How to ShutDown a Program on the Mac

To close some programs, it is not enough to simply click on the corresponding icon. For example, many instant messengers continue to work in the background mode after it.

How to ShutDown a Program on the Mac

How to close programs on the Mac so that it close for sure? For this purpose, you have many ways to be used for running or hung programs. Let’s consider them.

Here are 3 quick ways to shutdown a program on the Mac:

How to shutdown a program on the Mac using hotkeys

The “cmd + Q” key combination will help to quickly exit a program you are currently working on the Mac.

If there are any changes in the document (file), the system will ask whether you need to save them.

How to shutdown a program on the Mac using hotkeys

How to close programs on the Mac through the top menu

You can close both a running program (with which you are currently working) and others through it. 

There are 2 options here:

1. Shutting down the application through the “File” menu

  1. Each active program displays a name next to the Apple icon when going to its window.
  2. Click on it to open a list with possible actions.
  3. Shutting down the program is one of its points.
Shutting down the application through the “File” menu - Mac

2. Closing program through the icon on the right side of the top menu

The icons of some instant messengers, utilities and other tools are displayed here:

Closing program through the icon on the right side of the top menu - Mac

You can close this way not only the program with which you are currently working but also the others presented in this menu.

Here is an example with Skype:

Skype program status - Mac

It can be closed using this method.

You can shutdown the program on the Mac through the Dock

If the app icon is in the Dock, it is very simple to shutdown the app.

  • To do this, point to the desired program, click on it with the right mouse button, and select “Quit”.
Shutdown the program on the Mac through the Dock

IMPORTANT. Not all programs which icons are displayed in the Dock are currently running. Running applications are indicated by dots under the icons. If you click with the right mouse button on a program that is “not highlighted” in this way, there will be no exit item in the list appeared.

How to exit a program on the Mac, if a lot of them are running

If you like to open many different applications simultaneously, you can quickly close unnecessary ones without switching between the windows; the “Force Quit” option will help you in this case. It is opened by pressing the keyboard shortcut “Cmd + Alt + Esc”. In this case, a window with a list of all open applications appears. You need to select the one you want to close and press the “Force Quit” button.

Force Quit Applications - Mac

IMPORTANT. In this case, the system will also notify you of unsaved changes in the document (file). But there will be no button to save the changes. To do this, you need to go to the program being closed and make all savings there.

A system will notify you of unsaved changes in the document or file - Mac

How to shutdown a program on the Mac that hung

  • To do this, you can use the previously discussed option with the keyboard shortcut “Cmd + Alt + Esc”.

You can also close a hung program through its icon in the Dock.

  • For this purpose, move the cursor to it, press and hold the “Alt” (“Option”) key and click on the icon with the right mouse button. 
  • A list of actions will appear, among which you should select “Force Quit”.

This is a menu view with the pressed “Alt” key:

A menu view with the pressed “Alt” key - Mac

And this is a menu view without the pressed “Alt” key:

A menu view without the pressed “Alt” key - Mac

“Killing” an unresponsive program on the Mac if previous tricks didn’t help

If “Force Quit” does not help, then you can “kill” the hung program through the terminal. Do the following:

  • Launch the Terminal (“Launchpad” -> “Others” -> “Terminal”).
  • Type the “top” command and press “Return” in the window appeared.
Type the “top” command and press “Return” - Mac
  • As a result of the command, a table with all the processes (programs) that are running and “hanging” at the moment will be displayed.
  • We find the name of the application you want to close in the second column of the table and remember its number in the first column.
Find the name of the application you want to close - Mac
  •  Press the “q” key. The table will close.
  • Type the “kill XXX” command and press “Return”, where XXX is the program number from the list we received in step 3.
Type the “kill XXX” command and press “Return” - Mac

If the application has not closed, you need to run the command as an administrator. To do this, type “sudo” before “kill”. So, we get “sudokill XXX”.

So, there are many ways how to shutdown a program on the Mac. Choose a convenient one for you and use it. And don’t be afraid of the hung applications. The “kill” command is available even for the most difficult case.

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