5 ways to force quit applications on Mac

Do you encounter a frozen app on your Mac and can’t quit it normally? That spinning beach ball makes you crazy? Instead of just sitting and getting more frustrated, force quit an app that’s not responding. Thankfully, you’ve got options to close the unresponsive apps.

We’ve prepared five Mac force quit ways, so you can pick the one that works best for you. Moreover, we’ll tell you how to prevent the apps from hanging and what to do if force quit isn’t working on a Mac.


1. How to force quit from the Apple menu

Here’s how to force quit an app from the Apple menu:

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Select Force Quit.
  3. Choose the app that’s not responding.
  4. Click on the Force Quit button.

2. How to force quit apps with a click— CleanMyMac X

A smart maintenance app like CleanMyMac X has a problem of force quit on Mac covered. You can easily force quit a program on your Mac with its Menu app. To access it, click on a little iMac icon in the menu bar. It has a special Memory tab that allows to identify apps consuming too many resources and quit it with a click. 


This helpful utility tool also helps you force quit hung applications. Direct access saves you time and allows to fix a frozen app in a matter of seconds. CleanMyMac also takes care of other performance issues, so if you want to get alerts when something goes wrong on your Mac, you can download its free version and give it a try. To use the Menu app, all you have to do is Enable Menu from CleanMyMac X Settings. 

3. How to force quit from the Dock

If you wonder how to force quit an app on Mac using the Dock, check out these simple steps:

  1. To open the dock menu, right-click on the application icon you want to shut down or click on the item and hold.
  2. Hold an Option (Alt) button, so the Quit menu changes to Force Quit.
  3. Click Force Quit.

As simple as that!

4. How to force quit using the keyboard shortcut

Alternatively, you can use a force quit Mac shortcut to close an unresponsive app. Do the following:

  1. Press and hold the following keys: Command + Option + Esc.
  2. Select the app you want to quit from the dialogue box.
  3. Click Force Quit.

This method of force quit command Mac is especially useful if your mouse cursor is lagging a bit.

5. How to force quit using the Terminal

If you prefer a command line method to solve the problems, you can quit an unresponsive app via Terminal. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Open the Terminal.
  2. Type the following command: killall [application name] (for example, if Spotify isn’t responding, type killall Spotify in the window that opened).
  3. Press Return. Your application will be shut down immediately.

If an app’s name consists of more than 2 words (like “Google Chrome”), you should put its name in quotation marks.

Note that the killall command works at the system level, and the autosave option doesn’t work. Be careful not to lose your unsaved data.


What to do if force quit isn’t working on a Mac

In most cases, you’d easily force quit an app with one of the tips we recommend. However, on rare occasions, it won’t work. To solve the problem, you need to shut down your computer and boot it again. All you need to do is go to the Apple menu and select Restart. 

If your Mac has frozen and doesn’t restart, here’s how to force reboot it:

  1. Hold down the power button until your Mac shuts down completely. This may take about 5 seconds.
  2. Wait for a few seconds and then hit the Power button again to boot the Mac.

As you may presume, this method is not perfect. Any unsaved information may be lost due to the sudden shutdown. However, sometimes it’s the only way to make your computer running.


Fixing an app that hangs frequently: short tips

You may notice that a particular app freezes quite often. It is natural to assume that there is something wrong with that application. But don’t worry; there are a few things you can do to fix the hanging app.

First of all, update an app to the latest version. App developers are constantly working on improvements, trying to deliver the best experience to users. The latest update may resolve all problems with the freezing app.

The next step is to clear the app’s cache, especially if you use it frequently. If there’s not enough free storage, an app won’t run smoothly. Once you delete the cache files, an app may start working normally.

You may also try to delete an app and reinstall it. Usually, it resolves the problem of a frozen app. However, an easier way to do it is to reset an app using CleanMyMac X and the Uninstaller module that comes with this utility. It will bring the app you reset to the state it was in when you first installed it on your Mac, meaning that all the cache files will be deleted, and you will not have to reinstall it. 

To reset an app with CleanMyMac X, follow these steps: 

  1. Open CleanMyMac X (or download it for free here if you haven’t yet and install the app).
  2. From the sidebar, go to Uninstaller. 
  3. Control-click the app you want to reset and click “Select “[App name]” for Reset.”
  4. Click Reset.
Safari reset selected in the Uninstaller module in CMMX

Note that when you first open CleanMyMac X, you may not see apps that are preinstalled with macOS, such as Safari, on the list. To be able to select them for reset, click CleanMyMac X in the menu bar and select Settings. Now, navigate to Ignore List > Uninstaller and deselect Ignore system applications. Now, you’ll be able to reset all the applications you have on your Mac.

That’s it. We hope this guide has helped you force close Mac app that’s not responding. Keep in mind that with regular maintenance, your computer will be in tip-top shape, running at its best. And software like CleanMyMac X can help you keep an eye on your Mac. It can reset and delete apps, free up RAM, clean up the system, take care of the startup programs that slow down your computer, and speed up your Mac with its maintenance tools. And that’s what will help you avoid problems with frozen apps on your Mac.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!

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