Process Manipulation

Actions for monitoring and modifying application processes on your machine.

Available on macOS version 10.11, 10.12, 10.13, 10.14, 10.15, 11.6, 12.4
for Quicksilver build 4024, 4026, 4039


This plugin interacts with applications and the "Running Applications & Processes" catalog entries. Most actions can be run directly on an application (i.e. search for an application as usual, then tab and select an action).

Make sure to enable the actions you want, under Preferences > Actions > by Plugin > Process Manipulation.

If you want to be able to control background/hidden applications, go to Catalog > Applications > Running Applications & Processes > Info ("i" button in the lower right) > Source Options > Check "Include background applications". Then make sure "Running Applications & Processes" is selected. Now, you can search for "Running Applications Processes" in the Quicksilver command window and right-arrow to get a full list of processes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some applications have a lot of helper process. For example, iTunes has an "iTunes Helper" process, and Google Chrome has a process for each tab. If you're getting unexpected results, try opening Activity and making sure you're not missing something.

A list of 'All Processes'

To get a list of all currently running processes easily, without enabling the "Running Applications & Processes" catalog entry, you can do so by right arrowing (→ or /) into Activity



Force Quit (Kill)

Immediately terminate the application/process (SIGQUIT).

Launch a Copy

Open a second copy. OSX usually only allows one copy of an application to be running, so be careful.

Launch as Root

Launch an application with root permissions. Again, be careful.

Quicksilver also has the following actions, even if you don't install this plugin:


Sample Process

Sample the process for 5 seconds and return the result in the first pane.

List Open Files

Search the open files of the process in the first pane.

Get Process Identifier (PID)

Note that if an application has helper processes, the returned PID may not always be what you want. For example, will return the PID of


The operating system can interact with a process by sending it a signal.

See man signal or for a full list of signals in OSX.

Pause Application (SIGSTOP)

is useful because it completely halts the operation of a process (without quitting it) and can be resumed later. It is similar to

Resume Application (SIGCONT)

Resumes an application halted with

Send Signal...

Specify an arbitrary signal in the third pane.


What this plugin calls priority corresponds more to "niceness". This ranges from -20 (least nice, highest priority) to 20 (nicest, lowest priority). Nicer processes will more easily give up CPU time. See man nice and man setpriority.

Note: You may need to enter your system password to change the priority of a process. This generally happens when you increase the priority.

It can be useful to lower the priority of a process to make sure the operating system stays responsive. Increasing priority isn't very useful unless you have multiple programs vying for cycles.

Lower Priority

Increase niceness (change by +5).

Raise Priority

Decrease niceness (change by -5).

Minimize Priority

Set niceness to 20.

Maximize Priority

Set niceness to -20.

Get Priority (Niceness)

Return the priority (niceness) of the application in the first pane.

Set Priority...

Specify a priority in the third pane.