How-To Geek

Where's the 'task manager' on a mac.

New to Mac and looking for the Task Manager? Apple's equivalent is Activity Monitor---we'll show you where it is and and how to use it.

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Terminating stubborn programs with "force quit", troubleshooting with more detail: activity monitor.

If you're a veteran of Windows, you're probably familiar with using Task Manager to deal with applications that freeze or checking memory usage. On a Mac, those tasks fall to a Force Quit dialog or a utility called Activity Monitor , which has shipped with every version of Mac OS X and macOS since 2000. Here's how to use them.

If you're familiar with pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete on a Windows PC to kill a stubborn program, you'll be glad to know that a similar three-finger combo exists on the Mac. When a program becomes unresponsive, simply press Command+Option+Esc to open the "Force Quit Applications" dialog .

A window will pop up that lists currently running apps. To close a stubborn one that refuses to quit normally, select it from the list, and click the "Force Quit" button.

The

After asking for confirmation, macOS will close the application you selected. Very handy.

Related: How to Control+Alt+Delete on a Mac

If you have a deeper system resource issue to look into on a Mac, such as memory consumption or detailed information on a particular app or process, you'll want to use Activity Monitor. By default, Activity Monitor lives in a folder called "Utilities" within your Applications folder on your Mac.

Locating Activity Monitor in Finder on a Mac.

One of the fastest ways to open Activity Monitor is by using Spotlight. To open "Spotlight," click the small "magnifying glass" icon in your menu bar (or press Command+Space).

Click the magnifying glass icon in the menu bar to launch Spotlight Search.

When the "Spotlight Search" bar appears, type "activity monitor," and hit "Return." Or you can click the "Activity Monitor.app" icon in the Spotlight results.

Open Spotlight Search on Mac and type

Once the "Activity Monitor" window opens, you will see a list of all the processes running on your Mac, similar to this:

An overview of the CPU tab in Activity Monitor on Mac.

Using the five tabs across the top of the window, you can visit displays that show information on running processes sorted by CPU usage ("CPU"), memory usage ("Memory"), energy usage ("Energy"), disk usage ("Disk"), and network usage ("Network"). Click the tab corresponding to the section you'd like to visit.

The various tabs in Activity Monitor on Mac.

At any time while listing processes, you can select a process from the list, and click the "Stop" button (which looks like an octagon with an "x" inside it) to force it to quit, or click the "Inspect" button (an "i" in a circle) to see more information about the process.

The

And if you're overwhelmed by the number of processes listed, you can narrow them down using the "View" menu up in the menu bar. For example, you could select "My Processes," to see only a list of processes associated with your user account.

Click the

You can also search for a process using the search bar in the upper-right corner of the window. Just type in the name of the app or process you're looking for, and it will appear in the list (if it is currently running).

Use the search box in Activity Monitor to search for processes on a Mac.

Activity Monitor is very handy, so take some time to explore it, and you'll become that much more adept at using it to troubleshoot your Mac . Have fun!

Related: How to Troubleshoot Your Mac With Activity Monitor

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task manager for mac - cover

How To Open And Use Task Manager On A Mac

If you’re looking for the equivalent of Windows Task Manager on Mac, here we show you how to open and use the Task Manager on a Mac including on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs.

On Windows, pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete brings up the Task Manager so that you can Force Quit applications and programs that have either crashed or are running slowly.

There are various ways to Force Quit on a Mac the easiest being using the mini equivalent of Task Manager by pressing the Command + Option + Esc keys.

However, the version of Task Manager accessible by the Command + Option + Esc keyboard shortcut doesn’t always shut-down the program that’s locked-up and it doesn’t give you any further information on what’s causing the problem.

The good news is that macOS Activity Monitor gives you far more information on running processes and is the full equivalent of Task Manager on Windows.

Like Windows Task Manager, Activity Monitor also allows you to close files and applications that may be behaving unexpectedly or not functioning properly but also provides far more detailed information on memory usage, CPU usage and other processes running on your Mac.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll show you how to open and use the equivalent of the Windows Task Manager on your Mac or MacBook including on Apple Silicon Macs and the latest version of macOS Sonoma.

You May Also Like:

  • Ctrl-Alt-Delete On Mac: How To Force Quit Apps

Quick Navigation

Where Is The Task Manager On a Mac?

How to use the activity monitor task manager, viewing memory usage in the activity monitor, viewing energy usage in activity monitor, checking disk activity in activity monitor, viewing network activity in activity monitor, accessing the task manager through terminal, can’t access the task manager.

The equivalent of Ctrl-Alt-Delete on a Mac is pressing the Command + Option + Esc keys together.

Keyboard Shortcut for Task Manager

  • This instantly brings-up a mini version of the macOS Task Manager showing you a list of applications currently running on your Mac. This “Force Quit Applications” Task Manager window can be used to force programs to close that may be frozen or making your Mac run slow .

force quite applications

  • When the Force Quit Applications window pops up, select the program that needs to be shut down, and click on the Force Quit button.

Force Quitting Programs

  • If Finder doesn’t respond, choose it from the list and click on Relaunch.

relaunch force quit applications

The full equivalent of Windows Task Manager on a Mac is Activity Monitor .

Activity Monitor gives detailed information on all running programs and processes in macOS and can be used if the Command + Option + Esc shortcut doesn’t work to force quit a program or application.

You can open the Activity Monitor by doing the following:

  • Open Finder , go to Applications , scroll down to Utilities and open it. Click on the Activity Monitor icon. Alternatively, you can press Command + Spacebar and search in Spotlight for “Activity Monitor”.

Monitoring CPU Activity with Task Manager

  • You’ll then see detailed information about all the processes and applications running on your Mac. You can see how much of the processor an application is taking-up on your Mac by clicking on CPU to bring up the CPU activity percentages. You will see something like the following:

 CPU Activity

  • The System percentage denotes how much of the CPU is being used by macOS processes.
  • The User percentage shows how much of the CPU is being used by applications you opened.
  • The Idle percentage is the CPU power that isn’t being utilized.
  • Click on Window > CPU Usage to view present processor activity.

cpu usage mac

  • Click on Window > CPU History to view recent processor activity.

cpu history

Activity Monitor also shows how much system memory each application takes-up. You can find out the memory usage of an application, game or program by doing the following:

  • Press Command + Space to open Spotlight, type “ Activity Monitor” and press Enter .

activity monitor

  • Click on Memory to access the following information:

memory pressure

  • Memory Pressure: Shows a graphical representation of your Mac’s processing needs being fulfilled by the memory.
  • Physical Memory: How much RAM is installed in your Mac.
  • Memory Used: The amount of RAM your Mac is utilizing currently. It is divided into App Memory, Wired Memory, and Compressed.
  • Cached Files: Shows different cached files and their sizes.
  • Swap Used: Shows how much space is allocated on your startup drive to transfer unused files between the RAM and memory.
  • Click on View > Columns to display more information about your Mac’s memory usage.

idle wake ups

The Activity Monitor also displays energy usage on your Mac, and you can view it in the following way:

  • Click on Energy to access the following information:
  • Energy Impact: Shows the energy consumption of each app on your Mac.
  • 12hr Power: The average energy consumption of each app in the last 12 hours.
  • App Nap: Shows whether a particular app has the App Nap feature.
  • Graphics Card: Shows whether an app needs a graphics card to run smoothly. This appears if your Mac has multiple graphics cards.
  • Preventing Sleep: Shows whether a particular app prevents your Mac from going to Sleep Mode.
  • User: Shows which user is running the process.

Here’s how you can check the Disk Activity on your Mac using Activity Monitor:

  • Click on Disk to see how much data is read from or written to your disk by each application.

disk activity

  • Click on View > Dock Icon > Show Disk Activity and the Dock icon of the activity monitor will display disk activity in real time.

show disk activity

The Task Manager also displays the network activity of your Mac. You can check it by doing the following:

  • Click on Network to see how much data is sent from or received by each application.

