This is a trick that I use everyday at least and I think is my most used shortcut after Command-Tab on my Mac. Whenever a program or application isn’t responding or is not working, I use the shortcut Command-Option-Escape. This brings up this dialog.

The Force Quit Dialog

Select the application that you want to quit and then click Force Quit…

Force Quit Safari

Another way of doing it is Right-Clicking or Control-Clicking while holding option down the icon in the dock and selecting Force Quit.

Force Quit Mail via the Dock

The final method you can use is Terminal. WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! Advanced users only, because you can seriously mess something up. If you have opened Terminal before, (not accidentally!) then you should be fine.

In Terminal type killall nameofapplicationherecasesensitive

The most important thing is that the name of the application is copied perfectly. For example if I wanted to quit Mail, then you would type killall Mail .

The killall command in Terminal

I hope these methods of Force Quitting in Mac OS X are helpful!


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