Mac Won't Shut Down Because App Won't Close Rating: 10,0/10 9446 reviews

To quit (close) a Mac app normally, choose Quit from the app's menu in the menu bar, or press Command (⌘)-Q. If the app doesn't quit, follow these steps to force the app to quit.

How to force an app to quit

  1. Press these three keys together: Option, Command, and Esc (Escape). This is similar to pressing Control-Alt-Delete on a PC. Or choose Force Quit from the Apple () menu in the upper-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select the app in the Force Quit window, then click Force Quit.

Force quit the active app. To determine whether the spinning wheel of death is the result of a single app, click off of it onto the Mac desktop and force quit the app. Restart it again, and there may be no problem. There's a good chance, though, that you'll see the spinning pinwheel again with that app. Here's what you need to do if you want to use your Mac with the lid closed, including how to keep a MacBook awake with the lid closed or prevent it sleeping so you can continue with a download. I have a Mac Mini with Lion and the latest version of iTunes installed. Occasionally iTunes will do something strange and today was one of those days. I was on iTunes listening to some music and podcasts. When I was finished I went to shut it down. After I shut it down it popped back open. I tried to shut it down again and the same thing happened. Solved: Since the last update PP won't shut down without a force quit on iOS 10.12.6. It functions perfectly otherwise. I guess it's not a big problem.or is - 10295129. Feb 17, 2010  Mac won't shut down because iPhoto is importing photos - Answered by a verified Mac Support Specialist We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy unless you have disabled them.

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  • You can also force the Finder to quit, if it stops responding. Select Finder in the Force Quit window, then click Relaunch.
  • If none of your apps are responding, you can force your Mac to restart.
  • You can also force an app to close on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

I used the MacBook Pro 2019 for just a few minutes, it won't shut down by itself. It stays on the black screen and I have to hold the power button to turn it off.

After my iMac upgraded to macOS Mojave, it will not shut down completely. When shutting down, it gets to a black screen with a circular 'hour glass' and stays there.

After updating to Catalina, my Mac Mini won't shut down. I have to press power button to shut it off. Anyone having same problems? Any solutions?


If your Mac is encountering similar problems, here’s what to do if your Mac doesn't shut down properly.

    Solution 1: Close All Apps before Shutting Down

    Solution 2: Reset SMC or NVRAM

    Solution 3: Run Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test

    Solution 4: Perform a Safe Boot

  • Bonus: What to Do if You Lost Your Important Files?

How to Shut Down Your Mac Correctly

It should be easy to shut down your MacBook Pro/Air, iMac. Here's what you need to do.

Step 1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left of your screen, then select Shut Down..


Step 2. You will see an alert warning that your Mac will shut down. Click Shut Down once again. Press and hold down the Command key while choosing Shut Down if you want to skip the countdown.

Step 3. You may see a warning suggesting you should save what you have been working on if there are apps with unsaved changes.

Step 4. Once all the apps are closed, your Mac should shut down.

Top Solutions for 'Mac won't shut down' Issue?

Why Won't My Laptop Shut Down

All the following fixes are available for MacBook Pro, iMac Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, etc.

1Mac Won't Shut Down? Close All Apps

This is a simple solution that has worked for many users. Before shutting down your Mac, it is recommended that you close all of your running apps. Sometimes, a frozen/crashing app or unsaved files can prevent Mac from shutting down. Manually closing the app can cause your Mac to shut down without issues.

Mac Computer Won't Shut Down

If caused by unsaved files: Check the Dock for bouncing app alerts. If you need to save a file, choose Save from the Alert Window for each document.

Macbook Air Won T Shut Down

If caused by frozen/crashing applications like Safari or Finder: To quit a Mac app normally, choose 'Force Quit' from the app’s menu in the menu bar, or press Command+ the Q key.

2Mac not Shutting Down? Reset SMC or NVRAM (PRAM)

Reset SMC

The SMC (System Management Controller) of a Mac is an integrated chip inside the logic's keyboard of your computer that controls energy in most physical components of the device. Sometimes an issue in SMC's configuration can prevent your Mac from shutting down. You can solve the issue by resetting SMC. Here are the steps:

  • 1. Shut down your Mac and unplug the battery charger from it (if it is connected).

