how to close a program but keep it open in background?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by MisterBigMack, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. MisterBigMack macrumors regular

    May 23, 2012

    I have a tendancy to when ive finished using with my apps on my Mac I always go to top left and press quit itunes or quit mail etc

    if i do that to mail, obviously when a email comes through i dont get it straight through unless the mail program is open (like on my iphone, if an email comes it just comes straight through)

    what im asking is, is there a way for me to get my mail through straight away whilst the mail program is open? - thing is I like things tidy and dont like all these programs left open

    also what is the point of the red X in the top left corner?, if im on a website on safari and I press the X, safari is still open isnt it, but if i click back onto safari to re open the app it just goes to the homepage

    so really what is pressing the red X on the top left and quitting the app altogether, what is the difference?
  2. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    The red X, or CMD+W, closes the open window, but not the app. It's just a different way than Windows. It's actually really handy for when you want to keep an app open in the background for future use, without the app windows clogging things up. And the argument could be made that you could just minimize, but then if you use Mission Control all those unnecessary windows show up.
  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    If you want Mail to pick up email, then obviously it needs to be running.
    As said, pressing the Red X closes the window. The window and the app are not the same thing. Unlike Windows, where closing all the windows seems to quit the app.

    You can always Hide an app with Command H.
    From the changes in Lion and later, it looks like OS X is moving towards an environment where the user doesn't know or care if an app is actually running or not. (Obviously, open windows are a giveaway.)

    For instance: apps like Preview and TextEdit will sometimes (appear to) quit automatically if they have no windows open. Also, it's possible to turn off the little lights in the Dock that tell you whether an app is loaded or not.

    My general advice for lots of things is: don't spend time managing the computer! :p

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