It’s possible to force quit a Mac app if it starts behaving badly or acting weirdly. In those situations the mouse pointer turns into a rainbow and you can’t do much except wait for it to do something…unless you force quit.

How to Force Quit a Mac App

In order to normally quit an app you can hit the keys Command (⌘) + Q, or select Quit from the app menu in the menu bar. Force quitting an app means it doesn’t go through the normal quit process.  Be aware that if you force quit an app while it was in the middle of doing something, some data may be lost. Or, you may have to repeat what you were doing after you restart the app.

Force Quit a Mac App: Method One

  1. On your keyboard, press Option + Command (⌘) + Escape.
  2. This brings up a window to force quit an app.

This macOS screenshot shows the dialog box that appears when you press Option + Command + Escape in order to force quit a mac app.

In the image above I’m force quitting Finder. This is a system app that doesn’t truly force quit, but doing this will force it to relaunch. It’s helpful in case Finder freezes or otherwise acts up on you. If you force quit an actual app the button will say Force Quit.

Force Quit a Mac App: Method Two

  1. Hold down the Option key,
  2. Right-click the app icon in the dock.
  3. Click Force Quit.

The second method is the faster way to do it, but method one is still a solid way to achieve our goal. Using method one is also a good way to see which apps you have open at the moment.

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