Safari won’t force quit? – How to close Safari properly

There are several different browsers out there for you to choose from. And if you’re using Apple products, then the likelihood is that you’re going to be using Safari. Although Safari is a perfectly fine browser to use, there are some issues you can have when using it.

One of the most common problems that people have is that Safari won’t force quit. This can be frustrating, and it can be difficult to know what to do in this scenario. However, even if your Safari browser won’t force quit, there are things you can do to resolve this issue relatively easily.

So whilst this is a pretty regular problem to encounter, you should be able to fix it. Then, you can get back to using Safari as your web browser.

Safari won’t force quit – What to do

Typically with Safari, you’ll be able to quit the application like you can with any of your other open apps. You can do this by right clicking on the app icon and selecting force quit, or by using the shortcut Command + Option + Escape. These are typically what you’d use to force quit Safari.

You can also try opening up the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen. After opening up your Apple menu, you should be able to see the Force Quit option there. The shortcut for this is Command + Option + Escape.

However, in some circumstances, these solutions just won’t work. And, you’ll have to try and work around this problem to resolve it. Try these steps to close Safari on your Mac.

Method 1 – Use Activity Monitor

The first thing that you’re going to want to try is quitting by using Activity Monitor. If you’re a Windows user normally, then this is just the equivalent of Windows Task Manager. It’s typically the first place to start if you’re trying to troubleshoot problems with your Mac.


The best way for you to access your Activity Monitor is by simply by using the search shortcut, which you can use Command + Space to do. If you search for it, then you should be able to easily find the Activity Monitor.


When you’re in the Activity Monitor, then you can sort your programs by what’s using the most amount of processing power. Or, in the top right hand corner you’ll be able to search for the program you want to close; in this case, it’s Safari.


Now, look in the top left hand corner of your Activity Monitor and you’ll be able to see the small cross, or the Quit button. Go ahead and press this button and it should give you the option to quit Safari.

This is definitely the easiest and most straightforward way for you to quit Safari if it’s not responding.

Method 2 – Quit Safari Using Terminal

In the majority of cases, closing Safari by using the Activity Monitor shouldn’t be a problem. But, there are circumstances where you won’t be able to close Safari by using AM. This could be the case if the app has frozen.

If this is the case, then we’re going to need to take things to the next level. You’re going to want to go ahead and open Terminal. Terminal is essentially what’s known as a terminal emulator.

What it does is give you direct access to the operating system (MacOS) by using simple text based functions. You can do this by entering commands into Terminal, in which point this will trigger a response from your Mac based on what you’ve entered. You can use this to close down browsers like Safari, and a whole lot else too.

You can open Terminal very easily by searching for it like you would with AM. Press Command + Space and then literally search for Terminal.


Now, when you’ve opened Terminal, this is where you go ahead and give Terminal your command. From here, you can do a whole lot of different things. But for this, we’re just going to use something extremely simple;

killall “Safari”
Enter This Command into Terminal to Force Quit Safari

This is all you’re going to need to type into Terminal to close down Safari. Press Enter and straight away you should see Safari shut down.

Method 3 – Restarting your Mac

Okay, so I’m hoping you’ve not had to read this far as one of the previous two methods has worked for you. But, there might be the odd occasion where you can’t get Terminal to run properly or you aren’t entering the right function (make sure to enter it as displayed above!).

If this is the case, then there is still one last line of attack against Safari that we can use. This is quite simply by restarting your Mac altogether, or turning it off and turning it on again. You can do this by holding down the power button for 15+ seconds.

When your Mac gets turned off, all of the programs that it’s running will get turned off too – and this includes the Safari browser. So although it might not be the response that you’re going to want to hear, this is the best way to shut down Safari once and for all if the other methods haven’t worked.

Update your Mac

Once you’ve restarted your Macbook and force quit applications, you’re going to want to go ahead and complete any updates that need doing. When you update to the most recent MacOS update, you’re also going to update Safari with that, as well as any hardware drivers that need updating too.


You can do this by going into the About section, above System Preferences in the Apple logo menu in the top left hand corner. It may take a good amount of space for you to update your Mac, but it’s worth doing if you want to avoid simple problems like your browser crashing.

Why is my Safari not quitting? – Things to Consider

If you’re trying to close your Safari browser but it just won’t quit, then there could be several reasons as to why this is happening. Here’s a few of the main reasons why you can quit Safari.

Frozen/Crashed – The main reason why your Safari is not able to be closed down is because it’s frozen or crashed. This could be for a variety of different reasons, but it’s likely that you need to update your software if this is happening. Software that hasn’t been updated for a long time can cause problems.
Processing overload – One of the main reasons I like to use Activity Monitor pretty regularly is that it allows you to see how your CPU (processor) and GPU (graphics card) are coping. When things get a little too much for your laptop, it can cause programs and apps like Safari to suffer.
Your user account – Something that’s worth checking if this happens frequently is whether the problem is just in your user account, or all of your accounts on your Mac. Log into your guest account on your Mac and see if the same issues occur, at it may be specifically related to your account.

If this is a common problem that you’re having with Safari, then you could look at trying to resolve the issue by simply starting your Mac in safe mode. This can help you to find the root of the problem.


In conclusion, for the most part Safari is as good as any other internet browser out there. And although most people switch to Google Chrome at some point (it tends to be faster), there’s nothing wrong with sticking with what you know and Safari.

But if you do ever come across any problems with Safari, then there is usually something that you can do to fix this. Like this guide shows, even if Safari is pretty much dead, you can still resolve the problem with a little help.

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About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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