Mac Keyboard Shortcuts For When Your Mac Freezes.
Since Macs are among the most reliable computers in the world, not many users will get the feeling you get when you see the spinning wheel of death on display. But when it does happen and your computer freezes, it’s good to be able to use the correct keyboard shortcut to fix the problem.
Of course, you can always just restart your Mac. However, the problem might just be that the application is not responding. In this case, you can unfreeze your Mac without causing too much crash.
Therefore, if you find that your computer is not working properly or an application is not responding, try one of the following Mac keyboard shortcuts. Then do troubleshooting on your Mac to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Command + Q (Exit the frozen application)
When your Mac freezes, most often it brings up one of the applications you are running. If you find that your Mac is unresponsive while using an application, see if you can quit that application before trying other methods. But how can you tell if the problem is your entire macOS or just one application?
If you can still use the cursor and keyboard, it usually means that the rest of the computer is fine and only that particular application is stuck. The problematic application is also easy to spot. It is a program with an unresponsive menu, or a program that turns your cursor into a “spinning wheel of death” (also known as a spinning beach ball).
If you find that this is the case, you can unfreeze your Mac simply by exiting the problematic application and restarting it. To close the currently running foreground program, use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + Q.
Command + Tab (Switch from one application to another)
This Mac keyboard shortcut is useful when you can’t find the app that is causing your Mac to freeze.
So you’ve tried to click on your desktop and navigate from one app to another, but still can’t figure out which app isn’t responding. Then use the Cmd + Tab keyboard shortcut to navigate from one application to another and take back control of your computer.
If that doesn’t work and you are determined to find this app, go to the Apple menu (click the apple logo) and click the Force Quit tab. The program that is not responding will be highlighted. Once you find a program that stops your macOS from running, try exiting and restarting it. You can do this with the # 1 shortcut from our list.
Command + Alt (Option) + Escape (open the Force Quit or Control Alt Delete tab on a Mac)
If you’ve ever used a computer before, the first thing that comes to your mind when your computer freezes is the infamous Ctrl + Alt + Delete keyboard shortcut. You can use this to quit applications if you can’t even move the cursor and need to use the keyboard.
The Mac version is Cmd + Alt (Option) + Esc and you can use it to get the same effect. Instead of immediately exiting the application, the Force Quit tab opens. You will see a list with all the applications running on your Mac. You will also see which applications are working fine and which ones are causing problems.
Next to the last one it will be written “not responding”. Now all you have to do is select this application and click Force Quit at the bottom of the tab.
Command + Control + Power Key
If you’re trying to quit a frozen application and your computer isn’t responding, you might need to restart your Mac.
The usual way to do this is to choose the Restart option from the Apple menu. However, to force restart your Mac, use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + Ctrl + Power. This should restart your computer and fix the problem.
Command + Option + Shift + Power Key (Force Shutdown)
On rare occasions, you may find that your Mac freezes or stops responding completely. When you can’t move your cursor, you can’t force close running apps, and all the other Mac keyboard shortcuts haven’t helped.
In this situation, you can use the Force Mac option as a last resort. You can do this by holding down the Power key for a few seconds or by using the keyboard shortcut Cmd + Option + Shift + Power button.
Before turning your computer back on, be sure to disconnect any external devices that might slow down your Mac. Use Secure Boot when restarting your computer. To do this, hold down the Shift key while starting your Mac.
Regarding the apps and programs that you were running before shutting down, worry not, as your Mac will automatically open and restart all of them upon restarting.
Find the cause of the problem
If you find that your Mac is unresponsive, freezes, or slows down on a regular basis, it’s best to find out why and prevent similar situations from recurring in the future.
- The first step in troubleshooting your Mac is to find out if you have enough free space on your hard drive. And if you find it isn’t, there are several ways to free up space on your Mac that don’t take too much time or effort.
- Check regularly that you have the latest version of macOS. Open the App Store and check for updates. Make sure you also keep your apps up to date in the App Store and beyond. You can use the “check for updates” option, which is found in most applications.
- If the computer freezes or hangs on one application, you can send a report to Apple or the application developer to report it. This information will help prevent similar problems with the software and your computer in the future.
- While it is unlikely that your Mac is freezing due to malware, it might be worth investigating. And if you’re still worried about infecting your Mac with a virus, it might be time to find a good antivirus for yourself.
- Sometimes the reason a Mac hangs is because there are too many tasks from different applications that cannot be completed at the same time. You can use Activity Monitor to see what processes are happening when you start certain programs. Check which applications are using the most power, memory, and disk space, as this may be causing the problem.
Ultimate solution – a break for your Mac
In many cases, it can happen that your Mac freezes because it is struggling to cope with all the tasks that you gave it. In this case, the best solution is to give your computer (and yourself) a break.
Take a break: grab a coffee or do other things in the office or at home. When you go back to your computer, it can go back to normal, and then you can safely continue working.