Auto Restart Your Crashed Or Frozen Mac in Lion [OS X Tips]



Mac OS X Lion adds a new feature that helps your Mac recover from crashes or freezes. I’m not sure how well it works since my Macs don’t crash all that often, but Apple built it into Mac OS X Lion so I might as well use it.

Open System Preferences, launch the Energy Saver control panel and look for Restart automatically if the computer freezes. If you want Mac OS X to restart your computer when it crashes or freezes activate it by clicking on it to add a check mark to the accompanying box.

Although I wasn’t able to test this feature in the field it is nice to have it if your Mac crashes. However, if it doesn’t work you’ll be forced to power off your Mac by pressing and holding the power button. Sometimes the old way might be the only way in this case.

  • oakdesk23

    If you want to test it out, just use Firefox. Your system will freeze in no time!

  • casual_obzerver

    Lion freezes on wakeup when I have moved location and there is no wifi at the new location. I’ve had to restart 4 times this week due to this issue.

  • Michael Natale

    Wouldnt setting this option cause a potential boot loop if something were to cause the Mac to freeze during login?

    Also I can make my MacBookPro freeze at will since upgrading to LION – simply open any PDF in Preview and choose the DUPLICATE option from the menu.  Instant and unrecoverable freeze of the entire system.

  • Robert

    This is a great feature for anyone using Lion on a MacBook Pro. It comes in handy a few times a week.

  • threedeuce5

    Good to know, but I have yet to have my 2008 Macbook Pro freeze or crash.  Guess i’m one of the lucky ones I guess.  Sometimes I think a little preventative maintenance and/or not loading every free app on the app store might be a good thing…

  • Ahmad S. Alsaqer

    I have same problem and when i restart my MacBook Pro (2010) its get stuck at the spinning thing ! and i have to shut it off and left it for 2 hours before i can start using it …. and if i close my screen its gets freeze as well ! in order to fix it i have to make clean reinstall ! 

  • Kim Billingsley

    I have had my Macbook freeze several times since loading Lion.  I thought it was just me…hahaha! Thanks for the tip!

  • Tyler

    This does not freeze mine at all. 

  • Raj

    I had a Kernel Panic on my Mid-2010 13″ MBP running Lion. Anybody else faced this problem?

  • Raymond Bessemer

    My iMac is freezing (restarting since I enabled this feature) several times a day since upgrading to Lion and installing the latest Firmware update.

  • charleskrausie

    My other computer is a PowerBook G4 (not Lion) which froze with a CD inside (for copying to iTunes).  When I went to remove CD and shut down, the screen was black and totally unresponsive.  The on/off button only gave me a flashing question mark in a folder icon (uh oh!).  So I tried the “frozen mac” key combination Control + Apple + Start and got 2 rectangles, one with a round arrow symbol (like a recycling symbol) and the other a forward arrow.  Eventually the ticking clock icon became an active cursor, but it had no effect on either rectangle/symbol. I’m stumped.  Help!