Skip to main content
  • 1-Click Updates All Your Software
  • Faster Computer
  • Safer Browsing
  • Fewer Errors & Crashes
  • Quicker Startup

Get a cleaner, faster, and smoother-running PC with CCleaner

CCleaner has been downloaded over 2.5 billion times!

Start Free Scan

No credit card needed — just install and go

No credit card needed — just install and go Start Free Scan

How to restart Mac computers

Sometimes, your Mac or an app you’re using may start to glitch or freeze up, and you’ll need to restart your MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini. While Macs are incredible workhorses and rarely require restarting, it’s good to start fresh and close down all apps and system processes once in a while.

In this article, we’ll cover when it’s necessary to restart a Mac and also look at some troubleshooting options to cover before attempting a restart of your Mac.

Force quit any app on your Mac

If you’re having issues with a particular app, it’s worth trying to force quit the problematic app before trying a restart. To force an app to quit on your Mac, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the ‘Apple Menu’ and select ‘Force Quit’ from the drop-down menu. This will bring up the ‘Force Quit Applications’ dialog box.
  2. You’ll see a list of all the active apps. Select the app you wish to quit and click ‘Force Quit.’

Your Mac will quit the app and any unsaved changes will likely be lost. If you’re still having no luck then here’s how to restart Mac computers.

How to restart Mac computers the easy way

If you’re sure you want to restart your Mac, the easiest way to do so is by going to the ‘Apple’ menu (top left) and selecting ‘Restart’ from the drop-down list.

A pop-up box will appear asking “Are you sure you want to restart your computer now?”. To continue restarting your Mac, click ‘Restart’ (alternatively, you can wait 60 seconds and your Mac will automatically restart).

How to restart Macs manually

If your Mac is unresponsive, you may need to do a manual restart. To manually restart your Mac, press and hold down the power button on your Mac until you see the screen go black. Allow a minute for everything to completely close down, then press the power button again to power up your Mac.

Note: Manual restarts do not save any work or apps that are open, and may cause unsaved work to be lost.

Troubleshooting using macOS Recovery Mode

If you continue to experience issues with your Mac, it’s worth looking for ways to troubleshoot the issue. One method that lets you troubleshoot is using the built-in macOS Recovery Mode feature.

You can use the macOS Recovery Mode feature to repair your Disk Utility, reinstall or upgrade your macOS version, restore your files from a previous Time Machine backup, set up and configure security options, or if you’re having internet connectivity issues.

There you have it, a number of ways how to restart Macs and (hopefully) overcome any issues you were experiencing. It’s a good idea to keep your Mac running smoothly to try and avoid any future problems. While you can’t guarantee something won’t pop up again, maintaining your Mac will boost your Mac’s overall performance and prolong the life of your machine.

One way you can do this is by using a third-party tool such as CCleaner for Mac. It works by clearing unused files and apps, making space, and speeding up your computer. You can manually do this but most of us don’t have the time to do it as often as we should! Plus, this app is more thorough at the job since it was built specifically for this.

It also comes with loads of other great features including ones that will improve your online privacy. Find out more about what it can do for you and download CCleaner for Mac here.


  • What happens when force quit doesn't work on Mac?

    If you’re trying to force an application to close on your Mac but this doesn’t work, you should restart your Mac. You can restart your device from the ‘Apple’ menu and choose ‘Restart’, or hold down the power button until the screen goes dark, then press it again.

  • Why won't my Mac restart or shut down?

    Sometimes your Mac may need a little more time than normal to shut down, depending on what you have open. If you can’t restart it, hold down the power button for 10 seconds, then give your Mac at least five minutes to see if it will close any open apps and docs, and restart itself.

  • How do I restart my Mac without the power button?

    You might want to restart your Mac for a number of reasons. One of the most common is when it (or an app) starts playing up. The easiest way to restart your Mac without the power button is to click on the ‘Apple’ menu and choose ‘Restart’ from the drop-down list.