How to Control Alt Delete on Your Mac

A key combination occurs when two or more keys on a keyboard are used together to perform a specific task or function. These keys are pressed either simultaneously or one by one, holding down each key until the last one is pressed. Control+ Alt+ Delete is a combination of three keyboard keys on a PC, generally labeled Ctrl, Alt, and Delete on your keyboard. In a Mac, Ctrl is also known as Command, and Alt is also known as Option.

Table of Contents

A key combination occurs when two or more keys on a keyboard are used together to perform a specific task or function. The combination of Ctrl, Alt and Delete keys while holding it down can forcefully close applications in Windows and restart the computer, log in, etc.

But the key combination that is used in Windows or Linux does not work for the same purpose on Mac. So what's the key combination users should use on Mac when they need to force quit a program? Keep reading, you will get the answer.

Control Alt delete? What's the meaning?

Ctrl-Alt-Delete is a combination of keyboard keys that are used as a shortcut to quit running programs forcefully. In the Windows system, this shortcut was first applied on Windows 95. Users can check the status of all currently running programs and terminate any of them with this shortcut.

Users can press these three keys at the same time to end a program or to reset the operating system on a Windows computer. This is a common troubleshooting method. When some running software causes the computer to freeze and cannot be closed manually, users can use this shortcut to force quit.

Control Alt Delete Alternative on Mac

In macOS, Ctrl is known as Command, and Alt is also known as Option. The alternative of Ctrl+ Alt+ Delete  is Command+ Option+ Escape on Mac. Here are the detailed steps:

Step 1. Press the "Command," "Option," and "Escape" keys simultaneously.

Step 2. The force quit window will be shown on the screen.

Step 3. Now select the program which you want to force quit.

Now let us see some native methods of force-quitting any application.

Force Quit using the Menu Bar:

Step 1. Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner of the screen.

Step 2. Click on the "Force Quit..." option in the dropdown menu.

Step 3. Select the offending program and hit "Force quit", in the popup window.

Force Quit through the dock

Step 1. In your dock, right-click on the program you want to close.

Step 2. A menu should pop up with the "Force quit" option; click it to force quit, and the program should shut down.

There are several other shortcut combination keys on Mac. 

Let us explore the list of some other common shortcuts on Mac as a bonus tip:

  • Command+ A: Selects all the items
  • Command+ C: Copy to clipboard (works for file Finder as well)
  • Command+ V: Paste from clipboard (works for files in the Finder as well)
  • Command+ S: Saves the current document
  • Command+ P: Prints the current document
  • Command+ F: Opens a Find Window
  • Shift+ Command+ G: Goes back to the previous occurrence.
  • Command+ Delete: Moves the selected item to the trash.
  • Shift+ Command+ Delete: Empty the trash.
  • Option+ Shift+ Command+ Delete: Empty the trash without confirming the dialog.

How to Recover a File Deleted by Shortcuts on Mac

There can be instances where you have deleted some files using the shortcuts and later, you realized that you need them back. Are there any chances of recovering the deleted files? Yes, you can!

1. Files deleted by Command (⌘) + Delete

Using the Command (⌘)+Delete shortcut will move the files to the Trash. Now you can recover the deleted files by following the below-mentioned steps.

Step 1. Click on the Trash icon and open it.

Step 2. Look at the deleted files or folders and choose which one to recover.

Step 3. Right-click on that file you want to recover. A dropdown menu will appear.

Step 4. Click on 'Put Back', this will restore the item.

Recover deleted files on Trash

2. Files deleted by Option + Command (⌘) +Delete

If you use the Option+Command (⌘)+Delete shortcut, sadly, the files you delete will not be stored in the Trash and will be permanently deleted. It means you can't use the PutBack method to recover them. In this case, we suggest you do nothing and apply the data recovery software immediately. One such tool is EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is a software that can scan and restore deleted or lost data in 3 steps and 2 minutes. It can recover data that has been permanently deleted from the Trash, or files from damaged or corrupted hard drives, partitions, or SD cards, and so on.

If you didn't lose much data, the free version is enough for you. Because EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac enables users to recover 2GB of data for free. If you want unlimited data recovery, you can upgrade to the pro version at a reasonable price.

Step 1. Select the disk location (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or a removable storage device) where you lost data and files. Click the "Scan" button.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results on the left pane.

start scan on the Mac

Step 3. In the scan results, select the file(s) and click the "Recover" button to have them back.

click recover now button to recover lost data on your Mac

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed what is the shortcut and how Ctrl Alt Delete alternatively works with the Mac computer. Command + Option + Escape is a helpful shortcut when your Mac is frozen, or an application has stopped responding, as it forces the application to stop.

But there also lies a risk when using shortcuts. As it is force stopping an application so the unsaved changes could be lost, also there can be chances of corruption. Nevertheless, it is a useful shortcut, should be used only when required.

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

Read full bio

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 59 reviews
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful system recovery software, designed to enable you to recover files you’ve deleted accidentally, potentially lost to malware or an entire hard drive partition.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we have seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro has a reputation as one of the best data recovery software programs on the market. It comes with a selection of advanced features, including partition recovery, formatted drive restoration, and corrupted file repair.

    Read More