Force Quit Mac Applications With the Keyboard

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Few things are more frustrating than having your browser freeze while you’re streaming or surfing or having your messenger app lock up mid-rant. So what to do if you’re confronted with the spinning beach ball of death on your Mac and the application you’re using isn’t responding?

There’s a quick keyboard shortcut for that: just press Cmd+Opt+Shift+Escape for a few seconds to quit the application in front. You can also press Cmd+Opt+Esc to bring up the Force Quit menu and select the app you want to kill.

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These steps are outlined in the video above—just keep in mind that the current Mac OS interface looks a little different than what’s shown.

And as long as your mouse or trackpad is fully functional, you can also force-quit applications by clicking and holding on their dock icon (or right-click) until a menu appears with Quit as the bottom option. Think of Force Quit as “End Task” for Mac users.

Shortcut of the Day highlights a great shortcut on various platforms from the desktop to mobile devices to the web. You can find more shortcuts here.

This article was originally published in 2011 and updated in December 2019 with more thorough and current current information.

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