How to Force Quit Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide for Mac Users

Force quitting on a Mac is a quick and easy process. Essentially, you’ll use a simple keyboard shortcut to bring up the force quit menu, select the unresponsive app, and shut it down. It’s a handy trick to know when an application is frozen and not responding to your commands.

Step by Step Tutorial to Force Quit Mac

Sometimes, applications on your Mac might freeze, and no matter how much you click or try to close them, they just won’t budge. That’s when force quitting comes in handy. The following steps will guide you through the process of force quitting an app on your Mac, so you can get back to your work (or play) without any pesky interruptions.

Step 1: Access the Force Quit Menu

Press Command + Option + Esc on your keyboard to open the Force Quit Applications window.

Once you press these keys, a window will pop up displaying a list of all the applications currently running on your Mac. This is the Force Quit menu, where you’ll be able to select the troublesome app that’s not responding.

Step 2: Select the Unresponsive App

Click on the app that you want to force quit from the list.

The app you need to quit will usually say “Not Responding” next to its name. If it’s not immediately apparent which app is frozen, look for the one that you were using when the problems started.

Step 3: Force Quit the App

Click on the ‘Force Quit’ button at the bottom of the Force Quit Applications window.

After you click ‘Force Quit,’ a confirmation dialog may appear, asking if you’re sure you want to quit the app. Confirm your choice, and the app should close immediately. If it doesn’t, you may need to try force quitting it again or restart your Mac.

After you complete the force quit action, the unresponsive app should close, and you can reopen it to continue working. If the app continues to freeze frequently, it might be a good idea to check for updates or reinstall it.

Tips for Force Quit Mac

  • If the Force Quit menu doesn’t appear after using the keyboard shortcut, you can also find it in the Apple menu at the top left corner of your screen. Just click on the Apple logo and select ‘Force Quit.’
  • Always try to quit the app normally before resorting to force quitting. Sometimes, simply right-clicking (or control-clicking) the app icon in the dock and selecting ‘Quit’ can do the trick.
  • Save your work frequently. Force quitting an app will usually result in any unsaved changes being lost.
  • If you’re having trouble with multiple apps freezing, it may be a sign of a larger issue with your Mac. Consider restarting your computer or checking for software updates.
  • Keep your Mac’s software up to date. Sometimes, apps freeze because they’re not compatible with your current operating system version.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Force Quit?

Force Quit is a way to close an application on your Mac that is not responding to any other commands, effectively ‘forcing’ it to quit.

Force Quit is essentially the Mac version of the Control-Alt-Delete command on a PC. It’s a last resort for when an app is frozen and unresponsive, and you’re unable to quit it through normal means.

Why do I need to Force Quit an app?

You may need to force quit an app if it’s frozen and not responding to any mouse clicks or key presses, which can prevent you from using your Mac efficiently.

Freezing can happen for several reasons: the app might be poorly coded, your Mac may be low on system resources, or there could be a conflict with another piece of software. Force quitting is a way to regain control without having to restart your entire computer.

Will I lose unsaved work if I Force Quit an app?

Yes, any unsaved work will likely be lost if you force quit an app.

That’s why it’s crucial to save your work regularly, especially if you’re working on something important. Most modern apps have some form of auto-save, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Can I force quit Finder on my Mac?

Yes, you can force quit Finder, but it will automatically restart.

Finder is an essential part of the macOS operating system, so your Mac will immediately relaunch it if it’s force quit. This can sometimes resolve issues you might be having with Finder.

What if Force Quit doesn’t work?

If force quitting doesn’t work, your next best bet is to restart your Mac.

To do this, you can press and hold the power button on your computer until it turns off, then turn it back on. If your Mac is completely unresponsive, this might be the only solution.


  1. Access the Force Quit Menu by pressing Command + Option + Esc.
  2. Select the unresponsive app from the list.
  3. Click ‘Force Quit’ to close the app.


Knowing how to force quit on a Mac is an essential skill that can save you from a lot of frustration. Whether you’re in the middle of a deadline or just casually browsing, a frozen app can be a significant roadblock. But with these simple steps, you can quickly take control of the situation and get back to your tasks. Remember, force quitting should always be your last resort, as it can result in lost data. Always try to save your work frequently to avoid any heartache. If you’re finding that you need to force quit frequently, it might be time to look into the health of your Mac. Regular updates, clean-ups, and reboots can keep your system running smoothly, ensuring that force quitting remains an emergency tool rather than a regular necessity. Happy computing, and may your apps run smoothly and your force quitting be rare!

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