Apple offers multiple ways to close apps on Mac. However, almost all of these methods involve closing apps individually. As you can imagine, this can quickly turn into a tedious process, especially if you have dozens of apps open on your Mac and you want to close them all.

close all apps on mac at once

Fortunately, macOS has the Automator app, which lets you create workflows to automate repetitive tasks on the Mac. And, using it, we can create an app that will allow us to quit all open apps on Mac at once.

Follow along as we demonstrate the steps for creating an Automator app to close all apps on Mac at once.

Create an Automator Application to Close All Apps on Mac

Automator supports various document types, such as Workflow, Application, Quick Action, Dictation Command, etc. Even though we can achieve our desired operation using most of these document types, we feel the Application type is better suited for this guide since it provides an app that we can add to the Dock or desktop to run it efficiently.

To create an Automator application, launch the Automator app. You can do this by bringing up the Spotlight Search (Command+Space) and looking up Automator. Alternatively, you can open Finder > Applications > Automator or go to Launchpad > Utilities > Automator to do this, as well.

With Automator running, perform the following steps to create a Workflow application:

  1. Click on the New Document button to create a document.
    creating automator app to close all apps at once
  2. Select Application on the Choose a type for your document prompt and click Choose.
    creating automator app to close all apps at once
  3. Tap the search box next to Variables and look up quit.
    creating automator app to close all apps at once
  4. Click-drag the Quit All Applications action to the right window to add it to the workflow.
    creating automator app to close all apps at once
  5. Enable the Ask to save changes option if you want the app to prompt you to save changes before quitting all apps.
  6. If there are any apps that you want to prevent from being closed when you run the quit all app, click on the Add button under the Do not close box and add them here.
    creating automator app to close all apps at once
  7. Go to File > Save or use the Command+S shortcut to bring up the save prompt.
    creating automator app to close all apps at once
  8. Enter a name for your Automator application next to the Save As field in this prompt and select the directory where you want to save it.
  9. Make sure the File Format is selected as Application.
  10. Hit the Save button to save the app.

Close All Apps on Mac Using the Automator App

Once you’ve created the Automator app to close all apps, you can find it in the directory where you saved it—it’s the one with the Automator app icon.

To run it, double-click on the app icon, or right-click on it and select Open. Alternatively, you can also go to the Launchpad and run the app from there to close all open apps on your Mac.

While both of these methods work, there’s a better (read efficient) way to run this app. It involves adding the app to the Dock, so you can run it right from the Dock and avoid the additional steps.

To add the Automator app to your Dock, open Finder and navigate to the directory that contains the app. Click-drag the app onto the Dock and release it when it’s in place.

adding automator app to dock

Once the app is in the Dock, click it to close all apps on Mac at once.

quitting open mac apps with automator app

To make sure you don’t accidentally run this app, place it at one of the ends of the Dock. If you ever wish to remove it from the Dock, right-click on it and select Options > Remove from Dock.

removing automator app from dock

At any point, if you need to make changes to this app, open Automator, click on the Open an Existing Document button, and select the app from the Applications list. Make changes to the app and hit Command+S to save the changes.

Efficiently Closing All Apps on Mac At Once With Automator

Automator allows you to automate various macOS operations on your Mac so you can perform them efficiently.

If you followed this guide closely, you should’ve successfully created an Automator app to quit all open Mac apps, which you can now use to close all apps on your Mac at once instead of having to close them individually.

In case you’re interested in learning more about the Automator app and what it can do, you might want to check out some of the Automator applications we’ve covered on the site earlier.

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