How to see all running programs on OS X

Many macintosh user don’t know simple tips such as how to see all running programs.  When you start a program on OS X, sometimes you open another and you don’t realize that you did not close last program.  If you let too many programs open at once, it may slow down your computer significantly. Today, we will see how you can find running programs on OS X and kill them, or just bring them back to main screen.

Shortcut way to see all running programs on OS X

1. All you need to do is hit the following keys at the same time : Command + Option + ESC.

Mac Option Key+

Mac OS X Command Key


Mac ESC Key

2. Next you will notice a window opening including all running applications.

3. If you want to kill an application, select it and click on the following button : ‘Force Quit’.

Force Quit Application OS X

4. Confirm and app will be killed.

Confirm Kill App OS X

See running programs with Activity Monitor

1. Another way to kill or know what programs are running is via ‘Activity Monitor’.

2. One way to run ‘Activity Monitor’ is via ‘Finder’.  Simply type it and you will be able to run it.

Finder Activity Monitor

3. Another way to run ‘Activity Monitor’ is via Applications and then Utilities.  You will see it at the beginning of the list :

Activity Monitor Utilities

4. Within ‘Activity Monitor’ you see all running processes.  You see a lot more than previous method, beware here you can make your Mac become unstable if you kill vital processes.

Activity Monitor Running

5. You can kill a program by the following steps :

      5.1 : Select program

      5.2 : Click on little ‘X’ button on the top left of ‘Activity Monitor’ window.

     5.3 : Select ‘Force Quit’.

Force Quit Activity Monitor


Congratulation, you are now able to manage your programs on OS X.  Just like a network administrator.

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