How To Use Task Manager On Mac

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Task Manager For Mac

When an app or process becomes unresponsive on a Windows PC, the Task Manager is often used as a final resort to kill it.

Similar issues can occur on Macs, and in these circumstances, users should click the Apple symbol on the menu bar and then select "Force Quit..." to terminate an app.

They could also start the Activity Monitor. The Activity Monitor, among other things, allows you to identify and terminate frozen apps and background processes. In this article we'll be learning all about the Mac task manager.

How To Open Activity Monitor On Mac

  1. On your Mac, open the Activity Monitor. It's in the /Applications/Utilities directory.
  2. Select the process or program to force quit from the Process Name list. To discover the problem faster, click Process Name at the top of the column to sort the apps alphabetically, or search for the app or process using the Search field in the top-right corner of the window. It's worth noting that a process that isn't responding is labeled with (Not Responding).
  3. Make sure the app is highlighted and press the Quit (X) button in the Activity Monitor's top-left corner.
  4. Choose Quit (the same as selecting File -> Quit when an app is running) or Force Quit to end the process immediately.

If the application has files open, forcing it to close may result in data loss. Also, please remember that if the program you force quit is being used by other programs or processes, other apps may have problems.

How to force quit with a keyboard shortcut on a Mac

  1. Press the Command+Option+Escape keys altogether. It's worth noting that you may know the Option key as "Alt," and the Escape key is simply referred to as "Esc."
  2. Choose the app to close and click "Force Quit."
force quite dialog on Mac

How to force quit using the Apple menu on a Mac

  1. In the top left of the screen, click the Apple logo.
  2. Select "Force Quit..." from the dropdown menu.
  3. Choose the app to close and click "Force Quit."

How to force quit on a Mac using the Dock

  1. In your Mac Dock, look for the app you wish to close.
  2. Hold the "Option" key down and right-click on the app, then select "Force quit."

How to go to Task Manager on Mac using Finder

  1. The easiest way to access the task manager on a Mac is to click on the Apple icon on the main screen and then go to System Preferences > Applications.
  2. Open the Utility folder in the Finder's accessible Applications.
  3. This will open all of your Mac's utility tools and components. To access the "Activity Monitor" tool, simply double-click its icon.

What is the Control+Alt+Delete equivalent for Mac

Control-Alt-Delete is a Windows keyboard shortcut that invokes the Force Quit command. To open the Force Quit Applications window on a macOS machine, use the Command-Option-Escape shortcut.

You can also get this window by selecting Force Quit from the Apple icon in the Menu bar.

How to see which processes and apps are running on your Mac

Even a single open application or process can reduce your Mac's performance dramatically. Among the several apps operating in the background, Activity Monitor assists in identifying such programs. The software allows you to quickly inspect and control active processes on your Mac, as well as cancel activities and applications.

To get a list of currently running processes, use Terminal with the command "ps -aux" to list all running processes with resource usage statistics.

For those who prefer to work with Terminal, there are macOS Terminal commands for interacting with the list of currently active processes.

What is the Activity Monitor?

Activity Monitor is an integrated macOS application that can help you speed up your Mac, troubleshoot slow apps, and investigate the most frequent causes of hardware and software problems.

Activity Monitor is a program that allows you to keep track of the processes that are running on your Mac.

How to see how much memory your Mac is using

Your Mac will slow down if you're utilizing a lot of memory. The Memory pane in the Activity Monitor can assist you with this by providing a lot of details about memory usage.

Activity Monitor memory usage on Mac

Memory Pressure

Memory pressure displays the amount of RAM or memory your Mac is consuming, with the color adjacent to the graph indicating the current status of memory resources:

  • Green: Your Mac is making good use of its RAM.
  • Yellow: Memory is still available, but memory-draining tasks like file compression are using them.
  • Red: There is a memory shortage. If your Mac is short of memory, closing some applications should help. You may want to install additional RAM if you're continually short of memory.

Physical Memory

The Physical Memory section of Activity Monitor indicates how much RAM your Mac has installed.

"Memory Used" displays the total amount of RAM used by all processes and applications. For instance, if a Mac has 64GB of RAM installed but is only using 18GB, you'll see this information in the Physical Memory section.

Memory Used is classified into three distinct categories:

  • App Memory: The total amount of RAM presently being consumed by applications.
  • Wired Memory: Uncompressible memory.
  • Compressed Memory: The total memory being compressed in order to free up additional memory for other programs.

"Cached Files" are RAM that has been recently used by apps and is now accessible for usage by other apps. For example, if you're using Mail and closed the app, the memory that Mail was consuming is still held as Cached Memory. If you reopen Mail prior to the cached memory being rewritten, Mail will open faster since your Mac will not have to acquire data from scratch.

"Swap Used" displays the amount of space allotted on your starting disk for memory management functions in macOS.

How to find the apps draining your MacBook battery life

If your MacBook Pro battery is rapidly depleting, we recommend examining the programs that consume the most energy. Change to the Energy tab in Activity Monitor to get this information. You can get information about how applications use the battery in this section. Look for apps that are consuming the most energy and close them if you're not using them right now.

Task Manger energy usage tab on Mac

How to use Activity Monitor to force quit applications on Mac

In the event that an app becomes unresponsive, you should examine how it's utilizing system resources.

Launch Activity Monitor (CPU pane) and locate the app that is not responding. If it consumes an excessive amount of CPU or memory, attempt to force quit the app. Simply choose the program and hit the X icon in the Activity Monitor window's upper left corner.

Author Katrina O'Reilly
About The Author
Katrina O'Reilly
Katrina goes by her gamer handle MissTRex. Born in Jaynesfield Wisconsin, she studied game design at Full Sail University. She has a penchant for anything "geeky" and is still a huge gamer.