OS X: How to quit an unresponsive application using Force Quit

Learn how to quit an unresponsive application using Force Quit.

Using the Force Quit feature of OS X makes an application close, even when it is not responsive. 

 Important: Normally you should not need to force quit an app to close it. When an app is forced to quit, any unsaved changes to open documents are not saved, so try these methods to normally close the app first:

  1. Choose Quit from the app menu. For example, in Safari, choose Safari > Quit Safari.
  2. Choose Quit by right-clicking or control-clicking on an app's icon in the Dock.

If your app does not close using the steps above, use any of these steps to force the app to quit:

  • Switch to another app, such as the Finder, then choose Force Quit from the Apple menu. Select the unresponsive app in the Force Quit window, and click Force Quit.
  • Press Command-Option-Esc, then select the unresponsive app from the Force Quit window that appears, and click Force Quit.
  • Hold down the Control and Option keys on your keyboard, and click the icon of the unresponsive app in the Dock. Select Force Quit from the menu that appears.
  • Open Activity Monitor from the Utilities folder or the Spotlight menu. Select the unresponsive app in the Activity monitor window. Choose Quit Process from the View menu, or click the Force Quit button in the toolbar of the Activity Monitor window.
  • If you cannot switch from the unresponsive app, press Command-Option-Shift-Esc for three seconds to force it to quit. This key combination tells OS X to force quit the frontmost app.


Learn more

OS X automatically relaunches the Finder when it is quit. If the Finder is unresponsive, use Force Quit to relaunch it. Select Finder in the Force Quit Window or Dock, then click Relaunch.

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