MacBook Pro keeps turning back on

Hi, My daughter’s 2010 13" MacBook running 11.6 will not stay off!

It goes through the shutdown process and shuts down. Moments later it reboots.

In every other respect it’s working fine for what she needs it to do with it.

She doesn’t use it much as she’s now bought herself an M1 Ai, but it would be nice to know that when it’s off it’s actually off.

Try the old-time “hold the power button down for 10 seconds” trick - never fails.

I would try Reset SMC

Thanks for both replies.
Unfortunately neither scheme worked.
Approximately 30 seconds after shutting down, and about the same time after reinstalling the battery, she goes “bonggg” and boots up again!

What do you mean by ‘after reinstalling the battery’?

Resetting the SMC on this MacBook requires the Battery to be disconnected, Power button to be pressed for 5 seconds then the battery reconnected.

Check system prefs…energy saver I think…and make sure that auto restart after power failure isn’t checked.

Sorry Neil, that option is not available on the MacBook. It is on the desktop Macs.

I just tried shutting it down and closing the lid. Walking away to the coffee machine and “bonggg!”

You can try to boot into Recovery (Command R) and from the drop-down menu: Utilities> Disk Utility> run First Aid on your Macintosh HD. You can also reinstall MacOS from recovery. It will delete none of your prsonal files, only replace system files.

Hmmm. I wonder if the power button might be stuck down internally. Has the machine had liquid split on it at any point?

A simple suggestion to try first: exercise the power button a bit by pressing it firmly, say 20 times, to try and clean it out.

More scientifically, I think the easiest way to test for that possible cause would be to disconnect the power button. On some models, this is a separate connector. On others, I think it’s part of the keyboard connector.

Is this the white plastic MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010), A1342? If so, I think the keyboard ribbon cable shown in step 14 here might be the right one: MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Logic Board Replacement - iFixit Repair Guide

It wouldn’t be necessary to follow all the steps in that guide - just enough to disconnect that connector. I think steps 1, 2, 3, 14. These connectors are very fragile - lots of care & patience required, and preferably a non-conductive nylon “black stick” “spudger”.

This isn’t a perfect experiment, though, because once that is disconnected, you then don’t have a power button to press to turn the machine on! (On machines with separate power button connectors, you can temporarily connect a different button for this sort of thing, but when it’s all mixed in with the keyboard, this is a bit more complicated.)

But if you disconnected the keyboard, reconnected the power, found the machine turned itself on, and continued to turn itself back on even after selecting Shut Down using a USB-connected mouse, you would have eliminated the keyboard as a cause… in that case, a likely alternative cause would unfortunately be a logic board fault.

I hope this makes some kind of sense!

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He can certainly go through those steps, but I’d rule it out off the top for the simple reason that a stuck power button would execute a forced shut down and/or never turn the machine on. At the very least you’d boot the machine and it would almost immediately put up a shutdown dialogue.

I think it’s more likely a “ghost” flag in the software or firmware that really wants to keep that Macbook up and running.

You could try using pmset at the command line to see if there are any weird power management settings on the computer.

Well here’s a surprise.
After the last restart while the lid was shut (mentioned earlier) the Mac has been sitting asleep for 5 days.
Daughter came back and I explained what was happening.
She open the lid, it woke up as usual, then she shut it down.
Two days later and it’s still shut down!!!