Feeling overwhelmed by the number of apps cluttering your Mac’s screen? Unlike other operating systems, the little red x button doesn’t actually close an app on Mac. As a result, your system resources stay occupied and your Mac looks cluttered with unnecessary apps.
Knowing how to close apps on your Mac can improve system performance, prevent crashes or freezes, and speed up your Mac. In this guide, I’ll show you how to close apps on Mac using different methods, ranging from simple and familiar to more advanced techniques.
Before We Begin
Closing apps on Mac is necessary as too many open apps can make Mac inefficient. However, if your Mac keeps acting up after closing apps, you can use MacKeeper’s Memory Cleaner to free up RAM and to increase your Mac’s efficiency. So, download MacKeeper and optimize your Mac instantly.
Why Close Apps on Your Mac?
Closing apps on your Mac may seem like a mundane task, but it holds significant benefits for your overall computing experience. Here are a few reasons why you should make a habit of closing apps on your Mac:
- ⚡️ Enhance Performance: Running too many apps simultaneously can strain your Mac’s resources, leading to sluggish performance. By closing unused apps, you free up valuable system memory and processing power, resulting in a smoother and more responsive experience.
- 🔋 Preserve Battery Life: If you’re using a MacBook or a Mac laptop, closing unnecessary apps can conserve battery life. Background apps consume power even when you’re not actively using them, leading to your Mac’s battery draining faster. By closing them, you can extend your battery’s lifespan and get more out of your Mac.
- 📁 Organize Your Workspace: Having a cluttered screen with numerous open apps can be visually overwhelming and hinder your productivity. By closing apps you no longer need, you create a clean and organized workspace, making it easier to focus on the tasks at hand.
- 🛠️ Resolve Software Conflicts: In rare cases, certain apps may encounter conflicts or errors that affect their performance. By closing and relaunching the problematic app, you can often resolve minor glitches or conflicts, allowing the app to function smoothly again.
- 🔒 Maintain Security: Keeping too many apps open increases the risk of potential security vulnerabilities. By closing apps when you’re not using them, you reduce the chances of unauthorized access or potential exploits.
In a nutshell, closing apps on your Mac optimizes performance, conserves battery life, declutters your workspace, resolves software issues, and enhances overall security.
8 Methods to Close Apps on Mac
There are various methods to close apps on Mac, from the menu bar to the command line interface. Below, I’ve shared some quick and easy methods to close unnecessary apps on your Mac and avoid clutter.
1. Use Dock
Using the Dock to close apps on Mac is the easies method that can save you a lot of time. The Dock is the strip of icons located at the bottom of the screen, displaying the apps you have open.
Here’s how to use Dock to close apps on Mac:
- Locate the app you want to close in the Dock.
- Right-click the app icon.
- Select Quit from the context menu to close the app.
2. End Processes Using MacKeeper
MacKeeper empowers you to identify and terminate resource-hungry processes that may be slowing down your Mac. Say goodbye to sluggishness and hello to a faster, more efficient machine.
Follow these steps to end a process on Mac using MacKeeper:
- Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
- Click the Memory Cleaner option in the left sidebar under Performance.
- Click Open.
- Click Apps & Processes in the left panel.
- To terminate a task, click the X button next to its name.
- Tap the Quit button on the pop-up to close a process.
3. Quit From Menu Bar
This method is one of the most straightforward ways to close apps on a Mac. It is accessible from any application and takes just a few clicks. The following steps explain how to quit an app from your Mac’s menu bar:
- When you have multiple applications open, click the app you want to close to make sure it is the active app.
- Once you have the app in focus, click the app name you want to close in the menu bar.
- After you click the app name, a dropdown menu will appear. Click the Quit [app name] option in the dropdown menu.
- When you click Quit app name, a dialog box may appear asking you to confirm that you want to quit the app. If you are sure you want to close the app, click Quit.
