5 Easy Ways to Force Quit an App on Mac [2023]

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Jerome Mills
Last updated: Apr 25, 2023

App not responding on Mac? Read on to learn how to force quit an app on your Mac.

It can be frustrating to see an app become unresponsive on your Mac because at this point you can't use the app normally, and what's worse, you can't do anything with your Mac.

Looking for ways to force quit apps on your Mac? You've come to the right place! In this article, we'll guide you through 5 different methods to do so.

5 Easy Ways to Force Quit an App on Mac

How to Force Quit an App on Mac Using the Apple Menu

The easiest way to close a frozen app is to use the Apple menu. Here's how:

  1. Click the Apple icon and select Force Quit.
  2. From the Force Quit Applications list, select the unresponsive app and click the Force Quit button.
Force Quit App on Mac with the Apple Menu

Alternatively, you can press Option (or Alt) + Command + Esc to open the Force Quit window.

Force Quit Window with Shortcut

How to Force Quit an App on Mac Using the Dock

Also, you can shut down a misbehaving app from the Dock panel.

  1. Press the Option key.
  2. Right-click or Control-click the faulty app, then select Force Quit.

How to Force Quit an App on Mac Using Activity Monitor

Another way to force quit an unresponsive app is to use Activity Monitor, a built-in tool on macOS for monitoring and managing system resources in use.

Here's how:

  1. Open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor.
  2. Find the misbehaving app and all its processes.
  3. Highlight them and click the Stop button at the top of the window.
  4. Click Force Quit to confirm.
Force Quit Apps on Mac with Activity Monitor

How to Force Quit an App on Mac Using Shortcut

If your Mac is frozen and you can't click anywhere, use the keyboard shortcut below to force close the frozen app.

Press Command + Option + Shift + Esc for about 3 seconds and the app will be closed automatically.

How to Force Quit an App on Mac Using Terminal

Terminal can help you force quit apps and programs. Here's how:

  1. To open Terminal, click Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  2. Type the command killall [application name] into Terminal and press Enter. For example, if your application name is Safari, your command is killall Safari.
Force Quit an App on Mac Using Terminal
Alternatively, you can run the command top in Terminal, note down the PID of the app you want to quit, and run the command kill[PID]. For example kill 1234.

Bonus Tip: How to Completely Uninstall Apps on Mac

If an app keeps freezing, it is recommended that you uninstall and reinstall it to troubleshoot.

As you might know, dragging an app to Trash doesn't completely remove it from your Mac. Its supporting files are everywhere on your Mac. To remove unwanted apps thoroughly and quickly, you can use BuhoCleaner, the best app uninstaller for Mac. It allows you to remove applications, including stubborn antivirus software, without leaving any traces.

Free DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide

Here's how to uninstall unwanted apps on Mac with BuhoCleaner:

  1. Download, install, and launch BuhoCleaner.
  2. Click App Uninstall in the sidebar, and you will find all the apps installed on your Mac.
  3. Select the ones you want to get rid of, then click the Remove button.
Quickly and Completely Uninstall Apps on Mac with BuhoCleaner


Hopefully, you have successfully quit the frozen app. If none of these methods help, your best option to get your Mac back to normal is to force restart your Mac.

Jerome Mills

A creative editor from Dr. Buho, who has been consistently writing high-quality Mac and iPhone issue-related guides for over 3 years.