How to Reboot a Mac Computer

by Jason Artman

You may need to reboot your Mac computer if you have just installed a software update or are experiencing a problem and things aren't running as they should. Under normal circumstances, rebooting the Mac is as simple as selecting a menu option. However, there may be times when Mac OS X or an application becomes unresponsive, preventing the computer from rebooting normally. For this reason, there are alternative methods you can also use.


Reboot your Mac via the top menu. Click the Apple icon and select "Restart" on the menu. If Mac OS X is responding normally, the Mac displays a message asking if you're sure you want to restart your computer. Click "Restart."


Reboot your Mac with a keyboard shortcut. Press the "Control" and "Eject" keys simultaneously. The Mac displays a message asking what you would like to do next. Click "Restart" or press the "R" key. You can also display this message by pressing the Power button. Alternatively, press the "Control," "Command" and "Eject" keys simultaneously. This immediately closes all open programs and reboots the Mac. Before closing, each program with unsaved data displays a prompt asking if you would like to save your work.


Force your Mac to reboot if the operating system is completely unresponsive. Hold the Power button for several seconds until the Mac shuts down. Press the Power button again to start the Mac back up. When you reboot the Mac in this fashion, all unsaved work is lost. Use this method to restart your Mac only if nothing else works.


  • check If you are unable to reboot your Mac normally because of an unresponsive program, you may be able to force the program to close by clicking its icon on the Dock, waiting for the window to appear and pressing the "Command" and "Q" keys simultaneously.

About the Author

Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in 1999 while attending Michigan State University. Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets.

Photo Credits

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