My father would always scold me that so many applications are open when he turns on the computer which he says consumes computer memory. I always forget to close the app by right -clicking>quit Is there any way to automatically close an app when shutting down? When I searched at google. They talked about iCalendar, but it was too confusing so I came here to ask.

  • Apps do close down when you log out - are you and your father using the same login, sounds like you should use separate ones - also as OSX uses virtual memory leaving apps open should not affect users' use much
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 17, 2013 at 8:58

2 Answers 2


Basically all apps will be closed when shutting down, simply because the computer will be turned off. Just to be sure: Shutting down means: Turning the computer off.

However the behavior after rebooting differs depending on the operation system version you are using. If you are running Lion or Mountain Lion there is a feature that allows to automatically restart all open applications after rebooting/start up. In Mountain Lion you will be asked before the computer shuts down if you want the applications to be restarted after reboot. Just uncheck the checkbox.

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If you're confusing shutting down with standby and/or sleep mode you will have no built-in way to solve it (but an AppleScript may help). But at least I can provide you with a shortcut: Pressing ⌘ Command Q will "completely" close an application. You can use this shortcut instead of right clicking the dock icon to close the app.

  • 1
    Lion had the same option in the shutdown dialog box, but it always defaulted to checked (and I believe at one stage it just flat out didnt work)
    – Josh Hunt
    Apr 17, 2013 at 13:11

If you are using mac os x lion or later, which you apparently do, you can just uncheck the "reopen windows when logging back in" when the log-out or shut down menu comes up!

This way your perviously opened app won't open again!

If they do... you have certain applications set as a* login item this is fixed by opening system pref - users & groups - login items and review that list.

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