Viewing Network Activity on the Task Manager

  • Click on the menu above the graph that shows the network activity, and click on Packets or Data , depending on how you want to view the information.

network activity packets and data

  • If you’d like to view network activity at a glance, you can setup the Dock icon of the activity monitor to present a graph in real time. To set this up, click on View > Dock Icon > Show Network Usage .

show network usage

An alternate way to monitor or force quit your programs with the Activity Monitor Task Manager on a Mac is through the Terminal by doing the following:

  • Click on the Finder icon on your Mac.

finder icon

  • Click on Applications in the left pane.

applications

  • Scroll down to Utilities and open it, and then click on the Terminal icon.

applications utilities

  • When the Terminal opens, simply type “ top ” and press Enter . The Terminal shows you a list of all running processes and applications.

terminal

  • Check the Process ID (PID) for the application or process you want to terminate in the first column, and then press Q to quit this utility and return to the Terminal.

PID terminal

  • Type “kill -9 (enter the PID number in these brackets),” entering the actual PID for the application, and press Enter . This will close the application immediately.

One of the main reasons you might not be able to find the Task Manager on a Mac is because you need to search for “Activity Monitor” which is the equivalent of Task Manager on a Mac.

The Task Manager is only a small function of the Activity Monitor that allows you to force quit programs. To access it, simply press the Command + Option + Esc buttons at the same time.

One more way to Force Quit an app is to hold the Option key and right click a mouse or two-finger tap a trackpad on the Dock icon of the frozen app. There you will see Force Quit at the bottom of the menu.

Also, if you are clicking the Finder icon, you can Relaunch the Finder.

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How to open the Task Manager on Mac and monitor load

Similarly to the Windows equivalent, in the Apple Task Manager you can easily close programs that are frozen or hanging . But if you want more details about a problem, you’ll need to open the Mac Activity Monitor. This lets you kill unused or unresponsive applications, and consult statistics on CPU and memory load, and energy use . But how do you open the Task Manager on a Mac? And what information is shown in the Activity Monitor? We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you out.

Force quitting programs using the Mac Task Manager

Memory pane, energy pane, network pane.

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The Mac Task Manager is a mini-version of the Activity Monitor. To open it, simultaneously press down the [CMD] + [ALT] + [ESC] keys on your keyboard. This will open a window containing a list of all currently opened programs and applications that are running in the background. Select the program or application that has frozen and click on the “Force Quit” button to close it.

The Alt key is also referred to as the Option key. In fact, on some keyboards it is actually labeled “Option”.

Mac Task Manager

Mac Activity Monitor and CPU load

Like the Task Manager, the Mac Activity Monitor also lists all of the processes that are running on the system. You can open it by going into Applications and selecting Utilities , or searching for it directly in Spotlight by clicking on the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of the menu bar.

The Mac Activity Monitor is split into several sections: CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, Network, and (in later versions) Cache . The list of processes includes user apps, system apps used by the operating system, and invisible background processes. You can choose which columns to display and filter the processes by going into the “View” menu. As well as the Mac Activity Monitor, you can also install other programs such as  htop  to manage system processes.

The “CPU” pane shows how different processes are affecting CPU performance . Alongside the stats in the “Energy” pane, this information can help you work out what processes are affecting the performance, battery runtime, temperature and fan activity of your Mac. Just below the main window, you will see an additional section containing the following information:

  • System : Percentage of CPU capability currently being used by system processes.
  • User : Percentage of CPU capability currently being used by apps or processes launched by the user.
  • Idle : Percentage of CPU capability not in use.
  • CPU Load : Percentage of CPU capability currently being used by all processes (System and User combined).
  • Threads : Total number of threads used across all processes.
  • Processes : Total number of processes that are currently running.

When you open the Activity Monitor, you might notice that the CPU load for the kernel_task process is rather high, and also that the fan is working harder than usual. One of the roles of kernel_task is to regulate the temperature of the CPU .

The Memory pane of the Mac Activity Monitor tells you how memory is currently being used . The section at the bottom shows the following statistics:

  • Memory Pressure : This is a graph that illustrates the availability of memory resources.
  • Physical Memory : Total amount of RAM installed.
  • Memory Used : Total amount of RAM currently in use.
  • App Memory : Total amount of memory currently being used by apps and their processes.
  • Wired Memory : Memory that cannot be compressed or paged out to the hard drive and that must therefore remain in RAM.
  • Compressed : Amount of RAM that is compressed to make space for other processes.
  • Swap Used : Space that the memory management system of the OS is using on your startup drive.
  • Cached Files : Memory that was recently used by apps but is now available to other apps.

The “Energy” pane provides information on overall energy use and tells you how much energy is being used by each app. As in the other views, you can click the column headings to sort the processes according to the values measured. The bottom pane shows the following:

  • Energy Impact : Total energy used by all apps.
  • Graphics Card : Type of graphics card installed.
  • Remaining Charge : Percentage of battery charge remaining.
  • Time Until Full : Amount of time the Mac must be plugged into the mains before it is fully charged.
  • Time on AC : Time elapsed since the Mac was plugged in.
  • Time Remaining : Estimated amount of time the Mac can keep running on battery.
  • Time on Battery : Time elapsed since the Mac was unplugged.
  • Battery (Last 12 hours): Battery charge level over the last 12 hours.

Mac Activity Monitor: Energy pane

The “Disk” pane shows how much data each process has read from or written to your disk. It also shows “reads in” and “writes out” (IO), that is, the number of times your Mac accesses the disk to read and write data. The information at the bottom of the “Disk” pane shows the total disk activity for all processes combined.

In the “Network” pane you can see how much data your Mac is sending and receiving over the network. This allows you to identify processes that are sending or receiving the largest amounts of data . The information at the bottom of the “Network” pane shows the total network activity for all apps combined.

Mac Activity Monitor: “Network” pane

In macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 or later, the Activity Monitor has an additional pane called “Cache” (if Content Caching is enabled in the “Sharing” pane of System Preferences). This pane shows information such as how much cached content local network devices have uploaded, downloaded or dropped over time.

The information available in the Activity Monitor will depend on what Apple devices and macOS version you are using.

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task manager in macbook

Don't want to use Spotlight for some reason? You can also open the Mac equivalent of Task Manager by using Launchpad on your Mac . You'll typically find the Launchpad icon on your Mac's Dock, indicated by the grid of multi-colored icons.

Upon opening Launchpad, click the Other folder (you may have to scroll left or right to another page to see it) to find Activity Monitor located alongside other macOS utility apps.

Other folder in macOS Launchpad

Lastly, you can also find Activity Monitor in the Applications folder on your Mac. Open a new Finder window, select Applications from the sidebar, and click the Utilities folder to find and open it.

Keep Activity Monitor in the Dock for Easy Access

Once you open the Activity Monitor app using any of the above methods, it will appear in the Dock at the bottom of your screen. However, this shortcut disappears once you quit the app.

Keep in Dock option for Activity Monitor

If you use Activity Monitor often, you may want to keep it on the Dock. To do this, Control -click the Activity Monitor icon on the Dock and choose Options > Keep in Dock from the context menu. From now on, you can access Activity Monitor right from your desktop.

One of the most common reasons for opening the Windows Task Manager is to close apps when they stop responding. While this doesn't happen as often on macOS, you may occasionally need to force quit an app when it's unresponsive or exhibits abnormal behavior.

Force Quit Applications window in macOS

The easiest way to do this is to use the Force Quit Applications window on your Mac. To open it quickly, simultaneously press Command + Option + Escape . From there, select the unresponsive app and hit Force Quit . When prompted for confirmation, click Force Quit again. Alternatively, you can access this window by clicking Apple menu > Force Quit from the menu bar.

Besides the Force Quit Applications window, you can also close apps using Activity Monitor (like you would with the Task Manager). This is handy if you want to force quit a process rather than an app, since processes don't appear in the Force Quit Applications window.

Stopping a process in Activity Monitor

Open Activity Monitor on your Mac, select the unresponsive app under the CPU tab, and click the Stop (X) button at the top. Click Force Quit when prompted to confirm, and the app will shut off.

This process is similar to closing apps using Task Manager, so it shouldn't be difficult to force close apps on macOS if you recently switched from Windows.

Unlike the Windows Task Manager, which shows your PC's performance graphs in one window, the Activity Monitor has separate tabs for resources an app consumes, such as CPU , Memory , Energy , Disk , and Network usage.

Clicking a heading allows you to sort by that option, making it easy to see what processes are using the most resources. For example, sorting by % CPU shows any processes that are doing a lot of intensive tasks.

