Best 6 Ways to Stop Finder Action on a Mac

Is Finder file manager giving you issues when it just won’t close?  As a Mac user, you may know that the Finder is a default file manager that runs with your macOS system. It is responsible for launching other applications, files, and downloads on your Mac.

As it serves as the home base for your Mac, you don’t have to really close it as it will automatically. But sometimes, the Finder becomes unresponsive because of some aggressive functionalities and couldn’t close on its own.

There are many reasons why the Finder becomes unresponsive. But, the question that comes to mind is how to close Finder if there is no Force Quit button?

If you are having the same question in your mind, then worry not. I will show you how you can stop Finder action on your Mac using some techniques.

Can I Stop Finder Action on Mac?

If the Finder is unresponsive on your Mac, you might wonder how to actually quit it. But, The Finder doesn’t come with the Quitting button. Even if Finder doesn’t come with the Quit button, you can still quit Mac Finder and restart it.

Generally, there is no need to Quit Finder as it quit itself. But sometimes, because of slow or unresponsiveness of Finder forces us to close. Restart your macOS can easily fix the issue Finder.

After Quitting the Finder, remember that it will be going to be relaunched as it runs with the system. Also, that is the reason why Finder is always open as it is the base of the macOS.

What’s the Reason Finder Is Not Responding to a Mac?

There are quite many reasons why Finder stops responding to the actions and does not work well on Mac.

  1. Finder might start working slow if your Mac is running out of memory or storage. It is essential to have at least 20% of your Mac’s storage available for applications. So, if Finder is not responsive, then you need to free up some space on your Mac.
  2. Another possible reason is Spotlight indexing, it can also cause a problem and make Finder work slowly or unresponsive. If the word indexing shows up frequently when you search with Spotlight, then spotlight indexing is the reason. This often happens after updating macOS or transferring many files to the Mac.
  3. Maybe you have some corrupt system preferences and frozen applications, this can be also the reason the Finder is unresponsive.
  4. And the last possible reason why Finder becomes unresponsive is because of hung background applications. The applications you are using in the background may be hung and can’t be started back, and that results in you an unresponsive Finder.

Whatever the reason is, you can fix this issue by following this article. Now that you know what are the possible reasons for Finder not responding to Mac, right? Let’s get into the real portion of the article on how to stop Finder Action on a Mac.

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How to Stop Finder Action on a Mac

1. Stop Finder Action on a Mac Using the Apple menu:

If you are using Finder on your Mac and suddenly get an error message saying “You can’t open the application Finder because it is not responding” then you need to use the Apple menu. With the help of the Apple menu, you can force quit Finder, here is how you can do that:

stop finder action on a mac using the apple menu
stop finder action on a mac using the apple menu
  1. Click Finder.
  2. Click on the Apple menu.
  3. Hold the Shift key, then select Force Quit Finder.
  4. Click Relaunch, then macOS will restart Finder. 


Once done with that, the Finder window will disappear and reappear as macOS restarts Finder. 

 2. Use the Keyboard Shortcut to stop Finder action on Mac:

Finder is the default home base file manager, it won’t be quit with the regular Command + Q, and it doesn’t have a Quit button, so you can do is to use the force quit shortcut. As it is designed to be a default, you can use a special keyboard shortcut to quit the Finder on Mac.

To do that follow the given below steps. 

use the keyboard shortcut to stop finder action on mac
use the keyboard shortcut to stop finder action on mac
  1. Press Option + Command + Esc simultaneously.
  2. Select Finder and click Relaunch.


It is possible that the Finder might not respond at all and the mouse won’t respond too. Then you can use the Finder quit keyboard shortcut which is Command + Shift + Option + Esc to directly close the Finder. It is great to use when nothing is responsive and you can close it without any need for confirmation.  

 3. Stop Finder Action on a Mac using Dock:

If the above two methods don’t work for some of your users, then you can also try to quit the Finder using the Dock panel. Here are the steps to stop the Finder on Mac using the Dock panel:

stop finder action on a mac using dock
stop finder action on a mac using dock
  1. Hold Option while right-clicking on the Finder icon on the Dock.
  2. Choose Relaunch. 

That’s it!! This might be one of the easiest methods to force quit the Finder on the Mac. 

4. Use Activity Monitor to stop Finder Action on Mac:

Another technique you can try to quit the finder Action on the Mac is using Activity Monitor. Using the Activity Monitor can stop the processes of all the running apps on Mac.

That means all the Finder functions, items, and icons on your desktop will be going to disappear temporarily until you re-open it again. And force quit won’t be going to delete saved documents.

