Last updated Apr 5, 2021

How to make sure app is not running in the background on macOS

Caveats

  • When copy/pasting commands that start with $, strip out $ as this character is not part of the command
  • When copy/pasting commands that start with cat << "EOF", select all lines at once (from cat << "EOF" to EOF inclusively) as they are part of the same (single) command

Setup guide

Heads-up: following steps illustrate how to make sure “Adobe Creative Suite” is not running in the background, but same logic should apply any app.

Step 1: find app launch agent and daemon bundle identifier prefix

$ ls -A1 {,~}/Library/LaunchAgents /Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/LaunchAgents:
at.obdev.LittleSnitchHelper.plist
at.obdev.LittleSnitchUIAgent.plist
com.adobe.ARMDCHelper.cc24aef4a1b90ed56a725c38014c95072f92651fb65e1bf9c8e43c37a23d420d.plist
com.adobe.AdobeCreativeCloud.plist
com.adobe.GC.AGM.plist
com.adobe.GC.Invoker-1.0.plist
com.adobe.ccxprocess.plist

/Library/LaunchDaemons:
at.obdev.littlesnitchd.plist
com.adobe.ARMDC.Communicator.plist
com.adobe.ARMDC.SMJobBlessHelper.plist
com.adobe.acc.installer.v2.plist
com.adobe.agsservice.plist
com.apple.installer.osmessagetracing.plist
local.pf.plist
local.pmset.plist
local.spoof.plist
org.virtualbox.startup.plist
org.wireshark.ChmodBPF.plist

/Users/sunknudsen/Library/LaunchAgents/:
com.adobe.GC.Invoker-1.0.plist
local.borg-wrapper.plist
org.virtualbox.vboxwebsrv.plist

com.adobe

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Step 2: disable app launch agents and daemons

Heads-up: don’t worry if you see “Could not find specified service” warnings.

BUNDLE_IDENTIFIER_PREFIX="com.adobe"
sudo launchctl unload -w /Library/{LaunchAgents,LaunchDaemons}/$BUNDLE_IDENTIFIER_PREFIX*.plist
launchctl unload -w {,~}/Library/LaunchAgents/$BUNDLE_IDENTIFIER_PREFIX*.plist

Step 3: disable app extensions

Open “System Preferences”, click “Extensions” and disable app extensions (if any).

Step 4: add kill-apps helper to .zshrc

Heads-up: following step assumes macOS is configured to use “Z shell” (running echo $SHELL should return /bin/zsh).

cat << "EOF" >> ~/.zshrc

# Kill apps that match string
function kill-apps() {
  IFS=
#x27;\n' red=$(tput setaf 1) normal=$(tput sgr0) if [ -z "$1" ]; then printf "%s\n" "Usage: kill-apps string" return 1 fi printf "%s\n" "Finding apps that match “$1”…" sleep 1 processes=($(pgrep -afil "$1")) if [ ${#processes[@]} -eq 0 ]; then printf "%s\n" "No apps found" return 0 else printf "%s\n" "${processes[@]}" printf "$red%s$normal" "Kill found apps (y or n)? " read -r answer if [ "$answer" = "y" ]; then printf "%s\n" "Killing found apps…" sleep 1 for process in "${processes[@]}"; do echo $process | awk '{print $1}' | xargs sudo kill 2>&1 | grep -v "No such process" done printf "%s\n" "Done" return 0 fi fi } EOF source ~/.zshrc

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Usage guide

Make sure “Adobe Creative Suite” is not running in the background

$ kill-apps adobe
Finding apps that match "adobe"…
46639 /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Desktop Common/IPCBox/AdobeIPCBroker.app/Contents/MacOS/AdobeIPCBroker -launchedbyvulcan /Applications/Adobe Premiere Pro 2020/Adobe Premiere Pro 2020.app/Contents/MacOS/Adobe Premiere Pro 2020
46645 /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Creative Cloud Libraries/CCLibrary.app/Contents/MacOS/../libs/node /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Creative Cloud Libraries/CCLibrary.app/Contents/MacOS/../js/server.js
46653 /Applications/Utilities/Adobe Creative Cloud Experience/CCXProcess/CCXProcess.app/Contents/MacOS/../libs/Adobe_CCXProcess.node /Applications/Utilities/Adobe Creative Cloud Experience/CCXProcess/CCXProcess.app/Contents/MacOS/../js/main.js
46655 /Applications/Adobe Premiere Pro 2020/Adobe Premiere Pro 2020.app/Contents/MacOS/LogTransport2.app/Contents/MacOS/LogTransport2 86E222CE52861AEA0A490D4D@AdobeID 1 0 NOVALUE NOVALUE
Kill found apps (y or n)? y
Password:
Done

Done

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Contributors:Sun KnudsenSun Knudsen
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