If you consistently see an app here that isn't actually doing hard work, it may be misbehaving. For one popular example, we've explained how to fix the "kernel_task" high CPU usage bug if you encounter it.

Energy comes in handy if you're using a MacBook and want to get as much battery life as possible. Sorting by Energy Impact lets you see which apps draw the most power. You can close them to make your MacBook last longer before needing a charge.

Mac Activity Monitor showing the CPU tab

To get more information about a process, select it and click the Info (i) button at the top of the Activity Monitor window for more details. As mentioned earlier, you can also click the Stop (X) button to kill any process, though you shouldn't close something unless you're sure you don't need it.

Activity Monitor has a few handy options in the menu bar you should know about. The View tab lets you choose which processes to show. Instead of All Processes , you may want to see only Active Processes to filter out noise, for example. You can also use the Columns option to hide or show more info for each process.

Mac Activity Monitor secondary windows

And under the Window menu bar item, you'll find a few options—like CPU Usage and GPU History —that open small windows. These let you monitor resource usage without keeping the full Activity Monitor window open. If you like these, try using View > Dock Icon to change the app's icon from the default to a live graph of CPU, network, or other activity.

These views are great if you like to monitor the performance of your Mac, especially while gaming. For more on what the Mac equivalent of Task Manager can do, see our comprehensive guide to Activity Monitor on Mac .

It's easy to open Activity Monitor and keep an eye on what's happening on your Mac. We've shown you several ways to access it, so managing active processes on your Mac when needed shouldn't be an issue. The more you know about your Mac, the more efficiently you can get work done on your computer.

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'Task Manager' on Mac: How to Find and Use the Activity Monitor

activity monitor icon

Users on Mac can sometimes face similar issues, and in such cases will usually click the Apple () symbol in the menu bar and select Force Quit... to kill an app from there.

Alternately, they'll fire up the Activity Monitor. Amongst other things, Activity Monitor lets you locate both frozen apps and background processes and force them to quit. Keep reading to learn how it's done.

  • Launch the Activity Monitor on your Mac. You can find it in the /Applications/Utilities folder.

how to force quit apps using activity monitor 1

Note that if the app or process has files open, force quitting it may cause you to lose data. Also, bear in mind that if the process you force quit is used by other apps or processes, those apps or processes may experience issues.

For more on how to use Activity Monitor, check out our complete guide .

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Control Alt Delete on a Mac - How to Open Task Manager on your Macbook

It happens to the best of us: we're working away on some important project, and our trusty computer freezes. Or rather, a program we're in just stops responding. So what do you do?

If you have a Windows machine, you can just use the familiar CTRL+ALT+DEL sequence to force quit whatever program is misbehaving. But that doesn't work on a Mac.

Don't worry, though - there is one super simple way to force quit on a Mac (and a couple other methods you can keep in your back pocket as well). Let's learn what that is.

How to force quit on a Mac

The easiest way to force a program to quit on your Mac is a simple key sequence similar to ctrl+alt+delete. Just tap COMMAND+OPTION+ESC, in that order. Here's where those keys are located on a typical Mac keyboard:

force-quit-keystrokes

This will bring up a task manager type window that looks like this:

force-quit

Then just select the non-responsive program and hit "Force Quit" which will stop that program from running.

Note : since you'll be forcing that program to quit in the middle of whatever you were doing, any unsaved data might be lost. Make sure you enable auto-saving, back up your projects often, and keep your computer clean and up to date.

An alternative method

Why learn just one way to force quit when you can learn two? Click the Apple logo at the top left of your screen in the menu bar. Scroll down to "Force Quit" and it'll bring up the same task manager.

force-quit-way-2-1

Simple as that!

Now that you've dealt with your crashing application, you can get back to work. :)

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How to Open Task Manager on Mac- An In-depth Guide

Is your Mac lagging, or an active app is affecting its speed? Don’t we all hate a spinning wheel (also called the ‘spinning beach ball of death) hindering our computer’s performance? The MacBook task manager will help you identify and solve these issues.

Many believe a task manager in Mac is not as important as a Windows computer. Thanks to the powerful chipsets and a flawless operating system, Apple integrates into their MacBooks. But, once in a while, having a task manager becomes essential for some inevitable disruptions.

This article is an in-depth guide on Mac OS task manager- The Activity monitor. Activity monitor helps Mac users close tasks that slow down, hinder or freeze the Mac and cause it to lag and underperform.

Task manager also benefits the Mac. For example, it can close apps and change system preferences. Keep reading to find out how to correctly use the task manager on your MacBook to manage apps.

Table of Contents

Activity Monitor – The task manager on Mac

Almost all Windows users know how a task manager works on Windows computers. It helps determine the tasks running on the computer and their effects on the computer’s performance and speed.

A task manager on Mac performs similarly to a windows task manager. Mac equivalent of a task manager is called an Activity monitor. It is a preinstalled app on Mac. Activity monitor helps regulate apps by showing how many apps are active at a time and how much energy they are consuming.

task manager in macbook

How to launch Mac task manager

There are four easy ways to open a task manager on a Mac. You can use any of these methods below to launch the Activity monitor.

  • Use Spotlight search

You can open the activity monitor using Spotlight. For that, follow the steps given below:

  • Press Command plus Space keys to launch the Spotlight
  • Type ‘Activity monitor,’ and the app will appear highlighted; then click on it or press enter
  • The activity monitor window will open

task manager in macbook

To access task manager on Mac using Finder, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Finder icon from the dock
  • Click on the ‘Applications’ tab appearing in the sidebar
  • Then tap on ‘Utilities folder’ in the applications window
  • Launch the Activity Monitor by double-clicking on the ‘Activity monitor icon’ in the utilities folder

task manager in macbook

  • Add in Dock

The easiest way to launch the task manager is to add its dock icon to the main dock. To do that, follow these steps:

  • Launch Activity monitor by using any of the processes mentioned above
  • Right-click on the icon of ‘Activity monitor’ appearing in the dock
  • Then select ‘Option’ and choose ‘Keep in dock.’
  • Or, you can drag and drop the Activity monitor icon in the dock
  • The above steps will add the app to the dock, and it will remain there even after quitting the application

task manager in macbook

  • Use shortcut

Some versions of macOS provide a Mac task manager shortcut to launch the Activity monitor. To use this, press Command, Option, Shift and Escape keys simultaneously. Keep pressing these four keys for a few seconds until you see the Activity Monitor on screen.

Uses of task manager

Once you open the task manager, it will show you five tabs. These tabs will reveal the running applications and how they affect your Mac. You can then manage or quit all the processes obstructing the macOS from working efficiently.

You can open the task manager using all the options given below to view the apps statues:

  • Check CPU usage

Showing CPU usage is the essential use of the Activity monitor. You can view all the running processes and their effect on the CPU usage and performance in the CPU tab. The CPU pane also displays the exact percentages of the power the apps are consuming and for how long they have been running.

To get information about how much CPU power an app is using, select it and then press the ‘i’ icon on the top of the screen. It will show all the information about the app. Next, press’ x’ to get rid of any app that is not in use.

A continuous process running on your Mac is called ‘kernel_task,’ which might seem like it is using many resources. However, please do not end this process; it monitors all the heavy processing applications on your Mac and tones them down to increase performance.

task manager in macbook

Sufficient RAM is the top reason for Mac’s performance. Lesser RAM means a slower Mac, but your computer will run faster if its memory is sufficient. The memory pane helps in this regard. Try stopping heavy applications to speed up your Mac quickly.

Open the ‘Memory tab’ and view the ‘RAM pressure gauge’ at the bottom. It shows the RAM available on your computer. If the bar is green, there is enough storage available, but the user needs to buy extra memory if it’s red.

Users can also decrease CPU and RAM utilization using the App tamer on the menu bar. It shows all the heavy processes running on your device and slows them down.

task manager in macbook

  • Check energy use

Mac task manager also shows the energy usage of all the active apps. The Energy pane is helpful if you have not plugged your device into a charger and want to extend screen time.

Just click on the Energy pane and see all the running applications. From there, you can quit the processes and apps that use a lot of battery.

