How to Enable & Use Stage Manager on Mac

Feb 21, 2023 - 1 Comment

Stage Manager on Mac

Stage Manager is an alternative multitasking interface available for the Mac that allows you to juggle between active apps in a different way. It’s a bit more minimalist because Stage Manager defaults to hiding your desktop, and it only shows up to four apps at once, allowing you to focus on what you’re working on. Recently used apps appear on the left side of the screen for quick app switching, allowing you to flip back and forth between recently used apps with ease.

Stage Manager for Mac is interesting and worth experimenting with to determine if it is right for you and your workflow, so if you’re running MacOS Ventura 13 or newer, read on to learn how to turn on Stage Manager on the Mac, and how you can use it. And of course we’ll show you how you can disable Stage Manager on Mac too.

How to Enable Stage Manager on Mac

Turning on Stage Manager for MacOS is most easily done through Control Center:

  1. Click on the Control Center icon in the menu bar
  2. Click on “Stage Manager” to instantly enable the feature on Mac

How to Enable Stage Manager on Mac

Stage Manager is now active on the Mac.

Using Stage Manager on Mac

Once you turn on Stage Manager, you’ll immediately see the four most recently active apps grouped to the side of the screen and with one app front-and-center.

Click on any of the left side apps, or open a new app from the Dock, to switch to that app within Stage Manager.

You can drag windows from the left side menu into the foreground to add another window or app to the foreground of Stage Manager, and drag them back too.

Using Stage Manager is better experienced than explained, so go ahead and enable the feature on the Mac and try it out yourself. If you do not like it, you can always disable the feature.

Using Stage Manager on a Mac

How to Disable Stage Manager on Mac

Turning off Stage Manager is simple through Control Center

  1. Click on the Control Center icon in the menu bar
  2. Click on “Stage Manager” to instantly disable the feature and turn it off in MacOS

Stage Manager on Mac toggle in Control Center

Once you turn off Stage Manager, all of the window groupings and app groupings will simply return to their state pre-Stage Manager, nothing is closed or rearranged otherwise.

How to Customize Stage Manager on Mac

Want to change the appearance and behavior of Stage Manager? Here’s how to do that on the Mac:

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and choose System Settings
  2. Click on “Desktop & Dock” in the left side list of preference panels
  3. Scroll down and find Stage Manager, and click on Customize
  4. Adjust settings as desired to show/hide the desktop, recent apps, etc

Stage Manager settings on Mac

How to Enable / Disable Stage Manager via Settings

Mac users can also choose to enable and disable Stage Manager through System Settings, though because of the System Settings redesign it’s probably easiest for most users to just use Control Center to enable and disable the feature.

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and choose System Settings
  2. Click on “Desktop & Dock” in the left side list of preference panels
  3. Scroll down and find the toggle for Stage Manager, turning the switch ON or OFF as desired

You can also turn Stage Manager on with Settings and turn it off with Control Center, and vice versa.

This is obviously for Mac users, but if you’re an iPad user then you also can use Stage Manager on iPad, where it’s perhaps a more useful feature given the iPad multitasking situation is far more cumbersome compared to the Mac. The Mac native windowing system combined with Mission Control offers some of the best available window management and multitasking across any operating system platform, so it’s less obvious that Stage Manager is an improvement, it’s perhaps best thought of as an alternative.

Do you use Stage Manager on Mac? What do you think of this interesting multitasking feature on the Mac?


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Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks

One Comment

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  1. Elwood Downey says:

    There’s nothing like this in my Control Center. I’m running 13.2.1.

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