How to force close an application or process with the killall command

A few weeks ago we explained how to force the closure of an application or program that is hung or that does not respond using the panel Quit-Force from OS X.

And this time we will show you an equal or more effective method to do the same, but this time using the command “killall” on your Mac.

The killall command allows us to specify a program or process by name, and send a termination signal from the first instance of the process name.

The killall command is commonly used to relaunch the Finder, the Dock, or a similar application in OS X, especially after making manual changes to the configuration files for these programs. And often to force close apps that hang and / or are unresponsive.

To use the killall command, you simply open a Terminal window (Finder> Applications> Utilities) and type the command in the following format:


Thus, if for example we want to close the iTunes application, we must write:

killall iTunes

If you want to close Safari:

killall safari

And so for any application or process running on your Mac. The only thing you have to consider is to type the name of the program correctly, since the killall command is case sensitive. So if you type killall safari instead of killall Safari, the command will not work, as it will not find any process called safari (all lowercase).

And that’s it, a quick and easy way to kill or close an application or process on your Mac. In a next post we will explain how to do it using the command “kill” which is even more powerful.