Quit Accidentally Closing Apps with CommandQ

For a lot of applications that save data, it’s difficult to accidentally quit; there’s going to be a prompt that stops us from making a huge mistake, but I’ve blown past that prompt to save when I was in a hurry more times that I’d like to remember. It’s possible to turn some of those prompts off, too, if you’ve gotten a bit cocky. You may be able to recover some of that, but it’s going to pull you out of whatever you were doing if you have to start even an internet browsing session over.

Helping prevent some of that accidental quitting is CommandQ. Never again will you attempt to select all (Command+A) and quit an important application with a rogue Command+Q keystroke. CommandQ makes it just a little more difficult to go for that shortcut, but does it really make a difference?

The mighty preferences menu

The mighty preferences menu

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I Can’t Quit You

Open up CommandQ and it starts working, simple as that. Whenever you press the Command+Q keyboard shortcut, whether accidentally or on purpose, you’ll have to hold it just a bit longer for anything to happen. CommandQ is ensuring there’s intent behind your keystroke and that it wasn’t an errant slip of Command+W or, heaven forfend, Command+S.

The point is that a momentary Command+Q won’t get the job done. Hold the shortcut long enough, and you’ll see a CommandQ progress bar, letting you know how much longer to keep those keys pressed. If you keep your fingers on the shortcut long enough, the application on top will quit, or at least try to, giving you a prompt to save you work.

Quick, make a decision!

Quick, make a decision!

There are a couple of ways to get CommandQ to keep you from accidentally closing your hundred browser tabs of research on the pygmy elephants of Java. The first and easiest is to allow CommandQ to keep taking control of the Command+Q shortcut. The default time interval might not be long enough for you, though. In that case, you’ll want to adjust it in the application settings from the menubar icon. You can swing the timer up or down, depending on how comfortable you feel.

There’s a second option to slow your roll when hastily quitting apps. CommandQ lets you set an alternate keyboard shortcut for the global “Quit” command. As always, you’ve got to make sure the new shortcut isn’t assigned to any other function, though. This option is pretty helpful if you find you need a failsafe and want to add a more complicated keystroke, such as Command+Option+Shift+Q. If you can get yourself into the habit of using that shortcut instead, it will take a lot more effort to accidentally close an app.

There’s no way you’ll accidentally type that

Pick and Choose

CommandQ lets you pick and choose which apps you want it to affect. This is especially useful since a lot of programs, such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Word, already have a popup that asks you if you’d like to save your work. CommandQ isn’t going to be a lot of help there, so you could exclude those applications.

Decisions, decisions

Decisions, decisions

On the other hand, if you find you’re often losing progress in a specific application, you can add it to the include list. I use a browser-based word processor, and I’ve accidentally quit between autosaves. By assigning my browser to the list of included apps in CommandQ, I can spare myself a lot of headaches by giving myself a moment to stop, think, and check if all of my work has been saved before I finally do quit.


CommandQ is an incredibly simple little app that can solve a lot of problems for anyone worried about losing data through accidental quitting. It does exactly what it says it’s supposed to, and I didn’t have any trouble setting it up. It’s really easy to use and intuitive, and I could tailor it to my needs, right down to creating a brand new keyboard shortcut for the Quit command.

However I’m not sure CommandQ is worth it. At $7.99, it’s quite an expensive menubar one-trick pony. Most of us have the problem of accidentally quitting and losing progress on a document or other work at some point or another, but it’s like not an eight buck problem for a lot of us. For those of you chronic Command+Q shortcut users who manage to repeatedly and frequently blow through the popup prompts to save our work, you’ve probably already got your own autosave failsafes in place.

The usefulness of CommandQ is situational, and at that price, it isn’t going to be for everybody. It is really only for the truly paranoid and for apps that lack any kind of safety net when it comes to saving your work. Still, be it a school paper or or a big work project, CommandQ gives you a bit more of a cushion in securing your recent work. If you need that cushion, CommandQ may be worth the price.


A unifunctional utility that keeps the user from accidentally closing apps.