The Ctrl + Alt + Delete menu on Windows collects many handy utilities in one place. But pressing those keys on a Mac does nothing, so how do you Ctrl + Alt + Delete on a Mac?
While there’s no exact match, you’ll find that all the items on the Windows Ctrl + Alt + Del screen are available in macOS too. Let’s take a look.
What’s in the Control + Alt + Delete Menu?
A lot of people equate Ctrl + Alt + Del with only the Task Manager. But that actually has its own shortcut on Windows: Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
As it turns out, pressing the Ctrl + Alt + Del shortcut on Windows brings up a menu with the following options:
- Lock: Displays the lock screen and requires your password to get back in.
- Switch user: Swap to another user account without logging out of yours.
- Sign out: Log out of your account, but do not shut down the computer.
- Task Manager: Opens the utility that lets you manage processes and more.
The menu also contains shortcuts in the bottom-right to manage network settings, Ease of Access utilities, and power options. Let’s look at the ways to perform all these actions on a Mac.
How to Close Frozen Apps on Mac
You can use Cmd + Q to quit apps on a Mac. But if an app is frozen, it won’t respond to this. Instead, press Cmd + Option + Esc to bring up the Force Quit Applications window. This lets you forcefully close an app if doing it normally won’t work.
This is the quickest way to force-close processes, so it’s a shortcut all Mac users should know.
How to Open Activity Monitor on Mac
Activity Monitor is the Mac equivalent of the Windows Task Manager. It lets you manage running processes and get information about them.
The easiest way to open the Activity Monitor is by launching Spotlight, your Mac’s search tool, with Cmd + Space. Then type Activity Monitor and press Return to launch it.
Power and Account Options on Mac
You’ll find equivalents for many Ctrl + Alt + Del menu options in the Apple Menu at the top-left corner of the screen.
You can choose to Sleep, Restart, and Shut Down here. It also holds Lock Screen and Log Out options. If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, use Ctrl + Cmd + Q to lock your screen, or Shift + Cmd + Q to log out.
For an equivalent of the Switch User option, you’ll need to visit System Preferences > Users & Groups. Click the lock at the bottom of the window to make changes, then select Login Options on the left sidebar.
Check the box for Show fast user switching menu as and choose an option. You’ll see a new option at the top-right of your menu bar. Click this, then pick another user’s name from the list to swap to it without logging out.
Network and Accessibility Options on Mac
The Ctrl + Alt + Delete menu also lets you access network and accessibility options, as mentioned. Most people probably don’t use those shortcuts often, but we include their Mac equivalents here for the sake of completion.
To access accessibility options, open System Preferences > Accessibility. Here you’ll find tools to change the zoom level, adjust mouse options, enable mono audio, and more.
For network options, visit System Preferences > Network. This lets you add a new network, change existing settings, and more.
Ctrl + Alt + Delete on Mac Made Easy
Now you know how to Ctrl + Alt + Delete on a Mac. While these utilities aren’t an exact replacement, they give you most of the same functionality of the equivalent Windows menu. Most importantly, keep the Cmd + Option + Esc shortcut in mind for closing rogue apps.
For more tips like this, check out our introduction to using a Mac for Windows users.