The Activity Monitor is installed on every version of macOS. Apple task manager lets users see everything that is running on their system, including the background processes and programs. This guide covers the essential things you must know about opening and using the Activity Monitor. 

How do you Launch or Open the Activity Monitor?

There are a few different ways to open the Activity Monitor on your computer. You can opt for the method you find most suitable. 

  • Open the Activity Monitor in Finder. Open Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. Double-click on it. 
  • Launch Spotlight and type “Activity Monitor” on the search bar. Press Enter. Alternatively, you can bring up Spotlight Search by pressing Command + Spacebar. 

How can you Close or Quit Applications in the Activity Monitor?

You can use the Activity Monitor to close or quit any application running on your system. You can even close the background processes that are hogging too much system resources. 

Quit applications by launching the Activity Monitor > browsing through the active applications and processes > selecting the ones you want to quit > clicking the X icon and choosing Quit. 

Can Diagnostic Reports be run in Apple’s Task Manager?

Yes, you can create and run various diagnostic reports. It is possible to sample a process for 3 seconds to find out what it is doing when you run it. 

It is also possible to create a spindump. This looks at misbehaving or unresponsive applications that were quit forcefully. 

Based on the processes running on your Mac, you can create two types of reports, namely, System Diagnostics Report and Spotlight Diagnostic Report. If you encounter any problems with your Mac computer, these reports can be sent to Apple Support to get better assistance and quick resolution. 

You can create these reports by clicking the three dot icon > selecting Spindump/Sample Process/Spotlight Diagnostics/System Diagnostics. You may need to type your Mac password with some of these reports. 

What are the Steps to Monitor Processes in the Activity Monitor?

You will get all kinds of information in the Activity monitor regarding the functioning of your Mac computer. It is possible to focus on each process and get a summary of what they are doing. This information is particularly helpful if you are facing problems with your Mac computer running unpredictably and slowly. 

You can inspect processes by opening Activity Monitor > finding the process in the list and then double-clicking it. This will open a window with a few tabs, including the Memory Tab, CPU Tab, etc. In the Memory Tab, you can see the RAM used by different processes running on your computer. You can close the process if too much RAM is being used, and that’s causing an overall system slowdown. 

Similarly, you can check the different tabs to get more information about the running processes. 

What are the Uses of the Activity Monitor?

  • Limit Internet use 

Modern Internet connections do not limit how much data you can use in a month. But you might be on a tethered connection, or your ISP might be throttling your bandwidth whenever there’s too much network activity. Hence, you may want to limit your Internet use, and this is where the Activity Monitor comes to the rescue. 

The connection might be slow because there are files downloading in the background. You can use the Activity Monitor to stop such downloads by going to the Network Tab. Select the Sent Bytes column and sort the list from the highest to lowest. Repeat the same steps with the Rcvd Bytes column. If there are applications using too much bandwidth, quit those apps and processes. 

Also, if you find names you don’t recognize, run an antivirus scan. 

  • Save battery 

Your Mac’s battery might be affected when there are too many programs or apps running in the background, consuming a lot of processing power. In addition to slowing down your overall system’s performance, this is also going to use more energy. 

This might limit the time you can work on your Mac before having to find an electricity outlet. Luckily, you can use the Activity Monitor to save some battery on your system. 

To check for energy use, open the Activity Monitor and click the Energy Tab. Check the apps consuming too much energy and close them. These background processes might be the reason why your Mac cannot hold charge for too long. 

Wrapping Up 

Mastering the use of the Activity Monitor is an excellent way to take control of how you use your Mac computer. Follow the steps mentioned in this guide, and you should be able to improve the performance of your Mac. 

Remember to regularly check the Activity Monitor and the processes running in the background. Whenever you see an unknown name, quit the process and run an antivirus scan. Best of luck! 

By Grace