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I see some apps such as Thunderbird and Firefox add a "force quit" to their dock menus.

  • where is this menu configuration stored?

  • if it's not a simple text file change, how can I add this to other applications?

update: Thanks for the hints about pressing alt/option to get the force quit menu item. Note that option-Menu doesn't do this. You have to bring up the context menu by right-clicking or control clicking, and then pressing the alt/option key. You will see the "quit" menu item change to "force quit".

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migrated from Dec 21 '09 at 8:02

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Just hold the option key when you right click on any app in the dock, and it gives you the option to "force quit" in place of the normal "quit" option.

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Force quit is shown only in 2 cases:

  • The application is not responding
  • You pressed alt while the menu is open
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Alt is more commonly referred to as the Option key when dealing with Macs. Woo for multiple names for the same key! – Chealion Jul 4 '09 at 16:24
Yes but depending of your keyboard type (laptop/not laptop) and keyboard mapping (querty, azerty, qwertz, ...) you will or will not have 'option' written on the key. And most new users to mac doesn't know what is the option key when they don't have a keyboard with 'options' on the key. – radius Jul 4 '09 at 16:35
The option key the the key with "option" written on it. I think even new mac users could work that out. Conversely depending on keyboard mapping, age of keyboard etc the option key may not have alt written on it. That being the case surely the sensible thing is to refer to the key by it's name, under the platform in question, i.e. the option key. After all it's been the option key since 1984 or so. I suspect the alt key s a relative new comer. – Jason Tan Jul 5 '09 at 17:37
Again it depends, on french keyboard option was never written on it even on mac se ( and alt has been used since performa or something like this – radius Jul 5 '09 at 23:08
Alt or Option - it's the same key. No need to get so pedantic about. I think some of you have lost sight of the question being answered. – John Gardeniers Jul 6 '09 at 11:43

Alternatively you can press "command-opt-ESC" which pops up a new dialog box with a list of running processes (similar to task manager on Windows). Then you can choose which process you wish to force quit.

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