Impossible to turn off the Mac? Causes and solution to the problem

More effective solutions to solve the problem

In the following sections we will show you the main causes why your Mac could be experiencing problems shutting down, as well as their respective solutions. They are the most common that we can find and you will see that the procedures to follow are actually very simple.

Close all apps

The most widespread reason why a Mac may not turn off despite being ordered to do so is because there are open processes that prevent shutdown from occurring. The best way to do this is to close the applications, but sometimes it is not enough to press the corresponding red button in the upper left part of the windows, since they are not closed completely.

What we advise you to do is force close of all of them and for this you just have to follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the upper left.
  2. Click on “Force Quit”.
  3. Select the application you want to close.
  4. Click on “Force Quit”.

You must repeat this process with each of the applications or select them all at once.

Check the activity monitor

There are times when some applications, despite not appearing as open and not even being in the “Force Quit” menu mentioned above, have some open background processes running. Therefore, you must close them from the Activity Monitor.

To open this monitor, all you have to do is press the Command and Space keys to open the search engine and type “Activity Monitor” there. Once it opens, go to the “Memory” tab, locate the applications that are taking up RAM space and select them and then click on the “X” shaped button that appears in the upper bar of the window.

close apps monitor mac activity

Try rebooting instead of shutting down

It may seem like a somewhat absurd solution, but there are many times when it works. Instead of trying to shut it down normally, try hitting the “Restart” button. Once that’s done, if you can get it to work, you can try shutting down the Mac once it turns back on. The explanation that this may work does not really exist, as it may simply be a software bug.

restart mac

If it doesn’t turn off at all

There are times when, although the Mac appears with the screen off, it is not really turned off. You can know this if the equipment has been off for a while and despite this it continues to have a high temperature. Also if you hear the fans on or that the record is playing. It is not usual for this to happen, but if you are in this situation it is probably due to a software error.

What we recommend you do in this case is to touch any key and even try to hit the power button and, if it is activated, proceed to turn it off again. If the Mac does not activate or still does not turn off completely, it is recommended that you try to keep the power button pressed for several seconds until it turns off completely and even remove the power in case it is not a MacBook, which work thanks to your battery and not directly to the current.

imac pink m1

What to do if this happens to you regularly

Regardless of whether it happens to you often or that you have managed to solve the failure and it was timely, there are a series of recommendations that you should always keep in mind to avoid all kinds of problems on your computer. We will tell you about them below.

Always keep it updated

As absurd as it may sound, there are many apparent hardware failures that are actually due to the software. That is why it is recommended that you always have the latest version of macOS installed on your computer. If your Mac is already somewhat old and does not update to new versions, it is possible that there is a complementary update pending that will solve your problems.

To check that there is no pending update you must go to System Preferences> Software update. If you have a version prior to macOS Mojave, you will probably have to open the App Store and go to the “Updates” tab to find the latest version compatible with your computer. Remember that to download them you will need to have an internet connection.

update mac

Restore the operating system

This is the most tedious solution of all because it requires completely formatting the disk and, despite the fact that the data synchronized with iCloud would remain, in the end you will have to configure all the settings again, install the applications you had, etc. However it is the more effective solution to software problems.

And yes, it is advisable that when you format the device you do not upload any backup copy. The reason for this is that it is possible that there is a junk file that is generating the problem and this has been stored in the copy, so in the end you would be loading the problem again and you would not have solved anything, in addition to having lost a valious time.

Restore Mac to update

Go to Apple if the problems don’t stop

The technical support, either the official Apple or a SAT, is the one who can best help you solve the problems of your device. Who knows if your computer has a factory fault that causes it to have trouble shutting down. All this can be verified by the specialists, offering you the best solution and leaving the final decision in your hand without any type of commitment.

Remember that you can request technical assistance from the official Apple website, from the Support application available on iPhone and iPad, as well as from the telephone number 900 150 503 (free in Spain). You can even physically go to an Apple Store, although that does not guarantee that there are appointments available for that day and that they will be able to attend you.

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