For example, you can close "Dashboard" widgets while holding down the option key. I can’t find a way to close windows and/or exit an application directly from Mission Control. Though I'm looking for a keyboard shortcut or builtin solution ideally, Third Party solutions are acceptable so long as the application is simple and non-intrusive.

Here’s a screenshot if it’s still unclear what I’m asking.

enter image description here

Running macOS Sierra [originally asked Running El Capitan.]

Note: I see now that a similar question exists, but it’s five years old and still unanswered - hoping there’s a better solution out there…

  • IMO as of today the best solution was brought in the answer posted by Macaroon: Mission Control Plus. Bringing it up here because it's deeply buried at the bottom and easy to miss. Quoting this Question, I consider it the best solution since there is currently no "builtin solution" in osx, and this is a "Third Party solution" that is "simple and non-intrusive"; furthermore the currently selected alternative - Better Touch Tool, no shade to that app, I have not tried it - might be more functionality than needed if the user's only problem is closing windows in Mission Control. Commented Mar 22 at 0:16

4 Answers 4


You can use do this by using Better Touch Tool as suggested by Anthonin C's comment. However, if you have a trackpad or touchpad, you may find that using a gesture instead of a keyboard shortcut avoids the problems outlined in the question linked to by Anthonin C. If this is something that interests you, then you would:

  1. Install BTT
  2. Add a new global gesture
  3. Set up a Touchpad Gesture (such as a 3 finger click)
  4. Set the Predefined Action as Close window below cursor

This will then work from Mission control.

Closing apps

By the way, if you're wanting to close an App rather than just a window, you can also do this via the heads-up display. More specifically:

  1. Press commandtab to open the heads-up display
  2. Keep holding the command key once when you see the heads-up display
  3. Cycle through the apps by pressing the tab key or the ~ key
  4. Once the app you want to quit is selected, press the Q key to quit the app

NOTE: - You could also use the heads up display to quickly navigate to an App and, once there, use the command+W keyboard shortcut to close the window. However, if you have multiple windows open you could inadvertently close the wrong window.

UPDATE re Better Touch Tool

The developer of this app has set up a new site for its distribution. Legacy versions of his apps (released before February 2018) can still be used for free.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 21:15
  • this is awesome! I would love it if it ONLY worked in mission control, though.. any way to do that?
    – Damon
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 20:27

As I've suggested in my comment, using Better Touch Tool is, according to me, the only way to achieve this. What you have to do after installing Better Touch Tool is :

  • Go in Trackpad sections (or Keyboard if you don't have Trackpad)
  • In the left sidebar select Global
  • Click Add a new gesture
  • Select a gesture (I personally use 3 Fingers Swipe down)
  • In Predefined Actions, search for Close Window Below Cursor (Works in Mission Control)

You're set !

NOTE : Even if the window is successfully closed in Mission Control, it still maintains the outline for the app


No (maintained/working) free solutions exist

TL;DR after extensive testing I cannot recommend Better Touch Tool I mentioned below.

  • Gesture (if global) could be triggered even if mission control isn't open. So using a two finger swipe down could close any application at any time.
  • Rather than making it global assigning a gesture to Mission Control doesn't work. The gesture then no longer works and the application isn't closed. (Legacy versions of) BetterTouchTool is the only free solution but it's unmaintained and buggy.


enter image description here

An alternative application is AltTab, it achieves the exact same thing as Mission Control - and more. You could see it as the Windows 10 version of Windows management.

There are two ways to close windows using AltTab.

Open AltTab using Alt+Tab:

  • Then press the Red X in the top right
  • Press W on the "focused" (mini) window

Two modifications are required to make it like Mission Control

  • Open AltTab from Launchpad -> Controls > Show Window From > Visible Spaces
  • Open AltTab from Launchpad -> Appearance -> Hide apps with no open windows

Installing Better Touch Tool (legacy version)

  1. Visit https://folivora.ai/downloads
  2. Select Previous Versions
  3. Choose 2.05 which begin the download (this is the latest legacy free version available that works I tried https://www.boastr.net/ which has 2.342 but it didn't work on macOS Big Sur)
  4. Extract it
  5. There is an intermittent bug where a prompt keeps flashing to the foreground then background (and repeats) telling you to give BetterTouchTool permission (occurs one in three times). If this happens it's just asking you to go to System preferences > Security and Privacy > Accessibility and give BetterTouchTool permission. It stops if you either reinstall or give permission.
  6. Visit https://www.boastr.net/ to get a license otherwise it's only 45 days. This site is where BetterTouchTool used to be hosted as explained on the site.
  7. Click on the hyperlink or click here to activate immediately

If everything went OK you see the logo in the top right of your screen enter image description here

Setting up the shortcut/gesture

enter image description here

  1. Click Trackpads
  2. In the bottom right choose Add New Gesture
  3. Choose Close Window Below Cursor for the Predefined Action dropdown
  4. Choose Touchpad Gesture as desired (I chose 2 Finger Swipe Down)
  • I submitted a new answer since previous answers were a bit outdated since the tool got updated/became paid.
    – Mark
    Commented Feb 3, 2022 at 22:12
  • After extended testing several things became evident. The first being this gesture (if global) which is the default in the left hand side bar could be triggered even if mission control isn't open. So using a two finger swipe down could close any application at any time. The next idea is obviously, choose an application for the gesture and in this case choosing mission control just means the gesture isn't detected at all. TL;DR after extensive testing I cannot recommend this application
    – Mark
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 19:55
  • AltTab is free and open-source software (FOSS) and working on MacOS 13.1, so maybe remove the first heading. Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 0:23
  • 1
    @CeesTimmerman AltTab doesn't use mission control. Using AltTab is a workaround, not a solution - even if it does it well. Hence the heading is correct.
    – Mark
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 22:57

As mentioned in an answer to the other question about this, which is now closed, Mission Control Plus exists to do exactly this.

As the app's developer wrote there, MCP adds an "X" to the upper left corner of a window when you hover over it in Mission Control; clicking the "X" closes that window.

It's an inexpensive background app that has a menu bar presence to allow setting preferences. I've been using it for a few weeks and I really like it. I'd been looking for something along these lines for a while and had tried a whole bunch of less satisfactory other apps (mostly now discontinued). I have no connection with Mission Control Plus and was initially hesitant but I'm really glad I bought it. Kudos to the dev.

Much as I love BTT and the universe of customisation possibilities it opens up, I like the way MCP just does one thing well, very simply and very effectively. Plus it needs no setup so anybody can use it from the word go.

Bonus hint: if - like me - you have Mission Control set to "Group windows by Application", you can still get an exposé view of all open windows for the frontmost app by holding down Ctrl while pressing your Mission Control hotkey.


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