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MacBook randomly goes to sleep then shuts down

My 15 inch MacBook Pro has been randomly shutting down for about 2 weeks now. Even when I'm only using one application it'll randomly shut down. I have my laptop partitioned (via bootcamp) and when I run windows my laptop runs perfectly fine and never shuts down.

I've tried resetting the pram and smc multiple times. I've also been to the Apple Store twice. The first time the Genius Bar employee ran a lot of diagnostic tests and saw that nothing was wrong with the hardware (according to those tests), he then downloaded a malware app and deleted any trace of malware. Even after that it would still crash. He then told me to wipe the Mac side of my hard drive.

The first time I wiped it, I immediately restored all my data via time machine. It still crashed. The second time I wiped it, I manually dragged and dropped all the files I wanted from my external hard drive and it still crashed. The third time I wiped it, I didn't restore any old data and it would still crash.

The second time I went to the Mac store, the employee told me to wipe my entire hard drive, including the windows partition. I did it in store and my Mac seemed to be working fine. I downloaded google chrome and Spotify and ran a bunch of applications for about ten minutes and my laptop was fine. The Genius Bar employee told me if it still crashes, worst case scenario was to pay a flat fee of $575 (minus tax) and replace the logic board.

However when I got home, it crashed again. I've noticed when I use it right after wiping my hard drive and downloading another copy of Sierra it runs for about 30 minutes. After the initial shut down, it can only run for about 5 minutes.

The entire time I've been using the latest macOS Sierra. I really don't want to pay the $575 to replace the logic board. If you guys have any advice, it'll be much appreciated. Thank you guys so much!

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I would suggest trying to go back to El Capitan and try this program.


It disables the more powerful GPU, which is known to fail on many MacBooks and cause shutdown issues.

When you get it, only run in on the I for the integrated GPU. If it still crashes there are other issues, but this is the easiest and cheapest thing to try first.

Report back with your results!


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I have this exact same issue and almost the exact same story . Only I was told to change the logic board at a cost of $700 . This has been going on for almost a year . Sometimes it works for a while then it shuts down in exactly the same way . Sometimes it won't let me work at all . I was certain there was a an evil spirit inside and it was never there when I took it to the shop . I even doubted my sanity . I also doubted the capabilities of the people at the Apple store . But I went to three different stores with the same result . I hope someone comes up with a solution because I don't want to lose my laptop .

@rcfgunkle did you try what i said?

No, I have no access to Capitan. I don't really know how to do what you recommend. I have reset PRAM and that works for awhile until it starts again. I plan to take it back once more to an Apple store. The authorized dealer I use now doesn't seem to have a clue what to do. I may just junk it and buy something else after one last try. Its a MacBook Pro, Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013, so it is not so new and I guess Apple is now into disposable laptops.

@rcfgunkle yea. Apple has been doing that for a while now, you break it they give you a new one.

return to El Capitan will not change anything - because.... FIRMWARE will not be reversed


I have exactly the same problem. The weird thing is that when I keep an external display connected it NEVER crashes, whatever I do. In that case it only crashes when the display goes to sleep. It seems things go wrong when using the integrated graphics. I've tried gfx.io but that doesn't seem to work on this macbook pro.

I've posted the message below to other fora. No useful responses except that it's likely some issue with the logic board. But since it keeps running fine with an external display this strikes me as odd.


MBP retina, 15", late '13, High Sierra

My MBP constantly crashes within 10 minutes. First the screen goes black, then the fans start blowing and finally the MBP turns off completely. When I restart there is normally no mentioning of the crash or an option to send a crash report, only once it said it crashed and mentioned a kernel panic.

Strangely enough the MBP does NEVER crashes when I have an external display connected (4K via mini-display port or HDMI port).

This made me suspect that the internal graphics card (Intel Iris Pro) is broken, since an external 4K display would likely be using the external (or 'discrete') GPU (NVIDIA GeForce GT 750 M). I'm not even sure if the internal graphics card can be broken, but I tried to force the MBP to use the external card by turning 'Automatic graphics switching' off (preferences>energy saver>automatic graphics switcher). That doesn't fix the problem. I also tried a tool called gfxCardStatus but seems to be buggy and incompatible with MBP's > 2011.

Another weird situation is that after reinstalling High Sierra, the MBP worked OK for about half a day. After that the problems started again.

The question is how I can figure out what the real problem is, and how to solve/avoid it. Any help would be highly appreciated.


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Fixed it! With an external display connected it never crashed. So I bought a dummy HDMI plug to fool my macbook that there's an external display connected. It never crashed again....

I have the same behavior BUT I have a mid 2014 model without discrete GPU.

No problem with an external display connected.

Without external screen: black screen, blow a couple of seconds and power off.

I've taken mine to my local Apple reseller who are raising a case with Apple under consumer law as they've seen a few like this of the same age with these issues.

