Do you encounter a frozen app on your Mac and can’t quit it normally? That spinning beach ball makes you crazy? Instead of just sitting and getting more frustrated, force quit an app that’s not responding. Thankfully, you’ve got options to close the unresponsive apps.
We’ve prepared five Mac force quit ways, so you can pick the one that works best for you. Moreover, we’ll tell you how to prevent the programs from hanging and what to do if your whole Mac stops responding.
How to Force Quit Mac Applications
Force quit from the Apple menu
Here’s how to force quit an app from the Apple menu:
Sometimes a Mac app freezes up and you have to kill it. Well, not actually kill it, but you may have to force it to quit so you can relaunch it. Here’s how you use Force Quit an application in macOS: Choose Force Quit from the Apple ( ) menu, or press Command-Option-Esc. Select the app in the Force Quit window. Click Force Quit. Sep 29, 2016 The steps to force quit an app using the GUI are illustrated below: 1. Click on the “Apple” icon on the left corner of the menu bar and from the context-menu that drops down, click on “Force Quit”. Select the app that you want to Force Quit, and click on “Force Quit”. You will be prompted with an alert, asking if you want to. Jun 07, 2018 To quit (close) a Mac app normally, choose Quit from the app's menu in the menu bar, or press Command (⌘)-Q. If the app doesn't quit, follow these steps to force the app to quit.
- Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen.
- Select Force Quit.
- Choose the app that’s not responding.
- Click on the Force Quit button.
Jul 04, 2018 2. Force Quit with Mac Shortcut. To do the same thing but faster, use Mac shortcut keys to close frozen applications. On your keyboard, press and hold Command + Option + Esc. It will immediately bring up a “Force Quit Application” window. Select the frozen application from the dialogue box and select “Force Quit.”. If the traditional methods do not work, such as: Force quit from the app icon menu in the Dock; Force quit from the apple menu; Force quit from Alt + Command + Esc menu; Finding the app and quitting it from the Activity monitor; And you do not want to use the hard cold reboot.
Force quit from the Dock
If you wonder how to force quit an app on Mac using the Dock, check out these simple steps:
- To open the dock menu, right-click on the application icon you want to shut down or click on the item and hold.
- Hold an Option (Alt) button, so the Quit menu changes to Force Quit.
- Click Force Quit.
As simple as that!
Force quit using the keyboard shortcut
Alternatively, you can use a force quit Mac shortcut to close an unresponsive app. Do the following:
- Press and hold the following keys: Command + Option + Esc.
- Select the program you want to quit from the dialogue box.
- Click Force Quit.
This method of force quit command Mac is especially useful if your mouse cursor is lagging a bit.
Force quit using the Terminal
If you prefer a command line method to solve the problems, you can quit an unresponsive app via Terminal. Here’s what you should do: Find my iphone for mac.
- Launch the Terminal.
- Type the following command: killall [application name]. For example, if Safari isn’t responding, type killall Safari.
- Click Enter. Your application will be shut down immediately.
Note that the killall command works at the system level and the auto-save option doesn’t work. Be careful not to lose your unsaved data.
A better way to force quit apps — CleanMyMac X
A smart maintenance app like CleanMyMac X has a problem of force quit on Mac covered. You can easily force quit program on your Mac with an Optimization utility. It has a special Hung Applications tool that allows to identify and fix the unresponsive app right away.
A direct access saves you time and allows to fix a frozen app in a matter of seconds. CleanMyMac also takes care of other performance issues, so if you want to get alerts when something goes wrong on your Mac, download CleanMyMac X for free and give it a try.
Fixing an app that hangs frequently: Short tips
You may notice that a particular app freezes quite often. It is natural to assume that there is something wrong with that application. But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to fix the hanging app.
First of all, update an app to the latest version. App developers are constantly working on improvements, trying to deliver the best experience to users. The latest update may resolve all problems with the freezing app.
The next step is to clear the app’s cache, especially if you use it frequently. If there’s not enough free storage, a program won’t run smoothly. Once you delete the cache files, an app may start working normally.
You may also try to delete an app and reinstall it. Usually it resolves the problem of a frozen app.
What to do when your Mac freezes
Typically it’s just an app that hangs, but on rare occasions the Mac may freeze entirely and become completely unresponsive to anything. This is often accompanied by fans that work quite loudly, demonstrating a fully frozen Mac. To solve the problem, you need to shut down your computer and boot it again.
Here’s how to force reboot your Mac:
- Hold down the Power button until your Mac shuts down completely. This may take about 5 seconds.
- Wait a few seconds and then hit the Power button again to boot the Mac.
As you may presume, this method is not perfect. Any unsaved information may be lost due to the sudden shutdown. However, sometimes it’s the only way to make your computer running.
That’s it. We hope this guide has helped you to force close Mac app that’s not responding. Keep in mind, with regular maintenance, your computer will be at tip-top shape, running at its best. And software like CleanMyMac X can help you keep an eye on your Mac. It can reset and delete apps, free up RAM, clean up the system, take care of the startup programs that slow down your computer, and speed up your Mac with its maintenance scripts. And that’s what will help you avoid problems with frozen apps on your Mac.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned!
