Is there a way to set up Mac OS X (10.7) to automatically reboot after kernel panics?

Yes, it shouldn't kernel panic, I know. But it does. I've replaced all the RAM in the system, ran memtest and smart test but it still crashes about once a week. No 3rd party kernel modules loaded. It would be almost not annoying if it was automatically rebooting, hence the question.

  • 1
    Automatically rebooting after kernel panics might be a bad idea if you get many of these. You might even be caught in a reboot loop, God forbid.
    – lhf
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 3:24
  • When I am caught in the reboot loop I will get a new computer.
    – MK.
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 12:52

3 Answers 3


Open the Energy Saver pane in System Preferences. There's an option to Restart automatically if the computer freezes, if you check that you should get the behaviour you desire.

Note that there are two tabs in Energy Saver—one for when you're on battery and one for when you're running from the power adapter; make sure you set it for each state you want.

Energy Saver Preferences

  • Does kernel panic qualify as freezing?
    – lhf
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 3:21
  • @lhf I will find out sooner than I would like.
    – MK.
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 3:22
  • 1
    worked like a charm :(
    – MK.
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 20:34

I don't know if something changed on Mountain Lion, but I no longer have the checkbox to restart automatically if the computer freezes.

My MacBook Air restarts automatically a few seconds after this message is shown:

Your computer restarted because of a problem. Press a key or wait a few seconds to continue starting up.

If I'm using it in clamshell mode, I can press any key on an external keyboard to restart immediately.


The option in energy saver is not there on my Mac Pro machines running Mac OS 10.14.4. Running this as root does the trick:

systemsetup -setrestartfreeze on

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