How to Close Preview on Mac Effortlessly

Quick Answer: To close Preview on Mac, you can click the red close button in the top left, use the keyboard shortcut Command + W, or go to File > Close in the menu bar.

To force quit Preview, press Option + Command + Escape or Command + Q.

In this article, we’ll focus on how to close Preview on Mac, along with some additional tips and tricks to make the most out of this handy app.

Whether you’re a casual Mac user or a power user, chances are you’ve encountered the Preview app.

It’s a versatile tool that comes built-in with macOS, allowing you to open and view images, PDFs, and other document types.

Preview is more than just a viewer, though. It also enables you to make basic edits, annotate files, and even export them in different formats.

Understanding Preview on Mac

Preview is designed to handle a variety of tasks, such as:

  • Opening and viewing files: Preview supports a wide range of file formats, making it the go-to app for viewing images, PDFs, and other documents.
  • Editing files: You can crop, rotate, and resize images, adjust colors, and even extract pages from PDFs.
  • Adding annotations: Preview allows you to add text, shapes, and signatures to your files, making it perfect for marking up documents or signing PDFs.
  • Exporting and sharing files: Easily export your files to different formats, or share them directly from the app via email, Messages, or AirDrop.

Preview can handle a variety of file formats, including:

  • Images: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and more.
  • PDFs: Open, view, and edit PDF documents.
  • Other document types: Preview also supports opening text files, such as RTF, TXT, and even Microsoft Word documents.

Closing a Single Preview Window

Closing a single Preview window is simple. Here are three ways to do it:

  • Using the red close button: Click the red circle in the top-left corner of the window.
  • Keyboard shortcut: Press Command + W to close the active window.
  • From the menu bar: Click File in the menu bar, then select Close.

Closing Multiple Preview Windows Simultaneously

If you have multiple Preview windows open, you can close them all at once:

  • Using the Window menu: Click Window in the menu bar, then select Close All.
  • Keyboard shortcut: Press Option + Command + W to close all open Preview windows.

Force Closing Preview on Mac

Sometimes, Preview may become unresponsive, and you need to force quit the app.

Here are three methods to force close Preview:

  • Using the Force Quit Applications window: Press Option + Command + Escape, select Preview, and click Force Quit.
  • Force quit using keyboard shortcut: Press Command + Q to force quit the active application.
  • Using Activity Monitor: Launch Activity Monitor, find Preview in the list of processes, click the “X” button, and select “Force Quit.”

Configuring Preview Preferences

Customize your Preview experience by adjusting the default settings:

  • Opening files in a single window: Go to Preview > Settings > Images or PDF, and select the “Open all files in one window” option.
  • Setting the default zoom level: In Preferences, choose a default zoom level under the Images or PDF tab.

You can also set the default application for specific file types:

  • Changing the default application: Right-click a file, select Get Info, and change the “Open with” option.
  • Reverting to Preview as the default application: Follow the same steps as above, but choose Preview as the “Open with” option.

Troubleshooting Preview on Mac

If you encounter issues with Preview, try these troubleshooting steps:

  • Preview not responding or freezing: Force quit the application using one of the methods mentioned earlier, and then relaunch Preview.
  • Issues with opening files in Preview: Verify file compatibility and ensure the file format is supported by Preview. If necessary, update your macOS to the latest version for improved compatibility.
  • Restoring Preview to default settings: Remove the preferences files by navigating to ~/Library/Preferences in Finder, and deleting files that begin with “” Then, reboot your Mac to apply the changes.

Additional Tips for Using Preview Efficiently

To get the most out of Preview, consider these tips:

  • Navigating between open Preview windows: Use the Window menu or press Command + ` (the backtick key) to cycle through your open Preview windows.
  • Selecting and copying text in Preview: Use the Text Selection tool (the “A” icon) to select text in a document, and then use keyboard shortcuts (Command + C for copying and Command + V for pasting) to copy and paste text.
  • Adding and editing annotations: Access the Markup toolbar (the pencil icon) to add text, shapes, and signatures to your files. Customize the appearance of annotations by adjusting colors, fonts, and line thickness.

Alternatives to Preview on Mac

If you’re looking for alternative apps with more features, consider these options:

  • PDF-specific applications: Adobe Acrobat Reader offers advanced PDF editing and annotation tools.
  • Image editing and viewing applications: Such as Adobe Photoshop and Photopea provide more robust image editing capabilities.


Now you know how to close Preview on Mac, along with some helpful tips and tricks for using the app more efficiently.

With this information in hand, you can confidently navigate and customize Preview to better suit your needs.

Don’t forget to explore other features and settings, as Preview is a powerful tool that can make your workflow even smoother.

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Nathan Plume

Nathan is the founder of Tech Guy Guide and a seasoned IT Support Analyst with a passion for technology. With a background in IT and multimedia, he has made it his mission to simplify tech troubleshooting for users of all experience levels.