There are at least three ways to restart crashed programs or faulty process that I know of. It doesn’t happen very often, but right now I’ve got something that is causing one process to have a memory leak and I have to restart it once a day or so to get back that memory.
Force Quit Applications window
By pressing Cmd-Alt-Esc you will pop up this menu and you can select the program that has crashed and Force Quit.
This works OK for PROGRAMS that appear, but there are processes that you can’t see in this list. But this is the best and first place to look for crashed processes.
Using the Activity Monitor
For more detail on which programs are running use the Activity Monitor.
The best way to open the Activity Monitor is to use Spotlight with the CMD-SpaceBar shortcut on your keyboard (most useful if the Dock has locked up). The select the thread that has crashed and select Quit Process.
On this window, you should Quit for a soft reset, but use Force Quit if that doesn’t work. Note that you may be asked to login – this is because you may be attempting to restart a system process that needs you to be authenticated as a superuser. If you are a novice computer person, then should probably consider rebooting your computer instead of killing processes. Of course, if you are attempting to save data before rebooting then, by all means, keep going.
Using the CLI / Terminal to Stop Process.
Open a Terminal windows using the Spotlight by
on the keyboard, then type
into the Spotlight search box.
killall -KILL Finder
|(you can also restart the Finder by option (=alt) + rightclicking the Finder icon in the Dock and selecting Relaunch. It doesn’t always work though.)|
killall -KILL Dock
|Doesn’t happen often, but when it does…. Also use this if Spaces has crashed|
killall -KILL SystemUIServer
|Some menu bar programs have system threads that aren’t always perfect. You can’t click on the menu bar. Most common use case|
Note that the SystemUIServer does restart after it’s killed in this way.