How to force quit apps or programs on Mac

Although quite rare, you must have encountered incidents where apps on your Mac became unresponsive or frozen every now and then. Below are several ways to force quit any app or program on your Mac instead of waiting forever and getting frustrated.

Force quit apps or programs on Mac

Most native apps and services on your Mac are designed to run smoothly without freezing or lagging in any way. However, some third-party apps that aren’t precisely optimized to run efficiently on a Mac may end up freezing or completely unresponsive.

In such cases, it becomes difficult to close the unresponsive app in a normal way and the only remaining option is to force quit the application on your Mac.

Unlike closing the apps normally, Force Quitting abruptly closes the application and doesn’t save your work or settings. However, sometimes you have to be prepared to lose unsaved work and settings to get your Mac back to its normal state.

Force quit apps or programs using Dock

Perhaps the easiest way to force quit apps on a Mac is through the Dock, which sits at the bottom of the Mac screen.

1. Find them apartment you want to close in your Mac’s Dock

2. Then right-click on the app icon and then click Force quit in the small menu that appears (see image below).

Force Quit Apps from Document on Mac

Note: The “Force Quit” option may also appear as “Quit” in some cases, but mostly when the application is frozen or not responding, it will show as “Force Quit”.

3. Depending on the app you want to force, you may see a popup asking you to confirm that you want to force the app. Tap the blue Force quit Button to exit the unresponsive app.

Want to force quit pop-up on Mac

Force quit apps or programs on Mac using keyboard

You can also force quit apps on your Mac using keyboard shortcuts. There are 2 keyboard shortcuts you can use to force quit unresponsive apps.

1. Press on your Mac’s keyboard command + possibility + Esc Keyboard shortcut to force quit an unresponsive app. If you’re using a Windows keyboard with your Mac, press Windows + Old + Esc Key.

Note: Don’t press all 3 keys at the same time, press them one by one, first Command, then Option, then Esc.

2. Pressing the above keys will open the Force Quit Application Manager window on your Mac as shown below.

Force Quit Applications Screen on Mac

3. Next, click In the application manager, click on the unresponsive app and then on the blue one Force quit Button to close the unresponsive app.

4. Depending on the app you’re quitting, you might see a pop-up asking you to confirm that you want to force quit the app. Tap the blue Force quit Button to end the unresponsive app.

Want to force quit pop-up on Mac

Force quit apps on Mac from Apple menu bar

Another way to force quit apps on your Mac is to access the Force Quit Apps manager from the Apple menu bar.

1. Click on that Apple icon in the top menu bar on your Mac and then click Force quit… Option in drop down menu (see image below)

Force Quit Application Tab and Apple Menu Icon on Mac

2. When you click Force Quit, the Application Manager window will open on your Mac’s screen.

3. In the application manager, click the apartment that you want to force quit, then click the blue one Force quit Button to exit the selected app on your Mac (see image below)

Force quit the app using the Force Quit Application Manager on Mac

4. Depending on the app, a pop-up may appear. Click on the blue Force quit Button in the popup to close the selected app.

Want to force quit pop-up on Mac

Force quit apps on Mac with Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor on a Mac is quite similar to Task Manager on a Windows computer. The activity manager on a Mac allows you to take a look at the amount of memory, CPU, and disk space used by the apps and also allows you to force quit apps.

1. Click on that Finder icon (Happy Face!) in the Dock of your Mac (see image below)

Finder icon in the Mac Dock

2. Then click on applications and then click the Utilities folder.

Utilities folder under Applications tab on Mac

3. Look in the Utilities folder. activity monitor and click on it (see image below)

Activity Monitor icon in the Utilities folder on Mac

4. On the Activity Monitor screen, click apartment you want to close, and then click the X icon, located in the upper left corner of the window (see image below)

Force quit the app in Activity Monitor on Mac

5. Next, you may see a pop-up window asking you to confirm that you want to force quit the application. Click on Force quit (or Stop) to close the application.

Are you sure you want to finish this process on Mac?

Force quit apps on Mac from Terminal window

In addition to the above ways, you can also use the Terminal window to force quit apps on your Mac.

1. Press on your Mac’s keyboard command + spacebar to open Spotlight search

2. Once Spotlight search opens on your Mac, type in the word Terminal and click on the top hit suggestion terminal to open the terminal window on your Mac (see image below)

Terminal in Spotlight search on Mac

3. Enter in the terminal window ps – ax (there is a space after ps) and press Enter (see screenshot below).

ps -ax command in Terminal on Mac

Note: There is a space after ps

4. The terminal command above will list all the processes currently running on your Mac. Locate the app you want to close and note its PID number (see image below).

List of running applications in Terminal on Mac

5. Once you wrote down the app’s PID number. Type kill (pid number) in the terminal window and press Enter (see image below)

Force quit the app in Terminal on Mac

Once you enter the above command, the unresponsive/frozen application will be closed. For example, in our case, we closed the stuck Safari app on our Mac by tapping it kill 279 in the terminal window.

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