The typical way to open an app is to click on the icon on the Dock or desktop. You might also hit the Go menu at the top of the screen, select Applications and find the app through that menu to open it. Sometimes, people prefer to launch apps straight from a Terminal command line. If you’re already in the Terminal, for instance, it might make sense to simply open an app from there. Below we’ll go into how to open apps on the Mac from the Terminal.
Opening Mac OS X Apps Using Terminal
To start, open Terminal:
- Click on the Go menu at the top of the screen. (You might have to click an empty spot on the desktop to make Go appear if you’re using another program.)
- Select Utilities.
- Click on Terminal to open it.
- Type “open -a ApplicationName” and hit enter. In the place of ApplicationName, put the application you want to open, like Word or Notes. For instance, if you wanted Notes opened, you’d enter: open -a Notes
- However, command prompts can be different for certain versions of Max OS X, so you can also type the word open in the command prompt to get a help file explaining more detailed ways to use the open prompt. This is what I get when I type open and hit enter in Terminal: