Keyboard short-cut for force-quiting app

I had a few times a problem so my computer completely got stuck. I tried all possible keyboard-combination, but didn’t get a force-quit panel. (on my it’s Alt-Ctrl-Del and you can force-quit your app from a list).
I tried with ctrl/fn/alt/alt-gr in combination with backspace/delete/escape and all function keys.
Is there such combination and if so, which is it?

Depending on the level of “got stuck”, one option is to press Ctrl+Alt+Esc (more on the shortcut below) and it should bring up a skull and crossbones cursor.

From there then you can either click on an application, assuming it’s not so stuck that you can’t move your mouse, or Enter to make the application under the cursor Force Quit. You can dismiss this by pressing Escape.

Important note: If you have the desktop under the cursor, it will kill plasmashell (I just discovered while testing) and you’d have to access KRunner (normally either Alt+F2 or Alt+Space) and run a command depending on which version of KDE:

  • KDE Plasma 5: kstart5 plasmashell
  • KDE Plasma 6: kstart plasmashell

Essentially be careful where you click.

Regarding the shortcut, you can actually double-check the key binding and set it to something else yourself if you go to the System Settings and under Shortcuts, then under KWin, there should be a “Kill Window” shortcut.


Thank you very much carmanaught! It is set to meta+Ctrl+Esc, a combination I didn’t try, apparently.
I see a lot of functions are bind to the function-keys, where I prefer the letter-keys (easier to reach and remember). But I understand I can define those myself.

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