How to Press "Ctrl Alt Delete" on a Mac

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The "ctrl+alt+delete" function on Windows is one of the best-known keyboard shortcuts because it brings up the Task Manager, which allows you to close unresponsive programs. If you've just switched to using a Mac instead of a PC, you'll quickly find out that this isn't how things work on Macs. If you need to use control+alt+delete on Mac systems, you have a few options. One of them is particularly close to the function in Windows.

The Ctrl Alt Del Mac Alternative

The equivalent to control alt delete on a Mac is the shortcut "command+option+esc." Just like using control+alt+delete on a PC, press "Command" to the left of the space bar, "Option" to the left of Command and "Esc" at the top left of the keyboard at the same time to bring up the equivalent of the Windows Task Manager. This brings up the Force Quit Applications window where you can perform the main function most people use Task Manager for – closing unresponsive programs. To close an unresponsive program, highlight it in the list that shows up and click "Force Quit" in the bottom right corner of the window.

Alternative Approach for Force Quit

You can also bring up the Force Quit Applications window without using the keyboard shortcut. Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen. Choose "Force Quit" to open the Force Quit Applications screen. From there, you can close any unresponsive program by selecting it and choosing "Force Quit."

When you want to close multiple apps at the same time in the Force Quit Applications screen, there are two ways to proceed. If they're next to one another in the list, hold "Shift" and then click on the first and last programs in the range. This highlights all the apps. Then, click "Force Quit" to close them at the same time. If the apps aren't listed next to each other, hold "Command" and click on the individual entries in the list to highlight the ones you want before choosing "Force Quit."

Activity Monitor on Mac

Although most people who are looking for the control+alt+delete Mac alternative want to close an unresponsive program, Task Manager on Windows gives some additional information too. It includes how much processor power and memory different programs are using. For Mac users, this information is found in the Activity Monitor. Open the Activity Monitor by choosing "Finder" in the dock and then selecting "Applications," "Utilities" and "Activity Monitor" to display information about each app. You can double-click any application to reach a screen with the option to close it from Activity Monitor.

Locking Your Mac

Another option that appears when you press control+alt+delete on a PC is to lock your computer. Do this quickly on some Macs using the key combination "Control," "Shift" and "Eject." If your keyboard doesn't have Eject, press "Control," "Shift" and "Power" instead.