5 Fixes to Catalina Crashing at Shutdown Panic – Watchdog Timeout

It can be really frustrating to have your Mac crash every time, mostly while you are dealing with kernel panics. Kernel panic in Mac is similar to blue screen death in Windows OS. There have been various discussions online to get the Catalina 10.15.3 in the Apple forum asking for the fix. Now, we have an absolute trialed and tested 5 possible fixes to Catalina crashing at shutdown panic – watchdog timeout.

Error code

Mac high CPU and freeze with "watchdog timeout: no checkins from watchdog"

Causes of Kernel panic

  • The issue is prone to occur when you run a virtualization environment in your iMac.
  • Insufficient RAM or memory in flash drive.
  • Damaged disk permission
  • Unsupported Graphics Processing Unit
  • Incompatible external peripherals are connected to iMac.
  • Unsupported driver and software
  • Conflicting between third-party applications

Solutions to Catalina Crashing at Shutdown Panic – Watchdog Timeout

Solution 1: Reset PRAM, SMC, NVRAM



Reset PRAM

Step 1: Turn off your iMac.

Step 2: Now, after it’s completely blank, press and hold the Power button + Option key + P + R at once.

Note: Make sure you press all these keys before Mac starts to boot and show a grey screen.

Step 3: Keep pressing the keys until MacBook turns powers back on completely.

Step 4: Release the keys and reboot your computer normally.

How to Reset the NVRAM/PRAM on Your Mac - 5 Fixes to Catalina Crashing at Shutdown Panic - Watchdog Timeout

Reset NVRAM

Step 1: Turn off your iMac.

Step 2: Now, after it’s completely blank, press and hold Option key + Command + P + R at once.

Step 3: Release the keys after 20 seconds when MacBook starts rebooting.

Reset SMC:

Step 1: Shut down you iMac completely.

Step 2: Remove all the attached peripheral devices, if any, connected.

Step 3: Now, remove the battery from your mac console.

Step 4: After that, press the Power key for around 5 seconds and release pressing.

Step 5: Now, put the battery back to the case and seal it properly.

Step 6: Finally, turn on your device generally while hitting the Power button.

For those devices where you cannot remove the battery, follow the commands below.

Step 1: Turn off your laptop.

Step 2: Keep the power cable plugged in and press Shift + Option + Control + Power button at the same time.

Step 3: Now, hold the button for 5 seconds and let go of all the keys.

Step 4: Finally, turn on your device normally while hitting the power button.

 reset the SMC of your Mac- Shift + Option + Control + Power button


Solution 2: Clear Kernel cache

Clearing kernel cache from the system helps in fixing Catalina crashing at shutdown panic- watchdog timeout.

Step 1: Turn your Mac into the safe boot; first of all, power off your device.

Step 2: Now, press and hold the Power key + Shift key at once.

Step 3: Keep pressing the button until the window turns grey and release the keys.

Step 4: Once the device opens up, press the CMD + Space key to open Spotlight.

Step 5: On the URL bar, enter ~Library/Caches.

Clear Kernel Caches in Safe boot - 5 Fixes to Catalina Crashing at Shutdown Panic - Watchdog Timeout

Step 6: Now, delete all the files present in the Caches directory to remove the Kernel cache.

This should solve an issue: “userspace watchdog timeout: no successful check-in from com.apple.WindowServer in 120 seconds.”

Solution 3: Power cycle your Macbook

Restarting your iMac won’t solve an issue; to have it solved, you need to power cycle the Macbook.

Step 1: Turn off your MacBook and remove any peripheral devices connected to the ports.

Step 2: Now, remove the battery from your mac console. After that, press the Power key for around 20 seconds. The method should drain out the static electricity on your device.

Step 3: Now, put the battery back to the case and seal it properly, and, finally, turn on your device normally.

Solution 4: Energy settings

Disable Screen Saver

Step 1: Go to “System preference” from the Apple icon.

Step 2: Now, go to the “Desktop” tab and then to “Screen Saver.”

Step 3: Now, disable the “Start after” tab to Never.


Start after- Display and screen saver

Change energy saver settings

Step 1: Go to “System preference” from the Apple icon.

Step 2: Now, go to “Energy Saver.”

Step 3: After that, toggle the “Turn display off after” tab to Never.

Step 4: Also, untick “Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the screen is off.”

Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the screen is off

Solution 4: Repair Disk Permission

In order to solve the application conflict issue, performing first aid to the disk might be an ultimate solution to solve Catalina crashing at shutdown panic – Watchdog time out, generally known as Kernel Panic.


Step 1: Initially, turn off your computer completely.

Step 2: Now, power it back on and press the Command + R key at once before the grey screen appears on the window.

Step 3: Now, you should be on the “macOS Utilities” page, there choose an option that says “Disk Utility.”

How to erase a disk for Mac

Step 4: After that, click on the “First Aid” option.

Step 5: And launch “Repair Disk Permission.”

Disk Permission Repairs

Solution 5: Disable Startup Applications

If the issue is caused due to RAM shortage, then disabling the startup applications should fix a problem.

Step 1: Go to “System Preferences” from the Apple icon.

Step 2: After that, go to the “Users & Group” tab.

users and group

Step 3: After that, select your username from the menu.

Step 4: Now, switch to Login items and choose startup items from the list. Tick off the applications to remove it from sartup.

Step 5: Restart your MacBook normally.

Stop Programs from Running at Mac Startup

Solution 6: Update to macOS Catalina 10.15.6 Combo

Updating iMac should fix the Kernal Panic; now, all you need to do is update your iMac to macOS Catalina 10.15.6 combo.

Step 1: Make sure you have taken a proper backup of your important files.

Step 2: Get online; we would need an internet connection to download the update.

Step 3: Furthermore, go to the following link and select the block that says, “MacOS Catalina 10.15.6 Combo.”


Step 4: Download the OS and install it manually after the download completes.

donwload Catalina combo

Readers, are you aware of 5 ultimate fixes to Catalina crashing at shutdown panic – watchdog timeout? The issue seems to be due to both software and hardware failure. Follow the above guidelines clearly and let us know if you need further assistance in the comment section.

You might also be interested in macOS Catalina solutions.

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