[Step by Step] How to Force Quit an App on Mac in 5 Quick Ways

October 11, 2019Nicole Jones

When the app stops responding on your Mac computer, you cannot close the app by clicking “x” normally. During this time, you need to force quit an app to close the frozen app on Mac forcibly. Some unsaved files may be lost. But you can close the window and end up the unresponsive workflow at least.

Actually, you can force quit an app on Mac in multiple ways. Apple offers some useful features for fixing the nonresponding apps. From this section, you can get 5 different ways to close frozen apps on Mac. As for some stubborn apps, you can use a third-party app uninstaller to remove apps that make your Mac stop responding thoroughly.

Force Quit an App on Mac

Way 1: How to Force Quit an App on Mac via the Apple Menu

This is the most traditional way to force close an app with the macOS menu bar. You can force a nonresponding app to quit on your Mac computer successfully.

Step 1:
Find and click the Apple logo on the top left corner of the screen.
Step 2:
Choose “Force Quit” from the Apple drop-down list.
Step 3:
Browse and select the app that doesn’t respond for a while.
Step 4:
Click “Force Quit” to force quit an app on Mac OS X.
Apple Menu

Way 2: How to Force Quit an App on Mac Using a Keyboard Shortcut

It is quite similar with the first Mac app force quitting way. But you can force quit an unresponsive app on Mac without using the mouse or trackpad.

Step 1:
Hold and press “Command”, “Option” and “Esc” keys on the keyboard at the same time.
Step 2:
The “Force Quit Applications” window pops up.
Step 3:
Browse and select which app you want to force quit on Mac. There will be a “Not Responding” icon next to your frozen Mac app.
Step 4:
Click “Force Quit” to force quit the selected app. You can choose all apps to close all applications on Mac forcibly too.
Keyboard Shortcut

Way 3: How to Force Quit an App on Mac from the Dock Pane

When you right-click on an app in the Dock, you can find “Quit” in the list only. Then how to force quit an app that is not responding for a long time? Here is your tutorial.

Step 1:
Right-click on the app icon you want to stop using on the Dock menu.
Step 2:
Press the “Option” key on the keyboard. Consequently, the “Force Quit” option will replace “Quit” in the right-click menu.
Step 3:
Click “Force Quit” to force an app to quit on Mac.
Force Quit an App

Way 4: How to Force Quit an App on Mac with Terminal

If the mouse cursor is lagging or not working, you can force quit a frozen app on Mac via the command line. Be aware that the Mac kill all command feature will deactivate the auto-save function.

Step 1:
Open the “Applications” folder. Find “Terminal” in the “Utilities” folder.
Step 2:
Type the “killall [application name]” command. (Force instance, you can type “killall Excel” to force quit Excel not responding on Mac.)
Step 3:
Press “Enter” to run the command and force quit an app on Mac

Way 5: How to Force Quit an App on Mac through Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor can detect all running apps on your Mac computer. Therefore, you can see not only the current running apps, but also the not working apps on Mac in details. Well, you can force close a program on Mac within Activity Monitor.

Step 1:
Click “Spotlight” on the top right corner of your computer’s screen.
Step 2:
Search for “Activity Monitor” in the Spotlight search.
Step 3:
Choose the frozen app from the Activity Monitor process list.
Step 4:
Click “Force a process to quit” to force quit a Mac app.
Activity Monitor

Bonus Tips: Permanently Force Quit an App on Mac without Data Loss

As for some annoying malware, bundleware or crashed apps on Mac, you can run Aiseesoft Mac Cleaner to uninstall apps and delete related files in one stop. The app uninstaller can show you all installed apps on Mac, including the hidden apps. Later, you can easily uninstall an app with the related logs and documents removed in one click.

Mac Cleaner


Mac Cleaner

  • Uninstall apps and delete the associated files on Mac.
  • Find and delete duplicate files and folders.
  • Remove junk files, unneeded files, large and old files selectively.
  • Clean up browser history, cookies, downloads and more files from Safari, Chrome and Firefox.
  • Monitor system performance in multiple aspects, such as CPU usage, battery status, etc.
Step 1:
Launch Mac Cleaner. Click “ToolKit” to find “Uninstall”.
Step 2:
Click “Scan” to scan all installed apps on Mac. Later, you can click “View” to get the result.
Step 3:
Choose the unwanted app in the left pane. Select all the associated files in the main interface.
Choose Files
Step 4:
Click “Clean” to entirely uninstall an app on Mac. Confirm the uninstallation in the popping-up message.

You can force quit an app on Mac with any method mentioned above. As for the app which crashes frequently, you can run Mac Cleaner to uninstall this app completely in one click. By the way, you can uninstall apps to free up space and fix your frozen iPhone or Android phone too.

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