Category Technology
How to Force Quit an App on Mac Guide for how to force quit apps on your Mac. Learn multiple methods on your macOS device, from simple shortcuts to advanced techniques.

It may be extremely frustrating to wait for Mac software to restart once it stops working. But do not panic! Force Quit on Mac is a solution for this.

In the fast-paced world of technology, your Macs are powerful tools that assist you in various tasks. However, even the most robust systems encounter glitches, leading to unresponsive applications. Knowing how to force quit applications on your Mac is an important skill to learn. 

This feature will help you quickly get back your control on the computer. You may restore system resources and resume productivity by closing the frozen application.

This article will review a couple of ways on “How To Force Quit App on Mac?” Also, we have covered “what to do if the force quit feature isn't functioning.”

Understanding the Need to Force Quit on Mac!

Before diving into the technicalities, let's understand why force quitting is necessary. Mac applications may freeze or become unresponsive for various reasons, such as excessive resource usage, software conflicts, or temporary glitches. Force quitting allows you to close these problematic applications swiftly, preventing them from affecting your overall system performance. 

Explore the methods of force quit application on Mac, which addresses immediate software issues and offers insight into the history of iOS and macOS. It showcases information about how Apple's operating systems have evolved to enhance user control and application management.

How to Force Quit on Mac?

It is quite simple to force-quit programs on a Mac if you know a few tricks. With the help of force quit, you can easily terminate the broken and unresponsive apps.

Here are a few methods to help you force quit:

Method 1: Force Quit by Using the Apple Menu

Step 1: The first step is to check which app is not responding. If you have opened several tabs, it might be difficult to identify which open window or application is causing the rainbow-spinning wheel.

You can easily identify an unresponsive application by just looking at the cursor. A regular cursor indicates that there is no issue and the application is operating as intended. 

Step 2: Look for the taskbar at the top of the screen once you know which program is unresponsive and what's slowing down the system. Find the Apple logo on the far left, then select the dropdown option. Next, locate the taskbar at the top of the screen after determining which program is not responding and what is slowing down the system. Find the Apple logo on the far left, and click to open the dropdown menu.

Step 3: Open the drop-down menu, then choose “Force Quit.”

Step 4: A new pop-up window with information about every open application on your computer will open. Choose the app you want to shut down from the menu. To close several applications simultaneously, press the Command button to pick more than one item.

Step 5: Now, choose Force Quit once more as the following action. You'll be informed via a pop-up window that no more modifications will be saved by the application after this.

Step 6: Select Force Quit again.

Method 2: Force Quit by Using Keyboard Shortcut


To make things easier, utilize a combination of shortcut keys to force quit if you are having trouble finding the Apple logo or getting to the taskbar so you can access the dropdown menu.

To bring up a force quit window on your Mac screen, press Option, Command, and Esc simultaneously. Then, follow the instructions.

a. Option + Command + Esc.
b. Choose the app(s) you want to quit and select Force Quit.
c. Choose Force Quit again in the pop-up window to confirm that you want to quit and understand that you’ll lose any new changes.

Method 3: Force Quit by Using the Activity Monitor


The activity monitor is a great Mac tool for identifying a problematic or misbehaving program. Also, check the amount of energy or power used by every program and force-quit the ones that are no longer required.

Step 1: Use the Command + Space keys to open Activity Monitor using the Spotlight function or the Finder to find it directly.

Step 2: When the Activity Monitor window opens, choose the application you want to quit forcibly.

Step 3: Press the cross symbol at the top of the window once you've chosen the program you wish to terminate. (This symbol has the letter X in the center, like an octagon.)

Step 4: This will cause a new pop-up window to appear and question whether you are sure you want to close the application. Additionally, it gives you the option to terminate the program. For the program to quit promptly, click the “Force Quit” button in the middle.

Method 4: Force Quit by Using the Dock

Step 1: Find the non-responsive application on the dock.
Step 2: Press the Option key.
Step 3: Do right-click on the dock icon of the application.
Step 4: Select Force Quit.

