Force Quit Background App Mac

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Do you encounter a frozen app on your Mac and can’t quit it normally? That spinning beach ball makes you crazy? Instead of just sitting and getting more frustrated, force quit an app that’s not responding. Thankfully, you’ve got options to close the unresponsive apps.

We’ve prepared five Mac force quit ways, so you can pick the one that works best for you. Moreover, we’ll tell you how to prevent the programs from hanging and what to do if your whole Mac stops responding.

Apr 19, 2013  To force quit an app on your Mac from the Dock, first locate the icon of the said application on it. Then right-click on the icon while at the same. If you encounter an unresponsive app on your Mac, you have four methods at your disposal to close it using Force Quit. For an app whose icon you have parked in the Dock, you can right-click.

How to Force Quit Mac Applications

Force quit from the Apple menu

Here’s how to force quit an app from the Apple menu:

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Select Force Quit.
  3. Choose the app that’s not responding.
  4. Click on the Force Quit button.

Force quit from the Dock

If you wonder how to force quit an app on Mac using the Dock, check out these simple steps:

  1. To open the dock menu, right-click on the application icon you want to shut down or click on the item and hold.
  2. Hold an Option (Alt) button, so the Quit menu changes to Force Quit.
  3. Click Force Quit.

As simple as that!

Force quit using the keyboard shortcut

Alternatively, you can use a force quit Mac shortcut to close an unresponsive app. Do the following:

  1. Press and hold the following keys: Command + Option + Esc.
  2. Select the program you want to quit from the dialogue box.
  3. Click Force Quit.

This method of force quit command Mac is especially useful if your mouse cursor is lagging a bit.

Force quit using the Terminal

If you prefer a command line method to solve the problems, you can quit an unresponsive app via Terminal. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Launch the Terminal.
  2. Type the following command: killall [application name]. For example, if Safari isn’t responding, type killall Safari.
  3. Click Enter. Your application will be shut down immediately.

Note that the killall command works at the system level and the auto-save option doesn’t work. Be careful not to lose your unsaved data.

A better way to force quit apps — CleanMyMac X

A smart maintenance app like CleanMyMac X has a problem of force quit on Mac covered. You can easily force quit program on your Mac with an Optimization utility. It has a special Hung Applications tool that allows to identify and fix the unresponsive app right away.

A direct access saves you time and allows to fix a frozen app in a matter of seconds. CleanMyMac also takes care of other performance issues, so if you want to get alerts when something goes wrong on your Mac, download CleanMyMac X for free and give it a try.

Fixing an app that hangs frequently: Short tips

You may notice that a particular app freezes quite often. It is natural to assume that there is something wrong with that application. But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to fix the hanging app.

First of all, update an app to the latest version. App developers are constantly working on improvements, trying to deliver the best experience to users. The latest update may resolve all problems with the freezing app.

The next step is to clear the app’s cache, especially if you use it frequently. If there’s not enough free storage, a program won’t run smoothly. Once you delete the cache files, an app may start working normally.

You may also try to delete an app and reinstall it. Usually it resolves the problem of a frozen app.

What to do when your Mac freezes

Typically it’s just an app that hangs, but on rare occasions the Mac may freeze entirely and become completely unresponsive to anything. This is often accompanied by fans that work quite loudly, demonstrating a fully frozen Mac. To solve the problem, you need to shut down your computer and boot it again.

Here’s how to force reboot your Mac:

  1. Hold down the Power button until your Mac shuts down completely. This may take about 5 seconds.
  2. Wait a few seconds and then hit the Power button again to boot the Mac.

As you may presume, this method is not perfect. Any unsaved information may be lost due to the sudden shutdown. However, sometimes it’s the only way to make your computer running.

That’s it. We hope this guide has helped you to force close Mac app that’s not responding. Keep in mind, with regular maintenance, your computer will be at tip-top shape, running at its best. And software like CleanMyMac X can help you keep an eye on your Mac. It can reset and delete apps, free up RAM, clean up the system, take care of the startup programs that slow down your computer, and speed up your Mac with its maintenance scripts. And that’s what will help you avoid problems with frozen apps on your Mac.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

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Although it is quite rare, you must have come across incidents of apps becoming unresponsive or frozen once in a while on your Mac. You will find below multiple ways to Force Quit Apps or Programs on your Mac, instead of waiting forever and getting frustrated.

