My MacBook Pro (2021, M1 Max Chip) wasn't turning on. After unplugging all accessories, I used method 2 here https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204267, which is:

  1. Press and hold the power button on your Mac for about 10 seconds.
  2. Then press and release the power button normally.

I'm thankful it worked. But should I be worried this happened? What does pressing the power button for 10 seconds actually do? I do have an accessory (Caldigit Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock) - which allows for 2 external 4k displays but it draws power from the Mac. I'm not sure if I should stop using that if it is causing damage?

Thanks a lot!

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  • When you say "it wasn't turning on"; that implies that you're regularly turning it off. (Why?) Or do you mean you open the lid and it's switched itself off? Can you clarify your usage? E.g. "I take it work and then plug it into the displays when I get home." And also exactly the circumstances of when the problem occurs.
    – benwiggy
    2 days ago

1 Answer 1


Pressing the Power button for 10 seconds is stated as a method for resetting the SMC (System Management Controller) on a Mac with a T2 chip. https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201295

Those are the last generation of Intel Macs from 2018 to 2020.

So, it's unlikely that it did anything on your M1 Mac. Apple Silicon Macs supposedly will reset the SMC just with a restart. At best, it may have 'reset' something; at worst, nothing; and it was just coincidence that this fixed it.

Of course, you do say that you unplugged your accessories, too: so perhaps there is some issue with the Dock/hub. If the problem happens again, you can test if removing the Dock again fixes it.

An MBP is designed to stay on continuously: you shouldn't need to 'turn it off'. It also needs to be plugged in to run external monitors, so presumably it's not just running out of battery!

For any hardware query on a newish Mac, I would always recommend taking it to an Apple Store. They will diagnose any problems for free, and you may be able to argue that it is a defect covered by warranty/statutory rights.


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