A ways back Marco Arment released a free, non-supported, basic app called “Quitter”. Basically what it did was accept a list of apps to kill after a configurable number of minutes of inactivity, and then kill them.
Is there any other app that can do something like this? As far as I know Marco has abandoned Quitter, and I really like the functionality for unloading apps that I open occasionally, forget to close, and don’t really need to be running.
Anybody have any recommendations?
Doesn’t it still run? I seem to recall still having it running… (will check)
You should be able to replicate this with Keyboard Maestro.
I honestly haven’t tried yet - but even if it does, I’d prefer to find and support a solution that’s not explicitly deprecated.
From what I can see in KM, I can trigger on an interval but not check whether the application has been inactive for a period of time.
How do you know that Quitter has been abandoned? I would have imagined that Marco would have explicitly said something about this on his web page. I have Quitter on my iMac and it works fine (I have Catalina).
I also experimented with Keyboard Maestro and despite what I intended my KM macro seems to Quit Apps from time they are opened not from time “inactive”. I haven’t bothered to sort this out as I have Quitter.
But yes, interesting to know if any alternatives. Marco created Quitter to keep focus and remove clutter from desktop etc … I have an older iMac and I just like to minimise what’s up and running in background,
I remember him saying on ATP that he doesn’t really use it anymore, and that he’s not continuing to develop it.
I’ve thought about this, and there may be a way to do it in Keyboard Maestro (you might want to ask on https://forum.keyboardmaestro.com there are some people on there who make me look like a noob when it comes to figuring out what Keyboard Maestro can do).
The only thing I’ve come up with is that you could have Keyboard Maestro set a variable when an app deactivates and when it activates.
Something like this:
- when Twitter.app goes idle, set Keyboard Maestro variable TWITTER_IDLE to the current time
- when Twitter.app activates, delete Keyboard Maestro variable TWITTER_IDLE
- have Keyboard Maestro check every minute to see if TWITTER_IDLE variable exists and if it is greater than X seconds ago compared to NOW, quit it.
Not difficult (and there’s probably a better way to do it that I haven’t thought of yet), but until Quitter stops working, probably more hassle than it is worth. IMO.
I’m really glad you mentioned Quitter. I just downloaded it from Marco’s site and, assuming it still works, might go hand in hand with Screen Time and Freedom in keeping me off and away from all of my toys for a while…
Some users might like HazeOver which operates differently but might suit their use case, … see
I think I’ve seen an example of this in KM Forum - it doesn’t consider deactivation but idle time set as zero plus a waiting time. Then quit or hide.
I just listened to the episode where they talk about Quitter and rushed home to install it, which I have, but it won’t open! Any ideas for me? I have a 2021 MacBook Pro running Monterey…
It opens as a menu bar app. Did a Q icon show up in your menu bar?
I’m on Monterey, and it works for me.
Yes! Agh! Thanks so much!
I just heard about Quitter a couple of weeks ago on one of the podcasts and installed it. It does the job. I don’t really care that it is not being developed — it is a lightweight application for a very specific job, and that’s fine with me. Yeh, it might stop working with some future release of macOS — but I will cross that bridge when (if) I get to it. For apps that are truly important to my workflow I worry about that, but for background things that just make things a little better, nah.
It’s occurred to me that Quitter might be even more useful now than it was when Marco originally wrote it. Given how fast apps launch on M1 Macs there’s less downside to quitting an app when you’re not actively using it.
It might, but Marco uses it himself, so my guess is that it’ll keep working. He recently updated it to be properly code signed and all that. So I wouldn’t worry about it going away any time soon.
Yeah, its longevity is largely based on how long it’s still useful to Marco.
I just installed everything on a new machine, and in the manic confusion I think I forgot to give Quitter some rights in “Privacy and Security”, and now it doesn’t hide windows like it used to on my old machine.
What rights does it need? It has no complaints, it just doesn’t… do anything