How to Force Quit Chrome on Mac

Sometimes, the Chrome web browser freezes on Mac devices. In that case, you’re probably wondering how to force quit Chrome on Mac? If you’re using Chrome and have experienced this issue, this article is for you.

Hello, my name is Andreas. I’m a software engineer that looks at Mac issues and dives deeper to solve them. I’ve seen more and more Mac users reporting Chrome with this specific issue.

Ever since the macOS 10.15 Catalina update, Chrome has been acting weird (source). But many Mac users prefer Chrome over Safari. So to help you solve the issue, I’m going to tell you how to force quit Chrome on Mac.

The methods I’ll be talking about have helped me in the past. So, let’s start.

What Causes Chrome Issues on Mac?

Where do we start? Less tech-savvy Mac users should know that Chrome is one of the most RAM-demanding browsers. It eats RAM like your uncle at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

So one reason why Chrome might freeze on your Mac is due to low RAM. Modern MacBook Pro and Air devices come with 8 or 16 GB of RAM. The amount of RAM is plenty to support Google Chrome even if you’re opening dozens of new tabs.

But the issue emerges if your Mac has less than 8 GB of RAM. In that case, expect Chrome to run slowly, especially if you have more tabs open. But low RAM isn’t the only Chrome issue Mac users face.

Another issue is a bug with the 10.15 macOS update. When updating the system to 10.15, users found that Chrome would freeze, crash, fail to load websites, and act unstable.

While Apple released a patch fixing the issue, some Mac users still have problems. With that said, Chrome very rarely acts strangely on Mac devices. But since it can happen, here are the solutions on how to force quit Chrome on Mac.

Solution 1: Force Quit

Even if you’ve tried to quit Chrome, it still hangs around in the background. Some users are reporting that faulty extensions are the main culprit.

But what I found to work best is to use the Force Quit command and manually shut down Chrome. Here is how to force quit Chrome on Mac.

  • With Chrome open, press “option” + “command” + “esc
  • A pop-up window will appear with all the applications currently running. Select Google Chrome and press “Force Quit.”

If this doesn’t help, other solutions might work better to quit the Chrome app on Mac. I should mention that this feature also force quit apps on your Mac.

Solution 2: Terminal

The terminal is a built-in feature on Mac devices. This solution is the more tech-savvy way to close Google Chrome. Here is how to do it.

  • Launch the terminal by clicking on the “Launchpad” icon located at the bottom of the Apple menu.
  • With the terminal open, type in the following command: “sudo killall Google\ Chrome.”

The terminal might ask for your account password. Add it, and this should force quit Google Chrome.

Solution 3: Chrome Native Restart Command

Chrome also has a built-in feature that allows you to restart the browser. This feature comes in handy when the browser freezes or is running slow. Bear in mind that the feature will not force quit Chrome.

Instead, it will restart it with all open tabs. So if you’re in the middle of work, the Chrome restart command won’t lose any browsing data.

Here is how to restart Chrome manually.

  • With Chrome open, go to a new tab and type in the following in the URL bar: “Chrome://restart.”

This simple command will manually restart Google Chrome and reopen it once it finishes.

How to Fix Issues Without Force Quitting Chrome

Not every Chrome issue requires force quitting. You can solve a lot of them by doing other actions. Let’s look at what the solutions are.

Clear Browsing Data

If Chrome runs slow on your Mac, it might be time to clear your browsing data. Everything you do on your browser takes up memory. By clearing the browsing data, you free up THE much-needed memory that allows Chrome to run smoothly.

Do the following to clear browsing data from Chrome.

  • Launch Chrome and go to “Settings.”
  • Go to “Privacy and Security” and select “Clear browsing data.”
  • A pop-up window will appear with basic and advanced options.
  • Go to the advanced option and select the data you want to clear.
  • Click “Clear data.”

The reason I recommend you use the advanced tab is that you have more options. Also, you can manually select the time range. You can select from all time, last hour, 24 hours, seven days, or four weeks.

By doing this, you free up memory and allow Chrome to run smoothly.

Update the Browser

The Chrome browser might be outdated, hence why it keeps crashing and freezing. Luckily for you, updating the browser is a piece of cake. Here is how to do it.

  • Launch Chrome, click the three dots, and go to “Help” > “About Google Chrome.”
  • Click on “Update.” Note: if you can’t see the update button, it means Chrome is up to date.
  • Click on “Relaunch.”

Updating to the latest version also solves an issue where Chrome doesn’t load web pages.


That concludes this short guide on how to force quit Chrome on Mac. I also mentioned a few solutions that work when force quit isn’t working.

With a few solutions that solve issues without needing a force quit, you are now well equipped to solve any Chrome issue on your Mac.

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