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I'm looking at Activity Monitor showing me multiple running processes. I want to terminate multiple processes from the list in one go.

I've tried highlighting the processes but nothing shows up when I double click the highlighted block.

Is there another way to terminate a highlighted block of processes via Activity Monitor?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – bmike Feb 27 at 17:49
  • Why and how often do you need to kill multiple processes? Are they the same processes every time? In which case, write a script to kill each one. If you regularly need to kill multiple different processes, then that sounds like a problem that needs fixing some other way. – benwiggy Feb 28 at 11:19
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I would suggest you to:

  1. Launch Terminal
  2. When Terminal has launched, type "top" into the Terminal window. You'll see a list of currently running processes. At the top of the list is an overview of the processes that are running and the resources they're consuming.
  3. When you identify a process that's causing a problem or consuming too many resources, take note of the number in the PID column next to the name of the process. To kill the process, type "kill -9" followed by the PID number. Press Enter. The problem process will now quit.
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  • If multiple processes have same name, killall – anki Feb 27 at 15:46
  • This only kills one process which is the same issue the OP has with Activity Monitor. – Allan Feb 27 at 17:20
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Activity Monitor does not allow you select multiple processes to kill them simultaneously. You would need a different application to take that design goal into account and implement it.

The only exception would be if your selection happened to be all part of the same process tree where you could kill the parent process and expect all children to receive the termination signal. But that’s how the OS works and not about Activity Monitor’s design.

Now, workarounds to do what you ask in other ways:

Killing Multiple Processes with same name

Using Terminal, you can kill several processes at once:

pgrep -i <process name> | xargs kill

This has the benefit of killing all the processes of, say, Firefox (I have multiple instances of Firefox running all the time) and can kill them with one command.

The -i flag tells pgrep to ignore case so, "Firefox" = "firefox" = "fireFox", etc.

Killing Multiple Different Processes

Use the OR operator to kill multiple processes with different names:

pgrep -i "<process name 1>|<process name 2>" | xargs kill

It's very, very rare that all the identically named, but discrete process have hung up simultaneously, so I prefer to address each on individually to see where the issue manifests. So, I don't recommend it as a regular "go to", but it will get the job done.

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Highlight/select them and go to View menu > Quit Process.

This works in 10.15+ macOS versions.

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