How to Force Quit a Mac Application

Sometimes an application stops behaving properly and doesn’t respond to menu commands or keyboard commands. When this happens, you’ll often want to use the Force Quit command to force the application to quit. There are several ways to issue the Force Quit command.

  1. The easiest way is to click on the Apple menu and select Force Quit. A window will pop up listing all of the applications which are currently open. Click on the one that you want to force quit, then click the Force Quit button in the lower right corner. You’ll be asked if you’re sure that you want to do this. Click the button to indicate that you’re sure.
    If the Apple menu is not responsive, you may not be able to use this method. In this case, try the next method.
  2. Hold down the Option key while simultaneously clicking on the Dock icon for the application which you want to force quit. A menu should pop up after a couple of seconds. Select Force Quit from this menu.
    If the Dock is not responsive, you may not be able to use this method either. In this case, try the next method.
  3. Simultaneously press the following 3 keys: Command, Option and Escape. The Escape key is labeled “esc” and is above the “1” key. A window will pop up listing all of the applications currently open. Click on the one that you want to force quit, then click the Force Quit button in the lower right corner. You’ll be asked if you’re sure that you want to do this. Click the button to indicate that you’re sure.

If none of these methods work then you aren’t able to force quit applications. Typically, the only option at this point is to force the computer to turn itself off. This is accomplished by pressing and holding the Power button for 5 seconds. The power button is the round button used to turn the computer on. Hold this button for 5 seconds. The entire computer will turn off and the screen will go dark. Press and release the power button to start up the Mac again normally.

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