Stage Manager is a new feature in macOS 13 Ventura this fall for organizing your windows. If you’re working in multiple applications at once, Stage Manager can be used to easily switch between apps and documents, so you don’t have to struggle to find the window you need.
This article describes how to enable and disable Stage Manager, how to customize it, and how it works. It is very quick and easy to set up.
macOS Ventura: Setting Up Stage Manager
You can enable or disable Stage Manager in the Control Center, as well as enable and customize it in System Settings. Here’s how.
Time to complete: 2 minutes
Tools needed: macOS Ventura
Required materials: Mac compatible with Ventura
Cost: Free upgrade
Stage Manager in System Settings
Open System Settings and select Desktop and dock in the left column. In the main part of the window, scroll down until you find the Stage Manager section. Click the switch to enable or disable Stage Manager.
Customize Stage Manager
Click Customize to customize how Stage Manager is displayed. There are two settings here to adjust:
Strip: Turn on this switch if you want the thumbnails to remain on the screen. Disabling this hides the thumbnails and you have to move the pointer to the left eye of the screen for them to appear.
Desktop Items: Enable this option if you want desktop items to be displayed.
Close System Settings when you’re done
macOS Ventura: How Stage Manager Works
Windows is sorted by individual apps as thumbnails on the left side of the screen. When you launch the first app or have only one app open, it is active on the screen and there is no thumbnail. That app becomes a thumbnail when you launch another app. Launch another app and another thumbnail will be created until there are five. If more than five apps are open, the most recently used apps will be thumbnails, and if you close one of those apps, one of the unlisted apps will take its place in the thumbnail row.
Clicking on the thumbnail opens the window on the screen. If you have multiple windows of an app open, they will appear as stacked thumbnails and you can click through until the window you want appears.
macOS Ventura: Create Stage Manager Groups
You can create groups of windows to suit your workflow. For example, if you’re writing a research paper, you can open Pages, Safari, Dictionary, and the Notes apps, and you can group them together by dragging each thumbnail to the center of the screen. When all the correct windows are on the screen, just click on a thumbnail in Stage Manager and a group will be created automatically. Then when you click on the group thumbnail, those app windows will appear on the screen and all other windows will be hidden.
macOS Ventura: Hide Stage Manager Thumbnail Strip
Stage Manager can be set to hide the thumbnails on the left side of the screen instead of always appearing on the screen. You can disable the Strip in System Settings > Desktop and dock > Stage manager > To adjustor you can open Stage Manager in Control Center and choose Hide recent apps or Show recent apps.
macOS Ventura: Desktop Access with Stage Manager
In System Settings > Desktop and dock > Stage manager > To adjust, there is an option for Desktop Items. When it’s enabled, everything on the desktop can be seen whenever you can in an app. If it is disabled, everything on the desktop is hidden while you are in an app, and to see a desktop item you have to click on the desktop.
If you like to have a clean desktop while in an app, you should disable this option. If you often use the desktop as a place to store and access files, you should enable this option.