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How to Effectively Quit a Mac Application

Force Quit Mac Application using Terminal Command

10 Jan 2024

How to Effectively Quit a Mac Application

As Musicians, sometimes we all have to use a lot of VST plugins. As a result, it results in high CPU usage. If at all more CPU power is required, it is better to kill / force quit background applications which are not relevant to your DAW.

One easy way to do this is to go to the Apple icon (Top Left corner), and then select “Force Quit”. But sometimes it does not work.


I use “iTop VPN”, which is really a good VPN service. Whenever I need to do high CPU usage VST plugins, I can easily go to Apple Menu and "Force Quit” non-relevant applications, except “iTop VPN”, which runs in the background.

Whenever I use the “Force Quit” option, I am unable to see the “iTop VPN”, but I can still see its icon in the top bar. (screenshot below)

Force Quit Mac Application
Force Quit Mac Application

So to kill it, open the “Terminal Application” from the dock menu. Alternatively, you can search “Terminal” from the Spotlight Search.

Once the “Terminal” is opened, type ps -ax and press the Enter key.

It will show a list of all running processes on your mac. You need to take note of the PID number of the specific application you would want to close.

If several applications are running in the background and tracing the PID number is difficult, you may use the CMD+F to search for the specific application.

In my case, it is PID number 124.

Next, use the command kill <PID Number> to force quit the application.

Example: kill 124 

Now, the application is closed.

Hope this helps some of you!

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