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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

    The terminal responded:log: warning: The log archive contains partial or missing metadata

    log: cannot use --last when archive metadata is missing

    Any advice anyone?

    Edward - Reply

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    • Another, more recently updated, list of shutdown causes can be found here: Shutdown causes (from George Garside blog)

Conclusion

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

Hit the button below if this guide helped solve your issue :)

10 other people completed this guide.

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Jonah Aragon

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7 Comments

For me it says

kernel: (AppleSMC) Previous shutdown cause: -20

The attached PDF (and the internet) doesn’t seem to have any information about this code. What’s the source of the codes for the PDF? Maybe they have updated listing for shutdown codes.

Saurabh Shrivastava - Reply

we also have -20 as a cause and have no idea what it means. did you ever find it out?

octomobiki -

I also have -20 code of shut down after macOS 10.15.5 update with MBP 16inches model.

but no information at all….

赤月小黄泉 -

writErr = -20, /*I/O System Errors*/ its this error for code -20 .. Find all error codes here :- https://krypted.com/lists/comprehensive-...

UNKNOWN X -

Sorry , that was not related, check this one : - https://georgegarside.com/blog/macos/shu...

and, error code 20- T2 security chip initiated shutdown

UNKNOWN X -

copied/pasted your terminal command and got this: -bash: log: command not found

OS 10.11.6

Chris Catalano - Reply

Hello,

First time posting here but I’m having some issues with a Macbook Air 2020 (Not the M1) having some shutdowns, I have run the terminal command and it’s coming up with Error -67 and I can’t seem to find this one anywhere. Hoping someone has some guidance, Running most up to date Big Sur, (11.1). Clean installed the OS and didn’t transfer a backup over and it seems to be still happening. Also tried an SMC / NVRAM reset, Safe mode, first aid disk. Any advise would be appreciated!

Blair Harrison - Reply

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