6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 28, 2011 10:27 AM by rkaufmann87
rednano74 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

I am new to the mac and I have been closing windows using the "x." However, my dock still shows a white circle under such program indicating still in use i.e open.


Does "x"ing a window not officially close a window?


Do I have to use the menu bar at the top to officially do such?



iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.1), 2011 iMac
  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 Level 9 (51,565 points)

    You are used to using a MS Windows machine where the use of the X in the window is different. To close a window the easiest method is Command W. I would also STRONGLY recommend bookmarking and studying;


    Mac 101


    Find Out How Video tutorials

  • rednano74 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Using the x and using the command W function are one in the same when I use them. Regardless of which one I use, the dock still shows in use with the small lighted circle below such program like Mail, iTunes, and Firefox, But others like Address Book or App Store the dock shows not in use when using either of the above ways of closing a window.


    The only time the small lighted circle in the dock goes away for Mail, iTunes, and Firefox is when I go in the menu and "quit" those programs.


    I am trying to figure out why this is occuring.

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 Level 9 (51,565 points)

    Did you recently switch from MS Windows, if you did then you need to begin looking at the Mac 101 link I provided earlier. Specifically watch:



  • g_wolfman Level 4 Level 4 (1,120 points)

    Under Snow Leopard and earlier, closing the window would trigger different application behaviour depending on whether the application functionality was tied to the window (document) or not.


    So applications that could operate without a window (document), like Safari (could be downloading files in the background) or iTunes (could be playing music, downloading from the store, etc, etc) stayed active.  Applications that had no purpose without a window (document) would quit.


    However, it's functionality that the application developer needed to call using the APIs, so it wasn't always consistant with third-party applications.


    In Lion, everything has changed, since the process management model underlying the applications in the operating system is totally different.  Now, even if the "active" dot is on, the OS might kill the process to reclaim resources, under certain circumstances.  And if you quit an application the OS might keep the process alive anyway.


    Heck, I've set my dock preferences to not even show the dot anymore...between application autosave / resume, and this new process management model, the dot just doesn't mean anything anymore.

  • rednano74 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Thanks for that g_wolfman as that was exactly the type of answer I was looking for. It makes sense to me now.


    The indicator light is definitely confusing as to when an application is really closed or quit. I did see the option to turn off that light off...

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 Level 9 (51,565 points)

    My apologies, I suppose I could have done a better job of explaining the differences. You may find the utility RightZoom helpful. If you are interested in looking at it you can find it and download it at:




    In short it makes the windows control slightly more MS Windows like. If you find it's not useful to you then you can trash it.