You can also check Avg energy impact. It shows how much energy an application uses on average. You can then get rid of applications that degrade battery life faster.

task manager in macbook

  • Check disk activity

The Disk tab shows how apps affect your Mac’s hard drive by rewriting data. If you have mistakenly downloaded malware or corrupt application, you can view stats on this page and delete the corrupt apps quickly.

task manager in macbook

  • Check network activity

Lastly, the Network pane shows how much data an app sends and receives. The network usage reveals any hidden malware or anomaly running on your Mac.

You can view all the incoming and outgoing data in the network tab and then stop the doubtful apps and delete them.

task manager in macbook

Examine processes running on Mac

You can examine all the active processes using the Mac Activity monitor. It also has a few valuable options in the menu bar. The ‘View tab’ lets you choose which applications you want to view. You can also select ‘Active processes’ to filter out which processes to consider.

Under the Windows pane of the Activity monitor, you can view the CPU and GPU performance.

If you want to know more about a particular process running on the Mac, use the steps given below:

  • Open the task manager(Activity monitor) on your Mac
  • Highlight the process on the Activity monitor, then click command plus ‘i’
  • Or, go to ‘View’ and click ‘Inspect process.’
  • An inspection screen will appear where you can view the CPU performance, RAM, and all other details

Force quit applications

Force quitting is the primary job of a task manager on Mac. You can force quit applications using the Activity monitor. It helps eliminate frozen apps or applications that take too long to process or run.

The task manager on Mac not only shows insights for the five tabs mentioned earlier but also helps to force quit applications that are unresponsive or stuck. Mentioned below are the three easy ways you can force quit applications on your Mac:

If an application is not responding and has frozen, you can use the Apple menu to force quit that process in just a few clicks.

Press and hold the ‘Shift’ key and click on the screen’s Apple icon in the top left corner. You will see the ‘Force quit’ option in the drop-down menu with the application’s name. Click on the ‘force quit’ option to remove the application running in the background.

You can also force quit applications using the dock. However, it will only be possible if the cursor is moving and you can see the dock.

Move the cursor on the top of the app that is not working. Next, select the app you want to force quit and right-click it. Finally, select ‘Force quit’ in the pop-up menu to close the app. It will stop the app’s running process immediately.

  • Activity Monitor

Lastly, you can force quit an application using the macOS task manager- The Activity monitor. It will help you not only in closing an app but also show details of it. Open Activity monitor using any of the three ways mentioned above. It will list all the running applications on your Mac.

You can select any app you want to close. Then choose ‘force quit’ and confirm your choice in the dialogue box. It will close the desired application. However, do not use the Activity Monitor to force quit apps regularly. It can sometimes corrupt the apps.

If you cannot close any frozen app using the ‘x’ symbol, you can also use the keyboard shortcut. Press Command+Options+Escape to open the dialogue box of ‘Force quit applications manager.’

You can select any app in the dialogue box and press ‘Force quit’ to close it. You can quickly close otherwise unresponsive apps.

Other options

You can download the application listed below if you want to prevent apps from freezing and get a lag-free performance from your Mac.

CleanmyMac X

CleanmyMac X is an application that continuously scans your Mac and deletes apps to improve its performance. It will optimize apps and regularly delete unused data so your Mac is not overburdened. If you use this app, you will hardly need to use the task manager on Mac.

CleanmyMac X is a free software specially designed for macOS computers. It not only scans the system but also deletes and resets apps, removes the cache, and speeds up the Mac with its maintenance options.

The task manager manages the running processes on your Macbooks. It is easy to use and helps a great deal in increasing work performance. In addition, regularly using the task manager to check apps and software guarantees a better-performing computer.

In this regard, The Activity Monitor is the most helpful task manager for macOS devices. The Activity Monitor is the native task manager on Mac. Hence, it is vital to be aware of its usage. The Activity monitor window has five tabs and shows the effects of applications on Mac’s performance.

From revealing how much CPU power an application uses to the network and energy usage, the Mac task manager is easy to learn and use. This article not only discussed the uses of Apple task manager but also informed users how to use it to force quit slow applications.

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Marid is a lifelong tech enthusiast and is the lead editor of Macdentro.com. An expert on all things Apple and a lifelong Mac user. Marid has over 10 years of experience using Apple products including the Apple watch, Ipad and etc

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How to Open Task Manager on Mac OS X

Last Updated: November 22, 2023

This article was co-authored by Gonzalo Martinez . Gonzalo Martinez is the President of CleverTech, a tech repair business in San Jose, California founded in 2014. CleverTech LLC specializes in repairing Apple products. CleverTech pursues environmental responsibility by recycling aluminum, display assemblies, and the micro components on motherboards to reuse for future repairs. On average, they save 2 lbs - 3 lbs more electronic waste daily than the average computer repair store. This article has been viewed 58,352 times.

Task Manager, which goes by the name of Activity Monitor on Mac OS X, is an application that allows you to view and monitor all active processes running on your computer. If your computer is running slow or inefficiently, you can open Activity Monitor to determine which applications are consuming the highest amount of resources. Activity Monitor is stored in the Utilities folder on Mac OS X.

Quick Steps

  • Click on Applications > Utilities .
  • Select Activity Monitor .
  • Click through the various tabs to view how your computer's resources are being used.

Opening Activity Monitor

Step 1 Click on the Applications folder, then click on “Utilities.

Using Activity Monitor

Step 1 Click on the...

  • Select the option to “Force Quit” any processes that are unresponsive or won’t close after selecting “Quit.” Applications that are looping, unresponsive, or taking an excessive amount of time to load may need to be closed using the “Force Quit” option.

Step 3 Click on the...

  • If there is little to no memory next to “Free,” or any values displayed next to “Swap Used,” you may want to consider purchasing more RAM for your computer. These signs indicate that your computer is out of physical memory and is using a portion of the hard drive for temporary storage -- leading to longer wait times.

Step 4 Click on the...

Expert Q&A

  • If you suspect malware has infected your computer, look for and quit any unfamiliar processes running in Activity Monitor. In many cases, malware will run as a background process and significantly slow down your computer. [3] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you notice that one or more applications continue to run automatically in the background, launch those programs, then search for options in their Settings menus that allow you to prevent the applications from launching upon startup. Sometimes, third-party applications will launch automatically by default when you start your computer, and run continuously in the background without your knowledge. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

task manager in macbook

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  • ↑ http://osxdaily.com/2010/08/15/mac-task-manager/
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201464
  • ↑ http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/activitymonitor.html

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How to open Task Manager on Mac

If you have recently switched from Windows to Mac, you may find that most Windows keyboard shortcuts don’t work on a Mac. While navigating the Mac operating system does have its own method, most users find it intuitive and quick to learn.

The most frequently asked questions from new Mac users include:

  • What is Control Alt Delete on a Mac?
  • How to get Task Manager on a Mac?
  • How to force quit on a Mac, and so on.

In this blog post, we will explain the Mac equivalent of the Windows Task Manager and how to view running processes in macOS.

1. What is the Control Alt Delete for Mac. 2. How to open Mac Task Manager. 3. How to see what programs are running on a Mac. 4. How to use Activity Monitor on a Mac. 5. How to force quit on a Mac. 6. How to monitor memory usage with Memory Cleaner. 7. Frequently asked questions about memory usage on a Mac.

1. What is the Control Alt Delete shortcode for Mac

Control-Alt-Delete is a shortcut to call the Force Quit command for programs on Windows. For the macOS system, you should use the Command-Option-Escape shortcut to call the Force Quit Applications window.

Also, you can get this window by clicking the Apple icon in the Menu bar and selecting Force Quit .

2. How to open Task Manager on a Mac

When an application freezes on Windows, the Ctrl-Shift-Esc command is used to bring up the Task Manager and quit the process in question. But how about on a Mac? How do you end processes that crash Safari or lock the machine up?

First, we would like to mention that the Mac equivalent of Task Manager is called Activity Monitor. Just remember that Apple Task Manager = Activity Monitor .

Use one of these two ways to open Activity Monitor on a Mac:

Open Activity monitor

3. How to see which programs are running on your Mac

1. Use Activity Monitor

Activity monitor window

With Activity Monitor, you can monitor many parameters of the system, such as:

  • Energy used
  • Network monitoring

2. Use Terminal* to view a list of running processes.

For those who prefer working with Terminal, there are simple commands to view the list of running programs. Just open the Terminal and type only one word:

Terminal app with list of running processes

If you need to view a list of the most voracious applications that consume the most bytes, sort them by CPU:

Sort applications by memory usage:

top -p size

*For more tips like this, see our previous article Top 8 most useful Terminal Commands.

