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How To Shut Down Mac With Keyboard

Mac Keyboard

Two options come to mind whenever you want to shut down your Mac. Either you long-press your computer’s power button or the mouse. But do you know that your keyboard can perform a similar function? Your computer’s keyboard is a potent tool, and with the correct key combinations, you can shut down your computer, put it to sleep, and lock its screen, among other functions. 

Quick Answer

To shut down your Mac with the keyboard, close all the open apps on your computer, save the changes on your open documents, eject all external devices, and press the “Control + Option + Command + Power” buttons. Alternatively, you can hold the power button for a few seconds until the screen turns off.

We will explain how you can shut down your Mac using your keyboard alone in a few simple steps. 

Step #1: Close All the Open Apps on Your Mac

The first thing you need to do is ensure that all the Apps you opened are closed. Shutting down your Mac would automatically close the apps if you haven’t done that already. However, if you are doing something important on the App, you should try to complete it and close it before initiating a shutdown. 

Step #2: Save All Open Documents

Your Mac will not shut down if you have open documents with unsaved changes. If you initiate a shutdown without saving changes on your open documents, your computer will alert you to save changes first. If you have any open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents, save changes and close the documents before you shut down.

Step #3: Safely Eject All External Devices

If you have any external device connected to your Mac, eject it before you initiate shutdown. Disconnect your hard drive, remove your flash drive, or eject the disc from the CD drive. This is to ensure that there is no data loss or corruption. 

Step #4: Initiate a Shutdown

There are three ways you can shut down your Mac using your keyboard. The first one involves pressing and holding down the power button, and the other two methods require some combinations on your keyboard.

Long-Press Power Button

The first step is to locate your power button. Depending on the model of your Mac, your power button can be in different locations. For MacBook Pro with touch bar and MacBook Air models (2018 or later), the power button is combined with the Touch ID and located at the top right side of the keyboard above the Delete key. 

For other MacBook Pro and Air models, the power button has a circular icon drawn on it, and you can find it at the top right corner of the keyboard. The power button on an iMac is located on the left-hand backside of the computer.

To shut down your Mac with the power button, press and hold the power button for a few seconds until the screen turns off. 

MacBook users usually long-press the power button until the computer screen turns off whenever they need to force shut down after their MacBook becomes unresponsive. 

Use Shortcut Keys

You may also use shortcut keys on your keyboard to shut down your computer. press the command “Control + Option + Command + Power.” For Macbooks with CD drives, you can press the command “Control + Option + Command + Media Eject” to shut down your computer automatically.

Should You Shut Down or Put Your MacBook to Sleep?

MacBook users often wonder if it is preferable to put the computer to sleep instead of shutting it down completely. Those who advocate for a complete shutdown insist that this would help to prolong battery life. However, with the advancement of modern computers, especially Macbooks, putting the computer into sleep mode has become more beneficial. 

Firstly, when the computer is in sleep mode, it can wake up to update your Apps and sync your devices. Putting your MacBook in sleep mode allows you to resume your tasks where you stopped. Since your Macbook uses a Solid-State Drive (SSD) rather than a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), there is no risk that putting it to sleep will wear down your computer. 

Finally, Macbooks have been designed to conserve energy in sleep mode. So, shutting down your computer doesn’t make that much of a difference compared to putting it in sleep mode. 

Therefore, unless your computer is showing signs of problems, you’re trying to comply with airline safety regulations, or you’re not planning to use your Macbook for a few months, it is preferable to put your Macbook to sleep. 

You can do that using the command “Option + Command + Power” or “Option + Command + Media Eject” for Macbooks with CD drives. Alternatively, you can press and hold the power button for about 1.5 seconds.


The shortcut key combination to shut down your Macbook might not be easy to remember at first, but once you use it a few times and get accustomed to it, you’ll have a handy alternative, especially when you want to shut down your unresponsive computer.

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