5 Free Methods to Force quit on Mac

We do force quit when applications are not responding well. It is the same with mac as well. Here are some of the methods to force quit on Mac and are completely safe.

Apps not responding to the user is a common issue for users. Some times they keep on waiting and are unresponsive i.e where we can’t select an option on it. However, most of the users use a keyboard shortcut to force quit, irrespective of the operating system. It is no different from apple. But Apple does provide several Methods to force quit on MacBook air.

Is it safe to Force quit on Mac?

We just force stop the applications which throw us errors while working. There is nothing more than it. In simple, it is like having a medicine during symptoms of the disease. We need to analyse the issue and force quit it so that it won’t happen again in the near future.

Some of reasons for frozen apps on mac are,

  • Insufficient RAM for the app to work.
  • The system is already using it’s all sources to run the existing tasks.

These are the reasons for most of the users out there. It shows as unresponsive pages which we need to quit. However, the quit is only applicable to that particular app and there might be data loss of that application. So force quit things at your own risk. Here you will be learning how to force quit on MacBook pro, it is similar in all mac variants.

Note: When you have sufficient RAM, you will never get this kind of issue. We suggest you use MacPaw CleanMyMac that automatically clear the cache and close the unnecessarily running apps. So that you will always have sufficient RAM. It will automatically boost your Mac performance.

Methods to Force quit on Mac

There is no need for any apps or anything to solve or quit. All are just a few clicks away from your trackpad.

Use third applications to free up memory regularly or do it manually by closing the unused apps. This way there should be no chance of force quit.

1. How to force quit on MacBook using activity monitor?

Activity monitor is an inbuilt app and a task manager for mac. It tracks each and everything including memory usage and energy consumption. Here is how to do it!

quit app

This process works with all the applications i.e one can force quit any app using an activity monitor.

Total Time: 3 minutes

Open Activity monitor


Press command + Space bar or use the menu bar to open spotlight search and type activity monitor

Access all processes

all processes

It automatically opens all processes in window where you can check all running programs. Choose the app which you want to force quit.

Force quit app

quit app

Double click the selected app which opens a preview showing an option to quit. Click on it. The selected app stops working as it was force stopped.

1.1How to force quit mail on Mac using Activity monitor

This is how things can be done using the above procedure. In this example, we will be using the mail app.

  • Open activity monitor using your favourite spotlight
  • Search for mail and find it.
  • Double click it and wait until preview card.
forcequit mail
  • Click on quit and choose force quit.

2.How to force quit on mac when frozen with keyboard

This is more basic and is super easy which takes seconds to do. All you need to know is keyboard shortcuts. Here it is,

  • Click Command+option+esc at once.This opens all the applications running on mac currently.
force quit with shortcut
  • Choose the application to quit and then click on force quit. You are done.
  • The chosen app will be closed forcefully.

Here is an example,

2.1.How to force quit iTunes with keyboard

Here I will be showing the process to quit iTunes using the above method. However, it works for all applications.

  • Press Command+option+esc at once.
  • It opens the list of applications.
force quit itunes-Methods to Force quit on Mac
  • Choose iTunes and then click on force quit and you are done.

This is how to force quit an app on mac using keyboard shortcut.

3.How to force quit on MacBook air using terminal

Well, this works for all variants i.e MacBook Pro too. If you are a bit technical minded, using the terminal to force quit is really a good idea.

  • Open applications and launch terminal or use spotlight to do the same.
  • Once it is launched, wait until your username is visible in the terminal box.
  • Type “Top” command and run it. It displays all the apps running currently.
  • The lists include a lot of information i.e RAM usage, CPU consumption and more. Check the column with title PID. Note down the PID of the application you want to close.
  • Now close the current terminal tab and open terminal again. Type Kill command followed by the PID number of that particular app. (Ex: Kill 851, This command kills Google chrome from above screenshot)
  • The selected app is force closed using the terminal.

Let me show you an example,

3.1.How to force quit photos on Mac

This is just an example of how this method works. Obviously it works for all other applications. All your need is PID of that application.

  • Open terminal and run top command
  • Note down the PID of photos Application. Here it is 1024.
quit photos
  • Terminate it and run command kill 1024 to force quit photos application.
kill photos

This is how to force quit in MacBook Pro as well.

4.How to force quit using finder

Finder is a well-known default file manager on all Macintosh operating systems. Here is the simple guide on how to force quit finder.

  • Go to the menu bar and click on Apple icon
  • Choose force quit from the drop-down
Force quit finder
  • Tap on force quit finder and it can be done. The same process can pull up the list of application which are opened at that time. Choose the application you want to quit and proceed as above.

5. How to force quit an app on Mac By using option Key

This is one more option straight away from the dock. There is no need for launching any apps and all. I will be showing you some examples here on how the key option can be used to force quit applications from the dork.

5.1.How to force quit safari

Safari is inbuilt Mac browser same as Google chrome. There are frozen situations of the browser. Here is how to do with the option key method.

  • Go to dock panel on the desktop
  • Choose safari application from the dock
  • Tap twice (Depends upon trackpad gestures)
  • Choose the option to quit and you are done.
quit safari

Conclusion- Always keep an eye on RAM consumption

Hope I had covered all the possible methods to force quit on Mac. As said above, It is all about RAM consumption here. Do increase your RAM and all to avoid such errors. However, there is no issue in force quitting the apps but the data which might be lost cannot be undergone. All the methods which were mentioned above work well with all the Mac applications. Do use your favorite one. If the problem keeps bugging, Use third party cleaners from the app store.

We suggest you use Macpaw CleanMyMac to free up your RAM and to improve your Mac performance. It is also a good idea to always use antivirus products like Intego Mac Internet Security (50% discounted link) to stop those kinds of stuck issues due to malware or virus.

I hope this tutorial helped you to know the methods to force quit on Mac. If you like this article, please share it and follow WhatVwant on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for more tips.

Methods to Force quit on Mac-FAQs

Why my applications are unresponsive?

Applications are already using the maximum memory from your Mac. There is no scope of using other apps. Try clearing them or increase your RAM.

How to force quit on mac when frozen

There are many methods to do this. Easy one to use menu bar. Go to menu bar and click on Apple icon. Choose force quit option.

How to shut down Mac?

The most popular way to shutdown Mac is from menu bar.Click on Menu bar and choose shutdown option.

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