Method 5: How to force quit using the Terminal

You can use Terminal to end an unresponsive application if you would rather handle issues with a command line interface. This is what you ought to do:

a. Open Terminal from your Applications folder or use Spotlight Search.
b. Type the command top to display a list of all running processes.
c. Find the app's Process ID (PID) you want to quit.
d. Type kill [PID] (replace [PID] with the actual process ID of the app).
e. Press Enter to execute the command and force the app to quit.

So this was all about ‘How to Force Close an App or Program.’

What to Do If Force Quit Doesn’t Work? 

Restarting the Mac is the next action if the entire system slows down, all apps become unresponsive, and the force quit option isn't functioning. To do this, press and hold the Control, Command, and Power buttons together until a black screen appears.

Alternatively, you can force a system shutdown by pressing the power button.
The keyboard shortcuts listed below can be used to forcefully shut down or restart your Mac without searching for choices in the taskbar or main Apple Settings menu.

Note: Compared to other shortcuts, you might need to hold certain key combinations for a little while longer. This default configuration helps users in preventing accidental key use.

Control + Power: This causes a pop-up window to appear and asks if you want to end the system or restart it. Certain models also inquire about turning your Mac into sleep mode.

Control + Option + Command + Power: Forces the system to shut down and terminates all open programs. A pop-up window requesting that you save any unsaved changes in open windows will show up.

How to Fix an App That Freezes Frequently

You might have noticed that a certain app freezes frequently. It makes sense to believe that the program isn't working properly. But don't panic; a few solutions are available to address the stuck application.

Update an app to the most recent version first. To enhance an app's functionality, developers are constantly working on improvements to deliver the best experience to users. The most recent version could fix any issue with the app freezing.

The app's cache has to be cleared next, especially if you use it regularly.  The app’s functionality won’t be proper if there is not enough free storage. After deleting the cache files, an app may start working normally.

Another option is to attempt uninstalling and reinstalling a Mac app. It usually fixes the issue of an application that is frozen. Nevertheless, utilizing CleanMyMac X and the Uninstaller module included with this tool to reset an app is a simpler method. You won't need to reinstall the program since it will return to the original installation state on your Mac, complete with all of its cache files removed. 

Use CleanMyMac X to reset an app by doing the following steps:

a. Launch CleanMyMac X (set the software after downloading it for free from this link if you haven't already).
b. Tap Uninstaller in the sidebar. 
c. To reset an app, control-click on it and choose “Select [App name]” for “Reset.”
d. Press the Reset button.

Be aware that preinstalled macOS programs, including Safari, might not appear in the list when you initially launch CleanMyMac X. Choose Settings from the menu bar after clicking CleanMyMac X to be able to choose which ones to reset—Deselect Ignore system apps by going to Ignore List > Uninstaller now. You may now reset every program that's installed on your Mac.

What if the MacOS is the problem rather than the application?

Often, the Mac is the one generating the rainbow spinning wheel to appear rather than your apps. If you discover that your system is freezing and becoming unresponsive rather than your open programs, you should do the following:

Step 1: On your Mac, open the Apple Menu and select Shut Down.

Step 2: Take a few seconds to turn the system back on after it has fully shut off.

Important Points To Remember

a. Mac programs should only be forced to terminate when necessary. It may also cause your system to damage some important operating system files, which might lead to you losing unsaved documents.

b. Avoid forcing your Mac to shut down when updating or installing new applications, as this might leave your machine with unfinished operating system installs.

c. To shut down your Mac, use the conventional procedure (which is to access the Apple menu). Even though it takes longer to close the system, this method guarantees that the procedure is being followed correctly.

[Also Read: Explore Steps to Update Apple Devices]

Wrapping Up!

At last, mastering the methods to force quit an app on a Mac is crucial for resolving unresponsive software issues efficiently. Whether using keyboard shortcuts, accessing the Apple menu, employing the Activity Monitor, or leveraging Terminal commands, each method offers a unique approach to managing frozen applications. 

These techniques aid in immediate problem-solving and enhance the overall user experience by maintaining system stability and performance. Understanding and applying these methods ensures Mac users can quickly and effectively regain control over their devices, making them essential tools in any Mac user's arsenal.


By Manish LinkedIn Icon

With a mixture of literature, cinema, and photography, Manish is mostly traveling. When he is not, he is probably writing another tech news for you!

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