How to Close a File on a Mac

By James Wright

Mac's operating systems after Lion operate like mobile systems.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Apple's Mac OS X is similar to the Windows operating system in form and function, but with the release of 10.7.5 Lion, Mac OS began changing its computer operating system to act more like a mobile operating system. One change made it so that every time you open a program, your previous files and windows show up instead of a new, blank document. To close a file completely, you must do more than simply exit a program as you were able to do in earlier versions of Mac OS.

Save the document you are working on in the program that you want to close. Use this method instead of closing the program and waiting for the prompt since it will open the file again the next time you run the application.

Close each document by clicking the "X" in the upper left corner of the window or by clicking the program name in the menu bar and then clicking "Close."

Quit the program by pressing "Command-Q" or clicking the program name in the menu bar again and clicking "Quit [program name]." The next time you open the program, you will be shown a new file instead of a list of all your previous files.


You can also configure your settings to avoid opening previous files by accessing "System Preferences," clicking "General" and unchecking the option for "Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps."