What is the deal with that red button in the top left corner of your Mac applications, anyway? This question often vexes new Mac users who are perplexed to find that clicking it doesn’t always quit an application.
Here’s how to fix that.
Carston Mielke, like many of us, noticed the discrepancy between the red button’s lack of closure, so to speak. But he decided to do something about it.
First, let me interject a bit of explanation: The red button, situated there next to the yellow and green buttons, isÂ a “close window” button. Depending on the app, “close window” may or may not equate to quitting the program. Apps in which you have multiple windows open, for example, will only close a single one of those windows when you click on the red button. The confusion stems primarily from Windows PC users, who are used to a similar button letting users quit out of programs.
Carston Mielke’s solution to this cognitive dissonance is RedQuits, a quick little download that gives your red button the power to close all windows and quit out of any app. It runs in the background, without any kind of user interface or preferences. Works like a charm, too. To revert to the red button’s usual purpose, just quit out of RedQuits.
But there are a few caveats. When RedQuits quits a program, it really quits. For example, opening an email message in its own window and then clicking the red button closes your entire email program. Or clicking the red button on an open Finder window actually closes Finder. It’s an all-powerful weapon, so use with care. You can still use Cmd+Q to close individual windows. It also has to stay open in your Dock, taking up space there. Hopefully a future version will put the icon in the Menu Bar up top, instead.