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How to Open Multiple Instances of Screaming Frog on Mac

Blog Article

Everyone in the SEO industry agrees that Screaming Frog is one of the most essential SEO tools. A tool where the majority of us cut our teeth with technical SEO and is used as a gateway to larger more enterprise solutions such as Oncrawl or Botify. Another thing you may not know, is that Screaming Frog is also a great tool for triggering localisation on Goolge maps. As such, for those in the local SEO business, you should pay particular attention to the following.

That being said, it isn’t perfect. One of the more annoying things about using Screaming Frog if you are on a Mac, is that you can’t open multiple instances or windows from the dock/launchpad/desktop.

Omi Sido recently tweeted the terminal command to open multiple instances of Screaming Frog. While helpful, it can be developed further for a bit more functionality, in the long run, saving you precious seconds.

Omi Sido Screaming Frog Tweet

How to launch multiple instances of Screaming Frog using the terminal

Rather than copying Omi, here is another way to do it:

  1. Open terminal
  2. Type Open -n -a “screaming frog SEO spider”

*Disclaimer, if you have renamed the Screaming Frog app you will need to change the text within the speech marks.

While opening SF with the terminal is pretty straight forward, it’s just a bit impractical – think of all the lost seconds compared to just launching it from the desktop or dock. Below is our solution…

How to create an executable desktop or dock icon for multiple instances of Screaming Frog

Using the above we now just want to be able to execute the above from our desktop/dock/launchpad.

  1. We need to create a .txt file with our command
    1. Open TextEdit
    2. Copy and paste:
      Open -n -a "screaming frog SEO spider"
    3. Save to desktop as a .command file
      1. For example Screaming Froggy.command
    4. Now we have the .command file we need to make it executable
      1. Open terminal
      2. Type chmod u+x
        1. Remember to add a space after the x
      3. Drag your shell file into the terminal window (after typing the above), which should give you something like…
        1. chmod u+x /users/you/desktop/screaming \froggy.command
      4. Hit enter
    5. Rejoice and open your screaming frog executable desktop icon
    6. To now close the terminal after the successful opening of an instance of SF we need to do the following
      1. Open terminal
      2. Navigate to preferences
      3. Within the upper left tabs navigate to profile
      4. Then in the central tabs navigate to shell
      5. Under the drop down “when the shell exits” change to “close if the shell exited cleanly”

Mac Terminal

You should now have an executable command that can be placed on your desktop or dock, which continually opens SF instances till your heart is content or your Mac implodes.

Bonus tip – Changing the icon image

      1. Save down a PNG or JPG of your choosing
        1. Link to the SF logo – From Twitter
      2. Open the image, in a preview
      3. In the top nav, Select all > copy
      4. Navigate back to the desktop and right-click on your executable file and select “Get info”
      5. In the top right click the small icon/image of the file and press cmd+v

You should now have an executable file with your own custom image.


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