Why Does Mac/MacBook Keep Shutting Down? Fixes Here

Are you experiencing frequent shutdowns with your Mac or MacBook? There are several potential causes for this issue, but don’t worry – I’ve got some fixes that can help resolve the problem.

Proper Shutdown Procedures

To properly shutdown your Mac or MacBook, you should always start by closing all open applications and saving any unsaved work. Once you’re ready to shut down, click on the Apple menu and select “Shut Down.” Wait for the computer to completely turn off before closing the lid or turning off the power.

If your Mac or MacBook keeps shutting down unexpectedly, it could be due to a software bug, malware, or a hardware issue. To troubleshoot the problem, you can run a scan with antivirus software to check for malware and viruses. You can also use the Finder to search for any recently installed applications or files that could be causing the issue.

If the problem persists, you may need to reset the PRAM/NVRAM or SMC on your Mac. These are small pieces of memory that store settings for things like display resolution, startup disk selection, and speaker volume. Resetting them can sometimes resolve issues with unexpected shutdowns.

In some cases, a failing electric battery could be the culprit. If your Mac or MacBook is older, it may be time to replace the battery to prevent further shutdowns.

Always make sure your Mac or MacBook is running the latest version of macOS, as software updates often include bug fixes and improvements that can resolve unexpected shutdown issues. If you’re still experiencing problems, it may be necessary to seek help from an experienced technician to diagnose and fix the issue.

Safe Mode Booting

If your Mac or MacBook keeps shutting down unexpectedly, one potential fix is to boot it in safe mode. To do this, start by shutting down the computer completely. Then, turn it back on and immediately press and hold the Shift key. Keep holding it until the login screen appears. This will boot your Mac in safe mode, which can help identify and fix any issues causing the shutdowns.

Safe mode boots your Mac with only the essential software needed to run, so it can help isolate the problem. While in safe mode, you can run diagnostics and troubleshoot any potential software conflicts or issues. Once you’ve identified and fixed the problem, you can restart your Mac normally and see if the issue has been resolved.

If safe mode doesn’t solve the problem, it may be worth considering other potential causes such as hardware issues or software bugs.

Malware Scanning

A computer screen with a scanning progress bar.

If you suspect that malware might be the cause of the issue, run a malware scan immediately to ensure your system is clean. Additionally, consider using a tool like CleanMyMac X to thoroughly scan and clean your system for any potential threats.

Regularly updating your antivirus software and performing scans can help prevent malware from causing your Mac or MacBook to shut down unexpectedly. If the issue persists, consider seeking professional help to further troubleshoot and resolve the problem.

SMC Reset Instructions

MacBook with power button and keyboard

If your Mac or MacBook keeps shutting down unexpectedly, you may need to reset the System Management Controller (SMC). The SMC controls many low-level functions on your Mac, so resetting it can sometimes resolve issues with power, battery, fans, and other hardware.

To reset the SMC on a Mac with an Apple T2 Security Chip, first shut down your computer. Then, press and hold the power button for 10 seconds, release it, and wait a few seconds before pressing the power button again to turn on your Mac.

For Macs without the T2 chip, start by shutting down your computer. Then, press and hold the Shift, Control, Option, and power buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds. After releasing them, wait a few seconds before pressing the power button to turn on your Mac.

If your Mac or MacBook continues to shut down unexpectedly after resetting the SMC, it may be necessary to explore other potential causes and solutions.

Overheating Solutions

A laptop fan or cooling pad.

  • Clean the Dust Inside Your Mac

    • Turn off your Mac and unplug it from the power source.
    • Use a can of compressed air to blow out the dust from the vents and fans.
    • Be gentle and careful not to damage any internal components.
  • Adjust the Fan Settings

    • Download a fan control app such as Macs Fan Control or iStat Menus.
    • Use the app to increase the speed of the internal fans to improve airflow and reduce overheating.
  • Elevate Your Mac

    • Place your Mac on a laptop cooling pad or elevate it using a stand to improve airflow and cooling.
    • Ensure the laptop cooling pad has a fan to further assist in cooling.
      Place your Mac on a laptop cooling pad or elevate it using a stand to improve airflow and cooling.
Ensure the laptop cooling pad has a fan to further assist in cooling.

PRAM and NVRAM Resets

If your Mac or MacBook keeps shutting down unexpectedly, you may need to perform a PRAM or NVRAM reset. These resets can help resolve issues related to the system’s settings and configurations.

To perform a PRAM reset, start by shutting down your Mac. Then, turn it on and immediately press and hold the Command, Option, P, and R keys simultaneously. Keep holding the keys until your Mac restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time. This will reset the parameter random access memory (PRAM) and may resolve the shutdown issue.

If the problem persists, you can also try a NVRAM reset. To do this, shut down your Mac and then turn it on, immediately pressing and holding the Option, Command, P, and R keys together. Keep holding the keys for about 20 seconds, or until your Mac restarts. This will reset the non-volatile random access memory (NVRAM) and may help address the shutdown problem.

After performing these resets, monitor your Mac to see if the issue persists. If it does, you may need to explore other troubleshooting options or seek assistance from Apple support.

Optimizing Sleep Settings

To optimize your sleep settings on your Mac or MacBook, start by adjusting the energy saving options. Go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.” Then, click on “Energy Saver” and adjust the settings to your preference. Make sure to enable the “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” option to conserve energy.

Another way to optimize sleep settings is to manage your background processes. Use the Finder to locate and quit any unnecessary applications running in the background. This can help prevent your Mac from shutting down unexpectedly.

You can also check for any software bugs that may be causing the issue. Make sure your MacOS and any application software are up to date. If you suspect a specific app is causing the problem, try uninstalling and reinstalling it to see if that resolves the issue.

Additionally, consider checking for any peripheral devices connected to your Mac. Sometimes, issues with USB devices or other peripherals can cause the computer to shut down unexpectedly. Disconnect any unnecessary devices and see if the problem persists.

By optimizing your sleep settings and addressing potential software or hardware issues, you can prevent your Mac or MacBook from shutting down unexpectedly.

Battery Health Monitoring

To monitor the battery health of your Mac or MacBook, you can use the built-in Battery Health Management feature. This feature helps to prolong the overall lifespan of your battery by adjusting charging patterns based on your usage. To enable this feature, go to System Preferences, then click on Energy Saver and select Battery Health.

Regularly checking the battery health of your Mac or MacBook can help prevent unexpected shutdowns. If you notice that your battery health is declining, it may be time to replace the battery. You can check the status of your battery by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen, selecting About This Mac, then clicking on System Report and navigating to the Power section.

In addition to monitoring battery health, it’s important to properly maintain your Mac or MacBook by keeping it clean and free from dust and debris. Using a reputable software such as CleanMyMac X can help optimize your system and prevent issues that may lead to unexpected shutdowns.

By regularly monitoring your battery health and maintaining your Mac or MacBook, you can prevent unexpected shutdowns and ensure a smooth and reliable computing experience.

macOS Updates and Reinstalls

macOS update screen

Update/Reinstall Description
macOS Update Regularly updating your Mac’s operating system can fix bugs and issues that may be causing it to shut down unexpectedly.
Reinstall macOS If the issue persists, reinstalling the macOS system can help resolve any underlying software problems.
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