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How to Open a Task Manager in Mac

If you just got a Mac for the first time, then you surely have a lot of questions . And one of the first that we all have, is the location of the Task Manager, which helps us a lot in Windows. So if you want to know its location, look no further.

Is easier than it looks like

Apple computers tend to be a little more complicated than Microsoft computers. This can be seen from the interface to how it lets the user get closer to their system. But only a short time of use is enough for you to make proper use of these devices.

But if Windows got used to something, it was that this operating system gets stuck if there are many processes. For this, we have the option to open the task manager and close the programs that cause us problems.

That is why here we will tell you how you can do the same on Mac; it is easier than you think. Since you only have to enter Launchpad and then access the “Others” folder. Already being inside, right there, you will see an application called “Activity Monitor.”

It is this application that serves as the “Task Manager” on Mac, so it is important that you keep it in the Dock at all times. This is done simply by right-clicking on the Activity Monitor icon. There you must select “Options” and right there “Keep in the Dock.”

That way, you will have direct access to the activity monitor in case you need it. And so you no longer have to search for it every time you need to close a program that is not working. Although fortunately, this is not very common on Mac, when it happens, it is terrible, so it is always good to be prepared for any eventuality.

One of the tools that we Mac users use is the OS X Activity Monitor. Many of the users that come to OS X come from Windows, and this tool is the one that we can compare with the well-known and used «Task Manager» that is integrated into the Windows operating system. Yes, it is about being able to see the use of our machine in terms of internal hardware: percentages of CPU, Memory, Power, Disk, and Network usage.

When we talk about the Activity Monitor in OS X, we talk about having control over our processes on Mac, and this is undoubtedly very interesting for some users. In short, and for all of us who have been using Windows for many years, this is what would become the Task Manager that is launched when we carry out the combination “Ctrl + Alt + Del”, but in Mac OS X it is called Monitor Activity, and it is easy to launch since it has its own application within our Launchpad, which allows us to launch it from the Launchpad itself, from Spotlight or even from Finder in the Applications folder. Let’s see more details of this Activity Monitor and the little tricks it hides.

How to Open a Task Manager in Mac

Step 1. Click on the spotlight search button on the home screen of your MacBook which is like a hand lens

Step 2. Type “Activity Monitor”

Step 3. Click on the search button when “Activity Monitor” results appear in the results.

Step 4. Now the Activity Monitor is open, and you can manage and operate applications.

Or in details

How to open Activity Monitor

Well, if you have come this far, it is because you simply want to know all the consumption data of your new Mac. I already mentioned at the beginning that we have different options to open this Activity Monitor, but the best, if we are going to use it a lot and to do more easily access what we recommend, is that you keep your Activity Monitor in a well accessible place to see the data and processes at any time. This is very simple to do, and you just have to access it from your  Launchpad> Others folder> Activity Monitor and drag the application to the Dock.

You can also access the activity monitor using Spotlight or inside the Applications> Utility folder. Any of the three methods work for you.

In this way, the Activity Monitor will be anchored in the Dock, and you will no longer have to access it from the Launchpad, Spotlight or Finder, it will be directly one click away, and we will have much faster and easier access when we sit in front of the Mac.  It allows us to access the “most hidden options” of this Activity Monitor that we will see in the next section.

Task manager information on Mac

This is undoubtedly the reason for this article. We are going to see each and every one of the details that the Activity Monitor offers us, and for this, we will respect the order of the tabs that appear in this useful OS X tool. We also have a button with an “i” that provides process information quickly and the crown gear (type adjustments)  at the top that offers us the options of sampling the process, executing the spin dump, executing the system diagnosis, and so on.

Part of these hidden options that we talked about at the beginning of the article is the option to press and hold the dock icon; we can modify its appearance and add a window in the applications menu where the usage graph will appear. To modify the application icon and see the processes directly, we just have to press the dock icon> Dock icon and choose what we want to monitor in it.

CPU

This next to Memory is undoubtedly the section most used by me, and what it shows us is the percentage of use of each and every one of the applications running. Within each of the applications, we can perform different tasks such as closing the process, sending commands, and more. Within the CPU option, we have various data available: The percentage of CPU used by each application, the CPU time of the threads, Activation after inactivity, the PID, and the user who is running that application on the machine.

Memory

Within the Memory option, we can see different and interesting data: the Memory used by each process, the compressed Memory, the Threads, the Ports, PID (it is the identification number of the process), and the user who is carrying out these processes.

Energy

This is undoubtedly another point to consider if we use a MacBook since it offers us the consumption of each of the processes that we have active on the Mac. This Energy tab offers us different data such as the energy impact of the process, the Average energy impact, whether or not you use  App Nap  (App Nap is a new feature that arrived in OS X Mavericks and automatically reduces system resources to certain applications that are not currently in use), Prevent entry into sleep and the user.

Disk

Knowing by finger what is generating read and write is becoming increasingly important due to the surge of current SSDs. These discs contain Flash memory and are undoubtedly twice as fast as HDDs, but they also “screw up sooner” the more write and read they get. In the Disk option of the Activity Monitor, we are going to see the: Bytes written, the Bytes read the class, the PID, and the user of the process.

Net

This is the last of the tabs that this complete Activity Monitor offers us in OS X. In it, we find all the data regarding the navigation of our team, and we can see the different details of each process: Bytes sent and Bytes received, Packets sent, and Packets received and the PID.

In short, it is about obtaining information from all processes that our Mac performs, including those of the Network and being able to close them or notice the percentages that some applications and processes of our Mac use. Also, having the option to modify the dock icon to see The details of the Activity Monitor in real-time is good to detect anomalies or strange consumption. Also, having everything with a graph in the window itself makes it easy to detail all the points.

Surely, this Activity Monitor makes it easier for us to detect a process that had us worried and also the option that allows us to close it directly from there,  which makes it easier for the user to work. On the other hand, it is sure that more than one of the users who come from the Windows operating system is used to doing the key combination Ctrl + Alt + Del to see the Task Manager and, of course, in Mac OS X this option does not exist.

What is clear is that if you come from Windows, you should forget about the classic task manager since, on Mac, it is called «Activity Monitor.» The sooner you get used to it, the better, as this will save time looking for an application that does not exist in macOS.