Forum Question: Closing Apps

Hi Gary i’m just writing to ask theres a way to set apps so you can close then with the red cross and not have to click on the apps icon on the dock or its name on the top of the screen to quit the app

— Richard Slack

Comments: 8 Responses to “Closing Apps”

    1/3/10 @ 8:30 am

    That’s up to the developer of the app. Some apps do, usually the ones that depend on having a document window open in order for it to make sense that the app is running at all. But that is rare. Usually, closing the document or main window doesn’t mean that you want to quit the app, as that would make it hard to do certain things with the app.
    The usual way to quit apps is to choose Quit from the applications menu, or Command+Q. I rarely use the Dock to quit.

    1/3/10 @ 10:17 am

    I confess that this has been one of the more baffling things about converting to Apple.

    What is the purpose of the red-x if not to quit an application like in a Windows OS? I don’t use it on my Mac as I have no idea what it’s for.

      1/3/10 @ 10:21 am

      The red X button is to close a window. An application can have many windows open. Sometimes a window is a “document,” for instance. You can have many documents open at once in most applications. And if you close your last document window, you wouldn’t necessarily want the application to quit. What if you are closing the document you are working on, and then want to open another document? it would be disconcerting if the application quit and then required you to re-launch it.
      In other applications, like iTunes, the window is simply a way to view your content. You could have many windows open — one for your library, one for a playlist, one for a video that is playing, etc. Closing the last one could just mean you are cleaning up your windows and now with to open a new one. It wouldn’t make sense the the application just assumed you wanted to quit because you were done with your current window.

        Amrik Kalsi
        12/23/10 @ 6:34 am

        But how do you do it, open two or more documents/windows at the same time? I have been trying to open a TextEdit window and an Excel window at the same time, but I couldn’t work out how. Please be expansive, I am a retired senior citizen. Many thanks.

          12/23/10 @ 7:57 am

          In that case you are talking about one window each in two separate applications. Just open the TextEdit document (opens in a window in TextEdit) and then Open the Excel document (opens in a window in Excel). That’s all. If you like, you can resize the windows and put them side-by-side. Just drag the bottom right corner of both windows to size them as you wish, and then drag the top of the windows to position them next to each other.

    1/4/10 @ 5:36 pm

    So it’s the ability to close the current window, but not the application altogether. I can live with that. Thanks for the information Gary.

    2/24/10 @ 5:08 pm

    Is there a reason to close the app?
    For instance, if I have excel, preview, acrobat, etc all open without any documents ‘attached’ to those apps, should I close the apps for any reason? Are they taking up CPU that would be freed if they were closed? Are there any other potential negatives to having multiple unused apps open? I would think that after a while, having 50 apps open would not necessarily be a good thing?

      2/24/10 @ 6:02 pm

      Leaving an app open, with no documents, does use up some memory. But it shouldn’t be much. It depends on how well the app has been written. If you use an app often throughout the day then it may be worth leaving running. If you use an app rarely, then it is probably worth quitting when you are not using it. I tend toward quitting apps when I am not using them. But there are apps like Mail and Safari that I am always using, all day long, and I never quit those.

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