2 Ways to End Wayward Programs in macOS Monterey

Most Mac users occasionally encounter an app crashing. Such program crashes also often slow down a Mac’s system performance. Rather than restarting the Mac, here are two options to try.

Image: Apple

Mac apps sometimes crash. Despite the many operating system improvements introduced in macOS Monterey, programs don’t always work well with each other, and even the most reliable apps don’t always work flawlessly.

When an application crashes, one of the first signs is often that the program window simply locks up. Frozen programs generally do not react to any input and their windows generally do not update. Click through the prompts and menus of a blocked program as much as you want; nothing happens. Worse still, whatever processes caused the app to crash often wreak havoc in the background and can significantly slow down a Mac’s performance.

SEE: M1 MacBook Pro vs M1 iPad Pro: Which is faster in the real world? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Fortunately, a pair of options included in macOS, including macOS Monterey, almost always provide relief. The first is Force Quit. The second? Activity Monitor.

How to use Force Quit in macOS Monterey

Many users are familiar with but may not be familiar with the Force Quit option. Maybe they’ve seen the menu entry but aren’t sure what its purpose is. Others may have discovered the feature accidentally.

Apple developers include Force Quit in the menu bar for a reason. The option is a quick and generally effective method of terminating finicky programs.

To access Force Quit, click the Apple icon located in the upper left corner of the macOS Monterey menu bar. You can also open Force Quit by pressing Command-Option-Esc keys simultaneously, if you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts. The Force Quit window will then open, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

The Force Quit option included in macOS Monterey provides a quick and easy method to immediately stop running applications.

Using the Force Quit option, simply select the frozen app and click the Force Quit button. Note that whenever macOS detects that an active program is locked up or malfunctioning, Force Quit usually lists the application in red letters and adds a “(not responding)” message to the application window.

Once the Force Quit button is clicked, a second confirmation window appears asking if you want to force quit the program. Clicking the Force Quit button prompts macOS to abruptly shut down the highlighted program, which means any unsaved information or changes in the program being quit will be lost. But there is usually no alternative to a frozen application.

How to use Activity Monitor in macOS Monterey

Activity Monitor, the macOS Monterey utility that does more than just monitor active apps, is a second option for terminating wayward programs. The utility, accessible in the Utilities subdirectory of the Application folder or by opening Launchpad, also allows you to sort active applications by disk, memory, network, or usage, as shown in Figure B and stop specific processes.

Figure B

The macOS Monterey Activity Monitor allows you to view active applications, sort active programs by several different items, and terminate individual processes.

To end a process (or a component of a locked program) using the Activity Monitor, highlight the corresponding entry, then click the Stop icon in the top menu of the toolbar of the activity monitor.


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Steven L. Nielsen