How To

Task Manager Mac: How to do Ctrl+Alt+Delete on Catalina?

Written by John

Mac OS Catalina is the sixteenth instalment in the Mac OS series. It succeeded macOS Mojave and is available as a free update to the public from September 2019. The breakthrough feature of Catalina is that it is the first OS that can exclusively support 64-bit applications.

If you’re a user of Windows you may be well used to the combination of CTRL + ALT + DELETE allowing you to pull up the task manager and end any applications or processes that might be hindering you getting on with your work, however, you’ll find it difficult to replicate the same on macOS.

Instead, macOS does indeed have it’s very own “Task Manager Mac” if you will but you have to access it a different way and today we’re going to show you how to do just that so that if you need to close down an application which has frozen you can do so with ease. There is a total of 4 ways to use force quit to close applications down on your Mac.

How to use Force Quit on macOS Catalina

1. Force Quit an Application using Activity Monitor
Force Quit Apps in Activity Monitor

This is an incredibly effective way of making an app force quite should it be becoming a pain or has frozen. To get to Activity Monitor you’re going to want to go into Applications, and then into Utilities. Alternatively, you can run it from Spotlight by pressing command + space and then typing in Activity Monitor. Once you’re in, select the app you want to end and select the option ‘Force Quit’.

Once you click the "force quit" button, you will be asked to quit or force quit the program. Stopping the program within the app shuts the program down when it's safe to do so and saves your work and current settings. Force quitting an app shuts down the application immediately, which could result in data loss.

2. Force Quit From the Dock
Force Quit From the Dock

Forcing a Mac app to quit using the dock panel is a simple solution to fixing a frozen app. To shut down an app using the dock panel. Hold the Alt key, then right-click the program's logo, and select the "force quit" option. As a reminder, the Alt key is also the option key.

3. Force Quit from Apple Menu
Force Quit from Apple Menu

Forcing an application to stop from the Apple menu is one of the most effective ways to close a program on macOS Catalina. To force quit an app using the Apple menu. Simply hold the shift key and then click on the Apple menu in the top left, then here you’ll now see "Force Quit [Your Application Name]". Once you’ve down this the app should now close.

4. Force an App to close using your Keyboard

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to close a frozen application. To use your keyboard, Press and hold the "Command," "Option," and "ESC" keys. Simultaneously pressing these keys will activate the "Force Quit Application" app in a new window. Choose the application you want to shut down and select the "force quit" option. The app will close immediately.

Force Quit Applications

This final option isn’t the most known about the solution but is indeed useful. If you want to force quit the application that you currently have open hold down COMMAND + OPTION + SHIFT + ESCAPE for a few seconds until you see the app force itself to close. This as well as being one of the least known about methods is also the quickest way to force quit the app that you are currently using.

Although a Mac is an excellent device, they too can freeze, lag, and for whatever reason, not respond to user commands. Sometimes waiting for an app to respond to your commands can take a while. When this happens, it's likely programs are still running, using memory, but the program is frozen, which means it does not respond to specific commands, which can cause the entire system to freeze or process programs slowly, which makes the user experience unpleasant. Whether you have a frozen app or a lagging app, or some other minor issue with your Mac, following any one of these steps will help you resolve the problem.

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