How to Quit Apps on Mac: A General Guide

Hello there! If you’re a Mac user, you’ve probably wondered at some point how to properly quit apps on your computer. While it may seem like a simple task, it’s important to know how to do it correctly in order to avoid any potential issues with your device’s performance. In this article, we’ll go through the necessary steps to quit apps on your Mac, as well as provide some tips and explanations along the way.


Step 1: Close the Window

The first step to quitting an app on your Mac is to simply close the window. This won’t necessarily close the app completely, but it will remove it from your screen.

Step 2: Use the Dock

If the app is still running in the background, you can use the Dock to quit it. Find the app’s icon in the Dock, right-click on it, and then select “Quit.”

Step 3: Use the Keyboard Shortcut

Another quick way to quit an app is to use the keyboard shortcut “Command + Q.” This will immediately close the app without any additional prompts or dialog boxes.

Step 4: Use the Apple Menu

You can also quit an app by using the Apple Menu. Simply click on the Apple icon on the top-left corner of your screen, and then select “Quit [App Name]”.

Step 5: Use Force Quit

If an app is frozen or unresponsive, you can use the Force Quit feature. Press “Command + Option + Escape” to bring up the Force Quit Applications window, select the app you want to quit, and then click “Force Quit.”

Step 6: Use Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor is a built-in Mac app that can help you quit apps that are eating up too much memory or CPU usage. Open the app, select the app you want to quit, and then click on the “Quit Process” button in the upper-left corner.

Step 7: Use Terminal

For more advanced users, you can also use Terminal to quit apps. Open Terminal, type in “killall [App Name]” (without the quotes), and then hit Enter.

Step 8: Clear Cache

Clearing your Mac’s cache can also help with app performance issues. Open Finder, select “Go” in the menu bar, and then click on “Go to Folder.” Type in “~/Library/Caches” (without the quotes) and then hit Enter. From there, you can delete any cache files related to the app you want to quit.

Step 9: Update Your Apps

Keeping your apps up-to-date can also improve performance and prevent any issues from arising. Open the App Store, click on “Updates,” and then click “Update All” to update all of your apps at once.

Step 10: Restart Your Mac

Restarting your Mac can also help with app performance and fix any issues that are preventing you from quitting an app. Click on the Apple icon on the top-left corner of your screen, and then select “Restart.”

Step 11: Clear Your Desktop

Having too many icons or files on your desktop can also slow down your Mac and make it difficult to quit apps. Clear your desktop and move any files you don’t need to another folder or the trash.

Step 12: Close Other Apps

Finally, closing any unnecessary apps can also free up memory and improve overall performance. Use the methods outlined above to quit any apps that are taking up too much resources.


While each of these steps may seem simple, knowing when and how to properly execute them can greatly improve your Mac’s performance. It’s important to regularly clear your cache, update your apps, and restart your Mac to prevent any issues from occurring. Additionally, being able to use Force Quit and Activity Monitor can help you troubleshoot any app performance issues.

Tips and Tricks

1. Use Spotlight to Find Apps

If you don’t have an app in your Dock, you can use Spotlight to quickly search for and open it.

2. Customize Your Dock

You can customize your Dock to include only the apps you use most frequently, making it easier to find and quit them.

3. Use CleanMyMac X

CleanMyMac X is a third-party app that can help you clear your cache, update your apps, and perform other maintenance tasks that can improve your Mac’s performance.

4. Use Activity Monitor to Monitor Performance

Activity Monitor can not only help you quit apps, but also monitor your Mac’s performance and identify any potential issues.

5. Use Time Machine for Backup

Using Time Machine to regularly backup your files can help prevent any data loss or corruption from occurring.

6. Remove Login Items

Having too many login items can slow down your Mac’s startup time. Use System Preferences to remove any unnecessary login items.

7. Use a Reputable Anti-Virus Program

Using a reputable anti-virus program can help protect your Mac from any malware or viruses that could affect app performance.

8. Keep Your Desktop Clean

Avoid cluttering your desktop with too many files or folders, as this can slow down your Mac and make it difficult to quit apps.

9. Use Time-Saving Shortcuts

Learning and using keyboard shortcuts, such as “Command + Q,” can save you time when quitting apps.

10. Regularly Clear Your Trash

Clearing your trash regularly can help free up disk space on your Mac and prevent any potential issues from occurring.

In conclusion, quitting apps on your Mac may seem like a simple task, but it’s important to do it correctly in order to maintain your device’s performance. By following these steps and utilizing some tips and tricks, you can ensure that your Mac runs smoothly and effectively.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Quitting Apps on Mac

Many people believe that quitting apps on their Mac can help improve performance and conserve battery life. While there are certainly advantages, there are also some potential downsides that users should be aware of before making this a regular practice.


1. Frees up system resources: When you quit an app, it stops using your computer’s CPU and RAM, freeing up those resources for other tasks.

2. Can improve battery life: Quitting apps can help conserve battery life by reducing the amount of CPU usage and thus reducing the strain on your battery.

3. May prevent crashes: Apps can sometimes crash, but quitting them can help prevent this from happening. If an app is frozen or malfunctioning, quitting it and restarting it may solve the problem.

4. Can increase privacy: When you quit an app, it stops running in the background and won’t be able to access your data. This can be especially important for apps that have permission to use your microphone, camera, or other sensitive information.