4. How to use Activity Monitor on a Mac

Now let’s take a closer look at each parameter of open programs on a Mac. With help from Activity Monitor, we will identify the programs and processes that are consuming too much of your system’s resources.

How to check CPU usage on a Mac

If your Mac starts working too slowly, it overheats , the fans work continuously and make noise, and programs may freeze. Most likely there are some programs that are consuming a large portion of processor load. You can identify such programs with the help of Activity Monitor.

In this case, launch Activity Monitor and go to the CPU tab . Sort the list of programs by CPU column, find out the programs that use most CPU, and close such programs.

Activity monitor - check CPU usage

How to check RAM usage on a Mac

If your computer is running slowly, there are several indicators that your Mac’s performance is due to limited RAM. One example is when programs work slowly and documents even open slowly, but without overheating or the fans making noise. In this case, there is most likely not enough free RAM on your Mac for your programs to function properly. To create more free space, find the programs that use the most memory and close unused ones.

In the Activity Monitor app, go to the Memory tab to see memory intensive Mac processes.

Activity Monitor - check RAM usage

How to find apps that are using and draining the most battery life

If your Macbook’s battery is draining very quickly, we recommend checking the programs which are using the most energy. To get this information, switch to the Energy tab within Activity Monitor . Here you can find the data relating to how apps use your Macbook’s battery. Find the apps that are using the most energy, and if you don’t need them at the moment, close them.

Activity Monitor - find apps draining battery

How to check Disk activity on a Mac

Most users don’t need to worry about the Disk tab . This part of Activity Monitor allows users to troubleshoot or monitor real-time disk activity. Here you can check how much data is being written to and read from your Mac’s drive by different processes, as well as the number of times that your Mac accesses the disk.

Activity Monitor - check disk activity

How to check Network activity on a Mac

If you are having internet problems, if some network accounts are unavailable, or if network connections fail often, then you should check Network activity on your Mac. Go to Activity Monitor’s Network tab to see how much bandwidth the processes are using. Then sort the programs by “sent Bytes” or “Read Bytes” to see the most active processes. Finally, close unneeded active programs.

Activity Monitor - check Network activity

5. How to force quit on a Mac

Whenever any application crashes on your Mac or it doesn’t respond for a while, you may need to force quit it. Here are several ways to do that:

1. Use the Dock panel.

Click the app’s icon in a Dock panel, hold the Option key and select Force Quit command.

Dock panel - force quit apps

2. Use the “Force Quit” dialogue.

What to do when the Dock won’t pop up? A list of open programs can be also viewed via a “Force Quit” dialogue. There are two ways to open the “Force Quit” dialogue:

  • Use the simple keyboard shortcut Command + Option + Escape.
  • Or go to the System Menu → select Force Quit command.

Force quit from menu bar

Then select the app you want to stop and click on Force Quit.

Force Quit Applications window

6. How to monitor memory usage with Memory Cleaner

In the previous paragraphs, we showed several ways to force close apps on a Mac in order to find out what apps are running. Now we would like to share an easy way to complete all these tasks and speed up your Mac in just one click. Simply use the free utility, Memory Cleaner .

Memory Cleaner can display the list of apps that use the most memory on your Mac, clear inactive RAM memory with just one click, and stop all running applications. With the app, you can get access to memory usage directly from the menu bar.

Memory Cleaner app window showing force close command

As you can see, there are various equivalents of macOS Task Manager, and Activity Monitor is one of them. It is a built-in utility that is used by most Mac users. However, if you want to monitor RAM memory usage and clear inactive RAM, we would recommend using the free Memory Cleaner app.

Frequently asked questions about memory usage on a Mac

The equivalent of Windows Task Manager on a Mac is the Activity Monitor application. Activity Monitor is the default Apple application, which you can easily find in Launchpad.

Activity Monitor displays open programs on your Mac, as well as detailed information about them, including CPU usage, memory usage, disk usage, network usage, and energy impact. With Activity Monitor you can manage working processes and quit tasks or apps.

Activity Monitor allows you to terminate all the processes and applications running on your system. But since most of the processes are system ones, we do not recommend selecting all the processes and click to force close them all at once. Closing some system processes may prevent your Mac from functioning.

Select an app you want to terminate, and then use the Stop button on the toolbar.

Follow these steps to find malware using Activity Monitor:

  • Quit all your network-related apps (web browsers, iTunes, email clients and so on).
  • Disable Bluetooth.
  • Disable all the options in the System Preferences → Sharing section.
  • In Activity Monitor, go to the Network tab.
  • Check whether there is unexpected network activity on your Mac.

In the Activity Monitor app, go to the CPU tab. Check which apps are using too much of the CPU’s resources. Select those apps and click the Stop button (X icon on the top).

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How To Open Task Manager On Macbook: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Are you struggling to find the Task Manager on your Macbook? It can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be! This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of opening up the Task Manager and getting back into control of your computer. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to quickly access all of the information you need about what programs are running and how much memory they’re taking up. So let’s get started – let’s open that Task Manager!

Understanding the Mac Equivalent of Task Manager: An Overview of Activity Monitor on MacOS

If you’re a Mac user, you might be wondering what the equivalent of Task Manager is on your system. Well, fear not my friend, because I’m here to introduce you to Activity Monitor! Consider it as your trusty sidekick for keeping tabs on all the processes happening behind the scenes on your MacOS.

**What does Activity Monitor do?** Activity Monitor is like a backstage pass that lets you peek into the inner workings of your Mac. With just a click, this powerful tool unveils a plethora of information about running applications, CPU usage, memory usage, disk activity, and much more. It’s like having x-ray vision for your computer!

**How can I use Activity Monitor?** Using Activity Monitor is as easy as pie (and yes, I mean apple pie!). Simply launch it from your Applications folder or search for it using Spotlight. Once opened, brace yourself for an array of tabs and columns filled with data galore! You can sort processes by name or resource consumption to quickly identify any bottlenecks or troublesome apps hogging up precious system resources.

But wait… there’s more! You can even force quit misbehaving applications directly from Activity Monitor. Just select the pesky process and click that magical “X” button at the top-left corner – voila! The unruly app will promptly disappear without causing further mischief.

So next time you want to get down to nitty-gritty details about what’s going on under the hood of your Macintosh machine, don’t fret – just fire up good ol’ faithful Activity Monitor and let it work its magic. Trust me when I say this: once you start exploring its depths of knowledge about your Mac’s inner workings, there’s no turning back!

Navigating the Activity Monitor on a Macbook: A Detailed Guide to Accessing and Understanding its Features

The Activity Monitor on a Macbook is like the control center of your computer, where you can get a bird’s eye view of all the processes and applications running in the background. It’s like peeking behind the curtains to see what’s really going on inside your machine. To access this handy tool, simply click on your Applications folder, then go to Utilities, and there it is. Easy peasy!

Once you’re in the Activity Monitor window, you’ll see a list of all active processes neatly organized into columns. Don’t be overwhelmed by all those fancy terms – I’m here to break them down for you! The first column shows the name of each process or application currently running. If any are causing trouble or hogging up resources, their names will appear in red so you can easily pinpoint the culprit.

Moving along to the next column: % CPU. This nifty feature tells you how much processing power each process is using at any given moment. If something seems off-kilter and one process is hogging an unusually high percentage of CPU power for an extended period of time, it might be worth investigating further.

Another useful column is Memory – this tells you how much RAM (Random Access Memory) each process is gobbling up. If memory usage reaches close to 100% or if one particular application consistently uses more than others, it could potentially slow down your system.

In summary, navigating through the Activity Monitor may seem daunting at first glance but fear not! With just a few clicks and some basic knowledge about its features – including understanding which processes are using too much CPU power or memory -you’ll be well-equipped to keep your Macbook running smoothly and efficiently!

How To Open The Task Manager On Your Mac Using Keyboard Shortcuts and Spotlight Search

Opening the Task Manager on your Mac can be a real lifesaver when you find yourself dealing with an unresponsive app or when your computer starts running sluggishly. But let’s not waste any more time, and dive right into how to open this handy tool using keyboard shortcuts and Spotlight Search.

