When A Kill A Process It Reopens Mac Terminal


When I first encountered the issue of a process reopening the Mac Terminal after I killed it, I have to admit, I was a bit confused and frustrated. It seemed like no matter what I did, the process just kept coming back, like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. But after doing some research and experimenting, I finally found the solution to this perplexing problem.

The Problem: Persistent Processes

So, let’s start from the beginning. When you open the Mac Terminal and run a command, a process is launched to execute that command. In some cases, these processes can become persistent, meaning they continue to run in the background even after you close the Terminal window or try to kill the process.

This behavior can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to free up system resources or troubleshoot a troublesome process. But fear not, there are ways to handle these persistent processes and prevent them from reopening the Terminal.

Identifying the Persistent Process

The first step is to identify the persistent process that is causing the Terminal to reopen. To do this, we can use the ps command in the Terminal. Open a new Terminal window and run the following command:

ps aux | grep [process_name]

Replace [process_name] with the name of the process you want to kill. This command will display a list of processes that match the given name. Look for the process ID (PID) of the persistent process.

Killing the Process

Once you have identified the PID of the persistent process, it’s time to kill it for good. In the Terminal, run the following command:

kill [PID]

Replace [PID] with the actual PID of the persistent process. This will send a signal to the process, asking it to terminate. In most cases, the process should be terminated successfully and not reopen the Terminal.

Preventing Process Reopening

However, in some cases, even after killing the process, it might still reopen the Terminal. This can happen if the process has been set to restart automatically upon termination.

To prevent the process from reopening the Terminal, we need to modify its launch configuration. Open the Terminal and run the following command:

launchctl list | grep [process_name]

Replace [process_name] with the name of the process you killed earlier. This command will display the launch configuration of the process.

Once you have the launch configuration, you can remove it by running the following command:

launchctl remove [launch_configuration]

Replace [launch_configuration] with the actual launch configuration of the process. This will remove the configuration and prevent the process from reopening the Terminal in the future.


Dealing with persistent processes that reopen the Mac Terminal can be frustrating, but with the right knowledge and steps, you can overcome this issue. By identifying the persistent process, killing it, and modifying its launch configuration, you can prevent it from reopening the Terminal in the future.

So, the next time you encounter this issue, don’t panic. Just follow the steps outlined in this article, and you’ll regain control over your Terminal environment.