6 methods to force quit Mac applications

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How to force quit on Mac? And the most important what is the reason to force quite Mac application? It may happen that some Mac applications crash from time to time, although the rest of the programs and the system itself work as if nothing had happened. A worse scenario than unexpectedly crashing applications is only those apps that stop responding to external stimuli in the face of a desperate user, but continue to function, consuming resources and clogging up RAM with digital garbage. The only way out here is to resort to Mac force quit option. Despite the fact that Mac computers in most cases are marked with their stable performance, from time to time, even on macOS, various kinds of malfunctions and errors can occur. Most often this happens in the fault of programs from third-party developers. Occasionally, problems can be observed even in regular applications of the operating system. This raises an obvious question - what to do if the program does not respond, or it does not work as planned? If any application hangs on a Mac, it is necessary to perform force quit on Mac computer. This will help to quickly close the program or restart it, avoiding a restart of the entire OS X system.

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6 ways how to force quit an app on Mac

So if you are tired that at a certain moment the app stops responding to your commands, and the mouse pointer turns into a rotating rainbow wheel or when you click on the Close button and nothing happens, the program still does not react to anything and continues being in the Mac's RAM. We have gathered 6 different ways on How to force quit Mac apps for your convenience.

Force quit Mac shortcut combination

This option can be rather handy when, for example, a game hangs in full-screen mode - and neither forwards nor backwards or even when it is impossible to switch to another program. Well, it is much easier to close a program than to look for the force shutdown Mac command in the Dock menu. A hanging application on a Mac can be closed with a key combination. Hold the Command + Option + Shift + Escape buttons for three seconds and the unwanted application will be closed by force (regardless of whether it is full-screen or windowed). The whole process will be in silence without any dialog boxes and mandatory confirmations. This force quit Mac shortcut is the simplest way and at the same time the most effective. However, below we consider four more methods of force quit not closing app on Mac.

how to force quit on mac

Force quit command Mac analog to Ctrl + Alt + Del

The best and most common way to force quit a hung program on a Mac is to use the Force Quit Applications utility. This is a fairly handy tool that can be used not only in a situation of application lag but in general while working with the system and when it is necessary to close the program and not hide it in the Dock. Here we are talking about the fairly direct analog of the Windows Ctrl + Alt + Del. In OS X, the similar window opens with the help of force quit Mac keyboard shortcut Сommand + Option + Escape keys. The detailed instructions can be found below:

  1. Press and hold the following key combination: Command + Option + Esc.
  2. After a while, a dialog box appears in which you can select the hung application. In the invoked menu, Mac users can simultaneously deal with several hung applications at the same time.
  3. Select the required program from the list (the hung applications are marked accordingly).
  4. If you need to close more than one program, hold down the Command key and click on another program that you want to close.
  5. Without releasing the Command key, check all necessary programs. You can even choose everything.
  6. Finally, press the Force Quit button.

Using System Monitoring utility to force quit Mac apps

The most informative solution to a problem with a hung application is to use the standard System Monitoring utility. In order to open it, go to the Applications → Utilities → System Monitoring or use Spotlight Search by pressing Ctrl + Spacebar on the keyboard.

This method is informative because through the System Monitoring the user can find out how much load creates the problematic application on the processor, memory, and disk. This information helps to decide whether to close the process or let the computer "think."

Applications that do not respond to system requests will be highlighted in red, as in the Force Quit Applications utility. By using this method, you can choose either to quit or to force quit not closing app.

mac force quit

How to force quit a program on Mac via Terminal

The last but not the least method on how to force quit an app on Mac is to use the Terminal program. To get started, open the program, it is located in the Applications → Utilities or enter its name in the Spotlight Search. Enter killall command with the name of the hung program. For example, killall Safari will close Safari. However, using the killall command is the tip of the iceberg, and the first 5 methods are enough for you to easily close your applications.

Force quit on Mac using the Dock

All currently open applications are displayed in the Dock. If one of them hangs, you can force quit it through the context menu of the program in the Dock. So how to force quit on Mac when frozen? First of all, right-click on the program icon in the Dock, after that the context menu appears. Next, hold the Option (Alt) key on the keyboard and the context menu will change, and the "Force Quit" option will appear in it.

How to force quit on Mac via Apple menu

Go to the Apple menu. To do this, click on the icon that is in the menu bar on the left side. After that, hold down the Shift key and choose the option “Force quit (name of the app)”. This method is considered to be the easiest to remember. However, it may happen that the computer will not respond to this method making force quit Mac not working and forcing a user to find another variant.


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