Firstly, if you’re a fan of keyboard shortcuts like me, then this method is for you! Simply press Command + Option + Escape simultaneously, and voila! The Task Manager will come to life on your screen. It’s quick, easy, and saves you from having to navigate through numerous menus.

On the other hand, if you prefer using Spotlight Search (and who doesn’t love a good search function?), simply press Command + Spacebar together. This opens up the Spotlight Search bar at the top-right corner of your screen. Type in “Activity Monitor” in the search field and hit enter. You’ll see it magically appear among the list of results – just click on it!

Alternatively, there’s another way to access the Task Manager through Finder. Open Finder by clicking on its icon located on your dock (it looks like a smiling face). Then go to “Applications,” followed by “Utilities.” Once there, scroll down until you spot “Activity Monitor.” Clicking on it will launch our beloved Task Manager.

So whether you’re all about those convenient keyboard shortcuts or enjoy searching for things with ease through Spotlight Search or Finder – opening your Mac’s Task Manager has never been simpler! Give these methods a try next time you need some extra control over what’s happening behind-the-scenes of your trusty machine.

Troubleshooting Common Issues When Opening Task Manager on a Mac: Tips and Solutions

Opening Task Manager on a Mac can be a real lifesaver when your system starts acting wonky. It allows you to identify and close any misbehaving applications or processes that might be causing the issue. However, sometimes even opening this useful tool can become an issue itself. Fear not! I’m here to help troubleshoot some common problems you may encounter when trying to open Task Manager on a Mac.

1. **Task Manager not responding:** If you click on the Task Manager icon in your Dock and nothing happens, don’t panic just yet. First, try using the keyboard shortcut: press Command + Option + Escape simultaneously. If that still doesn’t work, it’s time for Plan B. Open Spotlight by pressing Command + Spacebar and type “Activity Monitor.” Click on it in the search results and voila! You now have access to all the essential information about running processes.

2. **”You don’t have permission”:** Sometimes, macOS may deny your request to open Task Manager because of restricted permissions or settings issues. To fix this hiccup, go to the Applications folder in Finder and locate “Utilities.” Inside Utilities, find “Activity Monitor” – make sure you’re logged in as an administrator account before launching it.

3. **Missing/Damaged files:** In rare cases, certain system files required for running Task Manager might get misplaced or corrupted due to various reasons like software updates or hardware conflicts.You should run Apple’s built-in Disk Utility program (located within Applications > Utilities) which helps detect file errors and repairs them if possible.

Remember these troubleshooting tips next time you need swift access to Task manager on your Mac – they’ll save you from unnecessary stress while keeping your system humming along smoothly!

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A late Apple convert, Dom has spent countless hours determining the best way to increase productivity using apps and shortcuts. When he's not on his Macbook, you can find him serving as Dungeon Master in local D&D meetups.

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How to Use Task Manager macOS and Activity Monitor

Before I started using a Macbook, I was always a Windows user. Making the change wasn’t easy, as many things are different on the macOS X system than any Windows I’ve seen before. Don't be afraid if you’re in the same shoes as I was. Everything you know and love from Windows can be found on a Mac under a different name.

How to us Macos X Task manager

One frequent thing new Mac users seem to look for is the Task Manager . It’s a useful tool on Windows that allows you to see a plethora of information at once. With the Task Manager, you can force quit apps (known as the “End Task” option on Windows) and see various consumption details.

Coming from Windows , I know that the Task Manager is an essential tool to identify issues or force quit apps. It’s almost a knee-jerk reaction to open it as soon as you suspect something is wrong. However, the classic “ Ctrl-Alt-Del ” shortcut doesn’t work on a Mac. Trust me, I tried.

On macOS X, this tool is called the Activity Monitor . It delivers on the same premise but operates in a slightly different way. If you’re lost and want to know where to find this tool and how to use it on Mac, this article is here to help.

Summary: Task Manager MacOS

The Mac Task Manager is a mini-version of the Activity Monitor. To open it,  simultaneously press down the [CMD] + [ALT] + [ESC] keys on your keyboard . This will open a window containing a list of all currently opened programs and applications that are running in the background.

What is Activity Monitor in Mac?

Activity Monitor in Mac is basically the equivalent of Windows Task Manager. This utility shows how much memory your Mac processes are using and which apps are currently active (even if they aren't open), letting you force quit stalled ones if you can't close them the usual way. If you've never used the task manager in Mac before, it can be quite a lot to take in.

Activity mornitor

How to open the Task Manager on Mac - Task Manager macOS

Most Windows users know you can quickly fire up the Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar. This feature is missing from Mac, as right-clicking on the Dock only brings up some settings. 

So, how exactly do you open the Activity Monitor — the Mac equivalent of the Task Manager — if there’s no shortcut or Dock option? 

Launching Activity Monitor (Task Manager Mac) is still quite simple. Pick one of the three ways to do it:

Open Activity Monitor from Spotlight:

  • Press Command + Space to open Spotlight
  • Start typing Activity Monitor
  • Once Activity Monitor comes up highlighted, hit Enter or click on it.

Open Activity Monitor from Finder:

  • Go to your Launchpad (the rocket icon in your Dock) or Click on Finder in your Dock.

luanchpad activity monitor

  • Double-click on the Activity Monitor icon.

Open Activity Monitor from Dock:

If you're having recurring troubles, setting up Activity Monitor in your Dock is something worth doing. It's essentially a handy one-click Mac Task Manager shortcut. But before you can open Activity Monitor from your Dock, you must first use one of the previous two methods. Then, once Activity Monitor is active:

  • Right-click on the Activity Monitor icon in your Dock.
  • Select Options.

Activity Monitor icon in your Dock

  • You can launch Task Manager mac like any other program.

What is the Control-Alt-Delete shortcut for Mac?

Sadly, there’s no direct shortcut to open the Task Manager on a Mac. However, you can use a shortcut to force quit applications, which is one of the things the Task Manager in Windows is capable of.

force quit application

Press the ⌘-Option-Esc shortcut on your Mac to bring up the Force Quit utility. Here, simply select the app you want to close and click on the blue button in the corner. If an application is frozen and not responding, its name will be highlighted in red.

How to use Activity Monitor on a Mac - How to use Mac Task Manager

If you decide to use Activity Monitor as your task manager on Mac, you should learn how to work with its monitor indicators.

When you open the Activity Monitor, you’ll be able to see all of the applications currently running on your Mac. The apps and processes appear even if running in the background, making it easy to spot unusual activity.

running process on Mac

Task Manager mac - CPU usage

By default, the Activity Monitor opens on the CPU tab. This means you can see what’s consuming the most of your Mac's CPU power. It also shows you the exact percentages of power they are consuming and how long each app has been running.

cpu tab

You can sort all processes in Activity Monitor by CPU usage, from highest to lowest, by choosing View > All Processes and clicking on the %CPU column.

You might notice a process in the CPU tab called "kernel_task" that could take a large share of resources. Don't panic, and don't shut it down! The process simply ensures your CPU isn't working too hard by forcing other memory-intensive Mac processes out. As a result, it might seem like one of the heaviest processes on the list. Similarly, "mds" and "mdworker" help index files for the Spotlight search, which sometimes spikes their appetite.

Task Manager mac - Check RAM usage

Switching to the Memory tab (the second tab) in the Activity Monitor, you can see the amount of RAM each process consumes. RAM is directly responsible for the speed of your Mac, so getting rid of heavy users is the fastest way to speed things up. Like Windows, you need to pay attention to having enough RAM for your computer to function properly. If too much of your memory is taken up, you’ll notice that your system is slow and a pain to operate. Make sure to close out apps with high RAM consumption to avoid this.

memory

Another interesting feature you can see in the Memory tab is the RAM Pressure Gauge at the bottom. If the bar is green, then your Mac's RAM isn't being taxed too much. But if it turns red — consider buying additional memory for your machine.

Tip: You can decrease CPU and RAM consumption by apps through the App Tamer, a menu bar utility that spots heavy consumers on your Mac and slows them down automatically.

Check for energy use in macOS task manager

The Energy tab helps you reduce battery usage by monitoring what applications are consuming your battery. Use this tab when your MacBook is unplugged to extend your battery life until you can plug back in.

energy tab

Tip: check Avg Energy Impact — this will tell you which apps consume the most energy on average. If you don’t use those apps often, consider getting rid of them.

