Apple redesigned and introduced lot of features in macOS Ventura version. The System Preferences section was completely revamped with the new interface and now called System Settings. Stage Manager is a one such feature in System Settings that helps to quickly navigate through apps without distraction. If you switched to macOS Ventura from older versions or purchased a new Mac, then this is a good feature worth trying.
Stage Manager in Mac
Before you start, here are the things you should understand first.
- Stage Manager is NOT an app that comes with macOS. It is simply a setting which you can toggle to turn on or off.
- The purpose is to show recently used apps in the side of the screen so that you can easily access. This is something like a Quick Access in Windows PC with neat look.
- This is not a replacement for dock or “Command + Tab” app switcher. It works along with other existing features in Mac.
How to Use Stage Manager in Mac?
Make sure you have updated your macOS to Ventura or later versions. Stage Manager feature is not available on macOS Monterey or earlier versions.
- Go to Apple menu and select “System Settings…” option.
- Select “Desktop & Dock” from the left sidebar.
- Scroll down on the right pane and find Stage Manager option.
- Turn the switch on and you will see a notification if you are enabling it for the first time. Click “Turn On Stage Manager” button. This pop-up will not appear if you toggle Stage Manager second time onwards.
- You will instantly see the Stage Manager appears on the left side of the display showing recently used apps.
You will see the apps go to Stage Manager’s recently used section (instead of dock) when minimizing or using app switcher with “Command + Tab” shortcut.
Customizing Stage Manager in Mac
If you notice in the above screen, Stage Manager hides all the icons in your desktop. You can click on the desktop empty area to view them back. However, if you always want to enable desktop icons, click on the “Customize” button against Stage Manager option in the macOS settings panel. You will see the following the options with a preview.
- Recent applications – show or hide recently used apps in desktop. By default, this appears as large thumbnail windows with app icon on top of each window. The position depends on your dock’s position. If the dock is in bottom or right, recently used app list will show in left side and if the dock is on left, then you will see it moves to right side of the screen.
- Desktop items – show or hide all items in the desktop.
- Show windows from an application – you can choose “All at Once” or “One at time” from the dropdown.
When selecting the options, the preview will show the appearance and the changes will be applied instantly. Click “Done” button to close the pop-up and start working with your customized desktop setup.
Quickly Toggle Stage Manager On or Off
There are no keyboard shortcuts assigned to toggle Stage Manager on or off. However, you can use the Control Center for this purpose.
- Click on the Control Center icon in top menu bar.
- You will see the Stage Manager in the panel and click on it to enable or disable.
At this point of time, not many customizations are available for Stage Manager settings. You can expect additional features from Apple in future macOS updates. The problem is that Stage Manager will not be of much helpful in 13” compact MacBook models. In fact, it will be a distraction in smaller screen area. However, it will be super useful on 24” iMac and other large screen devices.