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[8 Ways]How to Open Apps on Mac?

Updated on Thursday, May 16, 2024

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

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Amanda Wong
Professional tech editor

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Jessica Shee

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[8 Ways]How to Open Apps on Mac?

Summary: This post summarizes all the ways you can open apps on Mac. Choose how you prefer to launch applications on Mac and switch to another approach if one doesn't work. iBoysoft MagicMenu, a right-click tool, helps you quickly access your desired apps, create new files, launch with the code editing application/extension directly, etc., from the right-click menu.

how to open apps on mac

If you switch from Windows to macOS, you may want to know how to open apps on Mac, or you may find Mac apps not opening and want to try other ways.  Here, iBoysoft provides multiple ways to launch applications on Mac. 


Directly open apps on Mac from Dock

This is the quickest way to open an app on your Mac, click the app's icon in the Dock. If the wanted app isn't there, you can add it to the Dock from Finder > Applications to the left side of the line separating the recently used apps.

open apps from dock

Open apps on Mac with Launchpad

Mac Launchpad serves as a central location where you can view all your apps and open them, including the default apps, apps downloaded from the Mac App Store, and other third-party apps. It is located on the Dock, just click it to open Launchpad, find the target app in Launchpad, and click it.

open apps with launchpad

Launch apps on Mac from the Applications folder

All the installed apps are put into the Applications folder in Finder. Within it, there is also a Utilities folder, containing macOS built-in tools. It allows you to open apps there by clicking. You can access the Applications from the Finder's sidebar, if you can't see it, change Finder settings to add the Applications folder to Finder's sidebar. Besides, you can press Command+Shift+A on the desktop to quickly open the Applications folder.

mac applications folder

In addition, with the Finder's Go menu, you can easily access the Applications folder and the Utilities folder.

finder go menu

Access apps from the Apple menu's recent items

In case you want to launch an app that you have opened recently, you can use the Apple menu's recent items option, it records the apps and documents you have used recently and allows you to open it there.

  1. Click the Apple logo at the top-left corner.
  2. Hover the cursor on Recent Items.
  3. If the desired app is there, just click it to open the app.

Use Spotlight search to open apps

Spotlight, macOS's integrated search function that can be accessed from multiple locations, allows you to search for an application by name and then run it. You can launch the Spotlight by pressing the Command+Space bar or clicking the small magnifying glass icon in the menu bar.

launch apps with spotlight search

Ask Siri to launch Mac apps

You can ask Siri to launch Mac apps if you have enabled this digital assistant. Say Hey Siri on supported Macs, click the Siri icon from the top right of the menu bar, or press & hold the Command + Space Bar until Siri appears, then, ask it to open a certain app. For example, say, Open Pages.

Run the Terminal command to open Mac apps

You can also choose to run Terminal commands to open the wanted app, here's how:

  1. Launch Terminal using one of the above methods.
  2. Type the following command to open an app. For example: Open -a Music or Open -a Pages. Open -a app name
  3. If there is a space in the app name, enclose it in quotes. For example: Open -a "System Settings". Make sure to type the exact app name.

If these methods help you open apps on Mac, just share it to let more people know!


Use a third-party tool like iBoysoft MagicMenu

In addition to the macOS built-in tools to open apps on Mac, you can also choose a third-party tool like iBoysoft MagicMenu, the right-click enhancer for Mac. It enables you to open apps from the right-click menu:

  • The Quick Access feature enables you to open a file, folder, and website from the Finder context menu, therefore, you can add the favorite or frequently-used app there so that you can directly launch it from the right-click menu.
  • The Launch With feature allows you to open a selected file with the code editing applications/extensions, you don't need to open the corresponding app first and then open the target file within the app.
  • The New File feature helps to directly create a new file such as TXT, Doc, or Pages without opening the exact app in advance. 

add app to quick access menu

If iBoysoft MagicMenu meets your needs to open an app in these three situations, free download it on your Mac! Besides, this right-click enhancer for Mac provides the following functions:

  • Copy or move files to another destination including local folders, network drives, and external devices on your Mac.
  • Completely uninstall apps and thoroughly remove their related files on Mac.
  • Zip specific or multiple files and folders stably, smoothly, and quickly.
  • Quickly and accurately find duplicate files on your Mac.
  • Find and remove similar photos on your device to release disk space.
  • Convert a specific image or multiple images to mainstream image format.

iboysoft magicmenu features

Recommend this versatile right-click tool for Mac - iBoysoft MagicMenu!


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