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How to force quit on Mac

Macs are well known for being workhorses that rarely crash or experience issues. While this is the case most of the time, occasionally an app may crash or cause your Mac to slow down or freeze. Apps freezing or misbehaving often occurs when you upgrade to a newer macOS and your 3rd party app isn’t yet supported.

Of course, there are other bugs and glitches that can make this happen too. When apps freeze or misbehave, don’t worry! You can easily quit the app using the force quit feature and it will still leave any other apps open running and operational.

Before activating force quit, always attempt to close and quit the app normally. To quit any app, click on the app icon in your dock (by default it’s at the bottom), and then right-click “Quit”. Alternatively, while you’re within the app, use the keyboard hotkey “command + Q”. If the app still won’t respond and is hanging around, it’s time to try to force quit the app.

How to force quit any app on a Mac

There are a few different ways to activate the force quit function on any Mac:

  • From the Apple menu
  • Using a keyboard shortcut
  • Using Activity Monitor

Let’s run through each of these now.

How to force quit on Mac from the Apple menu

  1. First, click on the “Apple" icon in the top left corner of your screen and choose “Force Quit…” from the dropdown menu.
  2. A new pop-up menu will appear displaying what apps are running. Select the app you wish to quit and click “Force Quit”.
  3. A confirmation pop-up box will appear. Click on “Force Quit” and the app will be forced to close. Other operational apps will remain open.

How to force quit on Mac using keyboard hotkeys

Another way to force quit any app is to use the keyboard hotkey shortcut. To do this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Press and hold down the following three keys at the same time: “Option, Command, and Esc”.
  2. A pop-up box will appear displaying all open apps. Select the app you wish to quit and click “Force Quit”.
  3. Another pop-up box will appear asking if you are sure, and you can click “Force Quit” to go ahead with the procedure.

Note: If you’re using a Mac laptop with a touch bar, the Esc key is located in the top left of the touch bar.

How to force quit on Mac using Activity Monitor

If the above doesn’t work for you, Apple has built in another way to quit and shut down any misbehaving apps. Activity Monitor lists all open apps and can force quit apps quickly and easily by following these steps:

  1. To find Activity Monitor go to “Applications”, then “Utilities” and click on the “Activity Monitor” app or search for “Activity Monitor” in the Spotlight search tool to bring it up directly.
  2. The Activity Monitor app will open and display all of the apps and processes that are in operation. Note: There will be some things labelled Kernel task, Renderer, or other tasks listed too, don’t worry this is completely normal.
  3. To identify the open apps, you’ll see the app logo to the left of the app name in the list. To force quit any app, click on the app in the list.
  4. Then click on the box with an “X” in the top of the Activity Monitor dialog box.
  5. Finally, a pop-up box will appear asking you to confirm you want to quit the app selected. Choose “Force Quit” to quit the app.

When all else fails: force restart

If nothing else works and your Mac is unresponsive, there’s always the force restart feature on any Mac that will close all apps and restart your system. This feature should only be used as a last resort to reboot your Mac as you’ll lose any unsaved work.

To force restart on your Mac laptop, follow these steps:

  1. Hold down the power button on your Mac laptop for around 10-15 seconds (this is the Touch ID button if you are using a Mac laptop that has a Touch Bar)
  2. You’ll see the screen go black and the Apple logo appear
  3. Let go of the power button and allow the system to restart

To force restart on your iMac, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “Apple” menu at the top
  2. Select “Restart” from the dropdown list

There you have it, multiple ways to force quit on Mac computers. Hopefully, your issue is fixed now and your app opens again and performs as it should. Technology is always bound to have some glitches, even when it comes to Macs. The important thing is to stay calm and realize there is usually a simple solution.

A great way to make sure that your Mac keeps working at its optimum is by managing your apps. You can do this by removing any apps you no longer use giving you back valuable space, and by stopping unnecessary apps from auto-starting which speeds up your system startup process. CCleaner for Mac can help you do both of these things in seconds.

CCleaner for Mac also has a host of other useful features that work together to optimize your Mac as well as boost your online privacy and security. It also comes with awesome time-saving and space-making tools like a photo analyzer that will find all your bad ones (like any blurry shots) so you can choose whether or not to keep these or say goodbye and just hold onto the ones you want to look over again.

If this all sounds good to you, why not download CCleaner for Mac today?