Recovery & Repair
Data Transfer

How to Force Quit Apps on Mac

author Emily Watson
date Thursday, March 01, 2018

Apple's Mac series products (MacBook/ MacBook Air/ MacBook Pro/iMac and so on) have always enjoyed a good reputation in customer experience. However, users may encounter the situation where the apps just freeze and they can't quit apps on Mac. Don't worry, in our post you will learn five different ways to force quit apps on Mac.

Before we start, you need to be aware that in Quit option your Mac will preserve user data while in Force Quit option, you may suffer from data loss. So think twice before you perform the following methods.

Solution 1: Force Quit Apps by Apple Menu

Step 1: Click on "Apple menu" in the upper left corner on your screen > "Force Quit" (Or by shortcut: Command + Option + Esc).

Step 2: In the Force Quit window, choose the app you want to close, and press "Force Quit" in the bottom right corner.

Mac Force Quit Application

Solution 2: Quit Apps by the Dock

Above all, you need to know that, the Dock is the bar of icons at the bottom of your Mac screen, giving you a quick access to visit the built-in apps, and the apps you add in.

Step 1: On the Dock, right-click on the app icon you want to close. (If you don't have a mouse, hold "control" button on your keyboard while clicking on the app icon). You will see a menu list like this:

Right Click the App Icon

Step 2: Then hold an "Option (Alt)" button, so the "Quit" will change to "Force Quit". This time you will see a menu list like this:

Hold the Option Button to Force Quit

Step 3: Click on "Force Quit".

Solution 3: Force Quit Apps by Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor shows the processes that are running on your Mac, so you can see how your apps affect your Mac's activity and performance and manage your apps. In other words, Activity Monitor provides an access for you to quit an app.

Step 1: Click on the search icon in the upper right corner on your Mac screen to start "Spotlight Search".

Step 2: Type "activity monitor" and press "enter" to open Activity Monitor.

Step 3: On the Process Name list, click on the app you want to quit.

Step 4: Click on the grey cross icon in the upper left corner.

Step 5: Now you will see a popup window asking you whether you are sure to quit this process. Press "Force Quit" to quit.

Force Quit by Activity Monitor

Solution 4: Use Keyboard Shortcut to Force Quit Apps

As I have mentioned in Solution 1, you can have a quick access to Force Quit by pressing keyboard shortcut: Command + Option + Esc.

Step 1: Press Command + Option + Esc.

(Warn that these three buttons shouldn't be pressed on the same moment. The correct way is to press "Command + Option" first and "Esc" closely follows.)

Step 2: Choose the program you would like to quit from the dialogue box.

Step 3: Click on "Force Quit".

Solution 5: Force Quit Apps by Terminal Command

Terminal provides a command line interface to control the UNIX-based operating system. Put it simply, it is like a submissive robot, doing whatever order you give to it.

Step 1: Click on the search icon in the upper right corner on your Mac screen to start "Spotlight Search".

Step 2: Type "terminal" and press "enter" to open Terminal.

Step 3: After the dollar sign ($), type the following command: killall [application name].

(For example, if you want to quit Spotify, type "killall Spotify".)

Step 4: Press Enter button on your keyboard. The app will be shut down immediately.

What If You Cannot Force Quit An App on Mac?

In this case, it is likely that there are bugs in your app. Therefore, you need to completely uninstall it and reinstall again. FonePaw MacMaster (opens new window) can help you to completely uninstall an app on Mac, which can remove the app not only itself but also its cached data, logs and other users data. It is also served as a master for your Mac to monitor the system status, scanning out junk files and cleaning them up.

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Please let us know if the solutions we provide work and leave your comments under the comment box if you have a better way to solve it!

How to Recover Unsaved Documents on Mac After Force Quit

When an app is frozen on Mac, you have no choice but force quit it. If unfortunately, you are working something when the app get frozen app, force quit the app will make you unable to save the files. So after force quitting an app, you may want to recover unsaved documents or photos with FonePaw Data Recovery. (opens new window) It can:

FonePaw Data Recovery for Mac

Just download and install the data recovery tool on your Mac.

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Launch the program, you can then select which type of files you want to recover, for example, to recover unsaved word or excel documents, select Documents. Then click Scan. After scanning your Mac hard disk, the program will find out your missing or deleted files.