System specs:

  Model Name:   MacBook Pro
  Model Identifier: MacBookPro14,3
  Processor Name:   Intel Core i7
  Processor Speed:  2,9 GHz
  Number of Processors: 1
  Total Number of Cores:    4
  L2 Cache (per Core):  256 KB
  L3 Cache: 8 MB
  Memory:   16 GB
  System Version:   macOS 10.13.4 (17E202)
  Kernel Version:   Darwin 17.5.0

After I chose "Shut down" from the Apple menu, my apps started closing (as usual), the screen went black and only a frozen mouse cursor (arrow) remained. I waited a little bit and tried to move the arrow without success. Since I had to leave I forced shut down by keeping the Power button pressed for a few seconds.

I've experienced a lot of lock-ups in Windows, and I had to force shutdown many times. Over time, the system became more and more unstable, until I had enough of that crap and decided to migrate to Mac. I've never experienced a single lock-up until today. Could the forced shutdown have consequences on the stability of my OS?

  • 1
    Technically, any improper shutdown has potential to harm the system in some way. That said, OS X/macOS is not as susceptible to critically damaging the filesystem and or important files as Windows is in this case. Windows is more susceptible because it uses a central registration database, the Windows Registry, a binary file and it can be corrupted with a single illegal shutdown under the right conditions. There are of course ways to recover however one should always have their system completely backed up so as to be able to recover from any situation! Commented May 25, 2018 at 0:23
  • @user3439894 thanks for the comment. So should I just ignore the problem for now, or run some kind of system check (if there’s one)? Good point about backups. It’s a work laptop so backup settings are controlled by IT, I think. I’ll double check with them. Anyway, from your comment it sounds like I shouldn’t worry. That’s good :-)
    – DeltaIV
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 9:40
  • 1
    If it was just single occurrence of an improper shutdown then I wouldn't worry too much and you might want to have a look at How to Repair Disk and File System Problems on Your Mac. If your system is repeatedly having shutdown issues, then it's something to worry about. Since the computer in question is not yours and belongs to your employer and is managed by their IT department, I'd refer the matter to them. Commented May 25, 2018 at 11:24

1 Answer 1


At boot time a file consistency check is performed, usually a quick check to see if the filesystem was unmounted cleanly. If the filesystem is dirty (not unmounted cleanly) then some form of fsck is performed. fsck attempts to fix filesystem metadata not a files actual data. So, there is always the potential for data loss. fsck will not fix some inconsistencies and at some point a filesystem can become inconsistent and cannot be repaired. So, it is best to avoid hard shutdowns though the filesystem is not fragile.

  • Ok, is there a way to check if there are any inconsistencies now?
    – DeltaIV
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 13:14
  • 1
    What filesystem are you using? I suspect that it is apfs. If it is then apfs has crash protection where filesystem metadata changes are atomic or near atomic. Like HFS+ jounaled both filesystem rarely need you to perform a filesystem consistency check. I'm not using apfs and since Apple conveniently remove apfs from Sierra, I not totally sure. Probably, in Recovery mode with Disk Utility.
    – fd0
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 13:51
  • I don't know which filesystem I'm using. Where can I find this information?
    – DeltaIV
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 16:25
  • 1
    Apple menu > About This Mac, then at the window click the System Report button, then click the Storage menu on the left side of the next window.
    – fd0
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 17:08
  • File System: APFS. Ok, so I guess I'm good to go :-)
    – DeltaIV
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 8:32

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