Essentially, I'm trying to find a way to make the red Close button do the equivalent of Cmd+Q, consistently (think; Windows/Linux close buttons). A previous question asked the same question, inherently, but this is now outdated (the version this was asked for was OS X Lion, and System Preferences has long since changed on macOS Sonoma 14.2.1).

Initially, this appeared to have been fixed via System Preferences > General and turning off "Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps". I believe the closest equivalent of this for Sonoma is System Settings > Desktop and Dock and enabling "Close windows when quitting an application", but even in wording alone this doesn't seem to be exactly what I'm looking for.

It should be noted I'm not looking for any form of memory management etc., as many other people have mentioned in questions similar to this; I just don't like having that many applications open to start, especially since, being a long-time Windows user, Cmd-Tab is my go-to for switching applications, and I'd enjoy not having to either spam the Tab key or have to use my mouse scroll wheel.

  • 2
    The wording may have changed over the years but the default behaviour has not. For any multi-document app, closing the last window does not quit the app. The pref you're looking at does the opposite, it closes all the windows when you Quit, so they don't re-open in the same state at next launch.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 8 at 15:31
  • As a "long-time Windows user, Cmd-Tab is my go-to" you would know that on Windows it is "alt-tab" not Cmnd-Tab...
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 8 at 16:25
  • @Tetsujin, that's the point behind me bringing it up, in that both in the question I linked and in the context of the option now, that pref doesn't do what I'm asking of it, and thus I'm asking if there is a different option that does.
    – xTerrene
    Jan 8 at 16:29
  • Not natively, macOS just has never worked like that. Someone on Reddit said RedQuits still works on Big Sur. You'd have to try it & see.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 8 at 16:32
  • The naming of the option you are looking at is a bit unfortunate in Sonoma, the old description was more to the point. But either way, it doesn't relate to what you are looking for.
    – nohillside
    Jan 8 at 16:53

1 Answer 1


As noted in the comments, there is no macOS setting to enable this behavior.

Apple provided code determines the functionality of those window decoration controls. They reflect Apple’s long standing Macintosh human interaction design intent that apps should decide for themselves if they self-quit when the last window closes (apps can implement that) and it’s perfectly valid and intended for apps to run with no document windows open.

While I generally prefer the macOS way of handling things, there are a few applications that I want to quit when the last window is closed. To that end I use Swift Quit. From the linked site:

Swift Quit enables automatic quitting of macOS apps when closing their last window (clicking the red x). It can be configured to quit when the last window of any app closed, or restricted to a specific list of apps. Additionally, you can exclude apps you dont want to quit automatically.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .