How to Execute Control Alt Delete on Mac

The Control Alt Delete is the popular key combination on Windows to bring out the Task Manager. The Task Manager is the built-in utility on Windows that helps to optimize the system and force quits programs. It is an important part of any Operating System.

Unfortunately, the new Mac users; especially, the users who have transitioned from Windows fairly recently, keep looking for control alt delete Mac. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise but the said key combination is only for Windows, it doesn’t work on Mac. However, Mac does have its own version of Task manager and a very different key combination to help with force quitting applications.

So, without further ado; let’s take a look at the actual version of control alt delete for Mac.

What is Control Alt Delete Mac?

Well, the simple answer is, there is no such thing as control alt delete Mac. If you press these key combinations on a Mac, nothing will come up. But, if your goal is to force quit applications, then Mac has a different shortcut for you.

So, let’s check out the actual version of ctrl alt del Mac…

  • On a Mac, you have to press Command + Option + Esc
  • A dialog box will pop up immediately. This is the Force Quit dialog box and completely different from what is provided on the Windows OS.
  • Simply, activate it and press Command + Q.
  • This utility can be used any time to force quit applications. But in reality, you will need it only when an app is not responding or not working the way it is supposed to.
  • When the dialog pops up, it will show a list of all the applications currently running on the Mac. The app that is causing the issue, will be marked as Not Responding.
  • Now, you just have to click on the unresponsive application and click on the Force Quit button below.

We have discussed the keyboard shortcut as it is the topic of discussion and equivalent to what is available on Windows. But if you do not want to use the shortcut, you can do the following…

Apple Menu Apple Logo Force Quit Choose the App Force Quit.

Also Read: How to type degree symbol on mac, macbook

Best Alternatives for Control Alt Delete Mac

We have already discussed the keyboard combination for launching the force quit dialog box on a Mac. But there are other alternative ways available to use control alt delete Mac. Let’s check them out.

  • The first one is the Dock. Just hold the Control and the Option keys and click on the target App’s icon on the Dock. A list of options will be displayed and Force Quit will be among them. Click on it and the app will be closed.
  • The 2nd option is the Activity Monitor. You will be able to launch Activity Monitor from the Utility folder of your Mac. In the Activity Monitor panel, make a double-click on a specific application. A New Window will pop up with additional details. Click on the Quit option below to close the app.
  • The 3rd way involves the Apple Menu. You just have to click on the Apple Menu and click on the Force Quit option. The Force Quit dialog box will pop up and stop the unresponsive app from there.
  • Lastly, we have Terminal to force quit applications. You can use this method if the usual procedures are not working. So, on the Terminal Utility type the Force Quit command.

Type Top and hit Enter to execute. All the information regarding the active application will be visible. Locate the name of the app that is causing trouble and you want to terminate. Also, take a note of its PID number. Now, type q to go back to the command line. Now, type kill111 (Replace 111 with the PID number) in the command line and hit Enter. The selected program will be stopped immediately. Now, you can quit Terminal.

Control Alt Delete on Mac, MacBook

So, these are the alternate ways to force quit applications on a Mac which are also regarded as control alt delete on Mac. Needless to say, once you get the hang of this procedure, you can relaunch the dialog box in 2 following ways.

  • In the Dock, click on the app icon
  • There is a Magnifying Glass sign at the top right, type the name of the target app on it. Click on the app when it appears.

Now, you have a proper understanding of how to use control alt delete Mac? And ways to go about it. But there are some situations when even this all-powerful Force Quit option fails to work. You need to be prepared if you ever face such a terrible situation. So, we recommend checking out the following part of this article.

What to do When Force Quit Doesn’t Work?

It is easy to grasp how terrible the situation is just by this question. This is the situation when your Mac has completely frozen and nothing is working.

Hypothetically, let’s say you are having trouble exiting Safari. If you have the Activity Monitor, you should have been able to enter and terminate Safari. Unfortunately, the system is frozen and the Activity Monitor is not working.

Sadly, there are no such things as control alt delete Mac, like Windows. If there was, things should have been easier. But there is a way to fix it but you won’t be able to use any of the previously discussed procedures in this situation. You can try to use them but they won’t work.

You have to Forcefully restart the Mac. And the procedure can be described using a few simple steps.

  • So, press and hold the Command and Control keys together. While holding those 2 keys, hit the Power button to turn off the device.
  • If you have a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, you also won’t be able to use it. You have to force turn off the device by holding the Power button for at least 5 seconds.
  • Wait a few seconds or a full minute and then restart the device again using the Power button.

Just remember, this is the most effective way to proceed in certain situations.


Overall, it is clear that there are no such things as control alt delete Mac. There is an equivalent option available on Mac to Force Quit misbehaving applications but the shortcut is completely different. Hopefully, you have a clear idea of it after going through the article.

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