Got my macbook pro back with a new GPU and a new screen (there was a laminate fault) all under consumer law. The Apple authorised dealer did a report which stated the book was well cared for and had the original purchase receipt and box. They had also seen other machines of this age with the same problems so this appears to be a common fault. Hope you all can get yours fixed too.



I've got exactly the same issue too on a mid 2014 mac book pro. seems fine in safe mode. What was interesting with mine though was that if i run a energy zapping game such as football manager, it's fine. the harder it's working and the fan is buzzing, it seems to stay awake and not crash. Very odd.


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That's because then it uses the external graphics card. As you can read above I force my mbp to use that graphics card all the time by using a dummy hdmi plug that simulates an extra display. That fools my mbp so it keeps using the external graphics card.

Yes Berco, i read your comment and now have a HDMI lead plugged into my TV. it's been fine going into sleep mode when plugged into power so going to try and see how it performs on battery now. It did fail first thing when i was on a very low battery 9% and kept putting it to sleep and waking again. after the 4th time, the screen went black and the fan went into overdrive. had to hold down the start button to turn off.

I wonder if Apple need to extend their recall to later mac books with dodgy graphics cards. i spoke to someone at Apple earlier and they told me that they usually replace the motherboard if the graphics card needs replacing. expensive 'eh! And let's face it, they got form with sub standard graphics cards. Why couldn't this Iris pro be faulty too?

In case my MBP goes to sleep it also crashes. Apparently it switches to the other graphics card no matter what in that case. So I just configured my MBP to never go to sleep.

It also crashes when I unplug a real monitor on the mini display port (despite the fact that I still have the dummy hdmi dongle inserted).

I noticed that my mac could go to sleep and wake up fine when plugged in via HDMI to the TV however if the battery dropped below 40%, yes it would not sometime wake up after going to sleep so changing the energy saving settings to 3 hrs is an idea. i also noticed that when the battery was down to around 20%, the screen and TV would flicker black and back again whilst i was using. it wanted to sleep but my usage seemed to stop it. I've spoken to Apple about this now because a £1600 computer should be doing this after 3 years of careful light use.


Could it be that it is not crashing but going into sleep mode when your computer is close to a magnetic field? I saw this video and it helped me see a correlation between when my Android cell phone was close to the computer & when it went into sleep mode. Just move the magnetic stuff away and see if that wakes it back up again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P05TvpFQ... Hope this helps you.


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regarding faulty GPU GeForce 750 - what about 2013 15 inch model 2.0GHz which does not have such a GPU?


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Hello Berco

Could You please tell me is Your MacBook working with “dongle” MiniDisplay cable/dongle in?

I thinking to cut that DisplayPort cable and create dongle and live with it

Does it work for You like this?

Thank You :)


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Strange, I posted a reply but somehow that got lost. Here once again my answer.

Yes, it is working (except sleepmode and you'll be on the discrete gpu all the time, which drains your battery. I'm using this:


As I said elsewhere I found a company in The Netherlands that can replace the ThunderBolt chip for 240 euro: http://www.belbas.nu

I got one person from eBay (because I am trying to sell it - saying this:

"The issue is the DrMOS CPU gate driver chips. They all.. I mean EVERY ONE of these MacBooks will suffer this issue. I can repair this by replacing the DrMOS gate drivers.

I can offer you £345 for it or I can repair it for £149.00 please see our listings and feedback. "

Just purchased that thing for £2 if that will fix MacBook - I will not care about so expensive fix

Here is KIND-OF solution - switch off Thunderbolt driver -

sudo mv /System/Library/Extensions/AppleThunderboltNHI.kext /System/Library/Extensions/AppleThunderboltNHI.kext.BAK

You need to disable SIP first

That indeed works as well (for over an hour now)! How simple, just turning ThunderBolt off! I don't need it anyway since I can hook up external display via HDMI as well. Thx!



Have you even tried the simple PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory) and SMC (System Management Controller) reset? Even though this is a complicated issue, it works most of the time for random software glitches.

Shut down your Macbook first. Then plug in the cable and wait for 10 minutes to ensure there is some power running through your Macbook.

SMC reset: Hold down the keys Shift, Control, Option and Power at the same time. Wait until you see that the cable LED colour changes, or just wait 10 seconds.

PRAM reset: Press and hold the power button and then press and hold keys Command, Option, P, R. Hold those keys down until your Macbook reboots again. Then just let it boot normally.


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Yes, those were the first things I tried. Didn't work.


This sounds like what’s happening to me. I’ve finally found a pattern I can use as a workaround, which might also be a clue if it’s the same thing. If I run a security virus program scan, at first I thought I’d fixed it because it got rid of some viruses, but the pattern kept happening that it would not crash while the virus scan was running, but start happening when it was done. So it seems like something is going to sleep and triggering a shutdown, at least for me. And until my new laptop arrives, I’m going to be using running the virus scan as a workaround… it runs for two hours, I get two hours without a shutdown. But it’d be nice to figure out something more stable.


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