NSRunningApplication is a class to manipulate and provide information for a single instance of an application. Only user applications are tracked; this does not provide information about every process on the system.


Some properties of an application are fixed, such as the bundle identifier. Other properties may vary over time, such as whether the app is hidden. Properties that vary can be observed with key-value observing, in which case the description comment for the method notes this capability.

Properties that vary over time are inherently race-prone. For example, a hidden app may unhide itself at any time. To ameliorate this, properties persist until the next turn of the main run loop in a common mode. For example, if you repeatedly poll an unhidden app for its hidden property without allowing the run loop to run, it will continue to return false, even if the app hides, until the next turn of the run loop.

NSRunningApplication is thread safe, in that its properties are returned atomically. However, it is still subject to the main run loop policy described above. If you access an instance of NSRunningApplication from a background thread, be aware that its time-varying properties may change from under you as the main run loop runs (or not).

An NSRunningApplication instance remains valid after the application exits. However, most properties lose their significance, and some properties may not be available on a terminated application.

To access the list of all running applications, use the runningApplications method in NSWorkspace.


Getting Running Application Instances

init?(processIdentifier: pid_t)

Returns the running application with the given process identifier, or nil if no application has that pid.

class func runningApplications(withBundleIdentifier: String)

Returns an array of currently running applications with the specified bundle identifier.

class func current()

Returns an NSRunningApplication representing this application.

Activating Applications

var isActive: Bool

Indicates whether the application is currently frontmost.

func activate(options: NSApplicationActivationOptions = [])

Attempts to activate the application using the specified options.

var activationPolicy: NSApplicationActivationPolicy

Indicates the activation policy of the application.

Hiding and Unhiding Applications

func hide()

Attempts to hide or the application.

func unhide()

Attempts to unhide or the application.

var isHidden: Bool

Indicates whether the application is currently hidden.

Application Information

var localizedName: String?

Indicates the localized name of the application.

var icon: NSImage?

Returns the icon for the receiver’s application.

var bundleIdentifier: String?

Indicates the CFBundleIdentifier of the application.

var bundleURL: URL?

Indicates the URL to the application's bundle.

var executableArchitecture: Int

Indicates the executing processor architecture for the application.

var executableURL: URL?

Indicates the URL to the application's executable.

var launchDate: Date?

Indicates the date when the application was launched.

var isFinishedLaunching: Bool

Indicates whether the receiver’s process has finished launching,

var processIdentifier: pid_t

Indicates the process identifier (pid) of the application.

var ownsMenuBar: Bool

Returns whether the application owns the current menu bar.

Terminating Applications

func forceTerminate()

Attempts to force the receiver to quit.

func terminate()

Attempts to quit the receiver normally.

var isTerminated: Bool

Indicates that the receiver’s application has terminated.

class func terminateAutomaticallyTerminableApplications()

Terminates invisibly running applications as if triggered by system memory pressure.



The following activation policies control whether and how an application may be activated. They are used by activationPolicy.


Inherits From

Conforms To