Activity Monitor & Usage

Looking for Mac Task Manager? While an important element of the Windows experience, macOS doesn’t have an exact equivalent of Windows gadgets. Instead, macOS has a program called “Activity Monitor”in general, does the same job as Windows Task Manager.

Let’s take a closer look at what Activity monitor is, how it is an alternative to Task Manager on Mac, and how to use it.

What is activity monitoring?

One of the main tasks of an operating system is to manage all the software programs running on your computer. It allocates memory and CPU power and ensures different applications don’t step on each other.

Activity Monitor Window

Activity Monitor gives you a window into this extremely busy world and allows you to make some decisions. It’s basically the Task Manager on Mac.

Forget about CTRL + ALT + DEL: How to access Task Manager

Everyone, even those who don’t know much about computers, has heard of “Control, Alt, Delete”. It’s a popular keyboard combination for Windows PCs that brings up the task manager. It allows you to kill suspended or frozen programs, among other things.

macOS has no such key combination to summon Activity Tracker. Then again, this kind of system-freezing app misbehavior has never happened on macOS, so it’s hardly an issue. To access Activity Monitor, all you have to do is search for it using Spotlight Search (CMD + Space).

Monitor activity in the Search Bar window

Alternatively, you can get there by entering seeker And after that Apps> Utilities.

Monitor activity in the Utilities window

Understanding tabs

Activity Monitor contains quite a bit of information, information that most honest Mac users never have to care about. Before you fire up Activity Monitor, give each of its main tabs an overview.

CPU tab

Activity Monitor window with tabs

No matter what model of Mac you have, its CPU can do many different things at once. This tab shows all the different processes that are attracting its attention. Each active program will display the percentage of CPU time currently being used. It is normal for this to fluctuate and macOS will give more CPU time to the processes that are active and need it now.

So, for example, when you’re exporting a video project in Final Cut Pro, expect it to use close to 100% of your CPU.

Memory tab

Memory tab in Activity Monitor

RAM or Random Access Memory is the high speed information storage hardware your CPU needs to give it instructions. If you run out of memory, your Mac is forced to start using disk space much more slowly.

The memory tab shows you how much of your RAM is being used and which programs are using the most. Unfortunately, we can’t do too much with that information. Why? Because even when running programs don’t use RAM, modern operating systems intelligently preload information into RAM as a way to improve performance.

A much better item to keep an eye on is the Memory Pressure graph. This handy Activity Monitor lets you know how your system memory is under pressure. If it turns red, it means your Mac is using the boot disk to increase RAM, which is bad for performance. That means you need to close some programs or, if that’s not an option, consider upgrading your RAM.

Energy Tab

Energy tab in Activity Monitor

It may not matter much for a Mac connected to a wall outlet, but MacBook users will certainly notice when battery concerns arise. The power tab can be very helpful when it comes to figuring out which apps are using up all the power from your battery.

Of all the columns in this tab, the Average Energy Impact should be your go-to place for energy consumption information. This tells you how much power each app has used since you started it or in the last eight hours, whichever is longer.

Disk and Network tabs

Disk tab in Activity Monitor

The last two tabs are probably much less interesting to most people than the first three. The Disk tabs tell you what each program has written to or read from your drive. For the average user, the most useful use of this information is to check if a program is misbehaving and forcing your drive for no reason.

The Network tab is also only of interest to most Mac users, but if you’re on a limited data plan, it’s a good way to see what software has exhausted your data limit.

Remove the column you don’t want

View> Columns ” class=”wp-image-9408″  /></figure>
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<p>Does that seem like information overload?  Well, the good news is that you can trim some stuff in Activity Monitor that you don’t particularly need. </p>
<p>Simple <strong>click View > Columns </strong>on the menu bar and uncheck the columns you don’t want.  You’ll also see other columns to choose from if you want to add even more types of activity monitoring.</p>
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Activity Monitor Window

As you have seen, each tab has several columns, with every process in a row. You can click on the name of any column to sort the processes by their specific type of information.

For example, click % CPU will sort the processes in ascending or descending order according to the percentage of CPU they are using.

How to Kill a Task (Force Quit) Using Activity Monitor

Let’s say one of the processes or applications on your system isn’t behaving the way it should. This usually means that the program is not responding, rather than the entire system. How do you kill it? It’s actually pretty easy!

Just select the process in question by clicking on it once, which will highlight it. Then click the “X” button at the top left of the Activity Tracker.

Exit the process confirmation window

You will be asked once if you are sure you want to exit the process. There are two ways to do it if you are sure. Button with label give up request the program to end up in business and close in a unique way. This is useful when you cannot find the window or its icon for some reason.

Button with label forced to quit turn off the program continuously, which means there is a possibility of data loss. This doesn’t matter if the program is already frozen completely.

Now, you are the master!

While most people will never need to use Activity Monitor, it’s good to know that this utility is well crafted, easy to use, and effective at allowing you to see what’s going on and prevent it. their tracking problems. Next time anyone asks you where the task manager is on your Mac, just point them to Activity Monitor!

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