Guide: How to use Stage Manager in mac OS Ventura

Tilted MacBook

Are you one of those people who use third party window management tool to organize your apps and windows in Mac? Did you feel dissatisfy with Mission Control? Did you feel you need something more in your Mac to enhance your work experience?

Well, here we are! With the new Stage Manager, the difficult window management days are gone.

Stage Manager is one of the best new feature in mac OS Ventura. As the name implies, it allows you to set the stage for your work!

This is your complete guide to the Stage Manager in mac OS Ventura. With the help of this guide, you will understand what a Stage Manager is, how to enable Stage Manager, and how to use Stage Manager in your work effectively.

Table of Contents


What is Apple Stage Manager?

Stage Manager is the easy way to manage multiple windows and applications, while you are working. Keeping the active window in the centre of the screen, stage manager moves the other windows to the left.

The application windows are sorted on the base of recent use. Stage Manager can display up to a few thumbnails at one time, depending on your screen resolution and screen size. If you open up another app, it will replace one of the thumbnails and the replaced app thumbnail  will not be visible.

You can easily switch to any other opened window by hovering to the thumbnail in the left and clicking it. This saves you a lot of clicks, minimizing and maximizing the windows.

Besides, there are several ways to customize the Stage Manager and use it as per your preferences.

It is important to note that Stage Manager in mac OS Ventura is not turned on by default. Yet, it can be quickly turned on from the Control Centre without any difficulty.

How does Apple Stage Manager work?

It is really simple to navigate and turn on the stage manager in MacBook. Anyone, who is using the Mac, will notice additional icons in the Control Centre.

Here’s how to turn on Stage Manager:

  • Go to the Notification Area in the upper right corner.
  • Click the Stage Manager.
Navigate to Stage Manager
  • You will see an informative window for Stage Manager, if this is the first time of using Stage Manager.
  • Click ‘Turn On Stage Manager’.
turn on stage manger
How to Turn On Stage Manager
  • You will see your windows have quickly adopted to the Stage Manager.
workspace with Stage manager
Workspace with Stage Manager
  • Just like turning it on, turning it off is equally easy.
  • Go to the ‘Stage Manager’ in notification area.
  • Notice that it is highlighted in blue when stage manager is on.
  • Click again to toggle it off.
turn off Stage Manager
How to Turn Off Stage Manager

You can toggle on/off Stage Manager from the System Settings also. We will talk more about customization of stage manager in the next sections.

Turn on/off Stage Manager
Turn on/off Stage Manager from System Settings


How do I get Stage Manager on my Mac?

Stage Manager is a new feature introduced in mac OS Ventura. If you are using an older version of mac OS, you will need to update to mac OS Ventura.

  • Go to the Apple icon on the top left.
  • Click ‘About this Mac’.

There will be an update available with the appropriate description.

  • Click ‘Software Update’
  • Proceed with the upgrade and to get mac OS Ventura.
About Mac
Update OS using About This Mac


How to Use Stage Manager on Your Mac?

Stage Manager gives you the flexibility to open it up any time you need. There are several approaches to work with Stage Manager on mac OS Ventura. You can choose any or a combination of those approaches to suit your needs.

Approach 1: Set the Stage from Beginning

If you are already in love with Stage Manager and want to use it every time to keep your work organized, you can start Stage Manager right from the beginning.

Simply, turn on Stage Manager from the Control Centre before starting your work. Then, you can start opening up the apps and they will continue to add up to the stage!

Approach 2: Turn on Stage Manager as needed

When you are working, you might start with one application or one browser. Yet, as you continue your work, you start opening other apps as needed. After certain time period, you might realize you are trying to find a particular app within the several opened windows and applications.

This is the right time to quickly go to the Control Centre and turn on the Stage Manager.

Approach 3: Group the Apps that go together

Some days, you might be working on different projects or subjects. In these cases, it is feasible to group certain apps that are needed together. It feels like stacking your apps in the workspace to make it organized and clutter-free.

Bring one of the apps in the centre. On the top of it, bring all other apps of the group. There is no visual clue but the Stage Manager is silently grouping your apps.

How to Group Windows in Stage Manager
How to Group Windows in Stage Manager

Now, if you go to any other app’s thumbnail in the Stage Manager, you will see your apps grouped together.  You can open app any app or window from the group, whilst the remaining windows will stay as thumbnails.

Open app from the group
Open an App from the Group in Stage Manager

Note that the group retains your recent state of windows. If you have the windows maximized, all windows will open up maximized upon clicking the group. If you have a few windows minimized and the others maximized, same behavior will be reflected upon clicking the group.

You can un-group the apps by following these steps:

  • Open up the group.
  • Once the grouped windows or apps are opened, moved the target app to the left.
  • The target app to be removed will appear as a smaller thumbnail.
  • The target app is un-grouped i.e. removed from the group.
How to Remove Window from a Group in Stage Manager
How to Remove Window from a Group in Stage Manager

How to Customize Stage Manager On Mac?

You can customize the Stage Manager’s behavior through the system settings.

  • Go to the System Settings.
  • Find ‘Desktop & Dock’.
  • Scroll down to ‘Stage Manager’.
  • Click ‘Customize’.
Desktop and Dock
Desktop and Dock Settings
  • Click Customize or Customise.
  • Recent applications
    • If you turn on ‘Recent applications’, the thumbnails remain visible unless covered by a window.
    • If you turn it off, the thumbnails stay hidden unless you hover to the left.
  • Desktop items
    • If you turn it on, the items on the desktop will stay visible when Stage Manager is active.
    • If you turn if off, the items on the desktop will stay hidden when Stage Manager is active.
  • Show windows from an application
    • All at Once: This option works if you are working with multiple windows of an app. When you open up the thumbnail of that application, all the windows open up at the same time.
    • One at a Time: If this option is selected, it will only display one window from the app at one time. The other windows can still be seen in the thumbnails.

Stage Manager vs Mission Control

Before introducing Stage Manager, mac OS had Mission Control to view all windows at one glance. You could click on any window to bring it to the front.

Interestingly, Mission Control feature is still available with mac OS Ventura. May be the company wants customers to get familiar with Stage Manager before replacing Mission Control.

Mission Control in MacOS Ventura
Mission Control

Stage Manager is definitely a step ahead of Mission Control. Although Mission Control allowed users to create desktops, Stage Manager allows users to group the windows together.

In actual, there is no competition between Stage Manager and Mission Control. Each person’s preference will largely decide which feature they prefer.

Wrap Up

It’s time to wrap up our journey of Stage Manager. You have learned almost everything about Stage Manager and are ready to start using it on regular basis. Try different approaches, combine them together and have fun playing around with it.

Take liberty to explore the Stage Manager and Mission Control to see what works best for you.

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