My MacBook Pro (15-inch, Retina, Mid 2014, macOS 10.13.1) shuts down randomly.

  1. It shuts down suddenly when on battery
  2. It shuts down a little more rare when connected to AC
  3. It works almost fine when in safe mode
  4. It works perfectly while I install macOS
  5. It works fine when I have an external screen connected and a YouTube video is playing there (it is my last solution to make work on this comp) but…
  6. It shuts down with external screen connected but no video playing. It happens in the moment of going to sleep mode. Or while it is in sleep mode, I don't know exactly. So maybe video playing helps in that it doesn't go sleep because of video.

Not working possible solutions, I tried:

  1. reset SMC
  2. reset PRAM
  3. login with newly created user
  4. reinstall OS X over old OS X
  5. reinstall OS X entirely
  6. replace thermal paste. I found that one screw "hole" was unlinked from board. So my heat sink is fixed with 3 screws. But it touches bottom plate when it fixed. So it is kind of tight to CPU anyway. It can be a problem though. But why stress tests passing then?! Read next.
  7. monitor temperature (no overheating)
  8. monitor battery (no problems)
  9. run Apple Hardware Test (no issues)
  10. look at Console App. Logs are not saying anything important or like. On old OSX and newly installed. Logs just cut on time of shutdown and then line BOOT_TIME.
  11. Stress test CPU. 8 times yes > /dev/null & in Terminal. And all cores are 100% loaded. Temperature raises, fans in turbo mode. No shutdown, no problems.
  12. Stress test GPU. Open Webgl demo page in browser with 10000 fishes in awuarium. No problems.

Some lasting ideas:

  1. Replace battery (not easy and fast as I need. A lot of work pending)
  2. Go to Apple and leave my only computer for unknown period of time. And I have no warranty of course. And I Googled a lot of stories when Apple couldn't find a issue and people had to replace main board for big money and time. Very bad.
  3. Buy new computer. A bit difficult for me now.
  4. I have read in some places, that this problem doesn't appear in Windows in Boot Camp! I even downloaded Windows 10 to try, but not yet. Anyway I need my favourite macOS, not Windows.
  5. Somewhere I read that it is some problem because of low voltage mode on CPU. It causes some 'unstable' regime in CPU and so system halts. It was only little info about that. It seems like real path to solution. But I don't know how to investigate this more.

A little History

  1. 2 months ago: I changed battery with one from aliexpress (china market). It was described as OEM Apple. It is quite the same and it detects with coconutBattery as Simplo manufacturer. I Googled and they say it is like OEM.
  2. 1 month ago: I have replaced my charger cord with one from fault charger. With MagSafe 2 connector.

The beginning

I took my MacBook to the bed and it shut down unexpectedly. It was like screen gone black, but backlight on. Then fans went full throttle slowly. And then it shut down completely. I pressed power btn and it started as usual. No messages. No warnings.

Then it worked for some time (maybe half an hour) and story repeated.

I decided that it is overheating because of bed. Took it to the desk. And problem repeated in some time. I began to google this hard. And play with problem to nail it down.

In the process I found that it works fine in Safe Mode (almost, but I had couple of crashes even in safe mode) It works fine when I reinstall macOS. All long 2 hours of downloading and 1 of installing it worked. After long google I found that it works better with external screen connected.

Current situation

So to recap. MacBook is failing almost always, except when I have external screen and video on it.

  • This is a great question! Do you intend for the title to be "Macbook Pro 15" retina mid 2014 random shutdowns" rather than "Macbook pro 2015 retina mid 2014 random shutdowns"?
    – Jake3231
    Nov 24, 2017 at 0:38
  • The first thing you should do is look for the "shutdown cause" in the system log. I just (in the last 10 mins) wrote an answer on exactly how to do this. A battery isn't required to power your Mac, so I would disconnect it for now to see if the problem goes away.
    – Allan
    Nov 24, 2017 at 2:16
  • no info about shutdowns. I know how they looks. I played with shutdown now etc in terminal. They all save log record about shutdown reason etc. MY crashes are clean. No shutdown records.
    – outluch
    Nov 24, 2017 at 6:12
  • Your answer should not be in the question, add it to your answer! (edit: it's been a while, I've moved it myself now)
    – grg
    Dec 24, 2017 at 14:33

