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Recently my MacBook Air restarted in the middle of the night and cost me some data.

I understand there is a support page that tells me the possible causes, but they don't include a way to find the cause.

Is there a way I can identify the cause of a reboot via the Console app?

  • there is an app in the utility folder named console.app. Opening this app reveals there are several sets of output saved. You can click on one set and it brings up a listing of outputs. You can add a term in the search tab and you get a listing of messages. You can double click a message for more info. – jmh Sep 10 at 0:01
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Using the console

  1. Open Console app (by default located in Macintosh HD⁩ ▸ ⁨Applications⁩ ▸ ⁨Utilities⁩)
  2. Select the system.log file in the left pane
  3. Conduct a search for Shutdown Cause
  4. View the filtered output

See Yosemite example below:

enter image description here

NOTE: For more context, you may want to search for Shutdown only to see some of the other log entries and not just the Shutdown cause.

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