How to Quickly Close a Frozen App on Your Mac Computer

August 14, 2019Nicole Jones

“There is no equivalent to the PC’s Ctrl + Alt + Del shortcut on Mac to force close a frozen app on Mac, so how do I quit any app that is not responding?” Don’t worry, Apple has designed multiple ways to help you fight buggy apps on Mac.

Close a Frozen App on Mac

Close a Frozen App on Mac

Part 1: 5 Ways to Close Frozen App on Mac

You should understand that closing a frozen Mac app is the same as killing the symptoms, but the factors lead to apps freezing, such as virus, may be still on your computer

Way 1: Close a Frozen App from Mac Dock Panel

The most convenient way to close a frozen app is Mac’s Dock Panel, which is located the bottom of the screen.

Close a Frozen App from Mac Dock Panel
Step 1.
Hold the Alt or Option key on your keyboard and right click on the frozen app in the Dock panel.
Step 2.
Select Force Quit from the context menu to get rid of the app that is not responsive.

Way 2: Close a Frozen App via Mac Shortcut

Though Mac does not have the Ctrl + Alt + Del combination, you can use another shortcut to close frozen apps on Mac.

Close a Frozen App via Mac Shortcut
Step 1.
When an app is not responding, hold down Option + Command + Esc at the same time to open the Force Quit window.
Step 2.
Select the frozen app on the list and hit the Force Quit button to confirm it.

Then you can see of your frozen Mac and app become normal.

Way 3: Close a Frozen App on Mac with Apple Menu

In addition to shortcut, you can open the Force Quit window from Apple Menu.

Close a Frozen App with Apple Menu
Step 1.
Click the black Apple icon at the upper left side and select Force Quit from the drop-down menu.
Step 2.
Then you can force close any apps quickly.

Way 4: Close Frozen Apps in Mac Activity Monitor

Apple introduced an Activity Monitor feature into Mac. It is the counterpart of Task Manager on Windows. Here you can track apps, services, processes and their performance. Of course, it is capable of closing frozen apps on Mac.

Activity Monitor
Step 1.
Press Command + Space button combination on your keyboard, type in activity monitor in the Spotlight Search bar and hit Enter key to open the Activity Monitor window.
Step 2.
Select the frozen apps on the list and click the Force Processes to Quit icon.

Note: There are a lot of processes in the list, so you can use the Search bar at the upper right corner to quickly locate the frozen app.

Way 5: Force Close a Frozen App via Mac Terminal

If the methods above did not help, you still have the chances to force close a frozen app on Mac with the command line.

Mac Terminal
Step 1.
Click the Finder app on Dock panel, head to Go > Utilities to open the folder.
Step 2.
Find and double click Terminal to open a Terminal dialog.
Step 3.
Type in killall [the name of the frozen app] and hit Enter key to perform it.

If your Mac is frozen once the app is running, then you had better delete the app from your Mac, if you can find an alternative.

Part 2: How to Recover Files after Closing Frozen App

As mentioned previously, you need to remove the causes of the frozen app after closing it. That may lead to data loss. Aiseesoft Mac Data Recovery can help you.

Mac Data Recovery


Mac Data Recovery

  • Recover files from Mac hard drives and external storage.
  • Support a wide range of file types.
  • Preview the lost files for selectively data recovering on Mac.
  • Keep the original quality during the process.

In a word, Mac Data Recovery is the easiest way to recover lost files after closing the frozen app.

How to Recover Files with Mac Data Recovery

Step 1.
Get the best file recovery for Mac
Launch Mac Data Recovery after installing it on your Mac.

Open the home interface. Select the file type you want to recover and where it stored before loss in the Hard Disk Drives section.

Step 2.
Quickly scan your hard disk
Click the Scan button to perform a quick scan. Then you can check the lost files after closing a frozen app on Mac. If the result does not include the desired files, click the Deep Scan button to execute a deep scan.
Deep Scan
Step 3.
Recover files from Mac
Check the files you intend to get back and click the Recover button at the bottom right corner. A few seconds later, you will get the files back to your hard drive.


In this post, we have discussed how to close a frozen app on MacBook and other Mac machines. There are multiple ways you can try to get rid of the apps not responding. If you lost some files due to the frozen app, Aiseesoft Mac Data Recovery can help you get them back. More troubles related to frozen apps? Feel free to leave a message below.

What do you think of this post?


Rating: 4.5 / 5 (based on 105 votes)Follow Us on

Disqus IconLeave your comment and join our discussion
Data Recovery box

Aiseesoft Data Recovery is the best data recovery software to recover deleted/lost photos, documents, emails, audio, videos, etc. from your PC/Mac.

Back to top