How to Open the Task Manager on Mac: Monitoring Apps and Processes

– Task Manager Mac –

The following is a guide for long-time Windows users who are transitioning to Mac and are asking where Task Manager is. “How can I install Task Manager on my Mac?” “How can I get Task Manager to launch on my Mac?” The instructions on how to end Mac processes will be valuable to Mac users who haven’t used the MacBook Activity Monitor in a while.

Task Manager Mac

The Task Manager Mac

If you’ve used Windows before, you’re undoubtedly acquainted with using Task Manager to deal with frozen apps and monitor memory use.

On a Mac, the Force handles these responsibilities Quit dialog or Activity Monitor, a software that has been included with every version of Mac OS X and MacOS since 2000. Here’s how to put them to good use.

How to Use the MacOS X Task Manager

The Task Manager appears to be one of the first things that new Mac users seek for. It’s a great Windows feature that lets you see a lot of data at once. You may use the Task Manager to force programs to close (known as the “End Task” option on Windows) and view different use statistics.

Coming from Windows, I know how important the Task Manager is for identifying problems and forcing programs to close. It’s practically a reflex to open it as soon as you get a suspicion that anything is amiss.

On a Mac, however, the standard “Ctrl-Alt-Del” shortcut does not function. I tried, believe me.

We know this tool as the Activity Monitor on MacOS X. It follows the same principle, but in a somewhat different manner. This guide helps you if you are unsure where to look for this tool or how to use it on a Mac.

How to Open the Task Manager on your Mac

Most Windows users know that right clicking on the taskbar brings up the Task Manager. Right-clicking on the Dock only pulls up certain settings on the Mac, therefore this feature is absent.

So, if there’s no shortcut or Dock option for the Activity Monitor – the Mac version of the Task Manager — how do you access it? We may do it in two ways:

a. Type Activity Monitor into the search field on your Launchpad (the rocket symbol in your Dock).

b. To easily discover and open the Activity Monitor, use the Spotlight utility (-Spacebar).

Guide to the Task Manager for Mac

Most people gain a muscle memory for pushing Ctrl + Alt + Delete when their PC acts up to launch the Task Manager and resume a stalled task after years of using Windows. It’s just a fact of life. What is the Mac counterpart of Task Manager?

Some argue that the Apple Task Manager is unnecessary, since Macs run faster and more smoothly than PCs.

While this is mainly true, you will occasionally require a technique to force quit Mac processes in order to maintain it in excellent working order.

So, how do you install Task Manager on your Mac? Easy!

Activity Monitor, this can be found in Applications > Utilities, is an OSX Task Manager (or rather the Mac counterpart of Task Manager) that comes pre-installed.

Are there Better Apple Task Manager Shortcuts?

While Activity Monitor is the Mac version of Task Manager, sometimes you want to keep a closer eye on your Mac’s processes and get real-time performance improvements. iStat Menus in the task manager shortcut, can assist you in this endeavor.

1. iStat Menus

iStat Menus offers you a quick overview of what’s using your Mac’s resources.

Working hard immediately from the menu bar, the software provides graphs for practically every function of your Mac, allowing you to quickly diagnose problems or simply observe how your Mac performs under various open settings.

Depending on the tasks you wish to monitor, you may pick which iStat Menus trackers to install.

They’ll appear in the menu bar, just a click away, once you’ve installed them, so you won’t have to launch any programs to see how your Mac is performing.

The following are the main items you can track using iStat Menus:

a. CPU and GPU, including extensive historical graphs, uptime, and programs that use a lot of CPU.

b. Utilization of memory

c. Top applications’ network consumption and bandwidth utilization

d. Temperature, fan, CPU, and GPU frequency are all sensors.

e. Disk activity and used disk space

f. Power and battery.

If you require a MacOS Task Manager, it’s most likely because your computer is sluggish.

But don’t simply deal with the symptom; deal with the root of the problem. Instead of terminating processes, use CleanMyMac X to make your Mac perform more smoothly overall.

2. CleanMyMac X

CleanMyMac X is optimization software that helps you enhance the speed of your Mac in only a few clicks. It cleans out user and system caches, defends against viruses, and uninstalls undesirable apps to speed up your Mac.

If a program is frequently slowing or hanging up, it’s most likely because of a conflict with another process, which CleanMyMac X will quickly resolve:

Start the app.

To find out what’s wrong, go to System Junk > Scan Review Details and press Clean.

Control-Alt-Delete Alternative for Mac

Task Manager Mac

On a Mac, there isn’t a straight shortcut to access the Task Manager. You may, however, use a keyboard shortcut to force apps to close, which is one feature of Windows’ Task Manager.

To use the Force Quit utility on your Mac, press the -Option-Esc shortcut.

Simply choose the app you wish to close and press the blue button in the corner to close it. An application’s name will be highlighted in red if it is frozen and not responding.


