How to Force Quit Applications in Mac

Once in a while, one or more apps may malfunction causing your Mac to freeze. In most cases, Mac OS X is well equipped to handle applications that do not respond. However, if the freeze is taking too long, you should force quit the applications causing it.

This step by step guide with show you a few methods to force quit applications in Mac.

Method #1: Command + Escape + Alt

Just like in windows, you can use a 3 button combination to open the task manager. In Mac, you should follow the following steps below:

1. Triple press ’command’, ’alt’ and ‘escape’ or ‘⌘’, ‘⌥’ and ‘Esc’ to open the ‘force quit application’ tab.

2. Once the force quit applications are open, you need to highlight the application you wish to terminate. You then need to hit the ‘Force Quit’ button at the bottom.

A prompt will pop up requiring you to confirm your action. You should hit ‘Force Quit’ as shown on the image below:

Your frozen desktop should now recover. Your unresponsive application should now be terminated.

Method #2: Utilizing the Activity Monitor

At times, some applications may not be visible on the ‘force quit application’ tab. Don’t panic, this method is guaranteed to view all the applications and processes happening on your Mac.

1. Open the ‘Finder’ application then select ‘Applications’ on the left as illustrated below. You now need to double click the Utilities folder located at the end of the applications list as shown below:

2. In the utility folder, you will find ‘Activity Monitor’ as illustrated below. You need to open the Activity Monitor.

3. The ‘Activity Monitor’ contains all the applications and processes running on your Mac. You need to identify and select the application you wish to terminate as shown below, hit the small X button on the top bar as shown below to force quit the selected application.


You now know how to force quit unresponsive applications on your Mac. Which method works better for you? Please share your feedback on the comment section below.

Abdelrahman Reda

Abdelrahman Reda is a Motivated Support Engineer with 6+ years of corporate and consumer support experience. His experience related to administration of Network, NOC support, computers and anti-virus server, data entry, networking sites, remote support.

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