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Knowledgebase: Mac OS X
How to Force Quit an Application in Mac OS X
Posted by Tushar Tajane on 04 December 2013 04:31 AM

How to Force Quit an Application in Mac OS X

Few things are more frustrating when working on a Mac than a crashed program. Even worse is when a program crashes and stays stuck running on your system. To solve this problem, you’ll need to Force Quit the offending application. Find the method below that suits you the most.

Method 1 of 4: Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Step 1

How to Force Quit an Application in Mac OS X

Press Command + Option + Escape simultaneously. This will open the open the Force Quit Applications window.

  • Command is the button with the curly clover pattern on it. On pre-2008 Apple keyboards it also had an Apple icon on it. It is in the bottom-left of your keyboard.
  • Alt/Option key is located at the bottom-left of your keyboard.
  • Escape (Esc) is located at the top-left corner of your keyboard.

Step 2

Select the application you want to force quit. If the program has crashed, it will typically say "Not Responding" next to it in this menu.

Step 3

Click the button that says "Force Quit". This will forcefully end the program that has crashed.

Step 4

Force quit your front-most application. You can force quit your active window by holding down Command + Option + Shift + Escape for three seconds. This will force quit an unresponsive window that you are currently using.

Method 2 of 4: Using the Apple Menu

Step 1

Click the Apple icon in the top left of your screen.

Step 2

Select "Force Quit" from the menu. This will open the Force Quit Applications window.

Step 3

Select the application you want to force quit. If the program has crashed, it will typically say "Not Responding" next to it in this menu.

Step 4

Click the button that says "Force Quit". This will forcefully end the program that has crashed.

Method 3 of 4: Using the Dock

Step 1

Hold the Option key and right-click on the application's icon in the. This will open a small list of options.

  • If you don't have a two button mouse, click and hold the mouse button to open the menu.

Step 2

Select Force Quit. This will end the application that you selected in the Dock.

Method 4 of 4: Using the Terminal

Step 1

Open the Terminal application. By default, this is in the Utilities folder, located in the Applications folder.

  • Sometimes trying to Force Quit an application through the menu doesn't quite work the way you'd expect it to. If a normal Force Quit doesn't work, you may need to use this method to end the program.

Step 2

Type "top". The “top” command displays various information about currently running applications, including CPU usage, memory info, and other advanced information.

Step 3

Find the program you want to close. Under the column titled "COMMAND", find the name of the application you wish to quit.

  • The COMMAND list may use a truncated name for the program. Look for a name that looks similar to the program you are trying to close.

Step 4

Find the PID (Process ID). Once you find the name of program, find the number to the immediate left of it, under the PID column. Make a note of the PID number.

Step 5

Type "q". This will exit the list of applications and return you to the command line.

Step 6

Type "kill ###". Replace the "###" with the number from the PID Column you just located. For example: If you were trying to quit iTunes, and found iTunes to have PID number 3703, you would type "kill 3703".

  • If the program does not respond to the “kill” command, type “sudo kill -9 ###”, replacing ### with the PID number

Step 7

Exit the terminal. The application should have quit. Unlike previous versions of the MacOS, you don't need to restart your computer after force-quitting an application. You can simply relaunch the application and keep on working.

Notes

  • To force quit the application without opening the force quit window, just press Shift with the other buttons (Command+Option+Shift+Esc) and hold for about 5 seconds. This will close the currently active application.
  • It is not possible to force quit Finder. If you select Finder, the "Force Quit" button will say "Relaunch".
  • Before you click "Force Quit", double check that the application is still frozen. Sometimes the application un-freezes while you bring up the "Force Quit" window.

Important Note

  • Force quitting a running program can cause you to lose any unsaved changes in that program.

If you still having problems with your Mac then call us toll free 1-888-361-8511. "Help is already there!"

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