How to Close all Apps at the Same Time on your Mac

Sometimes you may want to quit all running apps quickly. The process of quitting apps on the Mac is easy. There are multiple ways to do that. For example,

  1. While in the app, you can click the App name from the menu bar and then select Quit App.
  2. While in the app, you can press the Command + Q keys.
  3. You can use Activity Monitor to quit an app.
  4. You can right-click the app icon from the Dock and select Quit.

However, sometimes you may want to close all apps at the same time with a single click instead of closing them individually. There is a way to do this.

You may have multiple apps running in the background. When you click the red X icon, the window of the app will be closed. This does not close the app. You can see what apps are running on your Mac. It will continue to run in the background so that you can quickly reopen or relaunch the app.

Closing apps running in the background can free up system resources. This can fix your problem if your Mac is running slowly.

You can use Automator to create an application that can be clicked on once to shut down all other open apps. In this article, I explain how you can do this.

Automator is an app that is included with the macOS software which allows you to create custom workflows or automation without scripting.

How to close all apps

This is the fastest way to close all running apps on your Mac.

1. Open Automator on your Mac. It is found in the Applications folder. You can also use Spotlight to open the app.


2. Select New Document or, alternatively, press Command + N.

New Document

3. Select Application and click Choose.


4. In the top-left corner, ensure that the “Actions” option is selected. You will see that a lot of actions are included in the Library. In the search box type “Quit”. Or find the “Quit All Applications” action in the Library.

Actions Library

5. Drag the “Quit All Applications” into the gray area on the right. You can also double-click it.

Quit All Applications

6. Now we will need to save this app. Go to File > Save. Give it a name and save it.

Save the Quit All app

Now your app is ready. All this app will do is quit all other open apps. It happens instantly. So when you want to quit all apps, simply double-click on the app’s icon. And everything will be closed.

See also:

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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