Help, Guides, and News on making the Switch To Apple Macintosh Computers
Windows users are used to clicking the red X in the upper right button in Microsoft Windows to quit an application. In OS X however, clicking the left red button does not actually quit an application, it just closes the window for that application. The application (process(es), memory, and resources tied to that application) continue to run in the background despite you not seeing the application in front of you. You can always verify that an application is running by looking to see if a black arrow exists underneath the application icon in the OS X Dock or by running "top" in Terminal (located at /Applications/Utilities).
There are numerous ways to quit a running application in OS X. You can gracefully quit (close) or "force quit" an application. In most cases, you'll perform a graceful quit. Force quit is used when an application becomes unresponsive, hangs, or freezes. Just note that "force quit" is a volatile operation, any unsaved changes in that application will be lost. Unlike Windows where an frozen or unresponsive application often leads to a unstable system which is generally resolved by a restart, force quitting in Mac OS X allows you to re-launch the application without having to sit around waiting for your system to reboot. The benefit is that you'll be able to continue your work as other applications will not be impacted (most of the time).
Ways to quit an application
- Menu Bar -> Quit
- Command-Q (equivalent to Alt-F4 on Windows)
- Hold down Command and then Tab through open applications. Highlight an application then hit Q to quit it. This is a variant of Command-Q
- Control-click or click and hold the application icon in the Dock. Then click "Quit" in the popup menu
- Force Quit
- Option-Control-click the application icon in the Dock
- Command-Option-Escape. This option will bring up a window listing all running applications. You can then select a specific application and then click "Force Quit" in the lower right.
Note: You cannot quit Finder so the only option is re-launch when Finder is selected in the Command-Option-Escape window.
- Open Terminal. Find the process ID of the application. Then type "kill -9 PROCESS_ID" (plug in the actual process ID number for PROCESS_ID).