How to Force Quit an Application on Mac?

Summary: A macOS application can sometimes stop responding due to some technical glitch. This app freeze won’t let you do any task on it and won’t quit. Don’t worry! Learn how to force quit an unresponsive app on Mac. In case you lose your data due to force quitting, recover it using Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac.


How to Force Quit an Application on Mac?

When an application stops responding, you can try quitting it using the Command + Q hotkey or navigating to the App menu and choosing the Quit App menu option. But, sometimes, the app doesn’t quit (close) this way. In such a situation, you need to force quit the app on your Mac.

Quit Word
Image: Quit Word

Force quitting is necessary when normal quitting doesn’t work. But this method comes with a caveat; you’ll lose data that is not saved on the application. So, wait till the application unfreezes itself after some time. If it doesn’t, use the methods presented next to force quit a freezed application on Mac.

Also Read: How to Recover Unsaved Office Files on Mac

Force Quit Application on Mac

Using Hotkey

  • Press the Option + Command + Esc hotkey with the freezing app as the active window.
Option + Command + Escape
Image: Option + Command + Escape

Using Apple Menu

  • Navigate to the Apple menu > Force Quit.
  • In the Force Quit window, select the non-responding app, then click Force Quit.
Press the Force Quit Button
Image: Press the Force Quit Button
  • In case the Finder stops responding, select it from the Force Quit window and click Relaunch.

Using Dock

  • Secondary-click the freezing app from the Dock, press the Option key, and choose Force Quit.
Click the Freezing App and Press Option
Image: Secondary-Click the Freezing App and Press Option

Using Terminal

  • Navigate to Applications > Utilities > Terminal to open the Terminal app.
  • At the command prompt, type killall $AppName, and hit Return.
Enter the Command killall “App”
Image: Enter the Command killall “App”

Here, replace $AppName with the name of the app that you want to force quit.

Using Activity Monitor

  • Navigate to Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor to open the Activity Monitor app.
  • Click the CPU tab, select the hanging app, and click the cross (x) icon from the top-left corner.
Navigate to X sign
Image: Navigate to X sign
  • In the confirmation message window, select Force Quit to terminate the application.
Click Quit
Image: Click Quit

Data Loss (& Recovery) after Force-Quitting an App

When you lose your data due to force quitting an application, you can try the application’s built-in auto-recovery feature, e.g., as available in Microsoft Office for Mac. If the app doesn’t have any auto-recovery, autosave, or file recovery options, the chances of retrieving the unsaved file are thin, but you can still look for the unsaved file in Trash or Time Machine backup.

In case of data loss due to deletion, formatting, or otherwise, get free software to scan the Mac drive and recover data. The steps are as follows:

Drag and drop Stellar Data Recovery icon to Applicaitons
Image: Drag and drop Stellar Data Recovery icon to Applicaitons
  • Select the types of files you wish to retrieve from Mac storage device.
Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac
Image: Customize your scan
  • Select the storage device from which you want to perform file recovery. You can select Deep Scan, then click Scan once the disk is chosen.
Select Location
Image: Select a device
  • After the completion of the disk scanning process, you can preview the recoverable file types. Press the Recover button to retrieve up to 1 GB of files.
Preview
Image: Preview your data

Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac is suitable for free drive scanning, free file previewing, and free recovery of up to 1 GB of files. To recover more files, you’ll need to upgrade the software—either to Professional or Premium edition.

Conclusion

We hope now you know how to force quit an unresponsive or freezing app on Mac. Remember, you should Force quit an application only when there is no choice. In case of data loss due to force quitting an app, file deletion, formatting, or drive corruption, try Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac to recover the lost or deleted file. The free mac data recovery software works harmoniously with macOS Big Sur 11 and earlier.

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