Will Mac Terminal Be Running When You Close


As a Mac user, one of the questions that often comes to mind is whether the Terminal application will continue running in the background when I close it. In this article, I will delve into this topic and provide you with a detailed explanation.

Firstly, let’s understand what the Terminal application is. The Terminal is a command-line interface that allows you to interact with your computer’s operating system using text commands. It provides a way to execute various tasks and manage your system efficiently. Whether you are a developer, a system administrator, or someone who enjoys exploring the capabilities of your Mac, the Terminal is a powerful tool.

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter: when you close the Terminal application, does it keep running in the background? The answer to this question depends on the specific scenario and how you close the Terminal.

Closing the Terminal Window

If you simply close the Terminal window by clicking the “x” button or using the keyboard shortcut Command + W, the Terminal application will indeed close, and any processes or tasks running within it will be terminated. This means that if you have any ongoing commands or scripts running, they will be stopped when you close the Terminal window.

Quitting the Terminal Application

If you want to completely quit the Terminal application and ensure that no processes or tasks continue running, you can do so by selecting “Quit Terminal” from the Terminal menu or using the keyboard shortcut Command + Q. Quitting the Terminal application will close all open Terminal windows and terminate any ongoing tasks. It is important to note that quitting the Terminal application will not have any impact on other applications or processes running on your Mac.

Background Processes and Job Control

However, there is a scenario where the Terminal can continue running in the background even after you close the Terminal window or quit the application. This is made possible by using job control and background processes. By appending an ampersand (&) at the end of a command, you can run it in the background. For example, running the command python script.py & will execute the Python script in the background, allowing you to continue using the Terminal for other tasks.

If you have any background processes running in the Terminal and you close the Terminal window or quit the application, these processes will not be terminated. They will continue running in the background, independent of the Terminal application. To manage these background processes, you can use various commands such as jobs, fg, and bg to bring them to the foreground or background, pause them, or terminate them.


In conclusion, when you close the Terminal window or quit the Terminal application, any ongoing tasks or processes will be terminated. However, if you have background processes running using job control, they will continue running independently of the Terminal application. It is crucial to be aware of this behavior and properly manage your processes to avoid any unexpected consequences.

As a Mac user, understanding how the Terminal application behaves when you close it is essential for efficient workflow and system management. By knowing the nuances of its behavior, you can make the most of this powerful tool.