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All of a sudden my MacBook Air has started continuously rebooting. The screen cuts out, it goes back to apple logo then log in prompt. I can log in and then after a few seconds typically it cuts out and process repeats. Sometimes it cuts out before I can even log in.

The time is quite variable before it does cut out and restart.

I booted to safe mode and have run disk diagnostics about three times now, every time it comes back all fine.

I panicked and finally bought a dedicated external hard drive and did a time machine back up which completed successfully.

After this I rebooted normally and things seemed fixed, I was using it for about 30 mins with no reboots until an app which switched to full screen caused it to cut out and the same behaviour to start again.

If it's not the disk- what could it be and where should I go from here?

MacBook Air 2013 - os ex El Capitan

  • This seems like a kernel issue, it shouldn't just "reboot" from nowhere (not even showing a message!). I would recommend you to reinstall macOS and see if that fixes the problem. A clean installation would be recommended. – Alejandro Iván Mar 16 '17 at 15:55
  • I'd try resetting the SMC and NVRAM before installing the OS. However, if the resets don't work, I'd try installing a clean copy of the OS like @AlejandroIván suggested – NoahL Mar 16 '17 at 18:11
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If it boots fine in Safe Mode then it's more likely to be some sort of software issue/conflict.

However, I'd still do a NVRAM and SMC reset (in that order) as there's really no harm in trying that first. Before following the steps below, ensure you have no external hardware connected and that you're using the built-in keyboard.

Reset the NVRAM

Reset the NVRAM on your MBA as follows:

  1. Shut down your machine. Yes, a full shut down, not just logging out.
  2. Press the power button and then press the commandoptionpr keys. You have to make sure you press these keys before the gray screen appears or it won’t work.
  3. Hold those keys down until your MBA reboots again and you here the startup chime.
  4. Let go of the keys and let your MBA reboot normally.

Note: When you log back in you may need to readjust some of your system preferences (e.g. speaker volume, screen resolution, startup disk selection, time zone information, etc).

Reset the SMC

To reset the SMC on your MBA, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your MBA
  2. Keep the power cable plugged in.
  3. Press at the same time shiftoptioncontrol (on the left side of the keyboard) and the power button
  4. Let go
  5. Turn your computer back on with the power button.

After resetting both the NVRAM and SMC, use your computer to determine if the issue still persists. Let me know how you go.

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