  • 2. Now on the keyboard, press 'Shift + Control + Option'. Also press and hold the power button while doing it.

  • 3. After ten seconds, let go all the keys and press the power button again. The problem will be solved.


If resetting SMC did not solve the problem, then it is recommended that you reset NVRAM (PRAM). NVRAM is a special memory that stores certain settings of Mac and quickly accesses them when required. If you cannot shut down your Mac, then resetting NVRAM might fix the issue. Follow these instructions:

  • 1. Shut down the Mac and turn it back on. While it is turning on, press and hold these keys simultaneously: Option + Command + P + R.

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  • 2. Don't let go the keys until you see your Mac restarting. Wait for the device to start up. If everything goes right, the problem will be solved.

3Mac Won't Shut Down? Run Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test

You can use the Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test to diagnose certain issues with the internal hardware of your Mac. This includes things such as wireless components, system memory, logic board, etc. If your Mac won't shut down, then these two tools are likely to solve the problem.

Keep in mind that you should use Apple Diagnostics if your Mac is manufactured in 2013 or later. On the other hand, use Apple Hardware Test if your Mac is manufactured in 2012 or earlier. Follow these instructions to use Apple Diagnostics:

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  • 1. First, unplug all the external components from your Mac except mouse/trackpad, keyboard, and display.

  • 2. Next, restart your Mac and during the restarting process, press and hold the D key. Apple Diagnostics will run automatically.

  • 3. After that, follow the on-screen instructions to see if there are any issues. Then fix those certain issues.

Follow these instructions to do Apple Hardware Test:

  • 1. Disconnect all external components from your Mac except mouse/trackpad, keyboard, and display.

  • 2. Restart your Mac and press and hold D when its restarting. Apple Hardware Test screen will appear.

  • 3. Follow the on-screen instructions. If an issue is detected, see the message describing the problem and then fix the problem accordingly.

4Perform a Safe Boot to Fix 'Mac won't shut down black screen' Issue

This is another solution to Mac's shutdown problem. Sometimes a corrupted system cache may prevent Mac from shutting down. Using the Safe Boot deletes the system cache, hence solving the issue. Follow these instructions:

  • 1. Turn off your Mac anyway you can and wait for at least ten seconds, then boot it up using the power button.

  • 2. As soon as you hear the startup beep of your Mac, press and hold the Shift key.

  • 3. Keep holding the Shift key until you see the Apple Logo and a progress indicator on the screen.

  • 4. If everything goas right, your Mac will start in Safe Boot.

You should note that it may take longer than usual to reach your desktop or login screen of your Mac, so be patient. If the Safe Mode works correctly, restart the Mac and see if an unexpected issue occurs. If it doesn't, then the problem of Mac not shutting down will be solved.

Bonus: What to Do if You Lost Your Important Files

If for some reason you have lost all of your data on your Mac, then don't worry; there are ways to recover that data. The most reliable way is to use a data recovery software. iMyFone AnyRecover is one of the best Mac data recovery software. It is so powerful that will allow you to recover nearly all types of deleted data with ease.

Features of AnyRecover

  • It helps you recover all kinds of files on Mac, even from an unbootable Mac.

  • Supports all sorts of all mountable devices, including MacBook/iMac, SD cards, hard drives, USB flash drives, camcorders, smartphones, etc.

  • It even detects and recovers files from whole partitions that went missing on your Mac.

  • User-friendly software interface, enables you to recover any kind of files on your Mac is easy as 1-2-3.

  • It is suitable for all data loss scenarios: emptied trash, accidentally deleted data, virus attack, formatted device, Mac won't shut down or reboot issue, etc.

Steps to Recover Lost Data After Shutdown Mac with AnyRecover:

First, you need to download and install this software on your computer, then launch it.

Step 1: Launch AnyRecover software and select the location you are trying to recover from. And click the “Start” button to start the scanning.

Step 2: The software will automatically begin the scanning process. This can help you recover your lost data from your selected location.

Step 3: From the list of lost files, select those you want to restore, then click on Recover button to start the restore process.