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The OS X menu allows exit, minimize and maximize:

enter image description here
I know the following shortcuts:

Exit: command+Q
Minimize: command + M
Maximize: ?

When I use command+Q to exit the behavior differs from clicking the red button. I want the UI to close and the application to remain running. Instead, the application exits entirely.

How can I accomplish this with a keyboard shortcut?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You always have the option to hide the active program. When the application in question is active (in front of all others) there are 2 options:

  1. option +click on the Desktop
  2. command +h

The first option always works or at least I can't think of any exceptions this minute. The second is supported by most applications.

In either case:

  1. Your session will be preserved.
  2. Neither will cause these windows to be displayed in the Dock where the minimized programs are located.
  3. You'll need both hands.

So, if you're scanning eBay at work, you'll likely only look suspicious. But, if you lean into it and use + (command+tab) PLUS +h in succession, you might actually look like you're doing work.

But, in the event you're asked to bring your browser back to the forefront you'll be busted. It will display exactly what you were looking at when you hid it.

You can imagine how I know this :-)

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I experienced much success with ⌘+h! –  P.Brian.Mackey Aug 20 at 16:53
    
Glad to pass it along :-) –  todd_dsm Aug 21 at 6:53

Typically, an application will offer a way to both close the UI and quit the application. These are usually standardized to command ⌘+W to close the UI/window and command ⌘+Q to quit the application.

Some applications will still quit entirely when you use command ⌘+W, such as Preview. You can usually rely on this shortcut to close the window without quitting, however.

I should also point out that the red button in the top left does not "quit" the application as you mentioned in the question body. It will close the window (just like command ⌘+W).

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command ⌘+W will close the application's window, leaving the application running in the background.

There are a few exceptions to this (iPhoto, etc) but the majority of applications will have this behavior.

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You can use command ⌘+H to hide one entire application. Only the dock item will be visible. However, it's better to have an app, that uses a menubar item ("Menubar App") and allows you to completely hide the dock item while running.

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'Alt F4' on Mac

I recently started working with Mac and this was the first thing i researched. Its surprising that no one knows of this command even tho its in the official 'docs'.

  • cmd + shift + w --> closes window with its tabs

apple shortcut page

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It depends on the type of application

If the application is multi-document (.g Safari, Preview) i.e. can have several different documents open in several windows then command ⌘+W will close the current window and leave the application running (until possible it is shut down if the OS needs more resources)

If the application has just one window e.g. App Store, System preferences then closing the window will also close the app. Thus command ⌘+W and command ⌘+Q do the same

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