Force Quit Apps or Programs on Mac

Most native Apps and Services on your Mac are designed to run smoothly, without freezing up or lagging in any way. However, some third party Apps that are not exactly optimized to run efficiently on a Mac may end up freezing or becoming completely unresponsive.

In such cases, it becomes difficult to close the unresponsive App in a normal way and the only option left is to Force Quit the application on your Mac.

Unlike regular closing of the Apps, Force Quitting abruptly closes the application and does not save your work or settings. However, sometimes you need to be prepared to lose unsaved work and settings, in order to get your Mac back to its normal self.

Force Quit Apps or Programs Using Dock

Force Quit Background App Mac Pro

Perhaps the easiest way to Force Quit Apps on a Mac is through the Dock, located at the bottom of your Mac’s screen.

1. Locate the App that you want to close on the Dock of your Mac

2. Next, right-click on the App icon and then click on Force Quit in the little menu that appears (See image below).

Note: The Force Quit option may also appear as “Quit” in some cases, however most of the times when the application is frozen or unresponsive it appears as “Force Quit”.

3. Depending on the App that you are Force-quitting, you may see a pop-up asking to confirm that you do want to Force Quit the App. Tap on the blue Force Quit button to quit the unresponsive app.

Force Quit Apps or Programs on Mac Using Keyboard

You can also force quit Apps on your Mac by using keyboard shortcuts. There are 2 keyboard shortcuts which allow you to Force Quit unresponsive apps.

1. On the keyboard of your Mac, press Command + Option + Esc key combination to Force Quit any unresponsive App. In case you are using a Windows keyboard with your Mac, press Windows + Alt + Esc keys.

Force Quit Mac Command

Note: Do not press all 3 keys at the same time, rather press them in a sequence, first Command then Option and then Esc.

2. Pressing above keys will open the Force Quit Application Manager Window on your Mac (See image below)

3. Next, click on the unresponsive App in the Application Manager and then click on the blue Force Quit button to close the unresponsive app.

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4. Depending on the App that you are quitting, you may see a pop-up asking to confirm that you do want to Force Quit the App. Tap on the blue Force Quit button to quit from the unresponsive App.

Force Quit Apps On Mac Using Apple Menu Bar

Another way to Force Quit Apps on your Mac is by accessing the Force Quit Applications manager by using the Apple Menu Bar.

Force Quit Background App Mac Computer

1. Click on the Apple icon in the top menu bar on your Mac and then click on Force Quit… option in the drop-down menu (See image below)


2. Clicking on Force Quit will open the Applications Manager Window on the screen of your Mac.

3. In the Application Manager, click on the App that you want to Force Quit and then click on the Blue Force Quit button to Quit the selected App on your Mac (See image below)

4. Depending on the App, you may see a pop-up. Click on the blue Force Quit button in the pop-up to close the selected App.

Force Quit Apps On Mac Using Activity Monitor

The Activity Monitor on a Mac is quite similar to the Task Manager as found on a Windows Computer. The Activity Manager on a Mac allows you to take a look at the amount of Memory, CPU, and Storage space used by the apps and also allows you to Force Quit Apps.

1. Click on the Finder icon (Happy Face!) in the Dock of your Mac (See image below)

2. Next, click on Applications and then click on the Utilities Folder.

3. In Utilities Folder, locate Activity Monitor and click on it (See image below)

4. On the Activity Monitor screen, click on the app that you want to Force-close and then click on the X icon, located in top left corner of the window (See image below)

5. Next, you may see a pop-up, asking you to confirm that you do want to Force Quit the application. Click on Force Quit (or Quit) to close the application.

Force Quit Apps On Mac Using the Terminal Window

In addition to above ways, you can also make use of the Terminal Window to Force Quit Apps on your Mac.

1. On the keyboard of your Mac, press Command + Spacebar to open the Spotlight Search

2. Once Spotlight Search opens up on your Mac, type the word Terminal and click on the Top Hit suggestion Terminal to open the Terminal Window on your Mac (See image below)

3. On the Terminal Window, type in ps –ax (there is a space after ps) and press the Enter key (See image below).

Note: There is a space after ps

4. The above Terminal Command will list all the processes that are currently running on your Mac. Locate the App that you want to Force-close and note down its PID Number (See image below)

5. Once you have noted down the PID number of the app. Type kill (PID number) in the Terminal Windows and hit the enter key (See image below)

Once you type in the above command, the unresponsive/frozen application will be closed. For example, in our case we closed the stuck Safari App on our Mac by typing kill 279 in the terminal Window.