How do i view programs on a mac

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How to install programs on a Mac. [Beginner]

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The tricky part is finding where applications are stored on the Mac, and figuring out where the comparable application launchers are kept and how to use them. Both Windows and the Mac try to simplify the finding and running of applications with a straightforward user interface; the Start menu in Windows and the Dock on the Mac. While the Start menu and the Dock are conceptually similar, there are some important differences.

Organize apps

The Start menu, depending on the version of Windows you're using, can have three basic sections. The left-hand pane deals directly with launching applications. Important applications are pinned to the top of the Start menu. Frequently used applications are listed next.


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At the bottom, there's a link to view All apps installed on your PC in either a hierarchical menu structure or alphabetically. Clicking one of the pinned or frequently used applications, or clicking through the All apps menu lets you quickly launch any application loaded on your PC. The Start menu also includes a search function that you can use as an application launcher.

This function is pumped up in Windows 7 and Windows 10, which both provide a very powerful search service.

How to List All Applications on a Mac

The Mac doesn't have a direct equivalent to the Start menu. Instead, you will find similar functionality in four different locations. The long ribbon of icons at the bottom of the Mac's screen is called the Dock. The Dock is the primary method of launching applications on the Mac. It also shows the status of applications, such as, which programs are currently running.

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Dock icons can also display application-specific information, such as how many unread email messages you have Apple Mail , graphs showing memory resource usage Activity Monitor , or the current date Calendar. Just as Microsoft adds a few applications to the Start menu, Apple populates the Dock with a few applications, including Finder , Mail, Safari the default web browser , Contacts , Calendar, Photos, a few other assorted apps, and System Preferences, which lets you adjust how your Mac works.

As you've done with the Windows Start menu, over time you will no doubt add more applications to the Dock. Pinning applications in Windows is one of the ways you can add important or frequently used applications to the Start menu. On the Mac, you can add an application to the Dock by dragging its icon to wherever you want it to appear in the Dock.

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The surrounding Dock icons will move out of the way to make room. Once an application icon displays in the Dock, you can launch the application by clicking the icon. Unpinning an application from the Windows Start menu doesn't remove the application from the menu; it only removes it from a preferred location in the menu. The application may or may not move lower in the menu, or disappear from the top-level Start menu, depending on how frequently you use it.

The Mac equivalent of unpinning a program is to drag the application's icon from the Dock onto the Desktop, where it will disappear in a puff of smoke. That doesn't uninstall the app , it just takes it off your Dock. You can also use Dock menus to remove a Dock icon:. Don't worry, you're not actually deleting the application, you're only removing its icon from the Dock. The application you remove from the Dock remains intact in the Applications folder.

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You can easily put it back in the Dock if you later decide you want easy access to it. Organizing the Dock is a simple matter of dragging the application icons around until you're satisfied with the arrangement. Unlike the Start menu, the Dock doesn't have an organization system based on the frequency of use.

Where you put an application's icon is where it's going to stay until you remove it or rearrange the Dock. The Windows Start menu has a dynamic component that can rearrange the order of applications, promote them to the Start menu's first page, or kick them off the first page.


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This dynamic movement of programs is the chief reason for needing the ability to pin a program in place. The Mac's Dock doesn't have a frequently used component. The closest Mac equivalent is the Recent Items list. The Recent Items list resides under the Apple menu and dynamically lists the applications, documents, and servers you have used, opened, or connected to recently.

This list is updated every time you launch an application, peruse a document, or connect to a server. It is not a list of frequently used items, but recently used items, a subtle but not unimportant distinction. To view the Recent Items list, click the Apple menu the Apple icon in the top left corner of the display , and select Recent Items.

The Recent Items menu will expand to reveal all recently used applications, documents, and servers.