I am new to OSX - but I have a behaviour that is not normal I suppose: When I quit browsers (doesn't matter if Chrome/Firefox/Safari) via the red [X] = hide -> all tabs are lost although I turned windows saving on in browser options. If I use Cmd+Q this does not happen. I already tried the OSX option "Close windows when closing" - but this had no effect...

  • 4
    Red is "close window", use the yellow button to hide/minimize a window.
    – nohillside
    Aug 16, 2015 at 14:14
  • 1
    & use Cmd/q to quit. Paradigm shift compared to Windows behaviour, closing the last window does not usually quit the app [with some exceptions, system prefs, etc]
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 16, 2015 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is how it's supposed to work. Closing the window will literally close the window, but quitting the application closes the application, saving the state of the application (if it supports it) including the windows. The red × does not quit the browser—it just closes the window. The browser itself is still open.

  • 4
    So one has normally browsers with a lot of tabs open. This means the red X does make sense for whom exactly? If I click it accidentally in Chrome all tabs are gone without any warning! Firefox at least can warn me via a setting that I will close multiple tabs... PS: On latest MacBooks closing and starting browsers with a lot of tabs takes merely longer than putting them to :sleep" with X and clicking them. So this makes even less sense...
    – Strinder
    Aug 17, 2015 at 12:06
  • 3
    In todays world where many many programs heavily rely on tabs (browser, text editors, terminals, finder, ...) this makes no sense at all. The red X button is just an accident waiting to happen.
    – fgysin
    Aug 30, 2016 at 15:22
  • This is not how it’s supposed to work. In windows it doesn’t work like this and it is more user friendly. In windows, if I close the last window, it closes the browser, and this, my friend, is user friendly. This crap feature from apple is pure nonsense from the user perspective. I already lost countless sessions because of this, imagine how a regular user must be annoyed without even knowing why he loses his tabs over and over again.
    – a.s.t.r.o
    Jul 22, 2020 at 19:23

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