Software & AppsOperating SystemmacOS

How To Force Quit Photos on Mac

Photos On Mac

Is the Photos app glitching or not responding on your Mac? Luckily, there are a few workarounds to force close it and get it functioning again. 

Quick Answer

To force quit Photos on Mac, place the cursor at the bottom of the screen for the Dock to pop up, find the Photos app from the list, and right-click on it. Next, hold the Option key on the keyboard and select “Force Quit” from the sub-menu.

To make things more understandable, we took the time to write an informative step-by-step guide on how to force quit Photos on your Mac. 

Force Quitting Photos on Your Mac

If you don’t know how to force quit Photos on your Mac, our following 4 step-by-step methods will help you go through the whole process quickly.

Method #1: Restarting the System 

One of the quickest ways to force close Photos is to simply reboot your Mac with these steps. 

  1. Search “Restart” from the Apple menu and click this option.
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  2. If, somehow, your Mac is not responsive, press and hold down the power button for 10 seconds, and it will turn off.
  3. The Photos app is now force-closed; wait for your Mac to reboot and launch the app again. 

Method #2: Using the Menu Bar

You can access the Force Quit Applications menu on your Mac to quit the Photos app by doing the below steps. 

  1. Click the Apple icon. 
  2. Click “Force Quit”.
  3. Select “Force Quit Applications”.
  4. Scroll and choose the Photos app from the apps list.
  5. Click “Force Quit”.   

You can also open the Force Quit Applications menu using keyboard shortcuts on your Mac. To do this, press the Option + Command + Escape keys together on the keyboard to launch the “Force Quit Applications” menu. 

Next, select “Photos” and click “Force Quit” to close Photos on Mac! 

It is possible to force-close the unresponsive Photos app on your Mac using the Command + Option + Shift + Escape key combination on the keyboard.

Method #3: Using the Mac Dock 

Another way to force quit the Photos app on your Mac is using the Dock in the following way. 

  1. Place your cursor at the bottom of the screen for the Dock to pop up. 
  2. Find the Photos app from the list and right-click on it. 
  3. Hold the Option key on the keyboard and select “Force Quit” from the sub-menu.
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Method #4: Accessing the Activity Monitor

If the above three methods fail to work, you can access the Activity Monitor on your Mac and force quit the Photos app with these instructions.

  1. Press the Command + Space keys on the keyboard or click Spotlight on the Apple menu to head to the default search option.
  2. Type “Activity Monitor” in the search box and press the Return key on the Mac keyboard.
  3. Highlight the Photos app under the “Activity Monitor (All Processes)” window.
  4. Click “Stop”.
  5. Select “Quit”. 

Does Force Quitting Apps Damage My Mac?

If the installed apps on your Mac are unresponsive, force-quitting them can often solve the issue. However, doing so does not clean everything running in the background, and there is a chance that the saved work might get lost in the process and damage your hard drive as well.

Also, force-closing an app often crashes the other associated apps, resulting in a corrupt macOS. So it is better to wait for the app to be responsive again or run a complete restart cycle on your computer.  


In this guide, we’ve discussed how to force quit Photos on Mac through the Apple menu, Activity Monitor, Dock, and by restarting the system. We also discussed whether it is a good approach to force close apps regularly. 

Hopefully, your question is answered in this article, and you can now access your photos on your Mac. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I stop a program from freezing on a Mac?

If an app crashes or often freezes after force quitting and rebooting your Mac, update the specific app or the Mac software. Also, check if there are any app compatibility issues with your macOS. Another thing you can try is to uninstall unwanted apps to free up consumed space and memory.

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