How-To Geek

Stupid Geek Tricks: Double-Click the Left Window Icon to Close an App in Windows

When you want to close an application window you “x” out of it or close it from the Taskbar right? What you may not know is, you can also close out of an application double clicking the icon on the left of an app window.


Here we have Internet Explorer 8 open, and all we need to do to close it is double-click on the left corner icon.


You’ll also notice that if you single right or left-click an application icon once, it displays a menu that allows you to choose the behavior of the Window as well. Of course Keyboard Ninjas already know about Alt+F4 to close an app window…right?


Make sure you’re clicking on the application icon because if the pointer is off it by a bit, double-clicking will minimize or maximize it instead.


In Office 2007

In Office 2007 you can double-click the Office button and it will close out of the app too.


Bonus Stupid Geekery

If you have a message dialog that appears, you can right-click the upper right hand corner and select Close to get out of it.


Aren’t you happy to now know these obscure and worthless facts about Windows navigation!?

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 07/1/10

Comments (17)

  1. akash

    If they are indeed “worthless facts” why publish them?

    Also, isn’t it faster to press escape on a dialog box to close it?

  2. Saman

    you can also use middle click on taskbar thumbnails to close a window.

  3. Conn

    Wow did people seriously not know this, i did it a long time ago by accident and have been doing it ever since. I knew i should have told someone about it.

  4. SquareWheel

    I think everybody knows this.

  5. João

    You dont need to click on the icon… anywhere in the left corner works

    for example Google Chrome doesn’t have any icon on the top left but if you click there (in the bit that is not occupied by the first tab it also closes it^^

  6. J

    This has been the case in every version of Windows…literally. I learned this when using Windows for Workgroups 3.11.

  7. David Levine

    I did not know this. I knew you could click on the icon to make a menu appear, but I did not know double-clicking on that icon would close the window.

    I think it’s nice that these types of things are published. You know the old saying: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

  8. Matt

    I like these silly tricks, because they’re not really talked about or published, so most people only know them if they do something by accident.

  9. Mrrix32

    Was annoying in Office 2007. Using the same button for menu (single click) close (double click) was stupid.

    It’s just a small functionality that’s left over from the Win 3.1 days

  10. dcj2

    Not really a trick, per se. As J mentioned above, this goes back to the earliest versions of Windows, and was, in fact, the correct way to close a Window (long before the days of the little red X in the upper right).

  11. Grant

    These are a throwback! That is kind of fun. I don’t remember if these worked in Windows 286, but they worked in Windows 3.1.

  12. Kevin

    It must be a slow tip day, but thanks for the reminder

  13. Ross Goodman

    And of course, rather than clicking on the icon in the top left corner you can always use the keyboard instead.
    You can then move, maximise, close etc.


  14. Krish

    This is a new info for me. It work on the windows explorer too (double click on the left side there is no icon still)

  15. KayDat

    This is probably familiar for anyone who used to work in Windows 3.1.

  16. RAMI

    I no These info .. !
    but what Krish sayd .. is a new info for me .. and i like it !

  17. Yellow

    Urgh, I hate this stupid function. In Google Chrome, when you want to go to the left tab, and click twice by accident, the entire window closes! How do I stop windows from doing this? There are already enough ways to close a window. }:

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