How to Tell What Apps Are Running on Your Mac

how to see all active apps on Mac

MacOS is a very stable and robust operating system and doesn’t trouble you so easily. At max, you can experience sluggish performance if there are multiple programs running in the background or added to your startup items. A lot of users asked me “how do I see what is running in the background on my Mac?” and the answer was simple, ‘Activity Monitor’.

But then queries came up on ‘how to turn off programs running in the background on Mac’ or ‘how to open applications on Mac?’ This article covered it all and shall give you a one-stop solution on how to check open apps on Mac, how to manage them, how to manage Startup Manager, or how to turn off programs running in the background on Mac.

How to View All Open Apps on a Mac?

There are numerous methods of how to see all active apps on Mac. We have started with the basic ones.

Check the Dock

The first and the easiest method to check all the open apps on a Mac is to have a close look at the Dock. You will find (Dots or Underline) on the open apps that you have used recently. It also shows the favourite apps that we randomly use or are minimized. The small dot under the app icon indicates that the app is open and consuming memory. If you are unable to see the Dock, you can change the setting by getting into ‘System Preferences’ followed by Dock. Here you can check or uncheck the option ‘Automatically hide or show the Dock’ to keep it visible.

Check Activity Monitor

You can check the pulse of your Mac by looking at the Activity Monitor. Here you can check all the active processes, memory consumption, CPU usage, Energy usage, and the User account where these apps are open. You have the option to sort these open programs as per different tabs available on the top of the window.

Step 1. Open up a new interface of the ‘Finder window’ and go to the ‘Applications’ option.

Step 2. Go to the ‘Utilities’ folder.

Step 3. Double-click on the ‘Activity Monitor’ application and a new window will open.

Step 4. Here you can view/sort all the active processes in the Activity Monitor.

Step 5. You can click on the ‘All Processes’ drop-down box on the top of the window and select ‘Windowed Processes’ to view all open programs that are running in the background.

Check Force Quit App

Another quick way of how to check all open apps on Mac is to make use of the Force Quit App. You can press Cmd + Alt + Escape to pop up the Force Quit Applications menu. This will list out all the open applications and allow you to quit apps with just a single click.

Those who are unaware of how to turn off programs running in the background on Mac can simply come to this window, select an open program and click on the ‘Force Quit’ button to exit the application.

How to Open Applications on Mac

There are several ways to open Applications on Mac. Some common practices are listed below.

  • You can ask Siri to open Apps for you.
  • Open Spotlight, enter the apps name and hit enter key to open.
  • Click on the Launchpad icon in the Dock and or on the Control Strip and then click on the App.
  • Click on the Finder Icon on the Dock, click on the Applications in the Finder Sidebar and double click the App to open.
  • You can also use the Recent Items in the Apple Menu to choose the app to open.
  • Click on the app on the Dock to initiate it.

How to Turn Off Programs Running in The Background on Mac

There are easy ways to turn off programs running in the background on Mac. The best method is the Force Quit App that can quit running Apps instead of putting them to sleep. You can also go to Activity Monitor, select an app and then click on the (x) cross to quit the application.

Manage Startup Programs

You can manage startup programs to load when the Mac boost. The programs can automatically add themselves to the login items list or they are launched by the system while login.

Step 1. You can open System Preferences and then go to the ‘Users & Groups’ option.

Step 2. Choose the user that needs modification in the left-hand side panel.

Step 3. Click on the ‘Login Items’ button on the top and select the app you wish to remove.

Step 4. Click on the (-) Minus button to remove the selected item from the list.

You can also make use of TuneUpMyMac to perform one-click optimization on Startup Programs. It is compatible with OS X 10.7 and higher versions to offer you the ultimate optimization and tuneup.

Use TuneUpMyMac for

  • Cleaning your Mac in a single click
  • To free up space on your hard drive
  • Optimizing your hard drive to make it more stable
  • Deleting confidential and sensitive data securely
  • Removing junk files on your Mac

Summing Up

This article helped you find how to see all running apps on Mac, how to open applications on Mac, and how to turn off programs running in the background on Mac. You can manage your Applications running in the background and also manage the Startup Programs that load when you boost your device. Keep it clean and optimized with the best Mac cleaner and optimizer for a better experience.