How To Force Quit Apps On Mac With Keyboard Shortcuts

how to force quit apps on Mac

How to force quit apps on Mac

Similar to iOS, macOS apps remain active in the background unless you don’t quit them. Apps can glitch out, become unresponsive or are simply too resource intensive. This is when you might need to force close apps on Mac! There are multiple ways of doing it!

How To Check Apps Available In The Background

The macOS equivalent of the iOS App Switcher is available with the help of the Command + Tab keyboard combo!

Trick: If you just press them you will automatically jump to the next app. However, if you hold the Command key pressed, the macOS App Switcher remains displayed on the screen and you can check out all apps that are available in the background.

Tip: Another way of determining if an app is opened on your Mac is by checking the Dock. A small dot below an app’s icon means that the app is running in the background!

How To Force Quit Apps On Mac

Here are some quick and efficient ways of quiting software in macOS:

  • 1. Force Close From The App Window

    The classic and most common way of closing an app after you stop using it is by clicking the red ‘x’ icon available in the top-left corner of the app window.

    Tip: Press Cmd + Q while browsing the app to force quit it faster!
    If this doesn’t work, tap the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and select Force Quit!

    Fact: However, if the app becomes unresponsive, this option might not work and you’ll have to proceed to the next step!

  • 2. App Switcher Keyboard Shortcut

    There is a nice little built-in macOS keyboard shortcut that allows you to mass quit applications from the App Switcher. Something similar to swipping up app cards in the iOS App Switcher.

    How To: press Command (cmd) + Tab -> hold Command (cmd) -> press “Q” while holding Command (cmd) to force quit the currently selected app. Press “Q” again to force close the next one in the list. Repeat until you clear all apps that you no longer need.

    Tip: Press Tab while holding Command (Cmd) to skip to the next app in line if there is a software that you don’t want to terminate.

    Fact: Finder can’t be force closed unless you’re using the Terminal tip detailed below!

  • 3. Force Quit Applications Menu

    There’s also a hidden shortcut that brings up a Force Quit Applications window:
    How to: command (cmd) + alt +esc -> select the app that you want to force close and click on Force Quit.

    Tip: Use shift + click to select multiple apps from the list!

  • 4. Force Quit From Terminal

    You can also force close apps from Terminal. Open it from Finder -> Terminal (This Mac).
    Type the following code and press Return to execute: killall [app name]

  • 5. Restart Mac

    Last but not least a computer reboot will cause all your apps to close and you can start fresh.
    How to: Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and go for Restart…

Do you need to force close apps often on your Mac? Share your feedback using the comments section!

Related: How to fix Dock not working in macOS!