How I Fixed A Mac That Keeps Freezing And Restarting

How I Fixed A Mac That Keeps Freezing And Restarting

Update: Creating a new profile may only temporarily delay the problem while we should quickly backup our important files elsewhere! I have installed and used another OS (Elementary OS Review And Basic Usage) after the problem return, perhaps the expired Mac system is simply not feasible anymore.

I took a week of hiatus and when I boot the Mac, it was extraordinarily slow.

Mac keeps freezing and restarting problem

I let the Mac system updates itself but it keeps restarting it with the same message display that informed of the restarts. It still keep freezing or hanging and light tasks took way too long to even perform. The memory and CPU load usage does not seem saturated at all. I am seriously considering it is time for a new Linux.

This is a record of how I took about 2 days of figuring how to fix it. I almost gave up until an idea – new and clean profile.

I also tried installing the Mac OS anew by pressing the Option key. That may not solve my problem.

I also pressed the Shift key upon boot up and logon into an Admin account in safe mode – Yes, the system is faster and acting normal but I am not prepared to press Shift key every time I boot the system.

Why I still stuck with Mac and not Linux?

3 Mac Apps: Keynote, and 2 other licensed Mac apps. Mac desktops is still a good hardware and software.

Though I think Linux can be even more lightweight and efficient for certain similar tasks. The speed of a Linux on a bootable USB drive on the same machine is like a new energy boost drink – fast and unimpeded. Linux is still the preferred OS for most servers running across the world, and given the stability and low or free cost with thousands of developed programs it is understandably so.

As with all things, there may come a time when the Mac OS may be rendered unusable anymore. Linux (Elementary OS) may be the next step then.

My solution for Mac freeze and restart

How I fixed my Mac that keeps freezing and restarting?

I logon to a previous rarely used admin account in safe mode (press the Shift key for some time as soon as you power up the Mac).

Create, and logon with a new minimal profile. And when I logon to that new profile, I chose no apple Id login. No iCloud login.

These can be added later if necessary, just not now. Switch off all notifications for now. Basically, keep the new profile as low overhead as possible.

Now my Mac is running like new or better even when it is some years old since purchased.

Memory and CPU load
Memory and CPU load

You may also want to check that there are no login items in System Preferences->Users & groups. We want to keep the new login as ‘clean’ as possible.

No login items
No login items

From this point, we want to be aware what was added that may slo down the system. I would be careful of syncing incessantly with a full iCloud storage in the background.

What if that does not solve my Mac freeze and restart problems?

If you have exhausted all possible options (e.g. reinstall, safe mode and create new profile, wait for updates and restarts), then it may be time to consider a new OS e.g. Linux Elementary OS (that looks similar to Mac). You will want to have an external wi-fi adapter or an ethernet LAN cable for wired internet connection ready, Linux may not work well with Mac internal wifi driver. Here is an article that guide how you can install and dual boot an Elementary OS with Mac OS. Or we can install Elementary OS on the whole Mac hard disk after backup.

Backup with SCP

Some backup options include using an external hard disk, a large usb pen drive, a large mobile phone storage, even a high internet upload speed with a large cloud storage is possible. However, I went with copying directories with the wifi over to another Linux system. Just make sure you have the SSH server installed and started on that receiving Linux system like so:

sudo apt install ssh-server
sudo service ssh restart

Then copy over the directories from the sending Mac like so, replace the parameters accordingly:

scp -r source_folder username@192.168.x.x:~/Documents

Why use scp over other ways of backup?

  • Another system is likely to have high available storage ready
  • Fast, several gigabits of data can be transferred within hours over wifi
  • Easy as long as you know how, the single command is straightforward
  • Secure transfer

What are some ways to keep our system running well?

  • Keep your desktop clean
  • Different files go into their respective directories
  • Delete unwanted old profiles after backup
  • Outdated systems may benefit from free antivirus programs to patch security loopholes e.g. Avast or Avira
Avira scan
Avira scan

Installing Avira antivirus with brew on Mac is easy:

brew install --casks avira-antivirus


Remember create a brand new profile with minimal or no overload at all – No internet logons and syncing first. This may save your time and money buying a new Mac. Having a new profile can start a new clean environment for your account, which can be beneficial if we had somehow messed up.

Moving to Linux will mean losing whatever we spent on the apps and the Mac software, but it will also mean having a possibly bigger peace of mind for a (free or low-cost) fast and stable OS for years to come.


How to be more familiar with the command line?

Here is a Kindle book – Commands – I wrote for beginners and seniors unfamiliar with the command line.

Commands Kindle eBook
Commands Kindle eBook

What other ways to keep my Mac clean and more optimised?

You might want to delete unwanted apps (go to Finder->Applications and right click to trash unwanted apps) and large unused files if your disk space is running out. Keep your Mac desktop clean or uncluttered with minimal temporary files only.

If you install lots of brew programs and casks, you may do a spring clean and force uninstall programs and casks and remove brew before installing again, especially if you notice brew updates or upgrades are slow. You may have too many brew programs that you do not need anyway.

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