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Pause & Resume an App or Process on Mac OS

This guide is about the How to Pause & Resume an App or Process in Mac OS X. I will try my best so that you understand this guide very well. I hope you all like this guide How to Pause & Resume an App or Process in Mac OS X.

Should processing power be released quickly? You can easily do this by pausing and then resuming the active process or application later in Mac OS X. Technically, this is “stopping” and “continuing” the process, but stopping should not be confused with more aggressive killing. or forcing the termination of applications and thus the terminating or stopping terminology is often easier to distinguish between the two.

This means that you can take a process that consumes 100% of the processor and pause it temporarily when you do something else, and resume after you are ready to let the process do it. This is accomplished on the command line, and we discuss two different ways to do it using the kill and killall commands with the -STOP and -CONT flags. Ideally, you will have some convenience and knowledge from the command line before using this, but it really isn’t necessary.

Before starting, start the Terminal application located in the / Applications / Utilities / directory and also start the Activity Monitor in the same folder.

Stop continuing the process from the command line

Pause a process or application in Mac OS X.

The basic syntax for suspending an application is as follows, where PID is the identifier of the process to be suspended:

kill -STOP PID

A PID is always a number, and every process running on a Mac has an associated ID.

If you are familiar with retrieving process IDs, you already know what to do with the above commands alone, but if not, we will deal with it next, and so we launched the “Activity Monitor”

Finding the PID and stopping the associated process

This is a more user-friendly method that uses Activity Monitor:

  • In Activity Monitor, use the search function in the upper right corner and enter the name of the application you want to pause (e.g. iTunes)
  • When the corresponding processes and / or applications are visible, look for the process ID in the PID column
  • Stop the process in Mac OS X.

  • Add the corresponding PID to the above kill command, as follows:
  • kill -STOP 3138

  • Note that the processor ID CPU activity is now 0%, indicating that the process has been aborted (technically stopped)

Don’t forget PID or better, do not close the Terminal window yet, because with the same PID you can continue the application to continue using it again.

The effect of stopping a process on CPU usage is dramatic, this screenshot shows that iTunes consumes 70% of the processor while running Visualizer, and the same iTunes process after stopping it with a STOP flag. The process has literally stopped:

To abort the processor, abort the process in Mac OS X.

Those with more command lines may prefer to use ps rather than Activity Monitor, which is really easy:

ps aux | grep Name

Replace “Name” with the beginning of the process or application name, find the PID and put it in the kill command:

kill -STOP 92841

It doesn’t matter if you use Activity Monitor or ps to retrieve the PID, as long as you enter the correct process ID when you kill kill.

Note that when using a suspended application, it almost always tries to see the Beach Ball of Rotating Death minus CPU usage. So if you want to use the app again, you have to “continue” it.

Resume a stopped application or process

Resuming a paused or paused application is simple, just change the kill command slightly and use the same process ID that you retrieved from the previous steps:

kill -CONT PID

For example, to extend the iTunes application using a previous PID:

kill -CONT 3138

And now iTunes becomes a usable, minus rotating wait cursor again. Along with this, we return to any level of CPU consumption previously performed.

The screenshot below demonstrates this trick using both kill and killall commands:

Pause and resume using the application on Mac OS X.

Using -STOP and -CONT with the killall is essentially the same, but it has some limitations in terms of names, and so we discussed a more direct way to use the method based on PID. However, this is also shown on the guild.

Pause and resume applications by application name

If you know the name of the application or the exact process, you can also stop the processes with the ‘killall’ command with the -STOP flag. This can be easier for apps that are easy to identify by name, but has limitations to work with complex names, or interrupts a particular process with duplicate processes with the same name (such as a specific Chrome tab) or a window that shuffles many “Google Chrome Renderer “processes), and thus we first addressed the PID approach because it is much more straightforward.

The basic stop command for the guild is as follows:

killall -STOP AppName

Not sure what the name of the app is? Use ps and grep:

ps aux | grep application name

For example, you can grab “Chrome” to find all processes named “Chrome”:

ps aux | grep Chrome

Or you can just target the process with a specific application name, such as:

killall -STOP -c “Google Chrome”

Continuing processes and applications with a guild means changing the flag from -STOP to -CONT, everything else is the same:

killall -CONT application name

For example, to continue an application with a long name:

killall -CONT -c “Google Chrome”

Again, the application / process continues to run as normal, and CPU usage returns to where it was before the interruption.

Killall can directly affect applications or processes that do not have spaces in their names, without other flags or indicators such as iTunes.

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FAQ: How to Pause & Resume an App or Process in Mac OS X

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Apple Devices only.
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James Hogan
James Hogan is a senior staff writer at Bollyinside, where he has been covering various topics, including laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more. During that period, they evaluated hundreds of laptops and thousands of accessories and built a collection of entirely too many mechanical keyboards for their own use.


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