Does Forced Shutdown, pushing power button until Mac shuts down, damage hard drive? Or operation system?

Can it cause damage to Mac's security so it will get weaker towards malicious things?

And if I run Disk Utility after forced shutdown, will it find any potential damage?

I've had it happen few times, but no underlying continuous problems, just want to know what could happen.

2 Answers 2


A forced shutdown doesn't damage your hardware nor does it weaken your security.

What it could potentially do is corrupt files because you are turning off the computer while they are open/active. These files can be anything from an open webpage or text file to system files that in use for any reason (like an update).

fsck checks for inconsistencies in the filesystem. Meaning it looks at the blocks, the inodes, the used space, the free space, etc. to see if everything "adds up." For instance, it will check the blocks and the sizes, if there is an error it will attempt to fix.

However, it won't repair a file that has been corrupted or the data lost - it simply can't recreate data.

As for "being dangerous to security" there's no direct link to your filesystem getting corrupted and security being compromised. If your file system has been corrupted to the point that services fail to load or critical files cannot be loaded you will know about it as the system will generate errors.

It will NOT suddenly open ports in your firewall or make your password go blank.

  • Thank you answering. Would Disk Utility find corruption if there is any? And that corruption therefore is not dangerous to my security then?
    – Mouho
    Dec 19, 2016 at 19:04
  • @Mouho There are two different kinds of corruption. If a write to the disk is interrupted in the right moment, a file could be partly overwritten. This isn't a defect Disk Utility always will find on HFS+ volumes. The other kind of corruption is that the index of the volume could have taken damage. This will be found by disk utility.
    – bot47
    Dec 20, 2016 at 5:07
  • @Max Ried The type that isn't found by Disk Utility, will it cause issues to system in some way or will it just sit there?
    – Mouho
    Dec 20, 2016 at 14:35
  • @Mouho Well, when data gets altered in an unintended way, this is certainly not good.
    – bot47
    Dec 20, 2016 at 16:04
  • @Max Ried But unless I notice something weird going on, should just let it be? Especially if security would not suffer (something slipping in unnoticed). Basically, if problems are invisible, that would worry me. But if Mac starts breaking down visibly, I'd know and be calm until then.
    – Mouho
    Dec 20, 2016 at 18:35

The main risk is file corruption. If the system is writing to a file when it loses power, then that file may end up containing incomplete or inconsistent information, or be rendered completely unreadable.

OS X will often run a filesystem check (fsck) automatically when you reboot after a forced shutdown, so by the time you can run Disk Utility to run a manual verification, it will probably already have found and fixed anything it can. It won't hurt to do it again, but fsck and Disk Utility can only find and fix certain types of problem; it's certainly still possible to end up with corrupted files that they'll never detect.

  • Thank you for answering. That bit about filesystem check is news to me, thanks for enlightening me! But those corrupted files themselves don't pose a threat to Mac's security?
    – Mouho
    Dec 19, 2016 at 19:05
  • @Mouho They pose a threat not to its security but could damage files including files related to the operating system rendering it unusable. Where did you get that security thing from?
    – bot47
    Dec 20, 2016 at 5:04
  • @Max Ried So the corrupted files would simply make operating system malfunction or not work at all and that would be rather easy to notice? Security worry came from Windows background - so there is no security risks involved, Mac weakening etc?
    – Mouho
    Dec 20, 2016 at 14:37
  • @Mouho Well, if you computer works as expected, it works as expected. Besides I can't imagine how merely randomly corrupted files could harm neither Windows' nor OS X' security.
    – bot47
    Dec 20, 2016 at 16:12
  • @Max Ried Thank you, Max! Mac seems to work totally fine. Disk Utility in normal mode (log in from administrator account) or from Recovery Mode (Command R) shows everything is normal, but when I do it in Safe Mode I get "Problems were found with the partition map which might prevent booting". i.imgur.com/aNVdpV5.png Don't know if this was caused by shut down or not as I did not do Disk Utility scan in Safe Mode before those times. I checked internet and found one thread that advised not to pay attention to Safe Mode Disk Utility scan if Recovery Mode scan comes up clean.
    – Mouho
    Dec 20, 2016 at 18:34

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