MacBook Pro Keeps Restarting 8 Ways to Fix Random Restarts

Obviously, the easiest way to troubleshoot your MacBook Pro is to hire me and have me make a house call. I cover Honolulu Hawaii and all of Oahu. Text or call Rick Kirkham at 808.224.170 to check my availability.

8 - Perform Software updates on your Mac

As an in home computer tutor here in Honolulu Hawaii covering all of Oahu, I’m constantly seeing ignored updates from Apple computers.

7 - Reset NVRAM or PRAM

  • Shut down the computer.
  • Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step
  • Turn on the computer.
  • Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.
  • Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
  • Release the keys.

6 - SMC Reset

  • Shut down the computer.
  • Unplug it from the wall.
  • Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
  • On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
  • Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
  • Press the power button to turn on the computer.

5 - Reset disk permissions

The Repair Disk Permissions function—the process that actually performs the task of repairing permissions—examines certain files and folders on your Mac’s hard drive to see if their current permissions settings are what Mac OS X expects them to be; if discrepancies are found, the offending permissions are changed to match the expected settings.

For OSX Yosemite and older versions

  • Press "Cmd + R" on your keyboard to restart the Mac.
  • Open the Disk Utility feature.
  • Now choose "First Aid,"
  • "Repair Disk Permissions."

For MacOS Sierra or OSX El Capitan

  • Launch CleanMyMac X.
  • Choose the Advanced Maintenance option.
  • Complete repairing the disk permissions.

4 - Free up disk space

Ideally, you should have at least 20% of your total disk space free to prevent kernel panic. This is due to having low physical and virtual memory, which your Mac needs to run efficiently.

  • Go to the Apple Menu and choose "About This Mac."
  • Click on the "Storage" tab to see how much free storage you have.
  • If it is low, then you need to delete unnecessary files, such as pictures or videos.
  • You may also run CleanMyMac X to free up more space.

3 - Use the Disk Utility feature

  • Click on the Apple menu
  • Click "Restart."
  • Immediately hit the "Cmd + R" keys on your keyboard once the Mac restarts.
  • Click "Disk Utility."
  • Click “"First Aid."
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to find and fix errors on your Mac.

2 - Disable unnecessary startup items

At times, some startup tools which you do not need serve to clog up your Mac processor. This may make it sluggish, leading to a "Your Computer restarted Because of a Problem" error.

  • Select the Apple menu
  • Click "System Preferences."
  • Choose "Users & Groups"
  • Click your user account from the list.
  • Click on the "Login Items" tab to get a list of startup items.
  • Choose the startup item that you want to stop
  • Click "-." the minus sign on your keyboard
  • Now restart your Mac, and the kernel panic issue should be solved.

NOTE: To determine which startup program is causing the kernel panic, you should disable each one at a time before rebooting the Mac. Sometimes the problem may be due to a single item, which means you do not have to disable all of them.

1 - Repair corrupt MacOS files

At times, the kernel error is caused by corrupted MacOS files. The only way to fix this issue is to reinstall the macOS version that you are using.

  • Make sure you have an up-to-date backup from Time Machine or a third-party backup program.
  • Shutdown and restart your Mac and then Hold the "Cmd + R" keys to enter the "MacOS Utilities" feature.
    • Now select "Reinstall OS X" or "reinstall MacOS," depending on the version you are using. Once the OS has been reinstalled, restart your computer once again.

If none of those troubleshooting techniques work you have a hardware issue. Take your computer to a reputable computer repair shop.

One more piece of advice. Treat your computer more like a car than a refrigerator. In other words have me or someone like me clean and optimize your computer every four months. It will keep the computer fast and extend the life of the computer. House calls here in Honolulu Hawaii covering all of Oahu are available for this as well as remote help for the English speaking mainland U.S.A.


J. Richard Kirkham B.Sc.

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"There's a huge difference in knowing how to use computers and knowing how to teach and tutor while creating an efficient, effective and fun learning environment. A lot of the stress especially on senior citizens is trying not to frustrate their grandson trying to teach grandma how to use a computer or smart cell phone." Give your mom and dad the same advantage you had as you learned how to use a computer in school. Get your parents a professional educator such as myself.

J. Richard Kirkham B.Sc.