Pro tip: make an applet that quits all opened Mac apps instantly

By , Jun 27, 2016

Mac Lots of Apps Open At Once

Those of you with Macs know that you can’t just click on the Close button to exit out of most apps. Instead, you have to physically quit those apps after you’re done using them.

On the other hand, if you just can’t be asked to take the time to do that, we’re going to show you a really easy way to make an applet that can be used to quit all of your Mac’s running apps at once.

Quitting all Mac apps at once with Automator

If you have a lot of apps running at the same time, then you probably could benefit from a quick quit applet for all of them, especially if you’re stepping away from the computer for a long period of time or if you want to quickly free up a ton of your computer’s resources after you’re done using all those apps you had open.

To do that, you’ll follow these steps:

1) Launch Automator from your Mac’s Applications folder.

OS X Launch Automator

2) With the Automator app opened, click on the Application option from the list and then click on the blue Choose button.

Application in Automator 1

3) Now, you’ll want to select Quit All Applications from the sidebar. Click and drag it into the empty workflow window immediately to the right of the sidebar.

Automator Quit All Applications Workflow

4) Automator should now load the action into the workflow window:

Automator Quit All Applications Loaded

Note: Optionally you can add apps to the list labeled “Do not quit” with the Add button in case you have apps you like to have running all the time.

5) Now go to your Mac’s Menu Bar and click on File > Save.

Automator File and Save

6) Give your “applet” a name. We’ve called it Quit All, but you can name it whatever you want to, then click on the blue Save button. Automator should automatically be trying to save it to the Applications folder, but you can save it wherever you want to.

Naming your Automator app

7) Test it out. Launch the new applet you made, and all of your open apps should quit immediately. In our case, we saved it to our Applications folder, so when we open our Applications folder, we found our Quit All applet.

OS X Quit All Automator App

Hint: You can add your Quit All app to your Dock for easy access to quitting everything at once. You can also change the app icon at a later date.

Also read: How to change an app’s icon on your Mac

Wrapping up

I typically use this command after I am done with my daily work routines and will be letting my computer sit idle for long periods of time. There will be other reasons to quit all your running apps at once depending on how you use your computer.

Fortunately, this process isn’t difficult, and while it’s definitely no simple keystroke, it doesn’t get much easier than making your own applet you can just add to your Dock and click on demand.

What are your thoughts on this method for quitting all your Mac apps at one time? Share in the comments below!

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  • ChezDavies

    Great Tip for those messy types like me who always have too many Apps open and are too lazy to close down one by one.

  • Agneev Mukherjee

    You seriously use the Microsoft Suite??

    • TechnoBuff

      YES!!! He certainly does
      MS suite on Mac is still way better than Iwork in any case……

      • Anonymous

        I agree with you as far as word. I do perffer numbers over excel thou.

      • TechnoBuff

        Only if you do not work with data or complex formulas, Data nerds will strongly disagree with you when comparing both

      • Anonymous

        Perhaps I haven’t gotten far enough into my feild of study to care about excel enough yet.

    • jameskatt

      Microsoft Word is still the standard word process for for publishing.
      Excel is simply better than competing spreadsheets.
      Skype for Business is HIPAA complaint for patient privacy and comes for free with Office365.
      OneDrive for Business is the only HIPAA complaint cloud drive that protects patient prifacy.
      I wish Access was ported over to Mac OS. It would obliterate 4D and many other databases other than Filemaker Pro.

    • Yes, I feel Microsoft Office is much more capable in my workflow than Apple’s iWork suite. I’ve been using it for over a decade and I just prefer it overall I suppose 🙂

  • katiexx

    Looks good but I can’t found it in the apps store?How can I get it?

    • Anonymous

      Its a stock mac app

  • jameskatt

    It won’t work if an app has documents to save.

  • Dillan

    You say it’s no keyboard shortcut, but can’t you assign automator actions to keyboard shortcuts and make it one?

  • great tip, thx!