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I tried parsing a gigantic XML file and I ended up running out of virtual memory. The OS put all my applications on pause and gave me a screen to shutdown applications to free more space. I killed the XML parsing application and now have tons of space but I can't resume my paused applications anymore. What should I do?

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much related:… – cregox Feb 4 at 12:04
up vote 30 down vote accepted

Find your paused app's process ID (using either Activity Monitor or ps -ax | grep ), then issue it the CONT signal using "kill" in the terminal (don't worry, "kill" is misnamed, it just sends a signal to an app - it's called kill because the default signal is QUIT)

% ps -ax | grep Safari
  461 ??        61:22.30 /Applications/ -psn_0_180268
% kill -CONT 461
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cool stuff! thanks for the advice! – Xster Mar 28 '10 at 15:39
thanks for the hint! but it lead me into this similar solution: simply using killall -CONT Safari - feel free to add this to your answer! ;) – cregox Apr 13 '11 at 15:46
Is there an easy way to find out which processes have been paused? – asmeurer May 24 '12 at 23:04
Any advice on a situation where Terminal is in paused state? – Jawa Dec 23 '12 at 12:05
@Jawa - open iterm if you have it, or X11, to get at the terminal some other way. Alternatively, ssh in from another machine. But these are workarounds, I'd love a better solution – keflavich Dec 23 '12 at 19:40

To un-pause all applications, run this command in Terminal:

pkill -CONT -u $UID

or for specific app (such as Chrome), try:

kill -CONT $(pgrep Chrome)

Consider adding the following alias into your rc files (such as ~/.bashrc):

alias unpause="pkill -CONT -u $UID"

So next time you may just run: unpause.

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