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  1. #1

    Jaygray's Avatar
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    Does pushing the red gel button really close the application?
    I am a Windows refugee seeking asylum. Can someone explain what actually happens when you click the red close button on a window? I've noticed that the window closes, but the menu bar at the top of the screen often stays open.

    With a PC, when you click close, the application closes completely. Windows mobile devices have no close button. They only minimize the application. The OS closes the application only when it needs the RAM for another running process. Is this the situation with the Mac?

    Is there a way to actually close the application in a single click. I realize there is a keyboard shortcut.

  2. #2


    Member Since
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    To put it simply...you close windows. You quit applications.

  3. #3

    JohnTheMacGeek's Avatar
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    Nope, the red button only closes (minimizes) the window. To quit it, hit "Command+Q".

  4. #4

    The Vindicat3d's Avatar
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    What they said, the close window button is just that... a button to close the window, you will notice the little light under the apps in your dock, those indicate that the application is still running and not quit, to quit when you are in the app (it is the menu currently open) you can press command+Q or click on it's name in the menu and than click quit... or go to the app in the dock right click of hold down left click until a menu pops up and click quit application!

  5. #5

    Jaygray's Avatar
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    If I don't close the applications when I finish with them, will I see diminished performance, or does the OS take away the RAM they are using when it is needed for other tasks?

  6. #6

    Kash's Avatar
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    Since you're not actually quitting applications, they're still running in the background, albeit using fewer resources. The upside is that they load rather quickly.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  7. #7

    MaDDoG's Avatar
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    If it still has the little arrow or orb under it the application when it is still shown in the dock, then you have only closed it, not quit the application altogether. So therefore the application is still using resources and quietly running in the background.
    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
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  8. #8


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    It also depends on the application though. Sometimes when you close the window it quits the application. Like iMovie quits when you close the window. I can't remember all applications that behave this way.

    Maybe I'm just used to it, but it seems that the apps that don't quit when you close the window don't for a good reason. Like Mail. I don't want mail to quit every time I close the window because I still want it to fetch my mail.

  9. #9

    Kash's Avatar
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    It's the applications where you can only open a single window of that close when you click on the red button.

    If you don't want to close Mail but don't want to minimize it either, try hiding it. It's still running in the background but you don't have to worry about it taking up extra space in your Dock. Do this by either pressing Command + H or right clicking on the Mail icon and selecting Hide.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  10. #10

    Jaygray's Avatar
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    Is there a key stoke to close all applications at once?

    So far I subscribe to putting my Mac to sleep as opposed to shutting it down every night. During a typical day, I will probably open 6-8 different applications. Should I manually shut these down each night?

    (Polling the viewers) How many applications can you leave running in the background without seeing diminished performance?

  11. #11


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaygray View Post
    (Polling the viewers) How many applications can you leave running in the background without seeing diminished performance?
    There are too many variables for a meaningful answer. It depends on the amount of RAM in the machine, the model of machine, it's processing speed, the resources an application uses when static, an app's RAM handling. . . . It goes on and on.

    Other than logging out, a single AppleScript, or perhaps Automator command could quit everything, but I don't know one or know of one off-hand. I know nothing of Leopard, either.

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