How to Force Quit MS Word

By James H. Russell

Software doesn't always behave as it should. Although Microsoft Word is a venerable application that usually works just fine, like any software it has moments where it freezes or is not working properly. If Word crashes and you can't get it to close by clicking the "Close" button, you'll have to force the application to close.

How to Force Quit Word on Windows

Step 1

Click the Close button--the red X in the upper right corner--choose the "File" drop-down menu and select "Exit."

Step 2

Press the three-key shortcut of "Ctrl," "Alt" and "Delete." Depending on what version of Windows you're using, the Task Manager may appear or you may get a screen with Task Manager as an option.

Step 3

With the Task Manager open, select the Word program on the Applications tab and choose "End Task." If Windows asks you to confirm your choice, click "Yes."

How to Force Quit Word on Mac OS X

Step 1

Click the "Close" button--the red bubble in the upper left corner--choose the "File" drop-down menu and select "Exit."

Step 2

Click the Apple menu and choose "Force Quit."

Step 3

Click "Force Quit."

Tips & Warnings

  • Forcing Word to close may mean you lose unsaved data.