How to Close Unresponsive Chromebook Apps

Ben Stegner Updated 01-05-2020

Have a frozen app that’s locking up your Chromebook? If you were on Windows, you’d probably press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and use the Task Manager to close it down. But how do you close apps on your Chromebook?


Thankfully, it’s not difficult to force-close apps on your Chromebook. We’ll show you a few ways to close apps on Chrome OS that every user should know.

Force-Quit Chromebook Apps Using the Task Manager

If a browser tab or app on your Chromebook hangs for several seconds, chances are that it’s frozen. To kill that process, you’ll need to open Chrome’s built-in Task Manager.

To open the Task Manager on your Chromebook, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Chrome browser (if it’s not already) and select the three-dot Menu in the upper-right corner. On the resulting list, choose More tools > Task manager.
    • Alternatively, you can press the Search + Escape keyboard shortcut to open it from anywhere.Chrome Open Task Manager
  2. Chrome’s Task Manager will open. This shows every process running on your Chromebook.
  3. Browse the list of processes to find the tab or app that’s stuck.
    • If you can’t find it, click the headers at the top to sort by alphabetical order, memory usage, or other factors. Frozen tabs often use more memory or CPU than normal, which can help you locate them.
  4. Once you find the problematic app, click to select it, then hit the End process button to force-quit it.

Chrome Task Manager Window

Doing this will instantly kill any Chrome tab or app that’s hanging. You’ll lose any unsaved work, so if you were in the middle of something, you may want to wait a few minutes to see if the page responds normally before doing this.


How to Close an App on a Chromebook Normally

Of course, you don’t need to force-close apps on your Chromebook all the time. Usually, you can close them without force-killing the process so they shut down cleanly.

The standard way to exit a Chromebook app is simple: just click the X icon at the top-right of the app window. If you don’t want to do that, you can also right-click the app’s icon on the shelf at the bottom of the screen and choose Close.

To close apps on your Chromebook even faster, try keyboard shortcuts. Ctrl + W will close the current browser tab. To close the entire window that’s in focus, use Shift + Ctrl + W. Learn more of these in our Chromebook keyboard shortcuts guide All Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts: The Chrome OS Cheat Sheet Our mega list of Chromebook keyboard shortcuts will help you blaze through everyday tasks when using Chrome OS. Read More .

How to Quit All Apps on Your Chromebook

android apps chromebook

Since Chrome OS is quite stable, you shouldn’t have many problems with unresponsive apps. However, you might occasionally have an issue where the entire system locks up and you can’t get anything to respond.

In those cases, you should restart your Chromebook. To do this, simply press and hold the Power button at the top-right of your keyboard for a few seconds. Once it powers off, you can hold the same button again to turn it back on.

Close Chromebook Apps When Needed

Hopefully, you only have Chromebook app issues once in a while. If the problems become more frequent, you may have a poorly-coded app or extension installed. Try removing apps from your system and see if the problem subsides.

Otherwise, it may be time for a new machine. Check out our guide to the best Chromebooks The 5 Best Chromebooks for Every Type of User Looking for the best Chromebook on the market? Here are the best Chromebooks depending on your needs. Read More if you’re in the market for a replacement.

Image Credit: taffpixture/Shutterstock

Explore more about: Chrome OS, Chromebook, Task Management, Troubleshooting.

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  1. Jim Livingston
    August 31, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    This also works in Opera. Click Menu then click Developer then highlight the process then click End Process.