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I have a MacBook that runs OS X. It's really slow at times during startup. I know I can Force Quit some programs by using Command ⌘+Option ⌥+Esc ⎋. Is there another way to see any other programs/processes running that can be stopped besides in the Force Quit window?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

As a foreword, going around killing random processes isn't the best way to approach your real problem. If your Mac is slow during startup, you should try to identify which processes are being launched and then not kill them, but prevent them from being started in the first place.

In order to do so, you could check Accounts » Login Items from System Preferences and see what is loaded there. But that's just one way to find out what is automatically loaded when you log into your user account – and it could very well be actual system processes that start earlier, which are slowing down your machine.

You can stop any process that's running, not only those that show in Force Quit (the ones shown there are only UI apps).

First of all, you can list all processes by opening up a terminal from Applications » Utilities » Enter

ps auxww

to get a full listing of all processes currently running. You can then kill a process by taking its process ID (PID) from the second column, like 12345, and then writing

kill 12345

If that process was started by root (see the first column), you'll have to kill it with root privileges:

sudo kill 12345

Another way to kill processes is by their name:

The killall utility kills processes selected by name, as opposed to the selection by pid as done by kill.

So, for example, you could do:

killall Skype

Lastly, in Activity Monitor, you'll see a similar list of processes, with a big red kill button at the top left:

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Yes, there is an application to do what you requested.

It's called "Activity Monitor". You can find it in:

Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor

But I am not sure if this will help you with your problems, since there aren't that many processes you could kill without risking system instability.

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