Wait... didn't I just close this?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by RenegadeZero, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. RenegadeZero macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2007
    Hey, I -just- purchased my first MacBook (Or Apple product for that matter) and I'm genuinely suprised at the quality. However, in the 2 or so hours of use already, I've noticed something that's really been bugging me out, and don't know whether it's some sort of bug, or part of Mac OS X (Which I sincerelely hope not).

    Basically, with some applications (Most rather, includes iChat, iTunes, Finder etc), when I click the red icon in the top right, I expect the application to ... close right? Well, when I click it, the main window disappears, but I notice the application is still running (When I Alt-Tab, or Apple-Tab), I still see the application there, and when I switch to it, I see all the options in the 'taskbar', but don't actually see a Window. Instead, I've had to quit those programs with Command + Q, which I think is getting annoying. Anyone know how to fix this problem, for an ever so Mac n00b?
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    The red button is not a "quit application" button, it is a "close window" button. Most apps remain open even with no open windows (iPhoto being one notable exception), that is just the way that the os x is designed. I for one much prefer it to the the windows way of quitting the app just because it has no windows.
  3. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    That is completely normal, and is in fact the "Mac way" of doing things. Apple expects that users want to be able to go to their apps quickly again - this behavior is one way of achieving that goal. Also, you might have noticed that applications launch faster after the first time (after a restart) - this is because Mac OS X is smart, and caches information needed to launch apps so they start faster the second (and subsequent) times.

    There is no way that I know of to change this behavior globally, since it is implemented on a per-application basis (compare TextEdit with System Preferences for an example).
  4. elfin buddy macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Sep 16, 2001
    Tuttlingen, Germany
    You'll get used to it in no time and it'll be like second nature. I can't stand the way Windows insists on closing applications when all I wanted to do was close one file and open another.
  5. epochblue macrumors 68000


    Aug 12, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The difference is that some apps can have multiple windows and some apps are single-window apps. iPhoto is a single-window app, which is why clicking the red X will quit iPhoto. Apps like iChat and Safari are multi-window apps, so clicking the red X will close only that window, not quit the app.

    Plus, you're getting into a deeper difference between OS X and Windows. In Windows, each window is an INSTANCE of an appliacation. In OS X there is a single instance of an application that can have multiple windows. See the difference?

    The safe thing to do if you want to quit the applications, is to use Cmd+Q to ensure that the app has been quit. It might be annoying at first, but I'd say that's just a side-effect of being used to the "Windows way."

    Good luck, and welcome to Mac, BTW :)
  6. RenegadeZero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2007
    Thanks for the quick reply! If there's anything I love with a Mac so far, is not the hardware or software but the community, they are simply pure awesome. Looks like I'll just have to keep my fingers pinned down on Command-Q. Thanks!
  7. AdeFowler macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    Rather than quitting an app or closing the window, hide the app using Command :)apple: ) - H. I rarely quit apps
  8. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    If you're concerned about leaving apps running, you can quit unused apps quickly using the app switcher.

    Hit Command-Tab to bring it up, then keeping the Command key down use the arrow keys or the mouse (easier) to highlight applications and hit "Q" to quit them. Alternatively, hit "H" to hide them.
  9. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    Those of us with 3+ GB of RAM can afford to leave all of their apps open all the time. An intel mini, though, isn't going to run much aside from the basics without slowing down unless you upped the RAM.

    A MacBook will be better if it's a new one, but not THAT much. RAM starvation and slow hard drives = painfully slow paging to bring a dormant application to the foreground.

    I can get away with leaving everything open, but that's what 3GB of RAM and a 10K RPM RAID 0 array boot volume can offer you that a MacBook just can't.

    Nothing at all wrong with using CMD-Q if you aren't going to be using the App any time soon. In fact, it will free up more RAM for other apps.
  10. maxrobertson macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2006
    To actually quit an application, you have to go to the Application Menu (which is the bold menu at the top with the application's name) and select Quit. It's a little annoying at first, but you'll get used to it and it really makes a lot of sense, because you no longer have to keep a window open if you don't want to use an application right now, but don't want to reload it later when you do need it.
  11. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Actually most of the assigned RAM will be available even if the application is still running. If you look at Activity Monitor, the amount of RAM in use is the total of the wired and active RAM. Inactive RAM is still assigned to running programs but will be freed if another application needs it. The way memory management works in OS X, free RAM is wasted RAM.

    (Most) running applications without active windows don't use up much RAM or CPU and there's really no overwhelming need to close them. They will reload faster (even on a MacBook with the standard RAM) when you need to use them again. My wife's first gen MacBook has 1GB RAM and she doesn't get much RAM paging, but then she's hardly a power user. But then if she was a power user she wouldn't be using a MacBook.

    That said, I do tend to use Cmd-Q myself, if only to keep my Cmd-Tab switcher easier to manage.
  12. BurtonCCC macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2005
    Wheaton/Normal, IL
    Yeah, if you want to stay a noob forever.

    The Mac works best with keyboard commands. Learn them all.

    Here's some of my favorites to get you started:
    Command + Q = Quit
    Command + W = Close window
    Command + E = Eject or unmount
    Command + Shift + Backspace = Empty trash
    Command + Shift + Q = Log out
    Command + N = New window
    Command + Shift + N = New folder in the Finder
    Command + T = New tab in Safari or Firefox
    Command + ~ = Cycle between windows in a single application

    That's only a fraction of the useful ones. Enjoy.


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