Preview Will Not Force Quit
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Ok, I get it. There is no equivalent to the PC’s Ctrl+Alt+Del shortcut on a Mac® to force quit an application. So how do I quit that annoying program that’s not responding?
Luckily, Apple® has you covered and gives you multiple options. The shortcut actually exists, and moreover, there are a few other extremely convenient ways to fight buggy apps. Today I’m going to list three easy ways to force-quit an application on a Mac, without harming the system.
Let’s dive in!
Is it Safe to Force Quit?
Forcing a frozen application to quit is the same as killing the symptoms when we get sick versus curing the virus. We need to see the bigger picture and understand what causes the problem and how to cure it while understanding how to avoid it from happening again.
The number one reason we have a problem with frozen applications in a Mac is insufficient RAM—or, in other words, a lack of computer memory to operate the system compared to the number of applications you usually open (including those numerous open tabs in a browser). So anytime your system utilizes all of its existing resourses to run the task, it becomes unresponsive. Think of RAM like a physical workbench. The more space (memory) you have to work, the more projects you can have out to work on. Less space? Less ability to work on multiple things at once.
Forcing Mac to quit the application does resolve the problem but may have downsides. When you close an application in the traditional manner, it will clean everything it runs in the background and alert you to save the work. When you force close on Mac, you may end up losing files and data, or mess things up on the drive. Although the effect will only be related to that one particular application that got stuck, sometimes it can hurt.
Using a smart app like Parallels Toolbox can help you to free up unused memory on the fly and prevent the applications from getting frozen over and over again. The package includes over 30+ useful apps for everyday needs that any Mac user will benefit from, including downloading videos and music from sites like YouTube, taking screenshot or record videos, optimize your Mac performance, free up extra space and so much more.
You can download Toolbox and try it out for free here (no registration needed).
1. Force Quit Using the Apple Menu
The most conventional and effective way to close frozen programs is to go to the macOS® menu bar, located along the top of the screen in the Finder menu.
To force quit an application, simply do the following:
- Click on the black apple icon in the upper-left corner.
- From the drop-down menu, select “Force Quit…”. You will be directed to the new window named “Force Quit Application” where all the magic happens.
- Now all you have to do is select the application you want to close and choose “Force Quit.”
App Will Not Force Quit Mac Application
If you don’t know which application is stuck, pay attention to the ones that have the note “Not Responding.” This usually appears next to frozen applications.
2. Force Quit with Mac Shortcut
To do the same thing but faster, use Mac shortcut keys to close frozen applications.
- On your keyboard, press and hold Command + Option + Esc. It will immediately bring up a “Force Quit Application” window.
- Select the frozen application from the dialogue box and select “Force Quit.”
This could be your go-to method if the mouse or trackpad is lagging.
3. Close Application from Activity Monitor (Ctrl+Alt+Del Alternative)
Here’s the pinnacle of this article.
Very few Apple owners know that macOS provides an almost identical alternative to the traditional PC Control+Alt+Delete shortcut—and does it better. Yes, we all know that in Windows that keyboard shortcut is often used to open the Task Manager window. (To be honest, it’s needed too often, which is why we’re on a Mac.) From Task Manager, you can track applications, services, performance, and processes, and kill some of them when they’re unresponsive.
You can easily do all of that and more on the macOS native application called Activity Monitor.
To kill an application using Activity Monitor, do the following.
1. On your keyboard, press Command + Space, or click on Spotlight in the top-right corner of the screen.
2. In the “Spotlight Search” window, start typing “Activity Monitor.”
3. Once Activity Monitor is highlighted, hit Enter.
4. In the Activity Monitor processes list, select the application you want to quit and click “Force a process to quit” in the left corner.
App Does Not Force Quit Mac
What to Do If Force Quit Isn’t Working?
If all the applications stop responding and you can’t quit them using one of the methods described above, you can force your Mac to restart. To do so, press and hold the Control+Command+Power buttons.
Alternatively, you can force Mac to shut down by pressing and holding the power button, or use one of the many other shortcuts.
What’s the Solution?
Since your Mac doesn’t have enough space to run all those applications you need, the most obvious step would be to increase the RAM. If you own an iMac® or the older generation of MacBook Pro®, you can simply buy memory and upgrade your existing computer. With the new Mac generation, you don’t have that option anymore because the RAM is glued and soldered to the motherboard. You either buy a new computer or struggle.
Alternatively, you can clean your memory to free up space using Parallels® Toolbox. Parallels designed a tool set for macOS and PC users to efficiently manage their computer with just a few clicks—without any professional knowledge needed. Within the application (which is available to try for free), you can easily free up unused computer memory, clean your drive, and help your Mac run at max speed with a dozen other useful utilities.
If you’re interested in learning how easily one click can save precious disk space, check out how much space I took back with the Parallels Toolbox tool Clean Drive:
In one click (and about 10 seconds), I successfully removed 4 GB of clutter and reclaimed space on my hard drive.
So there you have it. Take care of your Mac with those quick tips, and remember to always save your work!