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How to Force Quit an App on Your Mac

If your Mac freezes or one of your apps stops responding, you can quickly get things back to normal by force quitting. When you force quit an application, it closes the application completely and all the processes it is running. Here’s how to force quit apps on a Mac in four easy ways.

How to Force Quit an App From the Apple Menu

To force an app to quit an app on a Mac computer, click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen and select Force Quit from the drop-down menu. Then select the unresponsive app and click Force Quit to close it.

  1. Click the Apple icon. You can find this in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Then, select Force Quit. This opens the Force Quit window, which gives you a list of all the active and unresponsive apps.
    How to Force Quit an App on Your Mac
  3. Next, select the unresponsive app from the list.
  4. Then, click Force Quit.
    select unresponsive app to force quit mac
  5. Finally, click Force Quit in the pop-up window.
How to Force Quit an App From the Apple Menu

Note: Depending on the application you force quit, your work might be lost.

How to Force Quit Using a Keyboard Shortcut

The quickest way to force quit an app on your Mac is to use a keyboard shortcut. To do this, press and hold the Command + Option + Esc keyson your keyboard. Then select the unresponsive app and click Force Quit.

  1. Press and hold the Command + Option + Esc keys on your keyboard at the same time. This immediately opens the Force Quit window.
    How to Force Quit an App on Your Mac
  2. Then, select the name of the unresponsive app.
  3. Next, click Force Quit.
  4. Finally, click Force Quit from the pop-up window.

If you are looking for other things you can do with keyboard shortcuts, check out our list of the most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts here.

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How to Force Quit From The Dock

To force quit an app from the Dock on your Mac, right-click or Ctrl-click on the app’s icon in the Dock while holding down the Option key on your keyboard. Then select Force Quit from the pop-up menu.

  1. Right-click or Ctrl-click on the unresponsive app’s icon in the Dock. Right-clicking the app’s icon brings up a pop-up menu with a list of options.
  2. Then, press and hold the Option key on your keyboard. This turns the Quit option to Force Quit, which you’ll find at the bottom of the list.
  3. Finally, select Force Quit to close the app.
How to Force Quit From The Dock

How to Force Quit From the Activity Monitor

To force quit an app from the Activity Monitor, go to Applications > Utilities and open the Activity Monitor. Then select the unresponsive app and click the X icon in the top-left corner of the window and select Quit.

  1. First, open Finder. You can do this by clicking the half-blue, half-white face icon in your Dock. You can also click the desktop and hit Command + N on your keyboard.
  2. Then go to the Applications folder. You can find this in the left sidebar of your Finder window. Or, you can hit Command + Shift + A on your keyboard.
  3. Next, open the Utilities folder. You can also hit Command + Shift + U on your keyboard.
    appliccations utilities
  4. Then open the Activity Monitor. This app shows you all the processes that are running on your Mac, including disk activity, memory usage, and more.
    actiivty monitor 1
  5. Next, select an app you want to force quit from the list of processes.
  6. Then click the X button in the top-left corner of the window.
    stop activity monitor
  7. Finally, click Quit.
How to Force Quit From the Activity Monitor

If you keep having problems with an app, it could be caused by a malicious app. If you think your computer is infected, check out our guide on how to find and remove malware from your Mac.

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Updated on August 31, 2021

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