The Easiest Way to Actually Quit a Mac App

The Easiest Way to Actually Quit a Mac App

When you’re moving from Windows to Mac, it’s a challenge to get used to macOS’s way of quitting apps. On Windows, you click the red X button in the window to quit most apps. On your Mac, it’s a crapshoot. The red X may close the app, but it could also just close the window, leaving the app running in the background. But there’s an easy way to quit all Mac apps when you press the red button.

First, though, you should know that Windows and macOS handle app-quitting differently from a processing perspective. macOS is pretty good at managing apps in the background, so you don’t need to worry as much about running too many apps at once. When you need to quit apps on macOS, you can press Command + Q.

If you can’t get used to that, download Swift Quit, a free app that mimics Windows’ app-quitting behaviour. Once you install Swift Quit on your Mac and grant it the permissions it needs, log out and log back in to your Mac. This is a one-time step that help Swift Quit function correctly.

Open Swift Quit and select Start Swift Quit Automatically. Use the drop-down menu next to Quit Apps When to select if you want to quit an app when its last window is closed, or if any of the app’s windows are closed. We recommend selecting Last Windows Is Closed, so you don’t end up quitting apps after closing just one of the windows.

Finally, you can use the + button to add apps you don’t want to quit this way. For example, messaging apps work best when they’re running in the background. Once this is set up, you can open any app on your Mac and press the red button in the top-left corner of its window to quit the app. Swift Quit works fairly well and it’s light on system resources, too, so you won’t feel the pressure to quit Swift Quit among your other apps.


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