force the closure of blocked software

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Although Mac computers are particularly stable, the macOS system is not immune to bugs or crashes. When software stops responding, most people have a habit of restarting their Macs. Fortunately there are more efficient and faster solutions. In this tutorial, we will learn how to force quit a program in macOS.

Close a recalcitrant program

Sometimes software refuses to work. In most cases the program freezes on the screen, but macOS continues to function normally. If your mouse still rules, no need to jump into the restart your Mac. Instead, opt for the gentle method presented below.

  • Click on the Apple menu (apple-shaped icon)
  • Press the force quit button

It’s simple, fast and effective. Unfortunately there is a catch to this idyllic picture. This is because this solution only works if the program is run as a foreground task. Unfortunately this is not always the case.

If a program stops working while it is in the background, then you will need to use the keyboard shortcut. This method is reminiscent of a technique commonly used on PC, namely the Windows task manager.

  • Simultaneously press the following three keys: option, command and escape (also called Esc or Del)
  • A new window will open with the list of running applications on your Mac
  • Click on the problematic program
  • Press the force quit button

Important detail, you can also use the keyboard shortcut method to close Finder. This is particularly useful when transferring files seems unusually long.

Force close a program from the Dock

The macOS GUI has a Dock located by default at the bottom of the screen. This bar contains all application icons including the running one (small black triangle). If an application stops responding, you can use this bar to terminate any program.

  • Press the Alt (or option) key down
  • Right click on the icon of the program that refuses to respond in your Dock
  • Select the force quit option

The software is then immediately closed. Due to the complexity of new operating systems, it is quite common not to be able to close recalcitrant software. If an application on your Mac is not responding at all, be aware that it is possible to use the activity monitor.

  • Go to utilities then to applications
  • Open activity monitor
  • You can also launch this utility by using the search module placed in the upper right corner of the macOS interface
  • Highlight the app you want to stop
  • Click the X button in the upper left corner of the window
  • Press the force quit button

Note that regardless of the method used, you risk losing unsaved changes to the recalcitrant program. But this is the only solution to quitting an application that seems too slow or simply refuses to work.

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