How to Quit an app or Kill a process in Activity Monitor on Mac

The Activity Monitor on a Mac helps you to quit a process, even if it is non-responsive or stuck in a loop.

If you attempt to quit a process that was started by another user, or a system process, you may need to authenticate as an administrator.

How to quit an app

If an app becomes unresponsive, you can force quit the app (you may lose unsaved changes).

  1. Choose Apple menu > Force Quit

  2. Select the app in the dialogue that appears, then click Force Quit.

How to quit a process

Sometimes a system process may not have an active window, because it’s a background task.

  1. Open the Activity Monitor app on Mac.
    Usually you can find this in the Launchpad, under ‘Other’ folder.

    If you can’t find the Activity Monitor, use the Mac search instead Command + Spacebar

  2. Select the app or process you want to quit.
    An unresponsive process is marked with “Not Responding”.
  3. Click on the Stop button, then choose Quit or Force Quit.

    Quit: This is the same as choosing File > Quit within an app. The process quits when it’s safe to do so. If quitting the process could cause data loss, the process doesn’t quit. 

    Force Quit: The process quits immediately. If the process has files open, you may lose data.
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