How To Quit A Program On A Mac

Close a Window on A Mac


A friend of mine is a die hard Windows user.

I can honestly say that she will probably never switch to a Mac.

But her teenage son needed a new laptop – and he wanted a Mac.

So, being the wonderful mom that she is – she bought him one.

Of course, one of the first things that she wanted to do was install Microsoft Office for Mac on his machine.

It took some convincing but I was able to talk her into doing it herself. It would be easy, really.

I walked her through the first steps and she was good to go.

The Frantic Phone Call

Not five minutes later – I received a frantic phone call.

“It’s telling me to shut down my browser! I knew this would be hard to do!”

And it occurred to me that the simple process of quitting a program is quite different for Windows and Mac.

How To Quit A Program on a Mac

On a Windows laptop or computer, you just click the little “x” in the upper right hand corner and you are done.

But on a Mac, it doesn’t work the same way.

When you click the red “x” in the upper left hand corner – all you are doing is shutting a window not actually quitting the program. (for most software – programs like iPhoto and Aperture behave differently).

To actually quit the program, you can do one of three things.

The Easiest Method

quit program on Mac

The easiest thing to do is find the icon of the program that you want to quit in the dock.

All programs that are open will appear in the dock and have a small white oval under them.

Right click on it and select quit (the last option on the list).

The white oval will disappear and your program will have shut down.

If you have unsaved changes, the program will usually prompt you as to whether you want to save first.

Quit from Menu BarQuit From the Menu Bar

You can also quit a program from the menu bar.

With the program window active (meaning that you can see the title of the program that you want to close in the Menu bar), just click on the title of the program in the menu bar and select “Quit” from the dropdown menu.

An Alternate Method

Another way to quit a program on a Mac is to click on the Apple icon in the menu bar and select “Force Quit”.

A list of all your open programs will pop up – and you can choose the one that you want to shut down from this list.

Easier Than It Seems

When I switched to Mac from Windows – I had a preconceived expectation that things would just be hard to do.

And I was often very surprised when they weren’t.

It’s called “making a mountain out of a molehill”.

I totally get it.


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How To Force Quit a Program on a Mac
How to Set Up Right Click on a Mac Mouse

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