How to: CTRL ALT DEL on a Mac

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Photo credt: Craig A Rodway (Flickr)

If you’ve been a long term user of Windows and / or are relatively new to the Mac Operating System, the chances are that at some point you’re going to ask the question, “What’s the equivilant to CTRL ALT DEL on a Mac?

Mac OS is by no means perfect; sure it’s a lot better than Windows Operating Systems, but there are still times where you may get a stuck process or program that needs to be terminated. There are a few ways you can Force Quit an application – let’s take a look:

Option 1

  • Click the Apple logo on the top left corner of your screen
  • Select Force Quit
  • Choose the application you wish to kill
  • Press Force Quit

Option 2

  • Press Command-option-escape on your keyboard
  • Choose the application you wish to kill
  • Press Force Quit

If you want to quickly kill the most forefront application then press Command-option-shift-escape. Apple OS will do this without any confirmation prompt.

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  • Markmux

    No help – I’m trying to do this from within windows to access current processes so I can shut off 1 or more. I don’t want to force re-start.

  • Rob

    Bootcamp or within another virtual app like Parallels or VMWare Fusions?

  • Tony

    I need to have a delete key on my Apple wireless keyboard as I have to press control alt delete to get onto my office network. All the help is based on a force quit but that’s not what I need. Just a simple delete key.

    Can anyone help

  • Rob

    Try remapper. Download it here:

    The default keypad like in OSX. This includes num-lock functionality
    fn+Left Click = Right Click
    fn+Backspace = Delete
    fn+Eject = PrintScreen
    fn+F1 = Decrease Brightness
    fn+F2 = Increase Brightness
    fn+F3 = Toggle Mute
    fn+F4 = Decrease Volume
    fn+F5 = Increase Volume
    fn+F6 = Toggle Num-Lock
    fn+Up = Page Up
    fn+Down = Page Down
    fn+Left = Home
    fn+Right = End
    Eject = Eject all optical discs
    Enter = Right mouse buttonEject = Eject all optical discsEnter = Right mouse button

  • Email

    Simple use fn+ctrl+alt+delete together to mimic CTRL+ALT+DELETE

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