How to See What Programs are Running on your Mac

You can view all of the programs that are presently running on your Mac when you launch the Activity Monitor. Even if the applications and processes are operating in the background, they are visible, making it easier to identify strange behavior.

The Activity Monitor opens on the CPU tab by default. This means you can see what’s using the most CPU power on your Mac. It also displays the precise percentages of power they consume as well as the time each program has been operating.

Tips to Identify Running Programs

When you switch to the Memory tab, you can see how much RAM each process is using. Similar to Windows, you ensure that your machine has adequate RAM to run correctly.

You’ll find that your system is sluggish and difficult to use if too much of your memory is used. To avoid this, be sure to clear off programs that use a lot of RAMs.

The Energy tab helps you save battery life by keeping track of which apps are draining your energy. When your MacBook is disconnected, use this tab to extend the battery life until you can plug it back in.

While the Disk tab isn’t as useful as the others daily, it’s still an important aspect of the Activity Monitor. We find here all processes interacting with your hard disk and rewriting data.

If they have infected you with malware, you’ll become able to identify and end the malicious programs here.

The Network tab is the last tab in the Activity Monitor. It shows you all the data delivered and received by the apps you’re using right now.

When I use my Mac to explore or work online, I use this tab to notice any outliers transmitting significant volumes of data.

Ending Stubborn Programs with the “Force Quit” Function

Task Manager Mac

If you’ve ever used Ctrl+Alt+Delete to end a recalcitrant application on a Windows PC, you’ll be happy to hear that the Mac has a three-finger equivalent.

To do this simply follow these steps

a. First, press Command+Option+Esc to activate the “Force Quit Applications” window when an application becomes unresponsive.

b. A pop up with a list of currently running programs will appear. Select it from the list and click the “Force Quit” button to shut a stubborn one that won’t quit regularly.

MacOS will end the program you chose after asking for confirmation. It’s quite useful.

Troubleshooting with More Detail: the Activity Monitor

You’ll want to use Activity Monitor if you have a deeper system resource issue to investigate on a Mac, such as memory usage or comprehensive details on a specific program or process.

Activity Monitor is in the “Utilities” section in your Mac’s Applications folder by default.

Spotlight is one of the quickest methods to open Activity Monitor.

a. Click the little “magnifying glass” symbol in your menu bar (or press Command+Space) to open “Spotlight.”

b. Type “activity monitor” into the “Spotlight Search” field

c. Now, press “Return.” Alternatively, under the Spotlight results, click the “Activity” icon.

When you open the “Activity Monitor” window, you’ll see a list of all the processes operating on your Mac that looks somewhat like this:

d. You may visit displays that offer information on ongoing processes organized by CPU use (“CPU”), memory usage (“Memory”), energy consumption (“Energy”), disk usage (“Disk”), and network usage (“Network”) using the five tabs across the top of the window.

e. Select the tab that corresponds to the section you want to see.

f. You may choose a process from the list at any moment and click the “Stop” button (which looks like an octagon with a “x” within it) to force it to quit, or the “Inspect” button (which looks like an “I” in a circle) to get additional information about it.

g. If the amount of processes mentioned overwhelms you, you may use the “View” menu in the menu bar to limit them down.

h. Select “My Processes,” for example, to see simply a list of processes linked with your user account.

i. You may also use the search box in the upper-right corner of the window to look for a process. Simply put the name of the program or procedure you’re searching for into the search box.

What is Activity Monitor?

What is Activity Monitor?

Activity Monitor is a tool similar to Windows Task Manager that reveals how much memory your Mac processes are using and which programs are presently running (even if they aren’t open), as well as allowing you to force-quit stopped apps if you can’t end them normally.

It might be a lot to take in if you’ve never used this Mac task organizer before. Don’t worry, we’ll cover how to use Activity Monitor shortly.

How to See Your System Status in the Dock with the Activity Monitor

You might think it’s inconvenient to have to look for the Activity Monitor every time you want to check your Mac’s status. I had the same notion, which is how I discovered that there is a far simpler approach.

Use the Activity Monitor’s live update function to monitor your system status straight from your Dock.

a. Simply launch the Activity Monitor and expand the View tab on your Mac’s top-bar.

b. Hover your mouse over the Dock icon and pick the required update.

c. After selecting the option you want to observe, the Activity Monitor will immediately convert to a live update.

Hopefully, this section has answered any queries you may have had about the Mac Task Manager. If you still have questions concerning the MacOS operating system, read further for more information and instructions.

Mac Activity Monitor and CPU Load

The Mac Activity Monitor, like the Task Manager, displays a list of all active processes on the system. You can find it in Spotlight by clicking on the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of the menu bar, or by going into Applications and choosing Utilities.

CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, Network, and (in later versions) Cache are the areas of the Mac Activity Monitor. User apps, system apps used by the operating system, and invisible background processes are all included in the list of processes.

By heading to the “View” menu, you may select which columns to display and filter the processes. You may also use other tools like htop to control your system besides the Mac Activity Monitor processes.

If you’re going to use Activity Monitor as your Mac task manager, you’ll need to understand how to use the monitor indications panes.


1. CPU Pane

The first tab in Activity Monitor displays all the processes that are now using your Mac’s CPU, as well as the precise percentages of power they are using and the time they have been operating.

Choose View > All Processes and click on the percent CPU column to arrange all processes in Activity Monitor by CPU consumption, from highest to lowest.

In the CPU tab, you may find a process called “kernel task” that is consuming a significant amount of resources.

Don’t freak out and don’t turn it off! By kicking other memory-intensive Mac applications out, the process merely guarantees that your CPU is not overworked.

As a result, it may appear to be one of the more time-consuming activities on the list.

Similarly, “mds” and “mdworker” assist in the indexing of files for Spotlight searches, which can increase their hunger.

The “CPU” tab displays how various tasks impact CPU performance. This data, together with the statistics in the “Energy” pane, can help you figure out which processes are hurting your Mac’s performance, battery life, temperature, and fan activity.

You’ll see an extra part just below the main window that contains the following information:

a. System: The percentage of CPU capacity that is now used by system processes.

b. User: The percentage of CPU capacity presently consumed by the user’s applications or processes.

c. Idle: The percentage of CPU capacity that isn’t being used.

d. CPU Load: The percentage of the CPU’s capacity that is now occupied by all processes (System and User combined).

e. Threads: This is the total number of threads used in all processes.

f. Processes: The total number of processes executing at any time.

2. Memory Pane

Mac Memory Pane

The second tab shows how much RAM each process consumes, which may be the most valuable metric of all. Because RAM is directly responsible for your Mac’s performance, removing heavy users is the quickest method to speed things up.

The RAM Pressure Gauge at the bottom of the Memory tab is another fascinating feature. If the bar is green, your Mac’s memory isn’t being overworked. If it becomes red, though, add extra RAM for your computer.

Use App Tamer, a menu bar program that detects heavy consumers on your Mac and automatically slows them down, to reduce CPU and RAM consumption by apps.

The Mac Activity Monitor’s Memory pane displays how much memory is presently being used. We may find the following statistics in the section at the bottom:

a. Memory Pressure: This graph depicts the memory resources that are available.

b. Physical memory refers to the total quantity of RAM installed on a computer.

c. Memory in Use: The total amount of RAM in use at the moment.

d. App Memory: The total amount of memory consumed by applications and their processes.

e. Wired Memory: Memory that can’t be compressed or paged out to the hard drive, therefore it has to stay in RAM.

f. Compressed RAM refers to memory that has been compressed to create room for other operations.

g. Swap Used: The amount of space on your starting disk that the OS’s memory management mechanism is using.

h. Cached Files: Memory that was recently used by programs, but is now accessible to other apps, is known as cached files.

3. Energy Pane

When you’re using your MacBook without connecting it in, the center tab comes in useful. You can quickly locate and end apps and programs that deplete your battery, allowing you to extend your screen time.

The “Energy” pane displays statistics on overall energy usage as well as how much energy each program consumes. Click the column headers to sort the processes by the values measured, just as you can in the other views. We show the following in the bottom pane:

a. Energy Consumption: The total amount of energy consumed by all apps.

b. Graphics Card: This refers to the type of graphics card that has been installed.

c. Remaining Charge: The percentage of battery charge that is still available.

d. Time Until Full: The time the Mac needs to be hooked into the wall to charge entirely.

e. Time on AC: The time they have plugged the Mac in.

f. Time Remaining: The time the Mac can operate on battery power is estimated.

g. Time on Battery: they turned the time since the Mac off.

h. Battery (Last 12 Hours): The charge level of the battery during the previous 12 hours.

Check Avg Energy Impact to see which applications are consuming the most energy on average. Consider deleting such programs if you don’t use them frequently.

4. Disk Pane

The “Disk” pane displays the amount of data that each process has read or written to your hard drive. It also displays the number of “reads in” and “writes out” (IO) operations performed by your Mac on the disk to read and write data.

They display the total disk activity for all programs combined at the bottom of the “Disk” window.

Even though this tab isn’t the most relevant to everyday usage, it shows how different processes interact with your hard drive and rewrite data. If you ever install malware, you may see its processes as significant outliers here and end them just in time.

5. Network Pane

The last tab in Activity Monitor shows how many data each program you’ve installed has received and delivered. It’s also useful for recognizing outliers who may send too much data online.

Tip: If you want to save data, TripMode is a wonderful utility to install. If you’re on the road or have a restricted data plan, this is very useful.