- Once you confirm you want to quit the app, it will close, and you will return to your desktop.
4. Using a Keyboard Shortcut
Using Mac keyboard shortcuts is a quick way to close apps on Mac. This method is perfect for those who prefer keyboard shortcuts over the mouse or trackpad. However, it will instantly close the app without any further confirmation or prompts. So, save important work before doing so.
Here’s the keyboard shortcut you can use to close apps on Mac:
- Click the app you want to close to bring it to focus.
- Press the Command ⌘ + Q keys together.
This will quit the app.
5. Use Terminal Command
The terminal is a command line interface on Mac that allows users to enter and execute commands. This method is suitable for advanced users comfortable using the command line.
Here are the steps to close apps on mac using the Terminal:
- Open Terminal by searching for it in Spotlight or navigating to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
- Type the following command in the Terminal window and press Enter to execute the command:
ps -ax | grep [app name]
Replace [app name] with the app you want to close.
- It will display a list of processes associated with the app.
- Find the process ID (PID) associated with the app you want to close.
- Type the following in the Terminal window and press Enter:
Replace [PID] with the process ID you found in step 4.
- It will force quit the app.
6. Close From Window
This method can be useful when working with multiple documents or files within the same app and wanting to close one without affecting the others. It is easy to use and requires just one click.
Follow these steps to close apps on Mac using their own window:
- Click the app you want to close to bring it to focus.
- Identify the window you want to close and click the X button in the window’s upper-left corner.
- The window will close, but the app will remain open as long as other windows or processes are associated.
7. Force Quit the App
Force Quit is a method that you can use to close an unresponsive or frozen app. It is a quick way to force quit the app without going through the standard closing process.
Here are the steps to force quit an app on Mac:
- Click the Apple menu located in the top-left corner of the screen.
- Select Force Quit from the dropdown menu.
- A window will appear with a list of open applications. Select the application you want to force quit.
- Click the Force Quit button in the window’s lower-right corner.
- A confirmation dialog box will appear, asking you to confirm that you want to force quit the application. Click the Force Quit button again to confirm.
8. Use Activity Monitor
Activity Monitor is a system utility that comes with the macOS operating system. It is used to monitor your Mac’s processes and system resources, including the currently running apps. You can use it to force quit apps that are not responding or using too much CPU or memory.
Here’s how to use Activity Monitor to close apps on Mac:
- Open the Activity Monitor app from the Utilities folder, which can be found in the Applications folder.
- In the Activity Monitor window, you can see a list of all the apps and processes currently running on your Mac. Look for the app you want to close, and click to select it.
- Once you have selected the app you want to close, click the X button in the window’s upper-left corner.
- It will create a dialog box asking if you want to quit the app. Click the Force Quit button to confirm.
- You can confirm it has been closed by checking the Activity Monitor window again to see if it is still listed as a running process.
Closing apps on Mac is a simple and necessary task to maintain the performance and memory of your device. To ensure a smooth experience on your Mac, here are some more tips to keep in mind for the future:
- Monitoring memory usage on Mac and identifying the apps that consume the most memory can help you prioritize which apps to close first.
- Keeping your apps up to date on Mac can ensure they run smoothly and minimize the need to force quit or close them.
- If you fail to close unresponsive apps, try to force shut down your Mac and resolve this issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I close all apps at once on Mac?
Yes, you can close all apps at once on Mac by using the Force Quit option. To do this, click the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen, select Force Quit, then select all the apps you want to close and click Force Quit.
What happens if I force quit an app on Mac?
When you force quit an app on Mac, it immediately closes the app and stops its processes. Any unsaved work will be lost, so saving your work is always a good idea before you force quit an app.
Is it necessary to close apps on Mac?
No, it’s not necessary to close apps on Mac. macOS is designed to manage your system resources efficiently, and closing apps may not necessarily improve your Mac’s performance. However, if an app is causing issues or is unresponsive, it’s a good idea to close it.