Automatically Close (or Hide) Idle Applications on Your Mac with Quitter

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Be honest: you’re reading this instead of working, right? I’m thankful, because that’s how I make my living, but for your sake you should really try to focus. It’s too easy to quickly open Twitter or IM for “just one minute”, especially when they’re sitting open in the background. Quitter is a Mac app that can help.

This free download automatically closes or hides applications after they sit idle for a certain amount of time, meaning you would see an oh-so-compelling icon for Twitter and other addictions every time you look at the dock. Whether you’re trying to stay productive while working from home or an office drone tempted by social media, closing tempting applications makes it slightly more difficult to be distracted.

Step One: Install Quitter On Your Mac

To get started, download Quitter from Marco.org. The application comes in a ZIP file, which you can unzip on a Mac simply by double-clicking it. Once you do that, drag the program to your “Applications” folder.

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Quitter is now installed, so let’s fire it up. Go ahead and open Quitter by double-clicking it in your Applications folder.

Step Two: Add Applications That Distract You

Quitter lives in your Mac’s menu bar. Clicking the icon brings up a small menu. From here you can set the application to automatically open when you log into your Mac. Do that if you want, then click “Edit Rules” to get started settings things up.

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You’ll see a window like the one below, with your current list of applications that quit over time. To add something new, click the “+” button at bottom-right. You’ll be shown your applications folder.

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Choose an application you’d like to automatically close after a certain amount of idle time. Note that, if you’d rather not close an application entirely, that there’s also an option to hide it.

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Repeat this process for all the applications that suck away your time.

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Avoiding Distractions Is Hard

Quitter is a great first step, but there are a few other things you can do to avoid distractions. For example, you could learn how to configure notifications center on your Mac and disable any notifications that aren’t vital (most notifications aren’t vital). You could give the Pomodoro method a try, working for 25 minutes straight then taking a break for five minutes. The Reminders app on your Mac can help keep you organized too.

There are a lot of options, so get to work. Or stay a little longer, reading quality articles at HowToGeek.com, because I have your best interest in mind and not my own. Yes sir.

Justin Pot is the News Editor for How-To Geek. He lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.