How to Alt F4 on Mac: A General Guide

Welcome to the world of Mac! Whether you’re a new user or a seasoned pro, learning how to navigate your device is key to maximizing your productivity and enjoying a seamless experience. One common question we hear is “how do I alt+f4 on Mac?” Fear not, in this article we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to close a window on a Mac using the equivalent shortcut key combination.


Step 1: Know the difference between PCs and Mac

Before diving into the steps for alt+f4 on Mac, let’s distinguish the difference between PC and Mac. On a PC, the combination of Alt + F4 is used to close a window. However, this command does not work on a Mac.

Step 2: Understand the Keyboard

The keyboard of a Mac device has certain keys that are equivalently used for some particular combinations. Here is the equivalent of Alt+f4 on a Mac keyboard: Command + Q (⌘+Q).

Step 3: Select the window you want to close

Hover the cursor to the window you want to close. Clicking on the specified window will make it active to the screen.

Step 4: Press Command + Q keys

Now, to exit the active window, press Command + Q keys together and release them. This action would terminate the application altogether.

Step 5: Learn the Command Option Escape Key Combination

The Command + Option + Escape combination will help you to force quit an app on a Mac. This is used when an application is nonresponsive to the mouse or doesn’t quit using the standard quit command.

Step 6: Click on “Force Quit”

You will be presented with a popup window titled “Force Quit Application Name”. Click on the blue button “Force Quit” to exit the application.

Step 7: Launch activity monitor

Open the Spotlight by pressing ‘Command+ Spacebar’ or navigate to the Applications > Utilities folder to open the Activity Monitor app. This app is used to manage and monitor your system activities, which includes all the running apps, processes, background functions, and more.

Step 8: Close an Application via Activity Monitor

In the Activity Monitor app window, select the specific application you wish to terminate and click on the “X” button in the top left corner of the screen. Click on the “Force Quit” button to confirm the process.

Step 9: Using Dock Shortcut

You can also close an application by right-clicking (or CTRL-clicking) on the application in the Dock at the bottom of the screen. A pop-up window will appear that allows you to choose “Quit” or “Force Quit.”

Step 10: Use Terminal

Another way of closing an application on a mac is by using the Terminal. Type in the command ‘killall Application_Name’ on the Terminal, and the application will instantly close.

Step 11: Create and use keyboard shortcuts

You can customize your keyboard to create your own keyboard shortcuts. To set a custom combination of keys for quitting the active application, follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts.
  3. Click the “+” button to create a new shortcut.
  4. Select the Application you want to set a shortcut for.
  5. Type in the exact wording of the menu command you’d like to add a shortcut for. For example, Type ‘Quit Application_Name’ to set the shortcut for quitting the active application.
  6. Press your desired keyboard combination for the shortcut in the text field. Press “Add” to save the new shortcut.

Step 12: Update the Mac Operating System

Finally, updating your Mac operating system can fix bugs and problems that might be causing issues with your apps or programs.



The Command+ Q shortcut is used to close an application along with its window. It would help if you only used this command when you need to quit the active application.

The Command + Option + Esc combination is reserved for situations where an application has become unresponsive and must be forced to quit. This command can also be accessed through the Apple menu by selecting “Force Quit”.

In some cases, the application may close, but the window remains open. If this happens, click on the window to make it active, and then press Command +W to close it.

Tips and tricks

Tips and tricks

Use Spotlight.

Tab the ‘Command + Spacebar,’ and the spotlight appears. Type in the name of the application you want to close and hit the “Enter” key.

Use 3rd party apps:

There are several 3rd party applications available on the MacOS app store that can be used to work efficiently. They help quit inactive applications and windows.

Keyboard shortcut:

Instead of using Command+Q every time, create your combination of keys that help close the existing application. You can create your shortcut by going into System Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts > App Shortcuts.

Mac force shutdown:

If the app is so severely crashed that you can’t force it closed, you can try pressing the power button and hold it down until your computer turns off.

Update system apps:

You should regularly update your Mac operating system and programs, as it can help optimize your Mac’s performance and resolve issues with applications.

Restart your Mac:

Sometimes rebooting your Mac can solve issues that you may be having with specific applications or windows.

Use Activity Monitor:

Activity Monitor is a handy tool that allows you to see how much of your computer’s resources different applications are using.

Hover over Dock Applications:

Hover over apps’ icons on Dock. After a second or two, the x button will appear over selected app icons. Click on that to close the running app instantly.

Use Command+Tab keyboard:

It helps to navigate between open applications. Hold Command and press Tab to switch between all open applications. Release Command on an application you want to switch to.

Use Shortcut:

Use shortcut keys to close the app window or desktop.

