How to Unfreeze a Mac Computer

By Dustin Lamb

Using a Mac at an Apple store.
i Brian Kersey/Getty Images News/Getty Images

You may need to unfreeze a Mac computer if a program or the computer no longer responds. Frozen systems are becoming less common with newer versions of the Apple operating system, but if you use a computer, it is very likely it will freeze at some point. Fortunately, there are steps to take to fix the problem.

Press "Command," then "Escape" and "Option" at the same time on the keyboard. Release all three keys. If the Force Quit menu does not appear on the screen after a few seconds, skip to Step 3.

Click the name of the application that has frozen from the list. Click "Force Quit." The program should close. If not, go to the next step.

Press and hold the power button on the computer or keyboard until the computer turns off. If it does not turn off, unplug the power cable that is connected to the back of the computer from the outlet.

Plug the power cable back into the computer. Press the power button to restart it.


Apple Geniuses are available at Apple stores to assist you if your computer is not working after taking these steps. They are trained in troubleshooting Apple products.