How to turn on Stage Manager on your Mac

Here is how to turn Stage Manager on or off on your Mac.

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Stage Manager is a feature Apple announced during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June 2022.

The feature is available for Mac and iPad – though not all models – and it is designed to make multitasking easier by automatically organising apps and windows onto the side of your screen so you can see them all quickly and at a glance.

You can of course use Mission Control on Mac to see all of your open windows – if you don’t know about Mission Control then tap on the F3 function key with the three rectangles and you might be surprised to see how many open apps and windows you have – but Stage Manager is an extension of this.

It aims to expand on Mission Control though by allowing you to focus on the main app or window you are using without distraction, whilst allowing you to see the others you have open on the side.

The feature gathers multiple windows within the same application into a group on the side of your screen, such as several Safari windows and when you click on then, it makes that app front and centre, whilst moving another app, like Mail to the left. If you finish work for the evening and come back the next morning, all your apps and groups will be exactly the same as you left them.

We have a separate feature on everything you need to know about Stage Manager and how it works, as well as what it offers. Here we are focusing on how to actually turn on Stage Manager on Mac so you can make use of it.

It’s not on by default, though it is very easy to switch on.

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To turn Stage Manager on, follow these steps:

  1. Open up Control Centre in the top right of your Mac’s menu bar (It’s the icon with two bars in between Siri and the Wi-Fi icon)
  2. If Stage Manager is available on your Mac, you’ll see a tile for it within the Control Centre menu
  3. Simply click the Stage Manager icon to turn it on and again to turn it off
  4. You’ll see your apps and windows automatically shift to the side

What Macs are compatible with Stage Manager?

If you don’t see the Stage Manager icon in the Control Centre, it might be that you aren’t running the software version needed for the feature, or you don’t have a Mac that is compatible.

All Macs compatible with macOS Ventura have access to Stage Manager. To check what software your Mac is running, tap on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your Mac’s display and tap on About. A card will appear and you’ll be able to see the software version you are running on this card.

To update your Mac’s software version, tap on the Apple icon in the top left corner and tap on System Settings. You’ll then need to head to General and you’ll be able to update your Mac from there.

The following list of Mac models are compatible with macOS Ventura:

  • iMac: 2017 and later
  • iMac Pro: 2017 and later
  • MacBook Air: 2018 and later
  • MacBook Pro: 2017 and later
  • Mac Pro: 2019 and later
  • Mac mini: 2018 and later
  • MacBook: 2017 and later