Your computer restarted because of a problem, here are reasons & fixes

By Connie | Posted to Home > Howto, on November 10th, 2021

Summary: From this post by iBoysoft, you can learn how to fix your Mac computer that restarted because of a problem and the causes. With the solutions, your Mac will back to the best state.

Your computer started because of a problem

Unexpectedly, your Mac computer restarts and shows an error message on your screen as below or similar:

Your computer restarted because of a problem.

Your Mac was restarted because of a problem

This error message shows that your Mac has some software or hardware issues. Or both. Technically speaking, it refers to kernel panic. Some experts say that it's an intermittent issue with MacBooks since Apple added the T2 chip.

Whatever, don't freak out over it. This tutorial will supply the testified solutions for fixing your Mac that keeps in a restarting or shutting down loop.

How to fix your Mac computer restarted because of a problem:

Why does your Mac keep restarting?

The kernel is at the core of an operating system. So, this issue or we say kernel panic error, is mostly caused by software issues. But at times, hardware problems are also the culprits.

Here are the common reasons why your Mac computer restarted abnormally:

  1. Temporary bugs in your Mac OS.
  2. Your current Mac OS version is outdated.
  3. Some installed third-party apps are not secure or conflicting.
  4. Problematic startup programs.
  5. Internal hardware issues.
  6. Incompatible or faulty connected peripheral devices.
  7. No enough disk space for Mac startup or running.

How to fix your Mac computer restarted because of a problem?

As mentioned above, the causes are diverse. It is difficult to catch the real troublemaker when the error "our computer restarted because of a problem" shows up.

Firstly, you can press the power button for seconds and then press it again to restart your Mac model. That is to check if there's a temporary bug on your Mac.

If this error still shows up, you can try the following solutions one by one or according to your situation to fix your computer restarted because of a problem.

Disconnect all peripheral devices

If the peripheral device, like an external hard drive, is not compatible with your Mac OS, or there's a virus on it, it may trigger some issues like your Mac keeps in a restart loop.

You can unplug all the peripheral devices except your keyboard and mouse. Then, reboot your computer to see if this error pops up again. If it is resolved, you can replug one device at a time and restart your Mac until finding out the culprit.

Proceed with software updates

Maybe your current operating system exist some bugs, secure holes, etc., which may lead to your Mac keep restarting.

You can check if there's any software updates or new macOS version available. If it has, go to update your Mac. Before updating, you'd better back up your necessary files.

Follow these steps to know how to update your Mac:

  • Click the Apple icon and select System Preferences.
  • Choose Software Update.
  • Click Update Now or Upgrade Now if there is an available update or a new OS version.
  • Upgrade to macOS Monterey in Software Update
  • Wait until the update process finishes.

Boot your Mac in Safe Mode

If you installed some third-party apps outside of App Store, they might have the risk of corrupting the integrity of your OS. Consequently, your Mac performance is out of the track, like going loop restart.

You can boot your Mac into Safe Mode to check to have a check. Safe Mode only loads a minimum of essential software and drivers to boot up your Mac while isolating all third-party software.

To boot an Intel-based Mac in Safe Mode:

  • Shut down your Mac and wait about 10 seconds.
  • Restart your Mac and press down the Shift key at the same time.
  • Release the Shift key until you see the login window.

To boot an M1-based Mac in Safe Mode:

  • Shut down your Mac and wait for around 10 seconds.
  • Press the power button until the startup options and the Options pop up.
  • Select your startup disk. Then, hold down the Shift key and click Continue in Safe Mode.
  • Release the Shift key.

If your Mac is not forced to restart in Safe Mode, the third party are the cases. You can uninstall them and restart your Mac.

Disable unnecessary startup items

Some startup programs can prevent your Mac processor from working properly. Hence, when you log in to your Mac, the OS may force restart the machine once or more times.

You can disable the login items in the Users & Groups utility.

  • Launch the Apple menu > System Preferences.
  • Select Users & Groups and then choose your account at the left sidebar.
  • Choose the Login Items tab to check all the startup items.
  • Check all the startup items or the ones you added recently and click the - icon to remove them.
  • Disable your startup items
  • Restart your Mac to check if the issue is fixed.

Free up disk space

Usually, if you want to maintain your Mac running in a smooth and proper state, at least 15% of the free storage space should be left. If the Mac disk is almost full, it may result in the issue - the Mac gets stuck in a loop of repeated restarts.

You can open the Apple menu > About This Mac > Storage to check whether there's enough free disk storage space. If not, you can proceed with unnecessary downloads deletion, Trash emptying, etc. to free up more space.

Check the storage of your Mac

Run First Aid to repair the startup disk

If there's an error on the startup disk, your Mac may have troubles like keep restarting. You can use Disk Utility First Aid to verify and repair disk errors.

As you'll run First Aid to check your startup disk, you need to boot your Mac in macOS recovery mode first. Then, open Disk Utility and select the startup disk from the left sidebar. Next, click First Aid at the top of the window.

Run First Aid to check the container and volumes of the startup disk

During the process, don't do other operations on your Mac. Otherwise, the startup disk may be corrupted. When First Aid finishes checking, restart your Mac to see if the problem is solved.

Back up data and reinstall macOS

Unfortunately, you failed to fix the error "Your computer restarted because of a problem" with the above solutions. Your OS files may be corrupted. To fresh your Mac, you can reinstall macOS.

  • Press the Command - R keys when restarting your Intel-based Mac. Or, if it is an M1 Mac, press down the power button until seeing the startup options. Then, select your startup disk and click Continue.
  • Select Reinstall macOS from the macOS Utilities window.
  • Reinstall macOS from Internet recovery mode
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to install the latest macOS.

If this error still exists after a macOS reinstallation, your Mac may have an internal hardware issue. You can contact Apple for help.

FAQs about 'Your computer restarted because of a problem'

1. What is a kernel panic on Mac?

When there's an unrecoverable error in your Mac OS, the OS will automatically shut down and restart your Mac to avoid more serious issues. Meanwhile, it will send you an error message 'Your computer restarted because of a problem'. That is what we say the kernel panic.

2. What to do if your Mac keeps turning on and off?

You can press the power button to force shut down your Mac and then restart it. If it's useless to fix the problem, you can unplug all the connected external devices and update the macOS.