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So you have your Mac and it is maxed out on all the files that you have been keeping in there. The background processes are sometimes useless and so many that it takes a good load of 5 – 10 minutes for the system to shut down properly. Isn’t this irritating? This kind of stuff happens to Windows PC owners as well.

If it is a brand new OS installation, the computer shuts down quickly because the background processes are not that many. Technically when you initiate the shutdown command on your Mac, regardless of the OS X version, the system tries to close each program through proper channel. Let’s say you have many background services running, it will take relatively more amount of time for the Mac to turn off.

What if the Mac Crashes?

Crash screens are not that much of a frequently occurring phenomenon to Mac users. However when it happens at the shutdown screen, it is usually because of the system hanging up while exiting a task. Maybe the system is busy saving a document or your last porn movie clip which you hastily closed while your S.O or your mom walked in.

If your Mac is taking inconsistent amount of time to shutdown, it implies a conflict of background applications. As a matter of fact, you can time the shutdown events to see how much time is required for the entire thing to close all its processes.

How to Fix Shutdown Process in Mac and Speed it Up?

There are a number of ways to speed up the shutdown process in Mac. Usually, for Windows users, I recommend entering “msconfig” in the “Run” section and going all the way to the Startup tab for closing unwanted apps. However, Mac is a slightly different, and sometimes difficult OS to deal with. At least it is difficult to understand for people who are frequently using Windows OS.

  • Ongoing Apple Events:

The AppleEvents program is more like a communication channel between already running processes. It is the bread and butter for AppleScript; the core program which is not supposed to time out due to interruptions. At times the inter process communication causes the AppleEvents process to time out – and it happens a lot during event management.

  • SecurityD:

SecurityD is also another process which manages the security aspects of your Mac. There are moments when this particular process is waiting on you to approve some kind of authentication request. Usually users are prompted to approve a popup during shutdown phase. However if the pop up never shows “up”, the SecurityD process keeps on waiting!

  • mDNSResponder:

A number of DNS actions, involving but not limited to the automatic discovery of network servers, local network IPs, Wi-Fi networks and services.

  • DiskArbitrationD:

Your local file system on Mac is monitored through the DiskArbitrationD process against accessibility and mounting protocols. Didn’t get it? What if you are shutting down your Mac and your hard drive or a portable storage device goes into sleep mode? The Disk Arbitrator process is supposed to keep tab on such things and prevent time outs during critical phases.

How to Optimize Core App Timeouts in Mac OSX for Shudown Process?

It is recommended that you make a backup point of your system before proceeding with this. Once it is done, open the OS X Terminal Utility. You can locate it at the Applications, followed by the Utilities Folder. Enter the following commands:

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/c\
om.apple.coreservices.appleevents ExitTimeOut -int 5

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/c\
om.apple.securityd ExitTimeOut -int 5

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/c\
om.apple.mDNSResponder ExitTimeOut -int 5

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/c\
om.apple.diskarbitrationd ExitTimeOut -int 5

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.\
apple.coreservices.appleid.authentication ExitTimeOut -int 5

You can see the number “5” in these commands. This digit is prompting the Mac to wait for only 5 seconds to kill the background applications during shutdown process. If you did it right, the Mac is supposed to take 5 – 7 seconds to shut down completely. You can also change the value to 10 if you want the shut down procedure to wait on applications for 10 seconds before “FORCING” the apps to close.

I am thinking that the default value at the end of these command lines is 20, indicating that it takes minimum of 20 seconds for the shut down process. If you are in the mood for changing the command lines back to the original settings, you can copy and paste the following codes and replace the ones that I mentioned earlier in this article:

sudo defaults delete /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/c\
om.apple.coreservices.appleevents ExitTimeOut

sudo defaults delete /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/c\
om.apple.securityd ExitTimeOut

sudo defaults delete /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/c\
om.apple.mDNSResponder ExitTimeOut

sudo defaults delete /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/c\
om.apple.diskarbitrationd ExitTimeOut

sudo defaults delete /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com\
.apple.coreservices.appleid.authentication ExitTimeOut

In case you have any more questions, feel free to shoot me an email at techguy@infinarium.com . Although this tutorial is easy to follow for beginner level users. If you are having trouble or are afraid to proceed on your own, then please don’t do so.