(Pocket-lint) – If your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro is completely frozen and you don’t know what to do next, perhaps consider force-restarting your Apple laptop. Often used as a last resort, a force restart may be your quickest (and only) option for getting your Mac up and running again.

How to quickly force-restart a Mac

Before taking this drastic route, try restarting your Mac the classic way: Click the Apple symbol in the upper left corner of the screen and select Restart. You can also force a shutdown of your Mac if necessary by pressing and holding the power button until your Mac shuts down.

If these methods aren’t working for you, or maybe your screen and cursor are stuck and you can’t select anything, then try the force-restart option below.

  1. Press and hold down the Command and Control keys with the power button.
    • The power button is also a Touch ID‌ / Eject button, depending on the Mac model.
  2. Your Mac’s screen should go dark, and your Mac should restart. 
  3. Log in to your computer and continue to use it as normal. Easy, right?

Note: On a 2018 ‌MacBook Air‌ and the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, the power button doubles as the ‌Touch ID‌ button in the top-right corner of the keyboard. On any MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, it’s the ‌Touch ID‌ surface on the right side of the Touch Bar.

What happens when you force-restart?

A force restart is a fast solution that should return your computer to a normal state. Before you force-restart your MacBook, rest assured this process won’t wipe your computer’s data. It just reboots your device. But you may lose unsaved changes in open documents when you force a  restart – because your Mac will completely shut down.

The screen will go black, and when the machine boots back up, you will have to log back into your account. 

How to force-quit an app on a Mac

If an app you were using is frozen, and your Mac is working well otherwise, then try force-quitting the app rather than force-quitting your laptop. You can hold down the Option (⌥) key then right-click the offending app’s icon in the Dock and select Force Quit. Or you can press these three keys together: Option, Command, and Escape. A Force Quit window will open. Select the app that you want to quit, then click Force Quit. You can also access the Force Quit pane from the Apple menu in the corner of your screen.

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Do you still need help with your Mac?

If your MacBook repeatedly freezes and you’re unsure what’s happening, perhaps restart your Mac in Apple Diagnostics mode to check if it’s a hardware problem.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.

The post The quickest way to force-restart your Mac if it's frozen first appeared on

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