OS X: Quit a Frozen Program

   Posted by David Kirk in Apple Mac

A new apple user will eventually find a program that stops responding or hangs. Does OS X have a task manager? Here is how to kill a frozen program.

As an XP user, I was looking for ctrl-alt-del to do something. There are two easy ways to do this.

1. To kill a frozen program in OS X, use the following shortcut:


2. Alternatively, you can hold the option key and click the frozen application in the dock. As long as option is held down, Force Quit will be in the menu that appears.

Editor’s Addendum:
Another easy way to do this is to click and hold on the appie’s icon in the dock. After a second or so there will be a little popup menu (which is useful for other things, too). If the app is responding normally, there will be a “Quit” but if it’s frozen, it will say “Force Quit” instead. I’ll never remember cmd-opt-esc..

oh, definitely worth mentioning.. Apple Menu -> Force Quit.. takes you to the same window you opened. Easier to remember, too.



About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

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7 Responses to “OS X: Quit a Frozen Program”

  1. May 29, 2009 at 12:04 am, zach said:

    thanks, worked absolutely perfectly.


  2. June 04, 2010 at 9:19 pm, bron said:

    What about those whose original apple keyboard didn’t last and who have one that is not proprietary therefore has no option key?


    • October 18, 2010 at 9:32 pm, Dee said:

      Apple Menu => Force Quit


  3. October 18, 2010 at 9:31 pm, Dee said:

    Thank you!


  4. May 13, 2011 at 1:11 am, Carlistos10 said:



  5. March 23, 2012 at 7:00 am, Charissa said:

    This was awesome and to the point, thanks!


  6. August 19, 2012 at 3:57 am, mohsen said:

    Thanks; simple and fast… awesome


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