3 Answers 3



  1. Disable SIP (csrutil disable from Recovery)
  2. Move AppleThunderboltNHI.kext

    sudo mv /System/Library/Extensions/AppleThunderboltNHI.kext \
  3. Reenable SIP (csrutil enable from Recovery)
  • I had the same problem and the solution above did fix it. However, now when I connect my Macbook to my Thunderbolt Display it doesn't work immediately, I have to reboot the Macbook to get the second display to work. Not the worst problem to have but this worked fine for a couple of years before this bug appeared.
    – wpjmurray
    Sep 12, 2018 at 3:56
  • My display works with this fix
    – outluch
    Sep 15, 2018 at 21:27
  • 2
    Your solution worked for me. However, I frequently use the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter. Any info for a permanent fix that doesn't involve disabling the driver completely? BTW, under Mac OS 10.13.6, when I plug in my ethernet adater, I am still able to use ethernet even though I moved the existing driver to AppleThunderboltNHI.kext.BAK. But then I have random shutdowns again.
    – jurgispods
    Oct 12, 2018 at 13:08
  • 1
    I'm having the same issue, but I'm curious how this could fix the issue but a complete OS reinstall does not.
    – user24601
    Apr 22, 2019 at 1:23
  • 1
    This has worked for me for over a year now. Until today. I updated to10.14.6 and even after moving AppleThunderboltNHI.kext my MacBook Pro Retina mid-2014 crashes in under 5 minutes. Anyone else seeing this?
    – user24601
    Oct 10, 2019 at 3:03

Ok. Finally. I found somewhat like working solution.

RealMacMods NoCrashMBP It looks like a scam. Truly is. It is website with no links to, no citing in google. It is really looks like they want my 2.5$ and that's all. I decided to take that risk ($2.5 lol) Because only good solution I saw was to replace logic board, as many solutions in internet say. It is 500$. It worked. I have to say it to everybody with the same problem. Authors explanation is:

Anyway, this issue is triggered when the CPU goes into an extremely low frequency/clock rate on one of the cores(that just can't handle it), when this happens the system somewhat silently crashes(that is to say, it writes no logs of the event, and no kernel panic takes place). This app/utility keeps it from ever going into that stupidly low frequency. This actually happens natively on Linux and Boot Camp installations, but for some reason OS X tries to drop into that frequency every so often and the system is not at all stable there. Absolutely no chance of damage, worst case you may see like 1% worse battery life, as i believe OS X is using that low frequency to squeeze a little extra battery life out of the older MacBooks.

YouTube video of installation

  • My Mid 2014 15" MacBook Pro was also randomly locking up (blank screen, backlight on, no crash logs). It got to where it was unusable. I was about to have the logic board replaced, but for $10 I gave NoCrashMBP a try. Apparently what it does is keep a minimum load on each core at all times, around 25%. My Mac has not crashed since I installed it, so it clearly works. Dec 27, 2017 at 20:48
  • 1
    "It looks like a scam. Truly is" but then "It works". Why did you say it was a scam then? Jan 30, 2020 at 15:04
  • This worked on my: MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013). It works as described and doesn't contain any additional payload. I'm not going to share any additional info as it would be simple to reimplement (but was painstaking for the developer to research). If you're still nervous, you will not have a hard time verifying that it works as described and is not a scam/virus by examining the application.
    – Jeff
    Feb 9, 2020 at 16:29
  • I generally wouldn't add a "me too" but... it works for me too! It's $10 now, but well worth it. My MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) was crashing when I used WiFi. I can't disable the Thunderbolt driver since I use it for one of the external displays and also... for the Ethernet! This has been going on since some time in August 2019. So good to find such an easy work-around and stunning that Apple have not fixed this! (FYI; I updated to Catalina - no change).
    – RedYeti
    Apr 22, 2020 at 15:18

Ok. I spent one more night to dig that. Here we go: https://www.rossmanngroup.com/boards/forum/board-repair-troubleshooting/28288-820-3668-sudden-power-off In short: this bug is known and not solved.

Some more digging gave me knowledge that it is CPU related issue. Not GPU. One man tested with GPU loading firstly, but later found, that it is all about CPU. It is loaded - we are fine. It is in idle - we shut down.

I tried to run yes > /dev/null & one time, but it loads my cpu a lot and fans go full throttle. Not fun. I will better look at fullscreen youtube video of beach while working. :D

And tomorrow I will visit nearest apple service to talk a bit. I dont think I will approve logic board replacement for 808 or how much $$$ + month (?). I found these logic boards on ebay and aliexpress. And they cost not more than 600$. (A lot too....)

  • Did you replace the logic board? Ones for my Mid-2014 15" was $350 on E-Bay, but of course I'm getting someone else's used board and I'd have to go through the 50 step process of replacing it. Dec 27, 2017 at 21:03
  • Look at first answer. There are bug in OSX. In driver ThunderboltNHI.kext. Just off it and no shutdowns
    – outluch
    Dec 28, 2017 at 18:44
  • @George Cambell, What is the condition of your batteries? Do not rule it out as MacBooks draw power from them even when plugged in.
    – ATL_DEV
    Oct 18, 2019 at 14:07
  • @outluch, What's the condition of your batteries?
    – ATL_DEV
    Oct 18, 2019 at 14:08
  • Battery is in ok condition. Btw, good working tweak is ready and avail in top answer. It is link to my wix made site on problem
    – outluch
    Oct 24, 2019 at 19:37

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