5. Helps with multitasking: If you have multiple apps open at once, quitting apps you’re not currently using can help you switch between them more quickly and efficiently.

6. Can improve performance: If your Mac is running slowly, quitting unused apps can help improve overall performance.

7. Avoids automatic updates: Some apps may automatically update in the background, which can slow down your Mac or even cause compatibility issues. Quitting these apps can prevent those updates from occurring until you’re ready for them.

8. Conserves disk space: When you quit an app, it stops generating cache files and other temporary data that can take up space on your hard drive.

9. Reduces clutter: If you have a lot of apps open, your dock and taskbar can quickly become cluttered and difficult to navigate. Quitting unused apps can help keep things organized.

10. Can prolong the life of your Mac: By reducing the amount of strain on your Mac’s hardware, regularly quitting apps can help prolong its lifespan.


1. Can be time-consuming: If you have a lot of apps open, quitting them all can be time-consuming and tedious.

2. May disrupt workflows: Quitting an app that you’re using, even if only temporarily, can disrupt your workflow and make it harder to get things done.

3. Can cause data loss: if you have unsaved work in an app, quitting it without saving first can cause you to lose that work.

4. May cause compatibility issues: If you’re using an older Mac or older software, quitting apps may cause compatibility issues or prevent certain tasks from working properly.

5. Can be difficult to remember: It’s easy to forget to quit apps regularly, especially if you have a lot open at once.

6. Can decrease productivity: If you’re constantly quitting and restarting apps, it can be distracting and decrease your overall productivity.

7. May not actually improve performance: In some cases, quitting apps may not actually improve performance and could even make your Mac run slower.

8. Can interfere with background processes: Some apps have background processes that run even when they’re not in use. Quitting these apps can interfere with those processes and cause issues.

9. May cause lag: If you have a lot of apps open, quitting them all at once may cause lag as the Mac tries to shut them down simultaneously.

10. Can cause unnecessary wear and tear: Constantly quitting and restarting apps can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your Mac’s hardware.

In conclusion, while there are certainly advantages to quitting apps on your Mac, there are also some potential downsides that users should be aware of. Ultimately, whether or not to quit apps regularly is a personal choice that depends on your individual needs and preferences.


1. Why should I quit apps on my Mac?

By quitting apps on your Mac, you can free up memory and improve performance. It can also help reduce battery consumption and alleviate overheating issues on your Mac.

2. How do I quit apps on my Mac?

To quit an app on your Mac, simply click on the app’s name in the top menu bar and then select “Quit [App Name]” or use the shortcut “Command + Q”.

3. Can I quit multiple apps at once?

Yes, you can quit multiple apps at once by pressing down the “Shift” key and clicking on the apps in the Dock. Then, right-click and select “Quit [App Name]”.

4. How do I know which apps to quit?

You can check which apps are using the most resources by opening your Activity Monitor app. From there, you can see which apps are taking up the most memory and CPU usage.

5. Is it necessary to quit all apps regularly?

No, it’s not necessary to quit all apps regularly. However, if you notice that your Mac is running slow or experiencing performance issues, it may be helpful to quit any unnecessary apps to free up resources.

6. Will quitting an app delete my data?

No, quitting an app will not delete your data. Your data will be saved as long as you have properly saved your work before quitting the app.

7. Why do some apps still run in the background even after I’ve quit them?

Some apps run in the background to perform system tasks, like syncing or updating. These apps can usually be found in the Activity Monitor and may be necessary for your Mac to run smoothly.

8. Can I set up my Mac to automatically quit apps?

Yes, you can set up your Mac to automatically quit apps by enabling the “Close windows when quitting an app” setting. To do this, go to System Preferences, then General, and check the box next to the setting.

9. Will quitting an app affect my login items?

No, quitting an app will not affect your login items.

10. What is the difference between quitting an app and force quitting an app?

Quitting an app closes it normally, allowing it to save any changes and properly end its processes. Force quitting an app abruptly stops it, without allowing it to save any changes or properly end its processes.

11. How do I force quit an app?

To force quit an app on your Mac, you can either use the shortcut “Command + Option + Escape” or right-click on the app in the Dock and select “Force Quit [App Name]”.

12. Will force quitting an app cause any issues?

Force quitting an app can cause issues if the app was in the process of saving important data or files. It’s always best to save your work and try quitting the app normally before resorting to force quitting it.

13. Can I undo force quitting an app?

No, once you force quit an app, it cannot be undone. However, any unsaved changes or data may be lost.

How to Quit Apps on Mac

As a Mac user, you might think that quitting apps is as simple as clicking the red X button on the top left corner of the app window. However, that only closes the window and not the app itself. The app will still be running in the background and consuming your computer’s resources. In this article, we will show you the correct way to quit apps on Mac and how to troubleshoot common issues.

Conclusion and Closing

Quitting apps on Mac is a simple process once you know the correct method. By using the Command + Q shortcut or the App Switcher, you can quit apps quickly and efficiently. It’s important to quit unnecessary apps regularly to free up your computer’s resources and improve performance. If you encounter any issues with quitting apps, you can try troubleshooting by force quitting, checking for updates, or resetting the app.

Thank you for reading our article on how to quit apps on Mac. We hope that you found this information helpful and can apply it to your daily computer usage. Remember to always stay up-to-date with the latest technology and software updates to ensure optimal performance. Until next time, happy computing!