Stop! Don't Force Shutdown!

Updated: 
07/31/2015

Holding power button to power down your computer is probably the most dangerous thing you should avoid!

If hard drive data is being accessed at the point of force power down, data loss may happen.

Instead…

  • If the pointer/cursor still moves:
    • Press ⌘ + Option + [esc] to open Force Quit dialog box
    • Find out if any item is red
    • Select the item in red then click [Force Quit]
    • Just to play safe, have your Mac power-cycle (shut down from Menu, wait for 1 min, then turn your Mac back on)
  • Even though pointer/cursor moves, the rest is completely frozen:
    • Check if Force Quit dialog box opens (⌘ + Option + [esc] )
    • Check if clock display is not frozen (for this, it is beneficial to set the clock display seconds)
    • Check if you can jump to another application with Application Switcher (⌘ + Tab)
    • Wait 5 min to see if anything improves
  • When nothing works:
    • Put your ears on to you Mac and check if there is any scratching noise or spinning noise is heard
    • If scratch noise is heard, try to learn the pattern
    • Learn the interval when scratch noise stop then hold the power button to shut it down