How to Unfreeze MacBook Air

Your MacBook Air could freeze up for multiple reasons, so there could be various ways to troubleshoot and fix it. You can force quit a frozen app if that is the issue or reboot your MacBook Air if the device itself is frozen. 

My name is Ty Robinson. I have spent many years in IT and dealt with various technical issues with Macs. One of the most common issues t I deal with is frozen apps or a frozen OS.

Your MacBook Air freezing up should be a very infrequent occurrence. But your device could run into hiccups occasionally, causing your entire MacBook Air to freeze and the device. Through this article, I will explain how to identify and deal with the issue once it occurs.

Key Takeaways

  • If a Mac application you are working on has stopped responding to inputs, you can force it to quit.
  • Hard reset your MacBook Air if you notice that the device has stopped responding. 
  • Check for possible causes for freezing after rebooting your MacBook Air to see if it is preventable or simply a random occurrence. 

Method 1: Force Quit a Frozen Application on MacBook Air

Suppose you are working within an application and notice that your inputs aren’t registering and the application has become unresponsive. In that case, the best action would be to force quit or terminate the frozen application. 

One of the first methods to quitting a frozen app after verifying that only the app is affected is to navigate to the Apple logo in the top left. Select the force quit option to terminate it. 

To force quit using just a keyboard shortcut, simply press option+command+esc.

Another way to force a disobedient application to quit is to navigate to the Activity Monitor and terminate the process. 

Navigate to the search on the top right to the small magnifying glass, and type in “Activity Monitor.” Once there, search for the problem app, click on it, and select the small X to terminate the application altogether. 

Method 2: Reboot Your MacBook Air to Unfreeze It

If you notice that you can not use your mouse or keyboard and everything on your MacBook Air has locked up, a reboot is the best course of action. This is not the safest option as it will not save anything and could cause corruption, but in some cases, it is unavoidable.

Hold the power button for ten seconds to force your MacBook Air to shut down. Sometimes it may take an extra few seconds, but keep the button held down until the device completely powers off. 

The power button on the MacBook Air is on the top right of the keyboard; it doubles as the Fingerprint scanner in most models. It is directly above the power button.

Method 3: Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Shutdown Your MacBook Air

You can use key combinations to shut down your MacBook Air if it is entirely unresponsive. 

The first key combo will attempt to safely close all apps and shut off your MacBook Air. Press Control + Option + Command + Power simultaneously. Unfortunately, this may not work, meaning you must result to the following Key Combination. 

Press Control + Command + Power simultaneously, and continue holding them down until the device powers off completely. 

Method 4: Let the MacBook Air Battery Drain 

The final method you can use to get your Frozen MacBook Air to power off is simply letting it drain its battery. Unplug the charger from your device, and leave it to drain slowly.

This could easily be the most time-consuming method; a full MacBook Air battery could last anywhere from 12-15 hours. Once the battery dies, plug in the power adapter, allow it time to charge, and power it back on. 

Final Thoughts

Your MacBook Air, or just your applications, can freeze up occasionally. Knowing how to deal with the issue when it occurs is a great skill to add to your tech arsenal.

You can hold the power button for ten seconds to shut down your frozen MacBook Air. There are two keyboard commands you can use as well, Control + Option + Command + Power and Control + Command + Power. The last option is simply letting the battery drain.

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