If your mouse cursor still works, clicking the Apple icon in the top left corner and selecting Restart will usually unfreeze your MacBook. But if your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro freezes and you’re unable to shut it down normally, you might need to hard reset it.
A hard reset is a fast solution and it should return your computer to a normal state. Before you hard reset your MacBook, rest assured that this process won’t wipe your computer’s data, it just reboots the MacBook.
Here are the steps to fix your frozen MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.
How to Hard Reset MacBook Air or MacBook Pro
In order to force restart your MacBook, you need to know where the power button is. On newer MacBook models, the power button is the Touch ID button that’s located in the upper right-hand corner of the computer. On some newer MacBook models, you’ll find the Touch ID button on the Touch Bar’s surface. It’s the button furthest to the right.
On MacBook models with physical F1-F12 keys, it’s located in the upper right-hand corner. If you own an older MacBook with an optical drive, the key doubles as it’s also your Eject button.
If your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro stops responding, here’s how to force restart it:
- To force a restart your MacBook, you need to press and hold down the Command (⌘) button, the Control (Ctrl) key, and the power button at the same time.
- Hold these keys down until your MacBook’s screen goes blank and the computer restarts itself.
- Once your computer reboots, you’ll need to sign back into your account.
- If force restarting doesn’t help alleviate the lockups and freezes, you should try charging your MacBook for up to an hour and/or rebooting it into Diagnostics Mode to see if the issue is hardware-related.
- If you can’t find anything wrong, you’ll want to get in contact with Apple customer support.
You shouldn’t have to force restart your MacBook regularly as it can make you lose work or just make you less productive. If your MacBook is frequently locking up, you’ll want to check out our guide to fixing common macOS problems. You may even want to get in touch with Apple support.
If your MacBook is freezing up all the time, you should try updating your apps via the App Store or investigate other potential solutions. Sometimes the solution is as simple as force closing apps that are hogging resources in the background or otherwise causing your MacBook to freeze.
Install macOS Monterey 12.4 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing the macOS Monterey 12.4 update right away.
macOS Monterey 12.4 delivers a whopping 50+ new security patches. These will help protect you and your device from harm.
If you're interested in exactly what Apple's patched up, you'll want to head on over to the company's security site.
As for older macOS updates, macOS Monterey 12.3.1 brought two security patches to Mac users. You can read more about them over on Apple's website.
Apple's macOS Monterey 12.3 update had 40+ security patches on board. If you want to learn more about these upgrades, you can check the particulars over on Apple's security site.
The macOS Monterey 12.2.1 update brought an important patch to Mac users. You can learn more about the patch over at Apple's security site.
Apple's macOS Monterey 12.2 update had 13 security patches on board. If you're interested in the details, head on over to Apple's website to learn more.
macOS Monterey 12.1 included 40+ new security patches to Macs. You can read all about them over on the company's security site.
Microsoft says it discovered a new 'Powerdir' vulnerability lurking in macOS. Powerdir allows "an attacker to bypass the operating system’s Transparency, Consent, and Control (TCC) technology, thereby gaining unauthorized access to a user’s protected data." Fortunately, Apple patched up the issue in macOS Monterey 12.1.
macOS Monterey 12.1 also included some important upgrades to privacy. The software delivered Apple's communication safety features for kids. You'll find these features in the Messages app, in Siri, in Spotlight, and in Search.
If you're moving up from macOS Big Sur, you'll also get macOS Monterey 12.0.1's 30+ security patches when you update. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, the macOS Monterey update comes with additional security and privacy upgrades.
If you're an Apple Card user, you'll now get a security code that changes regularly to use when you make online transactions.
Apple's also included a built-in authenticator that's similar to Google Authenticator. This will let you generate verification codes for enhanced sign-in security under your Passwords.
New Mail Privacy Protection helps prevent senders from tracking your Mail activity and there's a new recording indicator in Control Center for apps that are accessing your mic.
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