In Why is the Finder app always open?, it was noted that you could add a Quit menu item to the Finder via a Terminal command, but the comments and one of the answers seemed to indicate that this was a bad idea and should be avoided unless you had a could reason. Why is this this? Does this prevent the system from working correctly?

I myself have enabled the Quit menu item in the Finder (via TinkerTool, rather than the command line) and find it useful for presentations where I don't want to show everybody my messy desktop or any open windows. I've also quit when I thought that I could use the extra RAM (like heavy Photoshop editing), although to be honest I don't know if that's effective. Are there any negative consequences that could result if I kept doing this?

  • I have been using the Quit Finder command on the Finder menu, implemented by the defaults command (which by the way is how Tinker Tool does it too) for many years and have never had any issue,in that manner, as a result of closing Finder. Feb 28 '17 at 23:48

Finder is the application Mac uses to well... find files.

It should be perfectly fine so long as you do not run anything that specifically calls finder, i.e. AppleScript. You'll also (obviously) lose all your open Finder windows.

I completely understand quitting for presentations, but there should not be much of a performance improvement if you quit Finder.

So, no, it should not be a problem, just note that apps that call on Finder should open Finder for you, so you'll need to quit it again.

Thanks to @user3439894 for catching me on something I said wrong.

  • Applications can create/open/save files within the app itself without Finder. Finder is not necessary for an app to preform those functions. There is absolutely no need to be giving any warnings about implementing the Quit Finder menu because if it was going to be an issue Apple would not have provided a way to do it in the first place! BTW I'm referring to apps that do not explicitly call on Finder, i.e. not an AppleScript app or Automator workflow that intensionally is coded to use Finder. Feb 28 '17 at 23:49
  • @user3439894 thanks. Edited to reflect changes. Feb 28 '17 at 23:51
  • AppleScript will launch the Finder and other apps if you try to script with them, so that wouldn't be a problem. I assume Automator works the same way.
    – Bob
    Mar 1 '17 at 1:30
  • @Bob well your computer won't do what you're trying to do is the essence of that, but thanks. Mar 1 '17 at 3:54

Finder is not just a file explorer application. It is responsible for certain GUI functionalities including showing desktop icons. While it is possible and relatively harmless to quit Finder, potential side effects may be more than the the benefit of the memory it frees.

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