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How to force quit on a Mac

How to force quit apps on a Mac

Whether you're using your Mac® for work or play, everything stops when an app freezes. But there's an easy fix for that—force quitting your Mac—and there are several ways to do it.

Here at Asurion, when tech breaks, we fix it—whether your computer is frozen or your laptop battery won't charge. We'll walk you through how to force quit an app on your Mac and quickly get you back up and running so you can get back to what's important.

Why do apps freeze on your computer or laptop?

Applications may freeze or crash for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Too many apps running at the same time.
  • Not enough storage space.
  • The app is corrupted.

One solution: Try quitting the app normally. Go to its icon in the menu bar, and select Quit.

No luck? Force quitting often solves the problem. Remember, if you're working in an app such as Microsoft Word®, be sure to save your work first.

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Force quit using the Apple menu

Force quitting an application on Mac from the Apple menu only takes a few steps.

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner.
  2. Select Force Quit.
  3. Select the frozen app in the Force Quit Applications menu, click Force Quit, then click Force Quit again in the pop-up dialog box.

Force quit using a Mac shortcut

When an app locks up on your Mac, you can also try to force quit by using a keyboard shortcut.

  1. Press Option + Command Esc.
  2. Select the frozen app in the Force Quit Applications menu, click Force Quit, then click Force Quit again in the pop-up dialog box.

Close an application from Activity Monitor

If you need to pinpoint which app is frozen or you'd like to see the computing resources a particular app is using—and then force quit—you can use a tool called Activity Monitor.

To access the feature, you can press Command + Space to activate Spotlight Search and type “activity monitor" or go to Finder Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. Here's how to use it to force quit an app.

  1. Select the app you want to force quit.
  2. Click the Stop icon (an octagon with an “X" in the middle) at the top of the Activity Monitor window, then click Force Quit in the dialog box.

If you've tried these steps and still need a little help, we're right around the corner. Schedule a repair at the nearest uBreakiFix® by Asurion store and our certified experts can get your device back up and running as soon as the same day.

Protect your computer from the unexpected

With the Asurion Home+® protection plan, you can keep your computer—plus all of your other favorite home tech—running at their best for less than $1 per day. You'll not only get reliable protection, but also 24/7 access to tech experts who can answer questions about everything from setting up your wireless mouse to troubleshooting your hard drive. To learn more about complete computer coverage, visit

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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