Use the Esc Key:

If an app is unresponsive or won’t close, press the Esc key. If that doesn’t work, you can try holding down the Command + Option + Esc keys to force-quit a stuck application.

We hope this article has helped you understand how to close an application and its windows on a Mac. Knowing these steps and tricks can help streamline your experience and improve your efficiency.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using “Alt + F4” on a Mac


1. Quick Exit: Using “Alt + F4” on a Mac computer provides a quick and easy way to exit out of an application or program. This can save time and improve productivity.

2. Universal Shortcut: The “Alt + F4” shortcut is commonly used across different platforms and is recognized by many computer users. This makes it easy to remember and use on a regular basis.

3. Accessibility: “Alt + F4” can be performed using one hand, which is particularly helpful for individuals with disabilities or those who prefer one-handed keyboard shortcuts.

4. Customization: Depending on the operating system and software used on a Mac computer, users may be able to customize the “Alt + F4” shortcut to perform other functions or tasks that are commonly used.

5. Increased Efficiency: When used in conjunction with other keyboard shortcuts, “Alt + F4” can vastly improve workflow and increase efficiency in performing tasks on a Mac computer.


1. Accidental Exit: Using the “Alt + F4” shortcut can lead to accidental exits from applications or programs, which can result in the loss of unsaved work or progress.

2. Inconsistency: The “Alt + F4” shortcut may not work in all applications or programs on a Mac computer. This can lead to confusion and frustration for users who may be accustomed to using this shortcut.

3. Low Discoverability: For users who are not familiar with “Alt + F4”, it may be difficult to discover and learn how to use the shortcut, which can limit its effectiveness for some users.

4. Limited Functionality: Depending on the application or program being used, “Alt + F4” may not perform the desired function or task, which can limit its usefulness for some users.

5. Potential for Misuse: “Alt + F4” can be used to force close applications or programs, which can also be used for harmful purposes such as malware or viruses.


1. What is Alt + F4?

Alt + F4 is a specific key combination used to close the active window or program on a Windows computer.

2. Can you use Alt + F4 on a Mac?

Yes, you can use the equivalent key combination of Command + W or Command + Q to close the active window or program on a Mac.

3. Why doesn’t Alt + F4 work on a Mac?

Alt + F4 doesn’t work on a Mac because it’s a key combination specific to Windows and not recognized by the Mac operating system.

4. How do I close a program on a Mac?

You can close a program on a Mac by clicking the red X button in the top left corner of the program’s window or by pressing Command + Q.

5. What is the difference between Command + W and Command + Q?

Command + W is used to close the active window, while Command + Q is used to quit the entire program.

6. Can I customize my keyboard shortcuts on a Mac?

Yes, you can customize your keyboard shortcuts on a Mac by going to System Preferences, Keyboard, Shortcuts, and then selecting the App Shortcuts option.

7. How do I reopen a closed window on a Mac?

You can reopen a closed window on a Mac by clicking on the program’s Dock icon and then selecting the Window menu and the specific window you want to reopen.

8. Can I undo closing a window or program on a Mac?

It depends on the program and whether it has an “Undo” function. However, in most cases, you cannot undo closing a window or program on a Mac.

9. Is there another key combination I can use to close a window on a Mac?

Yes, you can use Command + F4 to close a window on a Mac.

10. How do I force quit a program on a Mac?

You can force quit a program on a Mac by pressing Command + Option + Esc and then selecting the program you want to force quit.

11. What is the shortcut to minimize a window on a Mac?

The shortcut to minimize a window on a Mac is Command + M.

12. How do I maximize a window on a Mac?

There is no “maximize” button on a Mac, but you can enlarge the program window by clicking and dragging the corners or by pressing the green full-screen button in the top left corner.

13. Can I use Alt + F4 on a Mac with Windows installed?

Yes, you can use Alt + F4 on a Mac that has Windows installed as a secondary operating system.

How to Alt F4 on Mac

Using a Mac is often easy and intuitive, but it’s not always obvious how to perform certain actions. One of the most common questions asked by new Mac users is how to Alt F4. This may seem like a straightforward task, but Apple’s macOS uses different keyboard shortcuts than Windows, making it challenging for users who are used to PC shortcuts. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to Alt F4 on a Mac.

Conclusion and Closing

We hope this article has helped you learn how to easily Alt F4 on your Mac. While it may take some getting used to, macOS has many handy keyboard shortcuts that you can use to boost your productivity and efficiency. Remember that learning how to Alt F4 on a Mac is just one small part of what you can do with your computer. Take the time to explore and experiment with the different keyboard shortcuts available to you, and you’ll soon find yourself working faster and smarter on your Mac.

If you have any questions or comments about how to Alt F4 on Mac, feel free to leave a comment below. Our team is always happy to help you in any way that we can. Until then, happy computing!