macOS 101: how to force quit a Mac app
If you’ve ever used macOS 101 before, then you know that they are relatively bug-free and extremely stable. However, there will come times when an app becomes unresponsive and doesn’t seem to close no matter how many times you click the red X in its corner. If this happens, don’t worry! There’s an easy way to force quit the app and move on with your life – assuming it doesn’t happen again and again and again…
Force Quitting From the Dock
Here’s a macOS 101OS 101 to force quit a Mac app. Click and hold the desired app’s icon in the Dock to display a contextual menu. From the contextual menu, select Force Quit, or simply right-click on the app’s Dock icon and then click on Force Quit. Forcing an application to close is often an effective troubleshooting step.
You should also know that Force Quit is one of many troubleshooting options available via macOS 101’s contextual menu. To access it, right-click on an open space on your Dock and then click on More.
Now you’ll see all of your installed applications, each with its contextual menu. Click on any item in that list to display its contextual menu and then select Force Quit from that submenu.
If you don’t see an option for either Force Quit or Remove From Dock when you right-click on an application in your Dock, that’s because it’s already running.
Force Quitting From the Menu Bar
Force quitting an app on a Mac works a lot like force quitting an app on a Windows PC. If you see your macOS 101 mouse cursor turned into a bomb (the X), click the bomb to bring up the force quit window. From here, if you select an app and click Force Quit, that app will quit, no questions asked. To access this menu bar item from anywhere on macOS, press CMD+Opt+Esc
If you can’t get your mouse cursor turned into a bomb, or if you want to force quit an app without turning your mouse cursor into a bomb, here are some ways. Force quitting any running program is done through Activity Monitor in macOS and Windows Task Manager in Windows. In macOS 101, launch Activity Monitor by clicking Spotlight (the magnifying glass icon on your upper-right toolbar) and typing Activity Monitor in the search field; click it when it shows up. To launch Activity Monitor on Windows 10, press Windows+R, type taskmgr in Run, and press Enter; select More Details from its File menu for more options.
Force Quitting Through Terminal
If you ever find your macOS 101 running so slow that you need to force quit an app, the easiest way is to do it through Terminal. (Though there are other methods outlined below.) All you have to do is open up a new window and enter this command: kill all app names. For example, if I want to force-quit Safari, I’d type killall Safari into the prompt. This will close the application and restart it with a fresh memory cache. If your computer doesn’t respond for about five minutes after this process is completed, simply hold down Command+Option+P+R until you hear a chime to restart it.
Permanently Deleting Files on a Mac
Quitting an app does not force it to shut down. If you are noticing a problem with an app, force quitting is the way to fix the issue. To force quit an app on a Mac computer running macOS 101 10.12 Sierra or later, click on the Apple logo in the top left-hand corner of the screen and select Force Quit from the dropdown menu that appears. You can also hold Option+Command+Esc (press both keys at once) and this will provide a list of active apps.
Once an app has been forced to quit, it is no longer running in memory and is not processing any data. While apps are rarely completely removed from a macOS 101 memory, they do sometimes still have active files open in them.
If you use an external hard drive or flash drive on your computer, you can quickly determine whether or not there are still any active files that haven’t yet been closed by right-clicking on your hard drive or flash drive in Finder and then selecting File > Force Quit. You can also go directly to /Users/USERNAME/Library/Preferences/, where USERNAME is your username macOS 101, and then choose the plist file that corresponds with one of the apps listed above it when you Force Quit it.
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