How can you force quit an application on a Mac?

Normally, you can shut down an active Mac app by two options: the first is to right click on its icon in the Dock and to choose Quit, and the second is to click the app icon in the menu bar and to choose Quit (or press Command – Q). But those options will not work when the app is frozen and stops responding. What can you do with it?

Once you choose to force quit an app, you will lose the unsaved changes you have made within the app. When you see the spinning beach ball appear in the app interface, consider to wait for a little time, to see if it can become normal again. If you have saved the work and don’t hesitate to force quit an app, go ahead to read.

First of all, choose Force Quit after right-clicking on the app icon in the Dock.

Apart from the Dock option, Mac also gives users multiple options to force quit apps.

To force an unresponsive application to quit, you can try this option:

  1. Press Option+Command+Esc keys together (or click Force Quit from Apple menu)
  2. In the Force Quit Applications window, select the app, and click Force Quit button


Here is how to force quit an application in the Activity Monitor:

  1. Launch Activity Monitor via Spotlight, or from the /Applications/Utilities folder
  2. Type the app name in the search box, and highlight the app in the result
  3. Click the X button in the upper left corner of Activity Monitor
  4. Choose the Quit/Force Quit button in the confirmation window that pops up

When none of the apps are responsive, try to click the Shut Down option from the Apple menu to turn off your Mac. And if that does now work, press and hold the power button to force your Mac to turn off, or press and hold the Control + Command + Power buttons to force your Mac to restart. Note again that you will lose unsaved changes to any documents, so only do this when your Mac is not responding.


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