How to force quit a frozen or unresponsive program on my mac?

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Many people are aware of the PC’s Ctrl+Alt+Delete shortcut but there isn’t an equivalent for Mac users. However, Apple has provided us with three easy ways to close down programs that are not responding or frozen. 

Why do Mac programs become unresponsive? 

The most common reason is due to the RAM being full. The more programs you have open the more RAM you will be using. So, if you are not using a program or tab in the browser then it is best to close it to ensure the other programs can run smoothly.  

Is it safe to force quit a program? 

In short, yes, it is safe to force quit a program and it will resolve the issue. However, from doing so you could lose files that had not been saved whereas the traditional closing of an app which will alert you that something has not been saved or backed up.  

How to force quit.  

There are 3 different methods of closing an unresponsive program.  

  1. Force quit using the Apple menu 
  • Direct the mouse to the Apple logo in the top left of your screen.  
  • From the drop-down menu, click ‘Force quit’. 
  • A pop-up menu will appear. Simply select the application you would like to close, and press force quit. 
  1. Force quit with a shortcut. 

This method is essentially the same as method 1 but using a shortcut.  

  • Using your keyboard, press and hold Command+Option+Esc 
  • A pop-up menu will appear. Simply select the application you would like to close, and press force quit. 
  1. Use the activity monitor to force quit. 

This is the equivalent of Ctrl+Alt+Delete on a PC 

  • Using the keyboard press Command+Space to open up the spotlight search or click on the spotlight in the top right corner of the screen.  
  • Type Activity monitor into the search and select it. 
  • Find the program you want to close in the Activity Monitor processes list and click ‘Force a process to quit’.  

What happens if force quit doesn’t work?  

There is a chance that attempting to force quit a program does not work and this is likely due to your Mac not having enough RAM to support the programs you are running.  You can try to force turn off your Mac following the instructions provided by Apple’s user guide here.  

If the problems continue then feel free to book your device in for a repair using the link below.