Disk activity on a Mac Task Manager

While the Disk tab is not as useful daily as the others, it’s still a crucial part of the Activity Monitor. Here’s where you can find all processes interacting with your hard drive and rewriting data. If you get a malware infection, you’ll be able to spot and quit the harmful processes here.

disk tab

Network activity on a Mac Task Manager

The last tab in the Activity Monitor is the Network tab. It displays all the data sent and received by the apps you’re currently using. I personally use this tab to spot any outliers sending large amounts of data when I’m using my Mac to browse or work online.

network tab

Inspect processes in Mac Activity Monitor

If you want to go deeper into a specific process running on your Mac, highlight the process in Activity Monitor and press Command + I. Alternatively, to see the process go to View > Inspect Process. On the inspection screen, you’ll find information about how much CPU and memory this process uses, how long it runs, and more.

Inspect processes in Activity Monitor

How to see your system status in the Dock with the Activity Monitor

You might think that it’s a hassle to constantly have to keep searching for the Activity Monitor to see the status of your Mac. I thought the same too, which is how I found out that there’s a much easier way.

Keep an eye on your system status right from your Dock by utilizing the live update feature of the Activity Monitor. Simply open the Activity Monitor and expand the View tab in the top-bar of your Mac. Here, hover over the Dock icon and select the desired update you want to see.

system status monitor

After choosing the option you wish to display, you’ll immediately see the Activity Monitor change to a live update.

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Final Thoughts 

Hopefully, this article has given you the answers to your questions regarding the Task Manager in Mac. If you have anything else you want to know about the macOS system, make sure to visit our Help Center section to find further articles and guides.

Are you looking for more tips? Check out our other guides in the  Softwarekeep Blog  and our  Help Center ! You'll find a wealth of information on how to troubleshoot various issues and find solutions to your tech problems.

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  • Apple / Mac / Tips

Where is Task Manager on a Mac and what does it do?

by Jonny Evans · December 2, 2019

Tim Cook Mac

Tim Cook talks Mac on stage at WWDC

If you’ve recently migrated to the best PC platform, you may be wondering where the Mac equivalent of Task Manager is.

Don’t worry, it’s still there and is called Activity Monitor .

How to find Task Manager

The simplest way to find Task Manager/Activity Monitor will also show you another Mac concept you may have missed: Spotlight Search:

  • Press Command-Space.
  • In the search window that pops up, type Activity Monitor (you may not even need to complete writing both words).
  • Press Return when Activity Monitor shows up.
  • The Activity Monitor app will launch and you can see the tasks (activities) your Mac is currently handling.

You can also find Activity Monitor using Finder in your Applications>Utilities folder, or by searching for it in Launchpad.

I find searching for anything on my Mac a whole lot easier with Command-Space – it’s the most useful Mac tip out there – you can find anything, open apps, do sums and more.

What is Activity Monitor?

You’ll see Activity Monitor as an equivalent of Task Manager. You can see all the active processes on your Mac, identify bottlenecks and even quit tasks and applications using it.

You can use Activity Monitor to monitor:

  • What your processor is doing
  • Memory usage
  • Energy used
  • Network monitoring

This gives you a good way to figure out what is eating up your Mac memory and/or processor cycles.

To quit an app, select its process and tap the X button at top left.

Another way to quit apps

An easier way to quit apps is to tap Command-Option(Alt)-Escape to invoke the Force Quit Applications Finder menu item.

When invoked you’ll see a list of all your active apps. To force an application to quit, select it in the list and then tap the Force Quit button.

Finally, the very easiest way to quit apps is to simply tap Command-Q .

Now you’ve read this far, here’s some tips to help speed your Mac .

Please follow me on   Twitter , or join me in the  AppleHolic’s bar & grill  and  Apple Discussions  groups on MeWe.

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Where Is Task Manager Mac | Tips for Optimizing Mac Usage

task manager in macbook

Brithny updated on Jan 11, 2024 | Home > Knowledge Center

What Is Task Manager on Mac

Windows Task Manager is a program for the Windows system that monitors all the programs and applications running on your computer. With Task Manager, you can improve the running speed of your Windows PC by stopping the process that takes up excessive resources.

Task Manager is the most commonly used Windows system program, and if you are preparing or have gone from a Windows PC to a Mac computer, you may want to know which program on the Mac has similar functions to Task Manager on Windows.

What is the Task Manager Mac ? The answer is Activity Monitor, which has been pre-installed on every version of Mac OS X and macOS since 2000. It demonstrates all process function on your Mac, and you can opt for force quitting some abnormal applications.

The main functions of Task Manager Mac are:

  • Stop unresponsive applications and processes: Use Task Manager to locate the process which causes your system to act sluggish or not respond, and then force quit it.
  • View the energy-using situation of processes: Use Task Manager to find out how much energy each process uses, and if you need, turn off the most used one.
  • Monitor real-time CPU usage, network, or disk status in the Dock : Use Task Manager to see your CPU, network, and disk usage as a live graph in the Mac Dock.

You can find detailed information in Apple's Activity Monitor User Guide .

Where Is Task Manager on MacBook Air/Pro

Suppose you want to learn more about your system resource issue on your MacBook Air, including memory consumption or detailed information on a specific application. In that case, you can use Task Manager on your MacBook Air called Activity Monitor, which lives in the "Application > Utilities" folder by default.

Activity Monitor in Utilities folder

Or you can find Task Manager on your MacBook Air using Spotlight shortcut :

Step 1. Open "Spotlight" on your MacBook Air.

Step 2. Select the magnifying glass icon on the Apple menu bar.

Step 3. Type activity monitor into the search box and hit "Return".

Step 4. Click the application "Activity Monitor" in the Spotlight result.

And you can see a list of processes running on your MacBook Air in the Activity Monitor window.

Share this article on social media to help others know where to find Task Manager on MacBook Air.

How to Open Task Manager on M1 MacBook Air/Pro

If you want to find out which application or process takes out the most usage of your Mac, you can go to "Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor" to open Task Manager Mac. You can refer to this video to open Task Manager on your M1 MacBook Air.

  • 00:04 Introduction
  • 00:19 Open Activity Monitor using Spotlight
  • 00:38 Open Activity Monitor

In summary, here are four functional methods to open Task Manager:

  • Method 1. Open Task Manager on Mac from the Spotlight search box.
  • Method 2. Open Task Manager using the "Command + Option + Shift + ESC" shortcut.
  • Method 3. Open Task Manager from Mac Dock.
  • Method 4. Open Task Manager from Mac Finder.

open task manager on Mac

How to Open Task Manager on Mac [Activity Monitor]

This article will introduce effective methods to open Task Manager Mac, and you can find detailed information about the above methods. Read more >>

Tips for Optimizing Mac Usage in Task Manager

If your Mac is slow , with Task Manager Mac, you can optimize the usage of your Mac by the following three aspects:

Quit Unresponsive or Unused Application or Process

Follow the steps below to quit the unresponsive or unused application/process:

Step 1. Go to "Activity Monitor" on your Mac.

Step 2. Select an application or process you want to quit in the processes list.

Step 3. Click the "Stop" button in the corner of the window.

Step 4. Choose the "Quit" or "Force Quit" option to quit an app or process in Activity Monitor.

Note that an unresponsive process in the list would be marked as "Not Responding".

If you choose "Force Quit", the process quits immediately, which may lead to data loss if the process has files open. In this case, you can't recover lost files from Trash, but you can recover the lost files using data recovery software such as EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac .

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

  • Support data recovery under different situations, including sudden stop process from Task Manager Mac.
  • Recover formatted partitions on Mac, such as NTFS partition recovery , APFS partition recovery, etc., no matter what file system it is.
  • Recover lost or deleted file types, including recovering deleted iMessages on Mac , recovering lost documents and photos, etc.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

You can see general information about all processes, such as usage of CPU, memory, energy, disk, and network.

And you can optimize your Mac usage by scheduling regular maintenance, including inspecting the CPU usage index to ensure proper operation and closing some applications that take high memory but are not often used.

