How To Force Quit An App That’s Not Responding On Your Mac [Guide]

What happens when you are using an app on your Mac and suddenly it stops responding? While some apps recover in a few seconds/minutes and work normally, some apps may get stuck with an unresponsive app and you can’t wait to recover. If you encounter an unresponsive app on your Mac, here’s what you can do to.


Although the apps get back to the normal state, sometimes the apps get stuck on the screen due to several reasons, say not getting enough memory or CPU resources (waiting for it to be free to get back to normal), or maybe the version of your Mac is not compatible with the app or vice versa, or you can say app itself has a bug that crashes or makes the app unresponsive.

No matter what the problem is, you start getting frustrated because the app is working fine for you but suddenly stops responding. It happens with me when I open multiple tabs of Chrome and since the app is hungry for memory, the app starts responding slowly until it gets stuck. Similarly, with the iMovie.

So, the solution here is to wait for a long time to recover which may not be guaranteed or quit the app forcefully and relaunch for a fresh start.

How To Force Quit An App That’s Not Responding On Your Mac

To quit an app normally, you can always choose ‘X’ icon in the top left corner of the app, use the menu bar and select Quit or simply quit the app using the shortcut Command + Q. If an app on your Mac stops responding and you can’t quit the app normally, use Force Quit to close the app.

Follow these steps to force quit an app on your Mac.

Launch the Force Quit using the keyboard shortcut,

  • Command + Option + Esc


This is similar to pressing Control + Alt + Delete on a Windows PC to open the task manager. 

  1. Or use the Menu bar on the top left corner, go to the Apple icon and click on it. 
  2. Choose Force Quit from the options and select the app you want to close forcefully.
  3. Click Force Quit.

You can even force quit the Finder if it stops responding. Select Finder in the Force Quit window, then click Relaunch, it closes the app forcefully and launch the app again.

If none of your apps are responding, and even force quit isn’t functioning as it should. You have the last option to restart the Mac. Press and hold the Power key to turn off your Mac and start again.

Note: Force Quit an app will lead to data loss. If you haven’t saved the files or project or anything that is needed to be saved from within the app may get lost. For example, if you are using photoshop or typing something in the word editor, you may lose your unsaved projects.



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