iMac: How To Force a Restart

Sometimes the Command-Control-Power key combination does not always force the iMac computer to restart when the computer stops responding. This article provides other restart methods for the iMac computer.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Because the iMac uses a USB keyboard, there may be occasions when you cannot restart it using the Command-Control-Power keys during startup or following a system crash. In such cases it may be necessary to use the hardware reset button. There are unique methods for performing a hardware reset depending upon which model iMac you have.

Original iMac

To get to the reset button, open the cover on the right side of the iMac and locate the reset hole between the Ethernet and modem ports. It has a small triangle icon next to it. Carefully insert the end of a large straightened paper clip into the hole and push gently on the button inside. Do not use excessive force. Your computer should restart.

If the reset button fails to force a restart, unplug the computer, wait at least 30 seconds, then reconnect the power plug and turn the computer back on in the normal way.

iMac (Slot Loading) and iMac (Early 2001)

The iMac (Slot Loading) does not require the use of a paper clip as the reset and interrupt switches now have a button to activate them. The reset and interrupt buttons are located below the modem port on the right hand side of the iMac (Slot Loading). The reset button is marked with a small triangle and is the front-most of the two buttons.

In the event that the iMac's Reset button does not reset your computer, press and hold power button on the front of the computer for at least 5 seconds to force a restart. If this fails, remove the power cord from the wall and then reconnect it.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2012