Your Mac Retains Shutting Down Randomly? This is What You Can Do

You are working on a task, surfing the Internet, or doing some other important task. All of a sudden, your Mac shuts down randomly and for no apparent reason. Usually this is just a one-time event and never happens again. But when you're dealing with a Mac that usually shuts down without warning, you may have bigger problems.

Here are some troubleshooting tips and tools that you can use to repair your Mac.

What to do if your Mac keeps shutting down

When an accidental Mac shutdown occurs, the first and most important step is to perform a graceful shutdown. It is necessary? Yes, because background processes and programs are not always closed correctly in the event of an accidental shutdown. So, restart your Mac and restart it.

The cause of an unexpected shutdown could be hardware or software problems. Whatever the reason, these events are recorded in the log (Utilities> Console). With macOS Sierra or later, the console does not give you access to older log entries, so they may not appear in the system.log file. But there is a way to get information from terminal.

Just run the following command: log show –predicate & # 39; eventMessage contains "previous cause of shutdown" & # 39; –last 24hr This command simply extracts the shutdown event message that occurred within the last 24 hours. If your Mac happened to shut down, you will see the timestamp details along with the "Error Code". This StackExchange discussion of the causes of the shutdown and this archived AppleCare document list some common error codes:

  • -3: several temperature sensors too high
  • -60: faulty master directory block, fatal hard drive failure
  • -61 or -62: unresponsive app resulting in forced shutdown
  • -64: Kernel panic, probably due to a firmware problem
  • -74: Battery too hot
  • -86, -95: Ambient temperature too high
  • -104: unknown battery failure
  • 3: Forced shutdown
  • 5: clean shutdown

The negative error codes relate to hardware that comes primarily from the System Management Controller (SMC) and the positive error codes relate to software. If you get a negative "Error Code" and restarting doesn't fix the problem, Apple recommends resetting the Mac's SMC.

How to reset the SMC

The SMC is a chip in Intel-based Macs. It controls many important components such as LED displays, sensors, fans, and power switches. At the same time, it plays a role in the behavior of your hard drive, the behavior of your Mac in sleep mode, and the power supply.

Before you begin, Apple recommends that you do the following:

  1. Shut down your Mac.

  2. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds, then release it.

  3. Wait a few seconds, then press the power button again to turn on your Mac.

If the problem persists, follow the steps in our guide to reset the SMC. The procedure depends on whether you have a desktop or laptop Mac, whether the battery is removable or non-replaceable, and whether or not it contains the T2 security chip.

Macs with an M1 chip don't have an SMC, so there's no point in resetting it. If you suspect a problem with SMC functions, do the following:

  1. Shut down your Mac.

  2. Disconnect any non-essential peripherals and the main power cord.

  3. Wait a moment and restart your Mac.


As the heat builds up inside your Mac, it may turn itself off to avoid damaging its internal components. In most cases, improper installation of the machine can lead to an accidental shutdown. We recommend that you keep the laptop on a flat surface to ensure adequate air circulation.

You may want to use compressed air to clean the air vents to prevent clogging. We also advise as a precaution not to use MacBooks at temperatures above 95 degrees. Here are some tips and tricks to keep an overheated MacBook cool down.

Maintaining a Healthy Mac

Macs last a long time, but they can develop problems as they age. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your Mac will keep running smoothly over the years.

Monitor your battery

Batteries don't last forever. The use of your MacBook battery occurs in the form of charge cycles. Each battery is only suitable for a limited number of charging cycles. At this point the battery has run out and you need to replace it.

You can view the current number of battery cycles on your Mac by going to the Apple menu and select About this Mac. Choose System report and then navigate to the power Subsection under hardware. Under Battery information, you see the current one Number of passes.

A charge cycle means that all of the battery's power is used, not necessarily a single charge. Discharging the battery from 100 to 50 percent and then recharging it to 100 percent before discharging it back to 50 percent counts as one cycle. The maximum number of cycles varies depending on the model.

Some early MacBooks only offered 300 cycles, while newer models typically run up to 1,000 cycles. With Optimized charging of the battery selected in System Settings> Battery, macOS intelligently chooses when to charge over 80 percent in order to keep the battery healthy over the long term. To learn more, read How to optimize battery charging on Apple devices and how it works.

Third-party tools can do even more

A great choice if you want to learn more about your Mac's battery is Battery Monitor ($ 4.99). The app goes beyond the number of cycles and explains information in less technical terms so you can keep track of battery temperature, status, design capacity, and more.

Among other things, you can even display the total number of charging cycles, the maximum capacity of the battery in the delivery state and the current capacity. It is also important to check the temperature of your battery. A battery that overheats frequently indicates bigger problems.

Reading the logs

The less you need to charge your battery, the longer the battery should last and the healthier your computer will stay. Hence, apps that are consistent battery hogs can hurt your investment in the long run. To see which apps are using the battery, click the battery icon in the menu bar and see the list of apps under Consumption of considerable energy.

We also recommend you to use Activity monitor to show you the apps and services that are consuming the CPU. Pay special attention to the objects under the Central processor and energy Tabs as large numbers could be a nuisance here. Here is our Activity Monitor guide to see what's happening on your Mac.

Save your energy

You should also check your computer's Energy saver Settings, is located in the System settings. For most users, the default settings will be adequate. click restore default settings for these settings.

Calibrate your MacBook battery

Apple's newer laptops no longer need to go through the same calibration process. Older models that did not have a unibody design with replaceable batteries benefited from regular calibration.

The purpose of calibration is to estimate the time remaining before the battery needs to be charged. To help extend the life of your laptop, check out these tips to improve MacBook battery life.

What if your Mac keeps randomly shutting down?

If your Mac continues to shut down after using the troubleshooting tools above, it is time to visit an Apple Store or an Apple-approved service provider. You can also contact the company through Apple Support.

For any Mac that is currently out of warranty, another option to consider is a third-party repair center. These can often fix the problem for much less than going directly through Apple. If the cause of your accidental shutdown is the battery, check out your MacBook battery replacement options.

The 4 Safest MacBook Battery Replacement Options

Here are your options for replacing a MacBook battery and how much it will cost to replace the Mac battery.

Continue reading

About the author

Brent Dirks
(214 published articles)

Born and raised in sunny west Texas, Brent graduated from Texas Tech University with a BA in Journalism. He has been writing about technology for over 5 years and enjoys everything Apple, accessories, and security related.

By Brent Dirks

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free e-books, and exclusive offers!

Click here to subscribe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *