Mac OS X - How to force quit an application

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Mac OS X - How to force quit an application

When a program freezes or becomes unresponsive on Windows, you can always close it using the task manager. But how will you proceed on a Mac? In this page you will learn how to force quit an unresponsive application on Mac OS X.

Method 1: The force quit option

  • Press Command + Alt + Escape keys simultaneously

  • The Force Quit Applications menu will open.
  • Select the unresponsive app and click on "Force quit".

Method 2: Using the terminal

  • You can use the kill command to terminate any process related to the unresponsive app.
  • First you will need get the Process identifier (PID) of the unresponsive app.
  • Open a terminal and type the following command: "
  • The list of the most recent tasks on the system will be displayed.
  • Look for the PID of the unresponsive program (first column), a 4 digit number and type the following command:
    • Kill xxxx
  • Where xxxx represent the PID.

Method 3 - Via the Apple menu

  • Click the "Apple" menu > Force Quit.

Method 4 - Close an application using Dock

  • Hold down Alt (Option) key and then right-click (or Ctrl + click) on the program's icon.
  • Simply select "Force Quit ...".
Jean-François Pillou

Jean-François Pillou - Founder of CCM
Better known as Jeff, Jean-François Pillou is the founder of He is also CEO of CCM Benchmark and digital director at the Figaro Group.

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