How to Force Close Unresponsive Apps on MacOS

When Mac apps misbehave, sometimes you need to force them to shutdown. This can happen when an application goes into an infinite loop, crashes, hangs, or stops responding to user input. Although it is not a perfect way to close the application, it does not harm the application in general.

Have you been working with an app on your Mac when it suddenly freezes? You try to close it and you can’t, or you hit finish and it doesn’t respond.

Fortunately, you can force quit apps on your Mac and then reopen them. Here are several ways to force quit the unresponsive app on your Mac.

How to force close unresponsive apps on macOS - Mac

You will not have a chance to save your business, naturally However, with many Mac apps (particularly Apple’s macOS apps) offering autosave at regular intervals, this issue becomes less significant. So when you force quit apps on Mac, you will lose any data since the last save.

There are a bunch of methods we can use to force quit apps on Mac which we’ll look at below.

Why do apps freeze or stop responding?

There are several issues that can cause the Mac app to become unresponsive. Here are just a few of them:

Not enough RAM: RAM stands for Random Access Memory, which is basically short-term storage. Your computer uses RAM to store data of open applications for quick access, but you only have a limited amount. So if you have many apps open at once, it can slow everything down and in some cases, cause apps to stop responding like it might have happened to you.

If you think this might be your problem, try closing some open applications or restarting your Mac to clear the RAM. You might also consider upgrading the RAM on your Mac if this seems like a recurring problem.

Application problems: Unfortunately, not all apps are created equal and some are built with some bugs that cause them to not work properly.

You can reduce situations like this by downloading apps directly from the Mac App Store instead of third-party websites. This does not guarantee that the app will be error-free, but the chances are that it will perform well even better because Apple checks all the apps on the App Store.

Learn how to fix problems with a specific Mac app for more information.

Incompatible apps: Often, if an app is not compatible with your Mac, it won’t stay open or can’t be opened at all. However, there are other times when it might freeze completely.

The best way to avoid incompatibility issues is to make sure your apps are up to date. If the developer hasn’t released an update in a while, check back later, especially if you updated macOS recently.

How to Force Quit Unresponsive Apps on Mac

Now that you know some of the reasons you might encounter an app, it’s time to move on to how to force close that app if you need to. macOS offers you many different ways to do this.

1. Use the Dock

Force closing the application via the Dock is the most popular method for most users. It’s intuitively straightforward and generally effective.

1. Right-click on the icon of the misbehaving application.

How to force close unresponsive apps on macOS - Mac

2. Press and hold the . key Option to detect option”Force termination.

How to force close unresponsive apps on macOS - Mac

3. Click “force terminationForce close the app.

2. Use the Force Quit menu

Your Mac also has a menu that is specifically designed to force apps to close.

1. Click the Apple icon to the left of the menu bar at the top of the screen.

2. Select “ Force Quitfrom the dropdown menu. You can also press Option + Command + Escape to open this menu.

How to force close unresponsive apps on macOS - Mac

3. Click on the name of the application in red with “(Not Responding)” next to it.

4. Click on the “Button”Force terminationat the bottom right of the window.

3. Use Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor also has the ability to close apps. It allows you to get a better handling of apps that are failing silently in the background. If you’re not using an actual app and you hit a weird comment, you might not know anything has happened. Since Activity Monitor shows the status of all open applications, you can see at any time if there are any applications that need to be stopped. You can also use it to terminate processes, which are similar to sub-applications without Dock icons.

1. Open Activity Monitor by typing “Activity MonitorIn Spotlight.

2. Click on the application or process that appears in red text with “(Not Responding)” next to the application name.

How to force close unresponsive apps on macOS - Mac

3. Click the button with an X on the stop sign in the upper-right corner of the Activity Monitor window.

4. Use Terminal

If you’re dealing with an app that doesn’t respond to stop commands, the kill command in Terminal can force the app to close. It’s the most exciting way to force an app or process to stop, but in our experience, it’s almost always effective.

1. Open Terminal by typing “TerminalIn Spotlight.

2. Type the following command to find the pending application process number:

ps -ax | grep "[اسم التطبيق]"

replace [اسم التطبيق] The name of the app you want to force stop. For example, to find Chrome, we write the following:

ps -ax | grep "Google Chrome"

How to force close unresponsive apps on macOS - Mac

This will simply display all the running applications that have this application’s name in their disk location. Nothing will be left yet.

3. Check the list generated by the correct application or process. See the four or five digit number that appears before the process name. This is the process ID or PID, which will be used to kill the application.

How to force close unresponsive apps on macOS - Mac

Here we can see that Chrome has a number PID 2745. If you get multiple results for the app, look for the version ending with “/Contents/MacOS / [اسم التطبيق].

How to force close unresponsive apps on macOS - Mac

4. Type kill It is followed by the PID from the last step. For example, will kill 2745 to stop the process containing PID 2745.

How to force restart or shutdown your Mac

If you’re still having problems quitting an app, other apps may have become unresponsive, and your Mac seems to be generally slow to respond, it might be best to shut down and restart your Mac.

The best way to restart or shutdown your Mac is to use the menu bar. Click Menu Apple -> إعادة التشغيل أو إيقاف التشغيل.

When the dialog appears asking if you want to reopen windows when you sign in again, deselect this option. You do not want to reopen the unresponsive application(s) on startup.

Restart your Mac

If your Mac isn’t responding to menu bar actions, you can force it to restart. To force restart your Mac, hold down my keys Cmd And Control Combined with the . button الطاقة until you become black screen And your Mac will restart, then release it.

Force your Mac to shutdown

If all else fails, you can press and hold the power button until your Mac turns off. Unfortunately, this method is the equivalent of pulling the plug, so it can result in you losing unsaved items you opened. So only use this method if your Mac is completely unresponsive.

Check your Mac’s login items

You can open some apps when you first sign in to your Mac. But if one of these annoying apps is on the list, it can cause problems.

To review the apps that start when you sign in, follow these steps:

  • Open “System Preferencesyour using the code in Dock or by clicking Menu Apple -> تفضيلات النظام from the menu bar.
  • You have to choose Users and groups.
  • Locate Your user account on the left and switch to tab Login Items.
  • You will see a list of all the items that open automatically when you log in. To remove an item from the list, select it and tap missing button at the bottom of the list.

Force quit and start over

Hopefully, forcing the app to close isn’t something you have to do too often. But at least you now know a few different ways to force quit an app on your Mac if necessary.

If you have recurring issues with the app itself freezing or not responding, it’s time to uninstall it from your Mac and find an alternative.


Force stopping apps on a Mac shouldn’t be the primary way to close apps, of course. But it is a necessary tool to stop applications that no longer respond to user input.

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