When an app freezes on my app, I will press Command ⌘+Option ⌥+Esc ⎋ to open the Force Quit window.

However, this will often take minutes, and clicking on the Force Quit button freezes the Force Quit window and makes the beach ball appear. The window confirming the force quit only shows once the application unfreezes.

Also, if I right-click the Dock icon while the app is frozen, then the Dock will freeze, but it doesn't freeze when I just pass over the icon.

It is also possible to move the application's windows.

So how is it possible for some tasks not to be frozen, while the most important task (the Force Quit window) freezes at any interaction? And what do you do when the Force Quit window itself freezes?

  • 1
    Related: How do you force quit (or kill) the "Force Quit Applications" window? What is the process name as listed by ps? I have an issue similar to Jonathan's, but the Force Quit window appears to be perma-stuck open (I can ssh into my machine)
    – keflavich
    Jul 25, 2012 at 20:38

1 Answer 1


The Force Quit window usually freezes when the system is paging heavily. (Same with the Dock.) Your computer could probably do with more RAM.

You can move windows around when they're frozen because OS X's window manager isn't frozen, and it controls basic window functions like minimize and move.

  • I've upgraded it to 8GB, the maximum it can take. So if the window manager doesn't freeze why can't the force quit window not freeze?
    – Jonathan.
    Jun 13, 2012 at 22:04
  • The window manager lives in wired memory; I'm not sure where the force quit window lives.
    – Cajunluke
    Jun 13, 2012 at 22:06
  • 1
    Is there a way to make it live in wired memory? surely it's more important to have the force quit window not freeze than the window manager?
    – Jonathan.
    Jun 13, 2012 at 22:09
  • How often do you use the Force Quit menu? I usually use the commandline: killall appname, but, then, I usually have the Terminal open already.
    – Cajunluke
    Jun 13, 2012 at 22:14
  • 1
    Quite often recently, it has been freezing quite a bit, I guess doing a clean install will fix this but finding the time to do that is not easy.
    – Jonathan.
    Jun 13, 2012 at 22:20

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