Force Quitting A Frozen Application

At some point we have all been there.  Your app won’t close.  It won’t move.  It won’t react to the mouse.  It just stares at you, daring you to make it work.  Force Quite seems to be your only option.  It is a much better option than the one we had in the old days – restart the machine.

First Option.The most common way to Force Quit is the option built into Finder.  Choose the Apple Menu → Force Quit. The frozen app will most likely be highlighted in brown and have the words “force quit” next to them.  Move the cursor up to the appropriate app, click your mouse, and it will be closed.

Force Quit Window


As you can see from the image, you can also access this option by selecting Command-Option-Escape.

Second Option.  Some programs, including the Dock, don’t show up in the Force Quit menu noted in the first option.  Same thing can be true with certain utilities.  You still can implement a forced quit.  It just takes a few more steps.

Open the Activity Monitor program.  Spotlight → Activity Monitor or Go Menu → Applications → Utilities → Activity Monitor.

Activity Monitor Window

Click on any program on the list and when a dialog box pops up, click Quit to force quit it.

This entry was posted in Beginner Mac Tips, Lion Tips, Mac Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Force Quitting A Frozen Application

  1. Just for completion: There is also a third option.
    For all Apps that run in the Dock you can just right-click on the dock icon and choose force quit there. If the system does not recognize that the application is frozen (so it only shows quit) you can hold down the option (alt) key and force quit will show up in the right-click menu.

    However I have experienced that sometimes one has to do this twice to take effect…

  2. Zachary says:

    What about a full screen app, I have one that freezes (the entire computer) when I quit, and I accidentally left ‘reopen applications at login’ on.

    • macnancy says:

      Hi Zachary, I think you have an app that is incompatible with your Mac. Could be the preferences have gone bad, or the app doesn’t want to work with the version of IOS you are running. You don’t say how important this app is, but if it is shutting you down, it may not matter how important it is. My suggestion is you delete it, using App Zapper to do so, so that every component of it is removed. Then, if you really need it, you can download it again. If you have a registration number for it, that number will still be good, but check to make sure about the whole compatibility thing before you reinstall it. Good luck!

      • Zachary says:

        Thanks I was trying to close it by first changing its settings to the lowest quality, but after awhile I tryed resetting it to default – that worked – I never thought of that because the default was the highest settings.

  3. Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

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