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Why is my Macbook Pro shutting down randomly?

Updated: Nov 19, 2021



To start off with, the model of Mac notebook I own is a 16", 2019 Macbook Pro, 2.6 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7 with 16 GB of RAM. Your results may vary based on your model and configuration. If you're not interested in my story and just want to fix your Mac, jump to The Solution section below.


How maddening is it to tap on your keyboard to wake up your Mac, only to find it's not responding? I have an answer for that: It's enough to drive you insane! Especially when you're on a tight deadline or you have a zoom call starting in one minute.


What's even more frustrating for me is that I had this exact same model at my last job and it behaved in the exact same manor. So why did I get another one? Because I was hoping I had a lemon the first time and this was the Mac build I need to best do my work!


I had only had this Mac for about a month and it was still under the factory warranty, so I went online and booked an appointment with the "Genius Bar" at the Cherry Creek Apple store in Denver. I have been an Apple user and loyal customer for over 30 years. I have owned several Macs and Apple products. I even had a Newton back in the 90s! It's okay, you can laugh. It was awesome at the time.


My whole family owns iPhones. I have an iPad Pro and an Apple Watch. I also have an iMac that I use as my desktop. You get the picture.


BUT... my experience at the Apple store in trying to get help with this issue was one of the worst retail experiences I've ever had. Period. I walked to the back of the store (because that's where I know they keep all the geniuses) and when one of the beautiful Apple employees finally chose to look in my direction, I said: "I registered for a Genius Bar appointment online. Do I need to checkin somewhere?" He said "No. Just have a seat over there and someone will be with you shortly".


Twenty five minutes later... I finally went and asked another employee why I was being passed over and other customers who had arrived after me were being helped so quickly. The employee said "Did you check in?". Deep breath... "No. I asked if I needed to do that when I came in and they told me to have a seat." So now I check in and only have to wait about another 10 minutes to get some help.


I explained to the tech the issues I was having. He asked me several questions which made me think he was going to be able to help me. He didn't. He told me this was not a hardware or Mac System Software issue and that it had to be related to one of the apps I was running. I asked if he could give me any sort of hints as to what software it might be because I had only had the Mac a short time and I was running only standard Apps like Adobe, MS, Notion and Slack. He said "No, I'm sorry. We really can't help with 3rd party related issues.


After reading lots of forums and clicking on dead end links, I found the solution in THIS ARTICLE posted by CleanMyMac. Jump down to 3. Reset your SMC settings. The option that worked for my particular configuration was: For any Macbook with the T2 chip (almost all Macs introduced in 2018 or later), here's how to reset the SMC.


Hallelujah! (Angels singing). What's funny to me is that this article was obviously posted to drive frustrated Mac users to the CleanMyMac site in hopes that they would download the CleanMyMac app, which I did! It appears to be a solid solution for keeping your Mac free of malware and unwanted data bloat. But let me be clear, I am NOT pitching this app and that's not what this article is about. This article is all about helping folks who are in the same boat I was and aren't getting any help form the "Geniuses" at the Apple store.


Conclusion I will be contacting Apple and letting them know my experience in hopes that they will add resetting SMC settings to their toolset for customer who are experiencing random shut downs. It literally took about 30 seconds once I knew what needed to be done. I hope this article has helped YOU out if you're having the same issues. Happy Mac-ing.


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