For Seniors: Close a Windows Program on Your Laptop

When you are through with a Windows program, close it to save computer resources. Closing a Windows program removes its window from the screen and the taskbar, and removes the program from memory. Before you close down a program, you should save any documents you have open in it.

Sometimes, you can close just a document window, and not the program. For example, you might be working in Microsoft Word and want to close a particular document, then keep working in Word. You should save that document before closing its window if you want to save the changes you've made.

  1. First save any open documents.

    Typically you choose File→Save to save an open document, although in recent Microsoft Office programs, you click the Office button in the upper-left corner and choose Save As. Use settings in the Save dialog box that appears to name the file and also specify which folder to save it to.

    If you have multiple documents open and you're closing a program, repeat this step to save each document.

  2. Perform one of these actions to close the program or just the document window.

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    • Click the program window's Close button in the upper-right corner of the window to close the program. To close just the document window, click its Close button instead, which is often located just below the program window's Close button.

    • Press Alt+F4 to close an active open window. This typically closes just the current document window unless there's only one document open, in which case, it will close the application window too.

    • Choose File (or click the Office button)→Close to close just the current document window.

    • Choose File→Exit to close the program and all open document windows.

    The window closes. If you haven’t saved changes, you see a dialog box asking whether you want to save the document(s).

  3. If a dialog box appears, click Save or Don’t Save, depending on whether you want to save your changes.

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    You can also click Cancel to cancel the close operation and return to the program window.

You don’t have to close an application to open or switch to another. To switch between open applications, press Alt+Tab and use the arrow keys to move to the application (or document if multiple documents are open in an application) in which you want to work.

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