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There’s nothing worse than when your Mac locks up and freezes. Sometimes you can unlock a frozen Mac by using a few simple tricks.

Here’s 5 ways to unlock a Mac that’s crashed or frozen.

  1. Sometimes just hitting the “⌘” and “.” keys together will quit the process that’s blocking your Mac. Just press ⌘. at the same time to try and unlock the process that’s jamming up your Mac.
  2. Hitting ⌘-Option-Esc will bring up the Force Quit Program dialog window. This enables you to Force Quit any applications which aren’t responding or have stopped working.
  3. Use Activity Monitor to Force Quit the program that’s causing the problems. You’ll notice it’s either using a 100% of your CPU resources or it may be highlighted in red in the process list because it has stopped unlock frozen mac - activity monitor mac
  4. Hit the Power button on your Mac once to bring up the Logout/Restart/Shut Down dialog. Be careful not to hold down the button too long or else your Mac will turn off completely.
  5. If none of the above works, then hold down the power button on your Mac for about 5 seconds and it will turn off your Mac completely. It’s not usually a good idea to turn off a Mac so abruptly this way but in the case of a frozen Mac, it’s your only choice. You may be asked when you restart your Mac if you want to reopen the applications that were previously open although some of the data will be lost.

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One Response

  1. smayer97

    Of course 2. & 3. are about releasing a frozen application vs the whole Mac. To that end, there are a couple more ways to Force Quit an application:

    1. right-click the icon on the Dock for the app that is frozen, then press and hold the Option key down to reveal “Force Quit in the menu, so then click Force Quit.

    2. similar to 1. but if you hold the CMD-OPT together BEFORE you click on the app icon on the Dock, this brings up the Force Quit option in one step.

    3. Also, you can try re-launching the Finder, as it sometimes freezes and a reason a Mac could freeze. To do that, hold the CMD-OPT keys (or CMD-OPT-SHIFT also works) while clicking on the Finder icon on the Dock to bring up the option Relaunch the Finder.


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