If your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro freezes up you should be able to fix the issue with a simple hard reset or force restart. You can typically fix frozen MacBook issues in just a few seconds.
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, 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, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro:
How to Hard Reset MacBook, 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, 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 Big Sur 11.4 for Better Security
If security is important to you, you should think about installing the macOS Big Sur 11.4 update right now.
macOS Big Sur 11.4 has a whopping 50+ security patches on board. You can read more about them over on Apple's security site.
If you missed macOS Big Sur 11.3.1, it had two crucial security patches on board, both related to WebKit. If you want to learn more about them, head over to Apple's website.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.3, it also had patches on board. The list included one for a vulnerability that escaped built-in malware protections. For more on macOS Big Sur 11.3's patches, head on over to Apple's security site.
If you missed earlier versions of macOS, you'll want to consider upgrading so you get their security patches as well.
macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 brought one security patch to Mac users. You can read more about it on Apple's website.
macOS Big Sur 11.2.1 had three security patches on board. You can read about them over on its security website.
macOS Big Sur 11.2 had a ton of patches on board and you can learn more about them right here.
If you missed macOS Big Sur 11.1, it had 51 security patches on board. You can read about them right here.
macOS Big Sur 11.1 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you're moving up from macOS Catalina, you'll get macOS Big Sur 11.0.1's 50+ security patches. If you're interested these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, macOS Big Sur comes with additional security and privacy upgrades including improvements to the App Store and Safari.
In Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With macOS Big Sur on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to macOS Big Sur, iOS 14, and iPadOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.
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