Kill or force quit stuck application or process in Mac OS X

Option + Command + Esc
Option ⌥ + Command ⌘ + Esc

If you are having trouble with an application that running on your Mac machine, or your system seems sluggish or you see a spinning cursor, somethings not right and you would want to kill a running process that's gone rogue, here are some ways you can do so,

We have listed down 8 ways in which you can kill/force quit an application on macOS

  1. Keyboard shortcut: Command ⌘ + Option ⌥ + Escape
  2. This is the most easiest and quickest way you can reach to the Force Quit Application, when this window opens up you would see a list of Applications that are currently running, if an application is not responding for a while, you can select it from here and click Force Quit. This is the easiest and the most used way to kill and Application.

  3. Using the Apple Menu Option:
  4. MacOs-Force-quit-menu-option
    MacOs Force quit menu option
    Force quit applciation

    Click on the Apple logo on the top right side of your Menu bar and Select "Force Quit (App name)". This will close the current application that you are working with.

  5. Using Activity Manager:
  6. It is also one of the most preferred way to force close an application though the User Interfaces available on macOS (and most powerful one)

    You can see stats of each process in detail - Process Name, %CPU utilization, CPU time, Threads, Idle Wake Ups, PID and User. Also you get beatification based on CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk and Network utilization. Double click on the Process Name and you would see a prompt - Click "Force Quit"

    You can find it in /Applications/Utilities/ or open it from Spotlight with Command+Space and then type ‘Activity Monitor’ and the return key. Using Activity Monitor is very easy: Select the process name or ID you wish to kill (unresponsive apps will usually appear as red), and hit the red “Quit Process” button.

    ⚡️ Does it look familiar to Windows Task Manager.

  7. Using Option ⌥ + Right Click on Docker
  8. Click Option ⌥ and Right click on a app icon on docker and you should see "Force Quit" option to terminate that app.

  9. Using Keyboard shortcut: Command ⌘ + Option ⌥ + Escape + Shift
  10. This is kind of similar to way no. 1, when you press these key combinations at once the current active app will be force closed. This is the best way to kill an app when your track-pad or mouse is not working.

  11. Using Terminal Command: kill
  12. This is the most preferred way to kill an frozen application, or a process when you are a developer or a pro user, use kill [processname] to kill an application, kill -9 [processname] will force kill the app.

    Kill -9 macOS terminal command
    Kill -9 macOS terminal command

  13. Using Touch Bar
  14. This option may not be available to all user, but surely Macbook users with a touch-bar - you may come access a case where the bar esc key is not working - you can use any of the above cases where esc key is not needed.

  15. If nothing works: Control + Command + Power to force restart Mac


  • Worked for me.
    AndrewK23 15 Jul 2020 15:02:08 GMT
  • Was having problems quitting iTunes, step 2 helped. Thank You 👱
    user145 14 Jul 2020 14:07:08 GMT
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