You can check how much data your Mac sends and receives over the network in the “Network” window. This helps you to pinpoint which processes are transmitting or receiving the most data.

They display the total network activity for all applications combined at the bottom of the “Network” window.

6. Cache Pane

If Content Caching is enabled in the “Sharing” pane of System Preferences, the Activity Monitor includes an extra pane called “Cache” in MacOS High Sierra 10.13.4 or later.

This pane displays data such as cached content that has been transferred, downloaded, or lost over time by local network devices.

It is important to note that what information is accessible in the Activity Monitor depends on your Apple devices and MacOS version.

How to Inspect processes in Activity Monitor

Task Manager Mac

If you want to learn more about a particular process running on your Mac, select it in Activity Monitor and hit Command + I. Alternatively, select View > Inspect Process from the menu bar.

On the inspection screen, you can see how much CPU and memory this process is using, as well as how long it has been running.

Enhancing your Mac’s performance with One Mac toolkit

Knowing how to utilize the MacBook Task Manager to check on your Mac’s performance is critical, and the instructions above are an excellent place to start. The next step is to have the tools you’ll need to troubleshoot any problems with your Mac’s performance.

Setapp is a toolkit that includes an advanced task manager called iStat Menus and a Mac optimizer called CleanMyMac X.

It also includes a number of tiny tools, such as Quit All, which forces programs to close, App Tamer, which reduces CPU utilization, Trip Mode, which optimizes network activity, and others. A free 7-day trial of the toolbox is available.


Frequently Asked Questions

For more insight into task manager Mac, go through this section, as it provides direct answers to more specific questions.

1. How Do I Use Task Manager on A MacOS X Computer?

Ans: It’s already installed if it’s in the Applications folder. When you double-click the symbol, what happens?

Is the name of the program shown next to the Apple in the top left corner of the screen?

If the program is not running, you may move the icon from the Applications folder to the Dock to keep it in the clock. Control+click the icon in the Dock and select Options> Keep in Dock if it’s running.”

2. How Do I Use Task Manager on a Mac?

Ans: “To use task manager on a Mac, it can be for any of these three (3) reasons below

a. It is used to kill an app.

b. Sudo kill.

c. Irresponsive or confused state.”

3. What Is the Equivalent of Hitting Control-Alt-Delete on A Mac?

Ans: “To force quit an application,

a. Use command-option-escape to force a program to close. A list of currently running programs will appear.

b. Choose the one you want and press the Force Quit button.

c. Press command-control-power if your Mac is frozen and you need to force it to restart.

Alternatively, press and hold the power button for a more forceful shutdown.”

4. Where’s the ‘task Manager’ on a Mac?

Ans: “The Mac Task Manager is essentially a scaled-down version of the Activity Monitor.

To open it, hold down the [CMD] + [ALT] + [ESC] buttons on your keyboard at the same time.

This will bring up a window with a list of all currently running programs and applications in the background.”

5. What Can You Do if Your Mac Is Running Slowly?

Ans: “To fix a slow Mac, take the following steps:

a. Clear out your RAM

b. Free up space on your Mac when your hard drive is almost full

c. Add more RAM

6. How Do I Force Quit a Mac App?

Ans: “To do this,

a. Use the keyboard shortcut ‘Command’ + ‘Q’ while the program is open.

b. Select ‘Quit’ from the File Menu.

c. Hold down the ‘Command’ key and continuously press ‘Tab’ to cycle among open applications. When the program you wish to close is highlighted, press ‘Q’ while still holding down the ‘Command’ key.

d. To force quit a frozen app, press ‘Command’, ‘Option’ + ‘Esc,’ then pick the program to exit from the list that appears.

7. How Does One Perform Task Manager Tasks on a Mac?

Ans: “On your Mac PC, press [CMD] + [ALT] + [ESC] simultaneously and view from the window that appears for running apps. “

8. How Do I Track Internet Data Usage in MacBook?

Ans: “To do this, take the following steps:

a. Open spotlight search

b. Type in Activity Monitor.

c. Press enter.

d. Then, on the open page, click on the Network tab.”

9. What Is the Best Way to Manage Google Tasks on MacOS X?

Ans: “To do this, you may use an official Google Chrome extension to simply put the mobile view on a button in your browser. Or you may use a Tasks API to create your own app and integrate it with Google Tasks. 

Read this information on Google Tasks API


10. What Is the Equivalent of Ctrl Alt Del on A Mac?

Ans: “You may force quit by going to the Apple Menu > Force Quit or pressing Command-Option-Esc, which will open the same window.

Then go to the Force Quit button and choose the program containing the frozen document.”

We hope this article has provided you with answers to your search query and more on task manager Mac. Do well to share this information with your loved ones using the social media share buttons available on this page.

Best Regards!

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