Let's suppose a case where I accidentally start the shutdown sequence of OSX (wrong shortcut, wrong menu item click in the Apple Menu, App asking for a reboot etc.)

Is there a way to cancel the shutdown sequence (during the time OSX kills opened apps) ?

  • Shutdown is implemented by the loginwindow process, killing the loginwindow process would stop the shutdown. But this logs you out it's not really much better.. Back in OS9 you could just open an application and it would stop the whole process!
    – MikelR
    Nov 27, 2013 at 23:44

4 Answers 4


You can just launch any app while the Mac is shutting down and that'll terminate the process.

sudo killall shutdown 

I've tried, it works.


If you have any unsaved documents the shutdown process will wait while the application prompts you to save the document, and eventually will time out. You can also click Cancel in the save dialog and shutdown process will interrupt.enter image description here


Just piggy-backing off @gravicle. When you enter the shutdown command in the terminal it should give you a (pid) number... Just sudo kill the (pid) number. Enjoy

  • Shutdown as a shell command is not the same as from the menu
    – mmmmmm
    May 21, 2020 at 7:40

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