How to Force Quit on a Mac: The Ultimate Guide!

how to force quit on mac

Many people are interested in buying a Mac because it is easy to use and lasts a long time. Even though Windows is still a popular operating system in the business world, many tech giants prefer Mac because it helps them be more productive and makes users happier.

Mac apps are usually well-behaved, but sometimes they freeze or slow down, which means you have to force quit on Mac.

When apps on the system don’t react the way they used to, don’t wait until the screen starts to unfreeze. Instead, try force quitting to close the apps that aren’t responding right away.

How To Force Quit on Mac?

When you know a few simple tricks, it’s easy to force quit apps on a Mac. This feature is the easiest way to close apps that don’t work or don’t work right.


Here are a few force-quit methods to keep you going:

Method 1: Use The Apple Menu to Force Quit

Step 1: The first step is to figure out which app isn’t working. If you have a lot of windows or programs open, it might be hard to figure out which one is making the rainbow wheel spin.

The best way to find an app that won’t work is to look at the cursor. If the mouse is normal, there’s nothing wrong with the app and it’s working fine. But if instead of a cursor you see a rainbow wheel that spins, the app has stopped.

Step 2: Find the menu at the top of the screen once you know which app is not responding and what is slowing down the system. Find the Apple mark on the far left and click on it to open the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Use the drop-down button to choose “Force Quit.”


Step 4: This will bring up a new window with information about all the open programs on your machine. Choose the app that you want to close from the list. If you want to close more than one app at once, use the Command button to choose more than one choice.

Step 5: In the new box, choose Force Quit again as the next step. When you do this, a window will pop up to tell you that the app won’t save any new changes.

Step 6: Select Force Quit once more.

Method 2: Use a Keyboard Shortcut to Force Quit

You can use a mix of keyboard shortcuts to make it easier to find the Apple logo or get to the taskbar to open the dropdown menu.

Press Option + Command + Esc at the same time to bring up a “Force Quit” window on your Mac, and then repeat the steps above.

  • Option, Shift, and Esc.
  • Choose the app(s) you want to close, then choose Force Quit.

Choose Force Quit again in the pop-up window to confirm that you really want to quit and that you know you’ll lose any changes you’ve made since you last quit.

Method 3: Use The Activity Monitor to Force Quit

The activity monitor is a great Mac tool for finding an app that is acting up or causing problems. Check how much energy or power they are using right now and force quit the ones you don’t want to run anymore.

Step 1: Start Activity Monitor by using the Spotlight function (Command + Space) or by using the Finder to find it.


Step 2: When the Activity Monitor window comes up, choose the app you want to force close.

Step 3: Once you’ve chosen the app you want to close, press the cross button at the top of the window. (This icon resembles an octagon with the letter X in the middle)

Step 4: This will open a new window that asks if you are sure you want to close the app. It also gives you the chance to stop the process of the app stopping. For the app to stop right away, you have to click the button in the middle that says “Force Quit.”

Method 4: Stop Using The Dock Forcibly

Step 1: Find the app that won’t work on the dock.

Step 2: Press the key labeled “Option.”


Step 3: Right-click the app’s name in the dock.

Step 4: Pick the Force Quit option.

If Force Quit Doesn’t Work

If the whole system slows down, all programs stop responding, and the “Force Quit” button doesn’t work, you’ll need to restart the Mac. Press and hold the Control, Command, and Power buttons at the same time until the screen goes black.

You can also use the power button to force your machine to shut down. Here are some computer shortcuts that will help you force your Mac to shut down or restart without having to look for options on the taskbar or in the main Apple Settings. Take a look:

Note: Some of these key combinations may require you to hold them down for a little longer than others. This is the usual setting that keeps people from using a set of keys by accident.

Control + Power: This opens a pop-up window that asks if you want to restart the machine or shut it down. Some models also ask you to put your Mac to sleep.

Control + Option + Command + Power: Force quits all apps and shuts down the machine. If you have open windows with changes that haven’t been saved, a pop-up window will ask you if you want to save them.

Preventing Frequent Freezes

If your Mac apps often freeze or slow down and you can’t figure out why, here are some things you can try to stop this from happening:

Update your apps on a regular basis. Keeping them up-to-date all the time keeps them from freezing up too often. Make it a daily habit to clear the app cache. This is an absolute must for apps you use every day.

When there are too many files on the system that haven’t been cleared, apps often freeze or slow down. This can cause the spinning wheel to show up in the middle of your work.

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What If It’s Not The App, But The MacOS?

In many cases, the rainbow spinning wheel is caused not by your apps but by the Mac itself. If you find that your system is freezing and not responding instead of your apps, here’s what you should do:

Step 1: Go to your Mac’s Apple menu and click Shut Down.


Step 2: Once the system is fully turned off, wait a few seconds and turn it back on.

Important Things to Keep in Mind

You should only force quit an app on your Mac when you have no other choice left. This could cause you to lose papers that you haven’t saved yet, and it could also mess up some important files in your operating system.

Do not force shut down your Mac while it is installing or updating software. This can leave your system with an incomplete version of the operating system.

Use the normal way to turn your Mac off. (which is by opening the Apple menu). Even though this way takes longer to close the system, it makes sure that the process is done right.


When you’re using a Mac app and it freezes, it can be very annoying. Sometimes you want to close a frozen app, but you don’t know which choice to choose or how to force quit, which makes things even more annoying and hard for you.

Do you run into this problem often? Use the tips and tricks listed above to force quit on a Mac. We hope this guide will save you time and help you get the most out of your machine.