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Introduction

This guide will show you how to determine why exactly your Mac shut down or restarted using macOS's built-in logging.

  1. Open Terminal.app
    • Open Terminal.app

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  3. Copy and paste the following command in your Terminal window:
    • Copy and paste the following command in your Terminal window:

    • log show --predicate 'eventMessage contains "Previous shutdown cause"' --last 24h

    • The "24h" portion of the command can be changed to any number of hours, depending on how far back you need to see.

  4. The previous shutdown causes in the timeframe you selected will appear as a list.
    • The previous shutdown causes in the timeframe you selected will appear as a list.

    • Common shutdown causes include 5 which indicates a normal shutdown, 3 which indicates a hard shutdown (i.e. holding the power button), and 0 which indicates the power was disconnected.

    • A full list of shutdown causes can be found here: Shutdown Causes.

Conclusion

Done! You should be able to use these codes to further troubleshoot random shutdowns or other strange events.

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