Force Quit on Mac: How to Take Full Advantage

No matter how hard you try to keep your Mac in tip-top condition, there will come a time when apps will become unresponsive. When this happens, you have no choice but to force quit to close them. Windows users, have CTRL + ALT + DELETE combination for this types of situations.

One of the many great things about Mac is that it has a very stable operating system. So, you won’t have to force quit too often, but it’s always a good idea to know how to take full advantage of it. You never know when you’re going to need it.

How to Force Quit By Using The Dock

If you’re trying to put the mouse pointer over the menu bar and all you’re seeing is a spinning beach ball when you try to select something, there’s still hope. Go to the Dock at the bottom of your display and look for the app.

Right-click or CTRL + click to make the contextual menu appear. Towards the bottom of the list, you should see the Quit option you’ll need to click on. The app should close now but if it doesn’t repeat the previous steps but when you see the menu, hold down the Alt key and the Quit option should change to Force Quit. Select Force Quit and the app should close.

You can also access the force quit command by clicking on the Apple icon on the top left-hand side of your display. From the drop-down menu, you can choose the force quit option.

How to Figure Out What’s Going On Using The Activity Monitor

Is that colorful beach ball appearing more than you’d like? To figure out what’s going on is by using the Activity Monitor. To use it, go to the Finder and then to go Applications < Utilities > Activity Monitor. Once the Activity Monitor launches, you should see all sorts of information.

If you double-click on an app, you should see a window pop up with even more information about the app. You can see the current demands for the app, and you can also choose the Sample the app. By sampling the app, you’ll get a report of the apps’ activities of a short period.

How to Force Quit on Mac by Using The Keyboard

You can also force quit by using the CMD + Alt + Esc keys. The app that is giving your problems should have the Not Responding in brackets beside it. Go ahead and highlight the app and the click the Force Quit button that should be at the bottom of the window. To see if the problem continues try relaunching the app.

How to Close a Non-Responsive Mac App - force stop

How to Force Quit When Your Mac Freezes

There are times when an app can cause your entire system to freeze. This isn’t something that happens often, but it does. If this is what happened to you, you have no other choice but to hold down the power button for a few seconds. This will put your Mac to sleep.

If you hold down the power button for a little longer, you should see a dialog box with options such as Restart, Sleep and Shut Down. If your Mac is in such trouble that you don’t even see these options, then keep holding down the power button until it shuts down. The downside to this is that you will lose any unsaved data, but sometimes it’s the only way out.


I don’t think Mac users like to force stop but sometimes that is the only way out. Even a Mac can have problems and a force stop is the only solution. How often does your Mac give you problems? Drop a comment and let me know.

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