How to Restart Your Mac

A dusty weary MacBook Pro highligting the power button
Khamosh Pathak

If your Mac is acting a bit unresponsive, running slowly, programs aren’t running properly, or is displaying any other sort of abnormal behavior, sometimes all it needs is a reboot. Here are a few different ways to do that.

Restart Your Mac Using the Apple Menu

The quickest (and easiest) way to restart your Mac is by using the power options from the Apple menu on the desktop. First, select the “Apple” icon at the top-left corner of the computer’s interface.

RELATED: How to Shut Down Your Mac Using Terminal

Apple icon on Mac

In the menu that appears, select the “Restart” button.

Restart Mac via apple menu

Your Mac will now restart. Give your computer a minute to come back up and most of your lag or small issues should (hopefully) be fixed.

Restart Your Mac from Terminal

If you’re a bit more technical, you can restart your Apple computer using the Terminal. Go ahead and open the Terminal. You can do this by pressing the Command + Space keys simultaneously to open the Spotlight Search, typing “Terminal” in the search bar, and then selecting the “Terminal” app from the results.

open terminal mac

Now you’re ready to reboot your Mac. Keep in mind that you’ll need to use the “sudo” command here. Otherwise, you’ll be greeted by the error message shown below.

Not super user message

The sudo (superuser do) command gives you superuser security privileges.

To restart your Mac, enter the following command:

Sudo shutdown -r <time>

Replace <time> with the specific time you’d like to reboot your Mac. If you want to do it immediately, type now. If you want it to reboot in an hour, type +60.

Press Enter and then type your Mac’s password when prompted.

reboot command

Your Mac will now restart at the specified time.

Force Restart Your Mac

If your cursor is frozen and your Mac won’t respond, you can do a force restart. Keep in mind that if you force a restart, you will likely lose any unsaved work in documents you’re working on.

To force a restart, press and hold the Control + Command + Power keys simultaneously until your computer’s screen goes blank. Your Mac will reboot after several seconds.

Alternatively, if you use an iMac or other Mac tower with a physical Power button, you can long-press the button until your display goes black.

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