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How to Fix a Frozen MacBook in Seconds



If your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air is frozen, you should be able to fix the issue in a matter of seconds and get back to work or your show.

On occasion, your MacBook might become frozen at which point it will stop responding to key strokes and/or the touch pad. If it becomes unresponsive, you’ll typically need to restart the device though there are a few other methods to get your MacBook unfrozen.

In this guide we’ll take you through some quick and easy steps to take if your MacBook locks up while you’re installing a macOS update or simply using the device.

Force Quit

The first step you should take is known as a force quit. This will force any applications that are causing your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro to stop running and allow you to keep using your computer normally.

Force quitting an unresponsive application will typically unfreeze a MacBook.

  1. Press the Command + Option + Escape keys on your keyboard simultaneously.
  2. Select the application that isn’t responding.
  3. Click the “Force Quit” button to close the app.

If all of your applications are working normally, move onto the next steps.

Restart Your MacBook

Often times restarting your MacBook will alleviate the issue. Restarting your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air will close all processes and it should return your device to a normal state.

  1. Press and hold the power button on your MacBook until it shuts off.
  2. Wait a few seconds, then press the power button to turn your MacBook back on.

If your MacBook is still freezing on a regular basis, below are a few other steps you can take.


Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory or NVRAM stores certain settings on your MacBook and if it’s not working properly, it can cause your computer to freeze. Resetting your MacBook’s NVRAM can help. Keep in mind, this will only work with Intel-based MacBook models.

  1. Use the power button to turn your MacBook off.
  2. Press the power button to turn your MacBook back on.
  3. While it’s starting, press and hold the Command + Option + P + R keys together.
  4. Continue holding the keys until you hear the startup sound twice.
  5. Release the keys and allow your MacBook to start up normally.

If your MacBook is still unresponsive, try resetting the SMC.

Reset SMC

The System Management Controller (SMC) manages hardware functions on your MacBook like the fan and battery. If it’s not working properly, your MacBook may stop responding to clicks and swipes.

  1. Use the power button to turn your MacBook off.
  2. Press and hold the Shift + Control + Option keys and the power button simultaneously for 10 seconds.
  3. Release all keys and the power button.
  4. Press the power button to turn your MacBook back on.

If you have a MacBook Pro or Air with Apple silicon, you just need to restart your device.

Boot in Safe Mode

You can also try booting your MacBook in Safe Mode. This will disable third-party extensions and processes to help you quickly figure out what’s causing your MacBook to freeze.

  1. Use the power button to turn your MacBook off.
  2. Press the power button to turn your MacBook back on.
  3. Press and hold the Shift key as soon as you hear the device make the startup sound.
  4. Release the Shift key when you see the Apple logo.

In Safe Mode, try opening any application or process you think may be causing your MacBook to freeze. If your computer freezes, you may need to install an update for the app or uninstall it from your device.

MacBook Frozen During Software Update

If your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air freezes while you’re installing a software update, you may need to perform some extra steps.

If your MacBook freezes during a software update, here are the steps to take.

macOS updates can take awhile to install, especially if moving from one operating system to another, but sometimes the process might get stuck. The screen will likely look like the above image. If that happens, do the following.

  1. Use the power button to turn your MacBook off.
  2. Power your MacBook back on.

If you’re still having issues with the update power your MacBook off again and then unplug any accessories connected to the device. This could be a drive or a printer. Power it back on.

If it’s still not working, you may need to repair your startup disk or reinstall macOS from macOS Recovery.

4 Reasons Not to Install macOS Sonoma 14.5 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install macOS Sonoma 14.5 for Better Security

Install macOS Sonoma 14.5 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's macOS Sonoma 14.5 update right away.

macOS Sonoma 14.5 delivers 20+ security patches and these will help protect your device and it data from harm. 

You'll also get patches from macOS updates you missed when you upgrade to macOS Sonoma 14.5.

macOS Sonoma 14.4.1 included two security patches while macOS Sonoma 14.4 brought 50+ security updates to compatible Mac devices.

The latter also delivered quantum security protection for iMessage. Apple says the upgrade gives iMessage "the strongest security properties of any at-scale messaging protocol in the world."

Apple's macOS Sonoma 14.3 update brought 16 new security patches to Mac. These will help keep your device and its data protected from harm. 

macOS Sonoma 14.2.1 featured one security patch and it fixed an issue where a user who shares their screen may unintentionally share the incorrect content.

macOS Sonoma 14.2 included a whopping 20 security patches for your Mac. If you want to learn more about them, head here.

The software also included iMessage Contact Key Verification which improves the security of iMessage.

macOS Sonoma 14.1.2 delivered two security patches, both related to WebKit. These patches were extremely important.

macOS Sonoma 14.1 had numerous security patches on board and they addressed issues with Photos, Safari, Siri and more. You can learn more about them over at Apple.

macOS Sonoma 14.0, the first version of macOS Sonoma, brought a ton of new security patches to Mac. And when we say a ton, we mean a ton. 

It delivered over 50 security updates to Mac users. You can learn more about the particulars over on Apple's security site.

In addition to the patches, macOS Sonoma brings additional enhancements to privacy and security including improvements to Communication Safety beyond Messages.

It now includes content sent and received in the systemwide photo picker and third-party apps. You also have an option to blur out sensitive photos and videos before you choose to view them.

There's also an expanded Lockdown Mode which will help protect you against cyber attacks and improved sharing permissions which means you have more control over what you share with the apps on your device. 

If you skipped older versions of macOS, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your macOS Sonoma 14.5 update.

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