How to Force Quit an App on Mac: A Quick and Easy Guide


As much as we love our Mac computers, there are times when applications freeze or become unresponsive. When this happens, it’s essential to know how to force quit an app to regain control of your system. Force quitting an app on a Mac is a straightforward process, and this article will guide you through the steps to do it safely and efficiently.

Reasons to Force Quit an App

There are several reasons why you might need to force quit an app on your Mac:

  1. App Freezing: When an app becomes unresponsive and fails to react to any commands or inputs, it’s often necessary to force quit it.
  2. App Crashing: If an app crashes and doesn’t close properly, it can sometimes leave an unresponsive window open. Force quitting allows you to close these lingering windows.
  3. Troubleshooting: In some cases, you may want to force quit an app as part of troubleshooting efforts to resolve a technical issue or error.

Steps to Force Quit an App on Mac

  1. Press Command-Option-Escape (⌘⌥Esc):
    • To open the “Force Quit Applications” window, press the Command, Option, and Escape keys simultaneously. This keyboard shortcut acts as a quick way to access the Force Quit Applications dialog.
  2. Select the Unresponsive App:
    • In the “Force Quit Applications” window, you’ll see a list of all the currently running applications. The unresponsive app will be highlighted. Click on the app you want to force quit to select it.
  3. Click the “Force Quit” Button:
    • After selecting the unresponsive app, click the “Force Quit” button located in the bottom right corner of the window. A confirmation dialog will appear.
  4. Confirm Force Quit:
    • Confirm that you want to force quit the selected app by clicking the “Force Quit” button in the confirmation dialog.
  5. App Closes:
    • The selected app will be forcefully terminated, and its window will close. You should regain control of your Mac.

Using the Apple Menu

An alternative method to force quit an app is through the Apple menu:

  1. Click the Apple Menu: In the top-left corner of the screen, click on the Apple menu ().
  2. Select “Force Quit…” From the dropdown menu, choose “Force Quit…” to open the same “Force Quit Applications” window.
  3. Choose the App: In the “Force Quit Applications” window, select the unresponsive app you want to force quit.
  4. Click “Force Quit”: Click the “Force Quit” button to confirm the action.


Knowing how to force quit an app on your Mac is an essential skill that can help you regain control of your system when applications become unresponsive or problematic. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can quickly and efficiently force quit an app, allowing you to continue using your Mac without the inconvenience of a frozen application.

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