How to Restart a Mac Computer
If your Mac desktop or Mac laptop is acting sluggish or programs are failing to run, you need to know how to restart your Mac computer. Restarting or rebooting your Mac essentially clears your computer’s memory and starts it up fresh. When you restart your computer, your Mac closes all running programs and offers to save any files you’re working on. After you choose to save any files, your Mac will finally boot up again.
To restart a Mac computer, you have three choices:
- Press the power button (or press Control+Eject) and, when a dialog box appears, click the Restart button.
- Choose the Apple key and then click Restart.
- Press Control+Command+Eject (or Control+Command+Power button).
Pressing the Control+Command+Eject/Power button is the most reliable way to restart a Mac because it doesn’t rely on the Mac OS X operating system.
Restarting a Mac computer isn’t the same as turning the computer on and off, which completely resets it. If you really want to make sure that your computer starts up correctly, turn it off, wait a few seconds, and then turn it on again. If you’re in a hurry, try restarting your Mac, and if that doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll have to turn it off and on again.
If your Mac freezes, restarting might not work. If your Mac is generally acting weird, restarting isn’t your only option. Macs are known not to need a lot of maintenance or troubleshooting, but if restarting (or rebooting) doesn’t work, consider some other basic troubleshooting options for your Mac.