Force Quit Finder on Mac

Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
July 24, 2023
7 minutes to read

Finder is a default macOS file manager that always runs with your system. In short, it is a home base for your Mac, so generally, you don’t need to quit Finder. However, as any other application, Finder can become unresponsive and you may need to restart it. In this article, we will show up several ways on how to force quit Finder on Mac.

Force Quit Applications window


  1. Force quit Finder from the Apple menu
  2. Quit Finder with Terminal
  3. Quit and Force Quit Finder with Memory Cleaner
  4. Quit and Force Quit Finder with Activity Monitor
  5. Relaunch Finder from the Dock panel

Force quit Finder from the Apple menu

As you may have noticed, there is no Quit command in the Finder menu. It is done for security reasons so that the user always can have access to a Mac hard drive. However, as any other application, you can force quit Finder from the Apple menu. Follow the steps below.

How to force quit Finder from the Apple menu:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Click on the Apple menu icon → press and hold the Shift key.
  3. Select the Force Quit Finder command. The Finder will restart.
  4. Also, you can use the Option+Shift+Command+Esc (⌥⇧⌘⎋) key combination to force close Finder.

Force quit Finder command in the Apple menu

Force quit Finder with Terminal

If for any reason the Force Quit option from the Apple menu does not work for you, you can run this command with the Terminal command line. With Terminal, you can also add the Quit option right to the Finder menu for quick and easy access in the future.

How to quit Finder using the Terminal:

  1. Open the Terminal app. You can find it in the Applications folder → Utilities.
  2. Copy and paste the following command:
    killall Finder
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Finder will be restarted.

Terminal window with quit Finder command

Also, with Terminal, you can add the Quit Finder command to the Finder Menu.

  1. Copy and paste the following command into the Terminal window:
    defaults write QuitMenuItem -bool true; killall Finder
  2. Press Enter.
killall Finder command in Terminal

After this, you will see the Quit Finder option in the Finder’s menu. quit Finder on Mac command

Also, you can quickly quit Finder by pressing the Command+Q key combination.

If you want to remove the Quit option from the Finder’s menu, use again Terminal. Enter the following command and hit Enter:

defaults write QuitMenuItem -bool false

Force Quit Finder with Memory Cleaner

Memory Cleaner is a free application that clears RAM memory on your Mac. The application also provides a feature to quit and force quit all the applications on your Mac.

How to quit Finder with Memory Cleaner

  1. Launch Memory Cleaner.
  2. Click on the Memory Cleaner icon in the toolbar. In the drop window you will see the list of running apps and processes on your system.
  3. Select Finder and right-click on it.
  4. Click Quit or Force Quit in the context menu.
Memory Cleaner window showing the command to force quit Finder

Relaunch Finder from the Dock panel

Another way to relaunch Finder is to use a special option you can call from the dock panel.

How to relaunch Finder from the Dock panel

  1. Press and hold the Option key.
  2. Make a right-click on the Finder icon in the Dock panel.
  3. Select Relaunch.
Relaunch Finder command for the icon in the Dock panel

Force Quit Finder with Activity Monitor

With Activity Monitor you can quit and stop the background processes for any application on your Mac. When you close Finder and all its processes using Activity Monitor, all files and icons on your desktop will vanish until you manually launch Finder. So don’t be afraid, your files will not be removed. Just open Finder again and the files from the desktop folder will be displayed on your desktop screen again.

How to quit Finder with Activity Monitor:

  1. Launch Activity Monitor.
  2. Find and select Finder from the list of running processes.
  3. Click the Close (“X” icon) in the topbar.
  4. Confirm that action by clicking the Quit (or Force Quit) button.
Activity Monitor window with popup message asking to quit Finder

If none of the methods above helped you to fix Finder, try to restart your Mac.


We have provided all the possible methods to quit Finder on Mac. Please note, if your applications often freeze on your system, most likely you don’t have enough free RAM memory for a smoothy system work. Use a free application Memory Cleaner to free up inactive RAM memory, quit memory-consuming apps, and make your Mac faster.

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