How to Force Quit on Mac?

by Linas Kiguolis - -


Issue: How to Force Quit on Mac?

I am new to Mac. However, I faced some problems with unresponsive programs, and I am not sure if there’s a way to force quit to shut them down?

Solved Answer

Switching from Windows to Mac computer might make you miss the old good Ctrl + Alt + Delete [1] combination that solves unresponsive programs’ issues immediately. However, Macs also have a force quit feature. There’s no need to hit the power button and fix problems with froze apps in such a harsh way. It’s a radical method that should be used if none of the “soft” options help.

Force Quit on Mac

Executing Force Quit feature on Mac

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Method 1. Use Force Quit option in the Dock

Force Quit on Dock

If some application that you use became unresponsive and prevents you from shutting down the device, you should start with the easiest method and choose force quit option from the Dock[2] menu:

  1. Go to the Dock at the bottom (or right corner) of the screen.
  2. Find the icon of an unresponsive app.
  3. Right-click it.
  4. In the appeared drop-down menu choose Quit (or Force Quit) option.

The troublesome app should be closed. Additionally, once the program freezes, you can click on the Apple icon at the top of the main menu bar and hit Force Quit option from the appeared drop-down menu.

Force Quit app on Mac

Method 2. Use keyboard combination

Just like Windows, Mac operating system also has a magic keys combination that forces all programs to quit:

Command + Option + Escape

Once you click these three buttons together, you will receive a pop-up window with currently running programs. Choose the app that does not respond and click Force Quit button.

Mac Force Quit keys

Method 3. Use another keyboard combination

Sometimes users cannot leave a frozen or unresponsive app, and the previous methods do not work. In this situation, you have to click other keys on the keyboard in order to run Force Quit on Mac:

Command + Option + Shift + Escape

Once you hit these keys, the troublesome program will be shut down immediately.

Method 4. Run Force Quit command with Activity Monitor

Quit app from Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor[3] is a built-in application that allows seeing all running processes in Mac operating system. It’s like a Task Manager[4] in Windows. If particular application crashes, you can see what’s wrong with it using this application.

  1. Go to Applications.
  2. Acess Utilities.
  3. Open Activity Monitor. Here you should see all applications and processes that are running on your device.
  4. Double-click the app that causes you problems. You will receive a windows with a bunch of technical information. If you are higly-skilled, you can try to figure out what caused the app to stuck.
  5. Find and click Quit button.

Running Force Quit when Mac freezes

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As you can see fixing problems with unresponsive apps is not complicated. However, sometimes programs might freeze the whole system. Therefore, previously mentioned methods will not work to solve this problem.

Fortunately, Mac operating system is stable, and such situations rarely happen. However, in this case, you have to hold down the power button. You will receive a dialog box offering to choose one of the options: Restart, Sleep or Shut down. Thus, select restart to reboot the system.

However, if you do not receive this dialog box, keep holding the power button until your Mac is forced to shut down. Though in this way, you might lose some of the unsaved data, unfortunately, it’s the only way to fix this problem.

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About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - IT professional

Linas Kiguolis is a qualified IT expert that loves sharing his excellent knowledge about problems in Windows and Mac operating systems. Linas’ insights often help other team members find quick solutions for visitors of UGetFix site.

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