Closed app still appears in app switcher

I find this very tedious compared to Windows. When I select the app switcher (Command+Tab), Safari (for example - it happens often) is available, but when I select it no window appears, only the menu at the top.

The only way for me to open the app is to either click the app at the bottom, or use a keyboard shortcut to open the window (e.g. Command+N in Safari for a new browser window).

Has anyone else experienced this? What am I doing that is different to how Apple would expect me to switch between apps?

As I understand it the app itself is not closed, there is just no window open currently, so the app switcher gives you the app i.e. the toprow with all the options. You will have to open a new window yourself.
I never use the app switcher myself and switch either with mission control or spotlight search.

This has been the Mac OS X metaphor from Day 1. There are utilities like this one (not sure if this one supports current macOS versions though) to placate transplants from Windows-world.

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This means the app is not closed, it only has no windows open. You have to quit this app (cmd-Q). This has always been how Macs work even back when they could only have one app open at the same time. :slightly_smiling_face:

If you come from Windows, you have to get into the habit of quitting apps the way it works on Macs.

It’s funny, I find the Windows behavior infuriating. “No! I didn’t want to quit, I just wanted to close that document!. Now I have to wait for the application to start up again.”


I find the open but not open behaviour annoying and yes it is a hangover from windows.

Ideally the app switcher would just be the same behaviour as clicking the app icon.

I’m slightly complicated here because I use a windows keyboard and mouse as I spend a lot of my day on a Windows virtual machine via my MacBook.