How to Automatically Launch and Close an App on Mac at Scheduled Times

Mac computer

Want to automatically launch and shut down your media server at a specific time on your Mac? Well, learn how to set a schedule for apps to automatically launch and close at specific times.

macOS has always been the one to introduce features that are amazingly fresh and exceptionally useful. Many a time, it is not until Apple introduces a feature the users feel the need for it. Though, once we start using it, lines get real blurry on how were we surviving without it.

From the very start, Apple has been very subtle about blowing its own trumpet on features. Apple believes in a hands-on experience and lets the users discover as they go some of its utilitarian features.

Similarly, Apple has native support to schedule the launch and close of apps at a specified time and date.

Though it does involve a bit of Automator, and the Calendar app but it would be fun. Curious? Read along to know more about it!

Create a Workflow App Using Automator

First of all, we will be creating an application workflow in Automator which will automate the process the opening and closing the desired application.

Now, launch the Automator app from the Launchpad or dock of your Mac.

launch automator to create an app

Next, click on ‘New Document’ button from the bottom left corner of the window.

After that, click on the ‘Application’ option from the available list of options. Then, Click on the ‘Choose’ button.

select application to create an app

Now, from the search bar situated on the left section of the screen, search for ‘Launch application’. Now either double click it or drag and drop to the workflow section.

Now, select the desired application from the dropdown menu.

select application to schedule launch application

After that, search for ‘Pause’ from the left section of the screen. Then, either double click it or drag and drop to workflow section.

run application for specific time

You can now type the duration you want to run the application. Units for durations can be selected in seconds, minutes, and hours.

set specific time to run the application

Once again go to the search bar from the left section of the window and search for the ‘Quit Application’. After that, either double-click it or drag and drop it to the workflow section.

quit application

Now, select the same application you selected in ‘Launch Application’ step from the drop down menu.

select the application to schedule close the application

After that go to the ‘Files’ tab from the menu bar present on the top section of the screen. Then, click on the ‘Save…’ option. Alternatively, you can also press Command+S to save.

save to schedule launch and close the application

Now, enter a suitable name for the application and save it to your desired location on your Mac.

save custom application for launch

Create a Calendar Event to Launch and Close Automator Workflow

First launch the calendar app from the Launchpad or dock of your Mac.

launch calendar

Now, double-click to create an event on the day you want to schedule the launch and close an app. After that, give an appropriate name for the event. Then select the start time for the event run.

Note: Please remember the start time you set for the event will be the time your application will be launched.

set date and time to specific launch and close the application

Next, choose your frequency for launching your application from the ‘Alert’ option. You can also create a custom frequency if the stock options do not fulfill your requirement.

select recurrence to schedule launch and close the application

If you need to run the application for a temporary period and want to stop launching the application after a certain date or total number of runs. You can also configure that from the ‘end repeat’ option.

Now, select the ‘Custom…’ option from the dropdown list of the ‘alert’ option.

After that, select the ‘Open file’ option from dropdown list.

Then, click the ‘other’ option to browse and choose the automator file you created.

Once selected, click on the ‘OK’ button to confirm your selection. Now, your file will run at the selected time and frequency.

Well, now you know how to schedule a launch and close an app on your Mac. Let your Mac handle these mundane tasks, you sit back and relax.