Apple Mac Force Shutdown

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RESTART TROUBLE?

Welcome to a tutorial on how to restart a computer from the command prompt (or terminal if you are using Mac). Have an unresponsive user interface? Need to force restart a semi-conscious computer? Or writing a maintenance script to reset the computer? Long story short, to restart a computer from the command or terminal:

  • Windows: Start-R > Type in “cmd” and “enter” > Type in “shutdown /r” in the command prompt.
  • Mac: Command-Space > Type in “terminal” and “enter” > Type in “sudo reboot” in the terminal.

But there’s a little bit more to how we can play with these commands, and alternatives when the computer is totally not responding. Read on to find out!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section A
Windows
Section B
Mac
Section C
Extra Bits
Closing
What’s Next?

WINDOWS RESTART & SHUTDOWN

The command to shut down or restart a Windows computer is “shutdown”. But over the many years, it has evolved to become more capable and complicated.

ALL THE SHUTDOWN OPTIONS

To get all the options, simply type shutdown or shutdown /? in the command prompt:

BASIC SHUTDOWN PROCEDURES

Most beginners will probably freak out immediately at how many options shutdown has, but there are only 4 basic ones to take note of:

  • shutdown /s Shuts down the computer.
  • shutdown /r Restarts the computer.
  • shutdown /l Log off.
  • shutdown /h Hibernate.

Yep, that’s all to it.

FORCE SHUTDOWN A STUBBORN PC

If an application or process is blocking the shutdown or reset, we can use shutdown /p /f to force a shutdown… No warnings will be given, and it will act immediately.

MAC RESTART & SHUTDOWN

There are 3 commands to shut down a Mac – shutdown, halt, and reboot. Of course, being a Unix based system, these commands will also work on Linux… Although things might somewhat vary depending on the Linux build.

THE SHUTDOWN SYNTAX

Unlike Windows, the shutdown command is very cryptic… Which is even scarier for beginners. But in short, the sudo part is “run as administrator”, and it has a syntax of shutdown [OPTIONS] [TIME] [MESSAGE].

SHUTDOWN OPTIONS

  • shutdown -h Halt the system.
  • shutdown -r Reboot the system.
  • shutdown -s Put the system into sleep mode.
  • shutdown -k More for Mac server usage. Does not shut down, but kick everyone off the system.

SHUTDOWN TIME

Apple Mac Force Shutdown

The shutdown time is required, and there are generally 3 ways to define it:

  • shutdown -h now Right now.
  • shutdown -h 12:34 An exact time.
  • shutdown -h +15 Specified minutes later.

SHUTDOWN MESSAGE

This is optional and will serve a warning message to all users who are logged on to the Mac before shutting down or resetting.

HOW ABOUT HALT AND REBOOT?

In the layman terms:

  • shutdown -h is equals to calling halt
  • shutdown -r is equals to calling reboot

But not really… It’s kind of confusing. But shutdown, halt, and reboot all belong to the same system module that deals with shutting down and rebooting.

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EXTRA BITS

That’s it for the shutdown commands, and here are a few extra bits that may be useful to you.

Apple Mac Force Shutdown Mac

FORCE QUIT

Hold your horses, before you force a reset or power down, there might still be hope.

  • Windows – Press Ctrl-Shift-Escape to fire up the task manager. Select and close the application that is not responding.
  • Mac – Press Option-Command-Escape to fire up the force quit dialog box. Select and close the application that is not responding.

FORCE POWER OFF

Apple Mac Force Shutdown

If the shutdown commands will not even work, the last straw is to call for a hard power off – Press and hold the power button for at least 4 seconds to force a power down; This is a function on the motherboard and not the operating system… If it still does not power down, it might be a hardware problem instead of software.

CHEAT SHEET

LINKS & REFERENCES

Apple Mac Force Shutdown Download

WHAT’S NEXT?

Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this guide. I hope that this has helped you to better understand, and if you have anything to share with this guide, please feel free to comment below. Good luck and happy blogging. May the force be with you.