Author: James Fleming
Sunday, February 19, 2023

How to force quit on a mac

How to force quit on a mac

Have you ever felt like smashing your computer into a million pieces just because an app misbehaves and is not responsive? Well, I am sure we all have been there once or twice. Therefore, instead of bashing your expensive mac with a bat, why don't you use the safer route of force-closing the app that is either frozen or is buffering for an extended period with minimal damage?

The only downside to this method is that you can lose a bunch of unsaved work you were working on or some data from an on-running program. You may be used to the more common operating system of windows, where everybody knows the keyboard shortcut control + alt + delete. This is the key combination to force quit an app or program that is unresponsive on windows, but when it comes to the mac, things are a little different and may frustrate some new beginners. However, this should be fine because today, I will deal with precisely the various methods that come in handy when you need to force quit an app. So we can take a look. Would you like us to?

How to force quit on a mac

Best eight methods to force shut on a mac

1. Command + option + escape

If an app that used to perform well has started to fidget or has frozen all of a sudden on your mac for the time, it may be frustrating. However, this method will surely fix your problem in a jiffy without requiring special knowledge. The first way to handle an app that could be more responsive on a mac is by using these alternate three keys, equivalent to the keyboard shortcut. Finally, control + alt + delete on the operating system of windows.

The first step is to hold down the command button, which, if you're a first-timer on the use of a mac, is located next to the space bar and is equivalent to the CTRL key in windows. The next step is to simultaneously press the option and escape buttons while holding on to the command key to bring out the force quit dialog box.

The force quit dialog box will automatically present to you a list of those apps that are currently open and still running. Moreover, it will tell you if an app has stopped working and will usually indicate it as not responding. The final step is to select the non-responding app and choose the option of Force quit to terminate any activity of the app, and it is as simple as that.

How to force quit on a mac

2. Use of the apple menu

This is another option for windows' control + alt + delete keys. The apple menu is located in the top left corner of your screen and is similar to the windows key on the operating system. The apple menu contains most of a mac's crucial and essential functions.

Once you click on the Apple menu, you will observe functions such as sleep, restart, shut down, system preferences, app store, recent items, lock screen, and the crown jewel of this article, the Force quit option. The next step is to click on the force quit option, which will provide you with a list of all the available apps and programs.

The last step is to look out for those non-responsive apps that are not working correctly and select them. And then allow the Mac to close this app by force and, most often, solve the issue with the app. This method is a shortcut compared to the others and probably one of the easiest methods to force shut apps on your mac.

3. Control + shift + eject

Another method you can force stop your misbehaving apps is by pressing the control key while, at the same time, you are holding down the shift and the eject key. This option is the same as the windows' CTRL + SHIFT + ESC shortcut in the windows, which enables you to access the task manager. Unfortunately, on the mac, this option is not available.

I am glad to be here today to enlighten you on this similar alternative. Pressing the control + shift + eject key combination on your mac enables you to access the activity monitor, which is quite similar to the task manager. However, through access to this activity manager, you can now look at the app that is not responding well, and force quit the application, right?

How to force quit on a mac

4. Use of the dock option

This is another alternative you can resort to force shutting an app. The dock is usually located along the bottom edge of your Mac's screen. The port contains several apps and tools that are positioned conveniently at your disposal for use. It also makes the apps readily available as simple as a click.

Through the dock, you can do several activities, such as; opening an app by clicking on the app's icon, you can also open a file located in the app, and command clicking the app's icon to show the item in the finder; you can also offer a shortcut menu of specific actions and the activity of the day is the availability of the option to force an app to shut down.

The dock contains the option to force quit an app when it is acting up. To do this, control-click on the app's icon, which is misbehaving, and then and then select force quit to close the app.

5. Use of the keys command + Q

No worries if the last four options are not for you; the Mac still has other tricks to explore and use. One of these tricks is pressing the command key while simultaneously holding down the Q key. This is one of the many macs shortcuts, and it is used to exit a program or force shut an app that is not working correctly.

Alternatively, the command Q combination can help you stop unintentionally quitting an application. This is possible by holding the command and Q key briefly and can save you from losing unsaved work or essential information.

How to force quit on a mac

6. Activity Monitor

Of course, there is always another method if the others do not work; mac has always covered you. The activity monitor is another essential tool that can not only force shut an app or a program but also can troubleshoot problems that may be present on your mac. So, where is this wonder tool located on your mac?

The first step to locate your activity monitor is to go to the application folder and click on the utility folder. The next step is to then double-click on the Activity Monitor option. The Mac will automatically present a comprehensive list of several apps and programs with five tabs, including the CPU tab, the memory tab, the network tab, the cache tab, the energy tab, and the disk tab, each recording the level of performance of your Mac.

In addition, the activity monitor tells you which apps are unresponsive and enables you to send a signal to it to force quit its activities as a form of troubleshooting. Just choose and click on the app that is troubling you, usually dubbed as not responding, that you want to shut down. The next step is to click on the button with a little X icon in the upper left corner of the activity window. This action will lead you to the final step, giving you two options; quit and force quit. The choice is yours.

7. Use of the terminal tool

This is another effective method that you can opt to use. For example, a terminal is a tool on the mac that allows you to input special commands that send signals and messages directly to your operating system without using a mouse or anything. So, how does this terminal tool work exactly?

The first step is to open the terminal tool by searching it on your dock on your mac and typing the words kill all together with the name of the specific unresponsive app. Use capital letters when typing the app's name for this process to work. This will kill any activity running on the app and force it to close down.

However, sometimes this does not work; instead, it displays an error message. In this case, try adding the word sudo before the kill command, which makes it more effective and will certainly shut down the app in most cases.

How to force quit on a mac

8. Restart your mac

This is a last resort when all the other methods have failed to work. For example, you can press the power button as you hold down on the command-and-control keys on your mac to restart it. Alternatively, you can force shut your mac by long pressing the power button and restarting it after a few minutes. This will often move the unresponsive apps to close and fix most of the problems previously responsible for the apps freezing.


Now you know how to handle that pesky problem of apps and programs not responding on your mac. If you recently crossed over to the mac community from windows, this article is just for you. Please take a look at the eight methods I have outlined for force quitting troubling apps and more content on the mac. These are the best methods to force shut any app, and if the problem continues, please seek an expert intervention.

How to force quit on a mac

Creator Profile
Joined: 2/25/2013

ver: 20231031T141653