I'm used to closing only the open windows when pressing CMD+W. However, when all Reminders windows are closed, the application itself quits.

How to prevent this behavior?

  • Why is this important? Contacts behaves like Reminders. But not Notes, the app continues running on CMD+W (macOS 11.5.2).
    – Gilby
    Aug 23, 2021 at 6:06
  • @Gilby I use Reminders A LOT. I even have a shortcut for it. I use them to the point of getting frustrated of waiting a whole second every time I need the app.
    – Birowsky
    Aug 23, 2021 at 7:44
  • Me too, I'm expecting Reminder's app behavior like Calendar, Notes, or Mail. I open it quite a lot to update my TODO list, as Checklist feature in Notes doesn't hide completed list automatically. May 13, 2023 at 10:55

3 Answers 3


Here is an actual fix for the problem...

  • Go to System Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts... > App Shortcuts
  • Press the +
  • Application: Reminders.app
  • Menu Title: Hide Reminders
  • Keyboard Shortcut: ⌘W

System Settings screenshot

  • !!!!! Badass !!!!!!
    – Birowsky
    Jul 5, 2023 at 20:08

This is a long-standing fundamental behaviour in MacOS. From the 2008 Human Interface Guidelines (Chapter 14):

In most cases, applications that are not document-based should quit when the main window is closed. For Example, System Preferences quits if the user closes the window. If an application continues to perform some function when the main window is closed, however, it may be appropriate to leave it running when the main window is closed.

(However, Apple has been ignoring its own guidelines over recent years and changing them to incorporate touch-screen interface design. Notes does not quit on close, and I can't see any residual function.)

There is no way of changing the design of these apps.

Given the speed with which these apps load, and their small memory footprint, I'd just try to think of them as either 'on' or 'off', with Close and Quit doing the same thing.

  • 1
    You're right about Notes, I missed that. For Reminders, instead of answering, you're trying to persuade me to live with it : )
    – Birowsky
    Aug 23, 2021 at 7:39
  • The answer is "You cannot prevent this behaviour".
    – benwiggy
    Aug 23, 2021 at 7:47
  • 1
    You're right. That's an answer. Let's see if there's a solution..
    – Birowsky
    Aug 23, 2021 at 8:27

Command-M is what you need. This "minimises" the window, rather than "closing" it.

This is the same as clicking the orange button at top left of the window.

  • I would've definitely made this a practice, but M is on the far side of the keyboard, requiring another hand : ) Not that I don't have it, it's just that it's busy with the mouse/trackpad
    – Birowsky
    May 20, 2023 at 15:35

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