command+q has no effect on Finder, which means there is no way of closing a whole Finder window using a keyboard shortcut. Instead, you have to use command+w to close all of its tabs one by one.

I understand that Finder is treated differently and that it is a special application, but it just seems awkward and inconsistent, because to me as a user, Finder is a file manager and I expect it to respond to command+q like any other program would. Why does Finder even appear in OS X's Application Switcher (command+tab), if it cannot be closed?

It seems to me that Finder is somewhat special because OS X does not distinguish the file manager from the whole desktop environment. From OS X's perspective, closing Finder would be closing the Desktop, the Bars, and even the Application Switcher, which is why it is blocked.

Now, my actual question:

How can I close a Finder window without closing each tab on its own?

  • There is a modify that will remove Finder from switcher if interested. I used this guide with mavericks, not tested with Yosemite. dzello.com/blog/2012/02/12/…
    – tron_jones
    Dec 9 '14 at 13:59
  • 1
    Please have a look at apple.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask to understand why questions about design decisions made by Apple don't work very well on AskDifferent (or any other StackExchange site). Can you please edit your question to get it more in line with the FAQ and to avoid having it closed as "primarily opinion-based"? I see at least two possible questions right now: "How can I close a Finder window without closing each tab on its own" and "How can I quit Finder".
    – nohillside
    Dec 9 '14 at 15:11
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it lacks a practical problem to be solved as a user of Apple products. See the Ask Different Meta posts on why questions about discussing Apple's design decisions in general are off-topic for this site.
    – bmike
    Dec 9 '14 at 16:13

You can close all windows of an application (including Finder) with ++w.

You can add a quit option to the Finder by running:

defaults write com.apple.finder QuitMenuItem -bool YES && killall Finder

Considering Finder is responsible for the desktop icons, quitting it rather pointless, but have it!

  • 1
    I quit the Finder in my personal machine when I make live presentations in class to get some privacy.
    – lhf
    Dec 9 '14 at 18:07
  • Finder is a default file manager in Mac operating systems, that was available since the very beginning in mid 1980-s. Now it always takes place on the left of your dock bar. It cannot be removed or dispositioned. Actually it can be closed with some terminal commands and apps like this itunes.apple.com/app/id518830108 but it has no point at work.
    – A. Shulev
    Nov 18 '15 at 20:42
  • 2
    I'm not sure what your point is
    – Alexander
    Nov 18 '15 at 20:53
  • >"Considering Finder is responsible for the desktop icons, quitting it rather pointless, but have it!" — desktop icons are of little use for some people (like me), because there's always something on top of desktop, and if the goal is to have 1 folder always 1 click away, this is achievable by a bookmark in a file manager which doesn't have to be Finder. So it may very well have a point. Feb 28 '17 at 18:14
  • @SargeBorsch I don't use many desktop icons either, but I think you and I are in the vast vast minority. Which perhaps explains why this behaviour is opt-in
    – Alexander
    Feb 28 '17 at 18:17

You can use cmd + alt + w to close All windows.


The main purpose of the Application Switcher is switching between applications which includes Finder as well. As you can't quit the Finder directly you can't quit it from the Switcher either.


Finder is a special application and must always be running. Even if you go to Force Quit menu - there is no 'Force Quit' for Finder process, only 'Relaunch'.


Think of Finder as explorer.exe on Windows. It is like the shell, it must always be running.

  • 3
    it mustn't. OS can function without it. Feb 28 '17 at 18:11

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