One of the most frequently asked questions by someone who has just switched to Mac from Windows is how to Ctrl+Alt+Delete on Mac.
Like in Windows, this keyboard shortcut is used to force quit applications, access the Task Manager, or reboot the system on Windows.
In this article, we’ll explain how to Ctrl+Alt+Delete on Mac in different scenarios and why you might need to do so.
What does Ctrl+Alt+Delete do on a Mac?
Simply speaking, you use the above combination of keys to force quit an application or to open the Task Manager on a Windows computer.
Here we’ve explained how to force quit an application, open the Activity Monitor (akin to the Task Manager on Windows), and reboot your Mac.
Force quit an app on Mac
Sometimes, applications on your Mac might stop responding or freeze for various reasons, such as bugs, compatibility issues, or insufficient memory.
There are several ways to force quit an application on Mac, depending on your preference and situation. Here are some of the most common methods:
- Use the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+Esc: This will open the Force Quit Applications window, where you can select the application you want to close and click Force Quit.
- Use the Dock: You can use the Dock functionality on Mac as a suitable alternative to Ctrl + Alt + Delete. Right-click or Control-click on the application icon in the Dock and hold down the Option key. This will change the Quit option to Force Quit. Click on Force Quit to close the application.
- Use the Apple menu: Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen and select Force Quit from the drop-down menu. This will also open the Force Quit Applications window.
- Use the Terminal: If you are comfortable using command-line tools, you can use the Terminal app to force quit an application. Open the Terminal app from the Applications > Utilities folder or use Spotlight to search for it. Type
killallfollowed by the application name you want to close and press Enter. For example,
Before you force quit an application, you must remember that force quitting will cause any unsaved data or changes to be lost. Therefore, you must exercise caution while using this option. You should use this option only when necessary and try to save your work frequently.
Also read: Fix: Mac App Store not loading
Open the Activity Monitor on Mac
The Activity Monitor is a built-in utility that shows you all the processes running on your Mac, such as applications, services, daemons, and kernel tasks.
You can use it to view information about each process’s CPU, memory, disk, network, and energy usage. You can also use it to quit or kill processes consuming too many system resources or causing problems.
The Activity Monitor is similar to the Task Manager on Windows, which you can access using Ctrl+Alt+Delete. However, there is no direct keyboard shortcut to open the Activity Monitor on Mac. Instead, you can use one of these methods:
- Use Spotlight: Press Command+Spacebar to open Spotlight and type Activity Monitor. Press Enter or click on the app icon to launch it.
- Use Finder: Open a Finder window and navigate to Applications > Utilities. Double-click on the Activity Monitor app to open it.
- Use Launcher: Click on the Launcher icon in the Dock or use the keyboard shortcut F4 (if your keyboard has function keys). Find and click on the Activity Monitor app in the Other folder.
Also read: Top 7 Procreate alternatives for Mac
Reboot your Mac
Another use of Ctrl + Alt + Delete on Windows is to reboot your computer. So, in this section, we’ll discuss how to reboot your Mac.
Depending on your preference and situation, there are several ways to restart or shut down your Mac. Here are some of the most common methods:
- Use the keyboard shortcuts: Control+Command+Power or Command + Option + Command + Power will restart your Mac immediately without any confirmation or warning. If you have a Touch ID button instead of a power button, use Control+Command+Touch ID.
- Use the Apple menu: Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen and select Restart or Shut Down from the drop-down menu. You will be asked to confirm your choice and save any unsaved work.
- Use the power button: Press and hold the power or Touch ID buttons for a few seconds until you see a dialogue box with options to sleep, restart, or shut down your Mac. Click on the option you want, or use the keyboard shortcuts in the dialogue box.
- Use the Terminal: If you are comfortable using command-line tools, restart or shut down your Mac using the Terminal app. Open the Terminal app from the Applications > Utilities folder or use Spotlight to search for it. Type
sudo shutdown -r nowto restart your Mac or
sudo shutdown -h nowto shut down your Mac and press Enter.
We hope that you have now understood how to Ctrl + Alt + Delete on Mac in different scenarios.