buttons for ten seconds, then let go and press the buttons once more.
  5. Contact Support: If the issue persists, visit an Apple Store or contact Apple Support for professional assistance.

Can restarting my Apple laptop help with performance issues?

Restarting your Apple laptop can improve performance by clearing temporary files, closing background processes, and refreshing the system. It can resolve issues such as slow performance, unresponsive applications, and other glitches. Regular restarts are a simple yet effective way to maintain optimal system performance.

Will I lose my unsaved work if I restart my Apple laptop?

If you restart your Mac without saving your work, you risk losing any unsaved changes. Permanently save your documents and close applications before restarting to avoid data loss. Most modern applications have an autosave feature, but it’s a good practice to save your work to ensure nothing is lost manually.

How can I schedule automatic restarts on my Apple laptop?

You can schedule automatic restarts using the built-in Energy Saver settings:

  1. Open System Preferences: Select System Preferences by clicking the Apple menu.
  2. Energy Saver: Select Energy Saver (or Battery on macOS Big Sur and later).
  3. Schedule: Click on Schedule and set the desired time for your Mac to restart. It is helpful for regular maintenance or to ensure your system is refreshed at convenient times.

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