MacMost Now 72: Forcing Applications to Quit

Gary Rosenzweig looks at various ways to force broken applications to quit. He also shows some handy keyboard shortcuts for logging out, restarting, shutting down and quitting instantly.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 72: Forcing Applications to Quit.

Hi, this is Gary Rosenzweig. Ever need to force quit an application? It happens from time to time. Now, there's a lot of options you've got before you reach for the power switch on your Mac. Let's take a look at them in this episode of MacMost Now.
So I use a lot of different software on my Mac. Sometimes there are incompatibilities. Sometimes I'm using beta software that's just not ready for prime time. And sometimes the software just won't quit and I've got to force it to quit. So there's a bunch of different things that I do to force it to quit. Let's take a look at them.
The first thing I do is actually go to the dock and hold down the dock item there. There's another quit option that appears there. That usually doesn't work if the regular quit doesn't work, but it's worth a shot. Then the next thing I do is I try to force quit. I do that by hitting Command + Option + Escape. This will bring up a special dialog box that shows you all of your running applications. You can select which one you want to quit and hit "Force Quit". In most cases, this will do the job.
Another option is to use the Activity Monitor. You can find it in your Application Utilities folder. When you use the Activity Monitor, it brings up a very detailed window of everything that's running on your Mac, including processes that aren't real applications. You can sort through them and find the one you want to quit, and then you can select the "Quit Process" button. You can also sort through them a little bit easier by selecting to show only "Windowed Processes", which most likely is going to be the applications that you're using.
Now, another way to get rid of unwanted applications that are still running is to simply log out of your account and log back in. Now, if you select the logout function in the Apple menu, you get a dialog saying, "Are you sure you want to do this?" A lot of times it will fail if an application won't quit. One way you might be able to force things to quit is to hold down the Option key when selecting the Apple menu. You'll see then that it doesn't ask you to confirm, it just does it. There's a keyboard shortcut for this as well: you can simply go ahead and at any time type Shift + Command + Option + Q and it will immediately quit all applications and log you out.
If you have to restart, you have to restart. In addition to the menu item, there are some keyboard shortcuts that will help you restart and shut down that may work to shut down some applications where the menu doesn't. You can do Control + Command + Eject to restart your machine, and it does this fast. Kills all your applications and does a restart right away. It's a handy shortcut to know. Also, if you want to shut down, Control + Option + Command + Eject will do it. And, while we're on the subject, if you want to sleep, you can do Option + Command + Eject and that'll put your machine immediately to sleep. In all of these cases, if you don't have an Eject key on your keyboard, you can use the F12 key.
If you have an application that's being a particular nuisance, always seeming to refuse to quit, you may want to do a few things. One is to reinstall the software from either the disk or from the download that you originally got. Another thing you may want to do is go to the web site of the manufacturer of the software and see if there's an update. A lot of times they publish major updates, but you don't get notification of that, and you have to install a patch. Another thing you may want to do is see if the manufacturer of the software has a discussion forum or a troubleshooting guide. They may list some suggestions there that may help you. For instance, there may be some conflicts with some things you have on your system. For instance, if you use one piece of software, you may have to update something else in your machine. Like make sure you have the latest Quicktime, that type of thing.
So there's some useful tips to deal with programs that don't seem to want to quit. Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: One Response to “MacMost Now 72: Forcing Applications to Quit”

    Brittany G
    8 years ago

    very very helpful! Thank you so much man!

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