February 23, 2024
Learn different methods to force quit on a Mac and avoid common problems that may occur. Follow this step-by-step guide and optimize the performance of your Mac.

I. Introduction

Have you ever experienced an app freezing or going into a spinning beach ball of death on your Mac and disrupting your work flow? Or perhaps, the app just crashes and does not respond to any of your commands. This is where force quitting comes in – a feature that allows you to close a problematic app and regain control of your system.

There are different ways to force quit on a Mac depending on the level of control you need. In this article, we will cover the most commonly used methods that allow you to instantly quit an application without having to wait for it to respond.

II. Step-by-step guide

Here are the three methods to force quit on a Mac:

Keyboard shortcut method

The quickest way to force quit an app using a keyboard shortcut is by pressing Command + Option + Escape. This command will bring up the Force Quit menu that will display all your open applications.

From the list, select the application that you want to force quit and click on the “Force Quit” button. You will be prompted to confirm that you want to force quit the app. Click on “Force Quit” again to confirm your decision, and the application will shut down immediately.

Keyboard Shortcut Force Quit Menu

Accessing the Force Quit Menu

Another way to force quit an app is to access the Force Quit menu directly from the Apple Menu. Click on the Apple Menu in the top-left corner of the screen and select “Force Quit”. This action will bring up the same Force Quit menu as displayed by the keyboard shortcut method.

Select the application that you want to close and click on “Force Quit”. Confirm that you want to force quit by clicking “Force Quit” again, and the application will terminate immediately.

Accessing the Force Quit Menu

Using the Terminal to force quit

If you are comfortable using Terminal, you can force quit an application by typing in a command. Open Terminal from your Applications > Utilities folder.

Once Terminal is open, type the command: “killall [application name]”. For example, if you want to force quit Safari, you would type “killall Safari” and hit enter.

The application will close automatically, and you should see a message displayed in the Terminal window confirming that the process has been terminated.

Using Terminal to Force Quit

III. Common problems

Here are some scenarios that can cause your app to freeze or crash:

  • An app has stopped responding
  • Your Mac has become slow and unresponsive to commands
  • You have too many apps running at the same time, resulting in high memory usage
  • The app has entered an infinite loop where it’s continuously processing data and is unable to stop

When any of these scenarios happen, it might be necessary to force quit an app. However, it’s always a good idea to avoid force quitting when possible and shut down applications properly to prevent damage to your Mac.

IV. Keyboard shortcut focus

Using the Command + Option + Escape keyboard shortcut is the quickest and most efficient way of force quitting. You can also customize this shortcut to meet your needs by following these simple steps:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard
  2. Select the “Shortcuts” tab
  3. Click on “App Shortcuts” from the left pane
  4. Click on the “+” button and select the application you wish to assign a shortcut to
  5. Enter the exact name of the menu command as it appears in the app “Force Quit [App Name]”
  6. Assign a unique keyboard shortcut by pressing a combination of keys.

Once you set up the customized shortcut, you can force quit the application using your new keyboard combination.

V. Alternative methods

Aside from the methods mentioned above, there are other ways to force quit an app you might find useful:

Using Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor is an app that shows you the resource usage of your Mac and each running process. To use this method, open Activity Monitor from your Applications > Utilities folder.

From the list, locate the application that you want to force quit. Select the app and click on the “x” icon in the upper left-hand corner of the Activity Monitor window. You will be prompted to confirm that you want to quit the application. Click on “Force Quit” and the application will shut down immediately.

Using Activity Monitor to Force Quit

Using a force quit button on the dock

If an app is freezing often, you can add a force quit button to your dock for easy access. To add the button, first, open the Applications folder, then open Utilities and find the Script Editor app. Open Script Editor and paste the following text:

tell application “System Events” to set visible of every process to true

display dialog “Select a frozen process to force quit:” with title “Force quit” default answer “” buttons {“Cancel”, “Force Quit”} default button 2

set the app_name to text returned of result

do shell script “killall ” & app_name

Save the script as an application and drag it to the dock. From now on, whenever an app is unresponsive, you can click on the force quit button and select the frozen app from the list.

VI. Avoiding force quit

Force quitting can damage an app or its associated files, causing further problems with your Mac. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid force quitting as much as possible.

Apple has a “quit application” functionality that allows you to shut down an app properly. To use this method, click on the app you want to quit and select “Quit [app name]” from the app menu or use the keyboard shortcut Command + Q.

If an app is running slowly or unresponsive, wait for at least 30 seconds to see if it recovers. Alternatively, you can click on the app, hold down the Option key and select “Force Quit” from the menu. This will bring up the Force Quit window and, hopefully, allow you to regain control of your Mac without force quitting the application.

VII. Conclusion

This article covered different ways of force quitting an app on your Mac with a step-by-step guide and different methods to overcome common problems that may arise.

Remember, force quitting should only be used as a last resort as it can damage your application or device. Follow the best practices for proper app shutdown and optimize the performance of your Mac.

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