Here is how you can force quit Finder on Mac with Activity Monitor.

use activity monitor to stop finder action on mac
use activity monitor to stop finder action on mac
  1. Press the Command + Space bar to initiate a Spotlight search.
  2. Type Activity Monitor in the search field.
  3. Click Activity Monitor.
  4. Click Finder, then tap on the X symbol at the top.
  5. Confirm the action by clicking Quit. 
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5. Stop Finder Action on Mac with Terminal:

If you still can’t quit the Finder on your Mac, then try to use Terminal to do so. You just have to run a command with the Terminal command line. You can even add the Quit option right to the Finder menu with the help of a terminal for easy access to it.

Here is how you can quit Finder using the terminal:

stop finder action on mac with terminal
stop finder action on mac with terminal
  1. Open the Terminal app. you can find it in the Applications folder -> Utilities.
  2. Copy and paste the following command: Killall Finder
  3. Press Enter.
  4. The finder will be restarted.


6. Using the Memory Cleaner to Stop Finder:

You must have already heard the name memory cleaner, it is a free application that clears the RAM on your Mac. The memory cleaner also comes with the ability to quit and force quit all the applications on your Mac. 

Follow the given below steps to stop Finder from using Memory Cleaner:

using the memory cleaner to stop finder
using the memory cleaner to stop finder
  1. Launch Memory Cleaner.
  2. Click on the Memory Cleaner icon in the toolbar. In the drop window, you will see the list of running apps and processes on your system.
  3. Select Finder and right-click on it.
  4. Click Quit or Force Quit in the context menu.

Mac Finder not Relaunching:

I hope the above six methods have helped you to fix the issue of how to stop finder action on Mac. But what if finder won’t relaunch again. Sometimes it happens when your Finder can be stuck, freeze, or slows down, and just couldn’t relaunch.

To solve that issue, I have provided some methods given below to fix the Mac finder not relaunching.

1. Use Force Quit on another Desktop:

If your whole desktop is frozen, and the force quit keyboard shortcut doesn’t work then try to force quit Finder on a different desktop. Sounds tricky, right? Let me show you how to do it:

  1. Swipe up with three or four fingers to access Mission Control.
  2. Click the + sign at the top-right corner to create a new desktop.
  3. Press Command + Option + Esc and select Finder to quit.

 2. Delete the Corrupt .plist file:

If the above technique also didn’t reopen the Finder, then there could be some corrupted .plist file on your Mac that should be deleted. Here is how to do it:

  1. Open Finder, then click Go > Go to folder.
  2. Enter this path:~ / Library/Preferences.
  3. Move file to your desktop.
  4. Restart your Mac.

You need to test whether Finder is working correctly or not. If it does, then trash the file. And if the finder won’t reopen, then move the file back.

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 3. Update your Mac:

This might be the most basic but most important step that you might be forgetting. It is essential to always keep your Mac updated. Keeping your macOS up-to-date can literally solve all the little bugs or errors, and make sure that the Mac is working properly.

Here is how you can update:

  1. Select the Apple Menu > About This Mac > Software Update.
  2. If an update is available then put the Mac on an update. 

 4. Restart or hard Restart your Mac:

Firstly, try to restart your Mac. If you can’t restart because of the reasons like a frozen desktop or you are getting the message saying “the Finder can’t quit because an operation is still in progress”, then you have to force your Mac to shut down. Follow the given below steps:

  1. Press the power button until your Mac shuts down.
  2. Wait for 10s, then turn on Mac.
  3. See if this technique works or not. If hard reset helps to solve your problem of Finder relaunching. If it doesn’t, then you have to reinstall macOS that is the last thing you can do here. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why can’t I Stop Finder on Mac?

There are many reasons why you can’t stop Finder, maybe it is because of corrupted files, memory storage, frozen applications, and so on. No matter what is the reason you can now solve it by following the methods I have provided in this article. You can try any of the methods like a shortcut or Apple menu or any other and see if it’s able to stop Finder.

What happens if you force quit Finder Action on a Mac?

The Force quit Finder will close Finder windows and relaunch Finder, which is helpful if Finder is frozen or Finder won’t open.


I have come up with all the possible solutions to stop Finder’s action on Mac in this article. There are many reasons you face the problem with closing the Finder action, and it might stress you out.

But the good news is you can solve it by performing all the methods I have explained in this article. If you don’t want to face this issue again, then you should always keep the Mac updated.

Also, check your memory storage, and delete the corrupted files, so you can easily avoid the problem of Finder not closing as soon as possible.

Hopefully, now you can easily stop Finder on your Mac, and I hope you won’t get into trouble in closing Finder again anymore. If you find this article helpful, then do share it with your loved ones. Thanks for reading!