Close Windows When Quitting Apps on Mac OS Selectively or Always

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By default, Mac OS X automatically opens windows when a program is closed and then restarted later. This feature borrowed from iOS and it’s incredibly useful, and once you become dependent on it you’ll find that it can really boost your productivity by getting you back to work quickly. This is especially true when you have to quit an app or ten to be free up resources for another task, or just to maintain focus and stay productive when too much is happening.

Beyond the obvious utility, the Window Restore feature was divisive when it first came on the Mac, and it continues to divide a large number of people. There are many situations where you don’t want to restart previously opened documents and windows, especially when sensitive or private data has been accessed, or when Macs shared or even used by multiple users (unsolicited advice: setting up unique user accounts is an infinitely better solution for Macs with multiple users and multiple users). In these cases, there are two ways to go about window recovery: temporarily disable per app stop – the recommended approach – or just disable feature completely – which is less recommended for reasons we’ll discuss. Let’s discuss both options.

Close all windows of an app per stop

If you prefer not to always close windows on shutdown, a workaround is to selectively use the ‘Shut down and close’ option feature instead. This works per application and per stop, which is perfect for occasional use:

  • From any application, hold down the “Option” key when you open the menu with the name of the app, then choose “Exit and close all windows”
  • OR use the shortcut: Command + Option + Q to exit and close all windows immediately

Close windows when exiting the application

Make sure Auto-Save is enabled if you are going to use this featureotherwise, it’s remarkably easy to lose important changes to documents, especially if you’re used to relying on auto-save. Throw this away trick has been around for a while and it can selectively apply to any single Mac application.

Set Windows to always close when exiting apps

Disabling window recovery affects all applications used in Mac OS X:

  • From the  Apple menu, go to System Preferences, then choose the “General” panel
  • Check the box next to ‘Close windows when exiting an application’

Always close windows when closing applications in Mac OS X

The description is fairly explanatory “If selected, open documents and windows are not restored when you reopen an application”. This ends up with apps that behave less like iOS, and more like older versions of Mac OS X and Windows, which can be good or bad depending on your opinion of document recovery and whether you enjoy looking for stuff in the file system. Apple makes this possible feature standard in OS X and iOS, as they’ve found it’s a lot more convenient to immediately resume things where you left off than by chasing and pecking files to get back to what you were doing, and it’s me there usually agree with them, leaving this behind feature turned on ultimately saves time.

Note that the instructions above are specific to OS X 10.8 and newer. 10.7 just uses a slightly different approach and the setting is called “Restore windows” instead. 10.8+ ultimately handles this behavior much better and it is highly recommended that you upgrade from 10.7.

Again, if you decide to automatically close all windows and disable the ability to restore the window, it is highly recommended that you leave auto-save universally enabled, or turn it back on if you do it at some point. accidentally turned off. Autosave is incredibly beneficial and prevents you from losing changes to documents, which is even more important when documents are no longer automatically reopened.

Note that if you decide to close always open windows, the originally recommended “Option + Quit” trick is reversed. So instead of deleting windows, using Command + Option + Q allows selective window recovery by stop.

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The time to complete the Close Windows When Quitting Apps in Mac OS X Selectively or Always tutorial is 10+ minutes.

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Apple

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mac OS



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