How to force quit applications in Mac OS? Simple Guide!

Apps on macOS generally behave well, but there are times when they stop working or they can freeze and slow down your entire Mac if that happens to you (and it can often happen when you mess around with the latest beta versions of Monterey). it’s time to quit the application.

The first thing to do, of course, is trying to quit the app normally:

  • Right-click on the app’s icon in the menu bar and select “Quit,” or…
  • Press the Command-Q keys.

However, if the app is frozen or just won’t go away, then you need to force a quit. Again, there are a couple of ways to do this:

  • Click on the Apple icon in the top-left corner and look for a choice that says “Force Quit” or…
  • Press Command-Option-Esc.

You may be able to find “Force Quit” in the Apple drop-down menu.

In either case, a Force Quit Applications box appears, listing the currently active applications. Highlight the problematic application and click the Force Quit button. A pop-up will ask if you are sure; Click Force Quit to permanently quit the application.

Use the “Force Quit Applications” menu to shut down an erring app.

If for any reason you can’t access the “Force Quit” menu, there is another way to quit the app using the Activity Monitor, which lists all of the active processes on your Mac. To get to the Activity Monitor:

  • Use Spotlight Search to find “Activity Monitor,” or…
  • In your Finder, click on Applications in the left-hand menu. In the resulting list of apps, double-click on Utilities to open the folder, and then double-click on Activity Monitor.
  • You’ll find Activity Monitor in the Applications Utility folder.
  • You’ll see a list of active processes, which should include your misbehaving app. It’s going to be a long list, so you can click on the “Process Name” heading to alphabetize the list for an easier find.

If you suspect that the app is stressing your CPU, you might try clicking on the “% CPU” heading, which may put the app at the top of the list.

Once you’ve found the app, click the “x” icon at the top of the list.

  • Highlight the app you want to quit, and click on the “x” icon at the top of the window.
  • Click on “Force Quit.”
  • Now you can either quit or force quit the app.

And if you’re still having trouble, you can always shut down your system. Some of what you are working on may be lost, but the application that is running will be closed. Press and hold the Power button (or the Touch ID button if your Mac has a Touch Bar) until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Let go of it and let the system reboot.

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