Mac
Software & Apps

How To Tell What Apps Are Running On Your Mac

How to turn off programs running in the background? Do you also wish to do the same, read the article below, and find it yourself? 

We all have multiple apps installed on our Mac and most of them choose to run in the background without even our knowledge. Moreover, most of us who are not tech-savvy, do not even know how to open applications on Mac or how to see what is running in the background of your Mac.

All these applications when they run in the background consume significant memory and hence hamper the normal functioning of the Mac. Hence it is important to see all running apps on Mac and turn off programs running in the background of Mac to improve the performance. 

How To Open Applications on Mac?

Below are some of the easiest ways to use which you can easily learn how to see all running apps on Mac and decide which ones to keep and which ones to close. 

1. Look At The Dock:

This is the easiest of all when it comes to checking all active apps on Mac. Dock resembles a linear taskbar usually present at the bottom of the screen which contains icons of all the open applications on Mac. It also contains the application that we choose to be in the Dock and are used frequently. In order to distinguish, simply look for a white dot below the apps. If the apps have a white dot it means they are the running apps on Mac. 

Simply click on the icon if you want to open the application on the Mac

2. Track The Force Quit Applications Menu: 

How to view all open apps on a Mac: Force Quit menu

Another way to check all open apps on Mac is through the Force Quit applications menu. Simply press Cmd + Alt + Escape all together to open the Force Quit Applications menu. Once opened you can see all active apps on the Mac. If you want to force quit any application you can do it from here. 

In order to turn off programs running in the background of Mac simply highlight the app. As soon as you do it, you get an option to force quit it. Click on it in order to quit the application. 

While it is possible to view all running apps on Mac, it is not possible to open the application on Mac. All you can do is force quit the applications. The Force Quit Applications menu also gives a clear view of the apps that are running in the background of your Mac. 

3. Check The Activity Monitor:

Another method that you can deploy when trying to learn how to see all running apps on Mac, is through the Activity Monitor. Activity Monitor is similar to the Task Manager in Windows that displays all the processes and activities running. Not only has this it also showed all the inactive tasks, background apps, system processes, etc. 

Show all running programs and processes with Activity Monitor

In order to view the running apps on Mac using the Activity Monitor, navigate to Application and then Utilities. The Activity Monitor displays all the processes in different categories like All Processes, My Processes System Processes. You can easily choose to see the running apps on Mac as per your requirement.  

Activity Monitor easily lets you turn off programs running in the background of Mac, quit processes. Not only this, but it also lets you see the over CPU performance which helps you diagnose the problem in a more detailed way. 

4. View All Running Apps On Mac Using Terminal:

Another advanced way to open applications on Mac and learn how to turn off programs running in the background of Mac is to use the Terminal. It is one of the best ways to check all the apps running on Mac related to every level of complexity. 

In simpler words, you can also relate the Terminal to the Command line version of the Activity Monitor that displays the activities and processes running on your Mac. There are two main command lines to view all open apps on Mac namely top and ps. 

Top:

This command-line variable is used to display the list of all the running apps on Mac along with the related information. 

If you want to sort the processes on basis of the memory usage write:

 top -o cpu

However, if you want to sort the running apple with regards to the memory used the command used is :

 top -o rsize

Ps:

This command-line displays the list of all active processes for the current user. 

We often don’t realize how important it is to turn off programs in the background of a Mac. While some of them may be important, many of the applications simply run eating useful memory and disk space. This leads to a slow-performing device as the CPU usage increases and hence starts behaving abnormally and keeps hanging. For this, we all should know how to open applications on Mac and manage them to get an optimized Mac. 

Show all running programs and processes with Activity Monitor
How to view all open apps on a Mac: Force Quit menu
How to view all open apps on a Mac: Activity Monitor

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