Disable Unnecessary Login Items

For example, your Mac runs slow after macOS 13 update , and you need to kill processes that slow your Mac or disable unnecessary login items. In addition, you can reduce the startup applications in " System Preference > Users and Groups" if you want to optimize the speed of boot on your Mac.

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Task Manager Mac can help you monitor the usage of CPU, memory, and disk on Mac. If your Mac runs slow after updating to the new macOS version, such as Ventura, you can open Task Manager from the "Application > Utilities" folder. And you can use Task Manager to quit excessive applications and processes, but remember to save and close your files off before clicking the "Force Quit" option in case of losing data.

Task Manager Mac FAQs

Here are questions people usually ask about Task Manager Mac:

1. What is the Task Manager Mac shortcut?

On some macOS, you can press "Command + Option + Shift + Esc" to open Task Manager. Or you can simultaneously press down the "Command", Mac Alt, and "Esc" on your keyboard.

2. How do I see what tasks are running on my Mac?

You can open Task Manager Mac to view all processes and applications running on your Mac. Here are methods to open Task Manager Mac:

  • Open Task Manager on Mac from the Spotlight search box.
  • Open Task Manager using the "Command + Option + Shift + ESC" shortcut.
  • Open Task Manager from Mac Dock.
  • Open Task Manager from Mac Finder.

3. What is Task Manager called in Mac?

The Mac equivalent of Task Manager is pre-installed on Mac OS X, called Activity Monitor. You can find it in "Applications > Utilities".

4. Why can't I find Task Manager on Mac?

If you can't find Task Manager in "Applications > Utilities", you can use the keyboard shortcut "Command + Option + Shift + Esc" to open Task Manager Mac.

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Updated by Brithny 

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her game experience on Facebook or Twitter.

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How to Access the Task Manager in Mac

Atif Munawar

Switching from a Windows PC to a Mac computer can often confuse Windows users. That’s because they find it challenging to figure out the different functions on their new computer. Similarly, many new Mac users stay curious to see the Mac equivalent of Windows Task Manager.

However, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Read this post to learn how to access the Task Manager on Mac. 

What is the Task Manager in Mac?

When using a Windows computer, you can open Task Manager to help you quit frozen or stuck applications windows.

But if the same happens with a Mac PC, you will need to use Activity Monitor. Then, you can call the Mac Task Manager or a similar version. 

In addition, Activity Monitor can provide you with your CPU usage and details. It can also enlighten you about memory usage by different Mac services and apps. 

Although you may experience Mac apps and services freezing less often, it offers a Force Quit Applications Manager . So whenever you’re dealing with a lousy app on your Mac that won’t work, you can use the Force Quit Applications Manager to force quit it. 

What is the Mac Alternative for Control Alt Delete?

You might be habitual of pressing the ctrl key +alt key +delete key combination on your Windows PC to force quit or quit a certain app on your Windows computer. However, the alternative combination for Mac is Cmd + Opt + Esc . 

So, if you wish to force quit or quit a service or app, you can press these keys to launch the Force Quit Applications tool. In addition, you can press the Apple logo in the upper menu bar to force quit an application.

The good thing about this program is that it does not stop the background process required to keep your computer running.

How Can I Access the Activity Monitor?

Mac users can open the Task Manager on Mac in multiple ways. So, choose the method you feel is most convenient.  

To open the Activity Monitor window via Finder , you can follow these instructions:

  • Launch Finder Icon
  • Go to Applications
  • Select Utilities folder
  • Search for Activity Monitor in the Applications folder
  • Double-click on the program to open it. 

Use Spotlight Search

You can open Activity Monitor through Spotlight as an alternative.

Follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Spotlight in the upper-right corner of your Mac computer’s screen. You can identify it by the magnifying glass icon. 
  • Type Activity Monitor.
  • When the option appears, press Enter to start the Task Manager on Mac. 

Use Key Shortcuts

Here’s a quick way to launch Activity Monitor:

  • Press CMD and then the Spacebar on your keyboard. This will open Spotlight.
  • Now, you can enter Activity Monitor to launch the app. 

How Can I Force Quit Applications Window in Activity Monitor?

The Activity Monitor in the macOS system allows you to get rid of apps you are using on your computer. In addition, it also helps you monitor background processes running that may be slowing down your mac Os performance. 

So, if you want to quit a problematic app, you can use Activity Monitor by following these simple steps:

  • Launch Activity Monitor
  • Check the list of all the processes
  • Choose which process you wish to quit.
  • Press the X symbol
  • Choose the Force Quit option or Quit .

Alternatively, you can quit any app by double-clicking and selecting the Quit button.

How to Open Task Manager on Mac to Inspect Processes?

The Task Manager on Mac provides detailed information regarding other processes you’re running on your Mac. Therefore, you can use the program to evaluate each process carefully. In addition, it gives you a summary of the app and what processes it performs. 

So, if your Mac is running slowly or having issues, the Activity Monitor can help you with vital information for finding troublesome background services and apps. 

Here’s how you can inspect any process on your Mac computer: 

  • Go to Activity Monitor on your Mac
  • Check the process list
  • Select a process by double-clicking it. You will be directed to a new window containing a few tabs.
  • Go to the Memory tab. Here, you can check RAM usage by the process
  • Select Statistics in the Memory tab. This will provide you with extensive technical information, such as the number of threads your program uses. 
  • Select the tab for Open Ports and Files to know which files a program is using at a time 
  • Select Next to the Parent Process . This will direct you to a new window including more details about the given process.

How Can I Run a Diagnostic Report in Activity Monitor?

In Activity Monitor, you may create a range of diagnostic reports.

You can sample it for three seconds to examine what a process is doing when it runs. You may also produce a Spindump, which examines unresponsive force-quit apps.

In addition, you can generate a report for System Diagnostics based on your Mac’s processes. Moreover, the technical reports you create can be sent to Apple Support if your Mac is causing issues. 

Follow these instructions to run these reports in the Mac Activity Monitor:

  • Select the three dots icon
  • Choose Sample Process >> Spotlight Diagnostics >> System Diagnostics
  • You may need to type your Mac password for some of these. So, enter the correct password and allow the report to build. 
  • Once done, you can send the generated file to Apple Support. 

How Can I Force Quit Apps with Malware in Activity Monitor?

Getting your Malware infection for your Mac is an utter misfortune. Luckily, Activity Monitor can help you locate the infection and end it. Therefore, you should search the web for anything causing your issues.

This can keep you from closing processes your Mac needs to process for efficient performance.  

Here’s how you can open the Mac version of Task Manager to shut Malware down:

  • Navigate to Activity Monitor.
  • Select the column for exact percentages in the CPU tab. This will enable you to sort out processes by the space they consume on your Mac’s processor.
  • Find the process in the CPU tab that’s consuming the most space and check for anything that seems unrecognizable.
  • If you find anything suspicious, select it. Then, press the X icon at the top of your Activity Monitor screen.
  • Press Force Quit or Quit.

How to Force Quit Apps Draining MacBook Battery Life with Apple Task Manager?

Many apps and running processes on your Mac PC can take up a big chunk of the computer’s processing power. This can result in slow performance. In addition, these apps and services can drain a lot of energy. As a result,  you may be unable to work on your MacBook for a long without plugging in a power outlet. 

Fortunately, Activity Monitor can save most users from wasting more energy and save some on your computer.

You can check the energy use on your Mac by following this method:

  • First, launch the Activity Monitor app.
  • Then, navigate to the Energy tab.
  • Check the Energy Impact tab and analyze the power each service or app is consuming.  
  • Go to the 12 hr Power tab to determine the energy consumption of operating system processes in the last 12 hours.
  • Quit the processes that are draining your Mac’s battery.

Can I Know How Much Data an App Is Using?

A majority of modern internet providers do not limit your downloads with restrictions. However, downloading heavy files or several files can slow down your computer. Therefore, you should monitor background downloading processes and limit your network activity with Activity Monitor. 

In addition, when you’re away from your home internet connection, you need to save the internet for browning the web. So, secretly downloading files can easily wipe out your limited internet connection. 

To check your Mac uploading and downloading processes with Activity Monitor, you can follow these instructions:

  • First, press the Activity Monitor icon.
  • Choose the Network tab in Activity Monitor.
  • Select the top of the column for Sent Bytes . This will sort them from the highest figures to the lowest ones. 
  • Check the Bytes that are exceptionally high or unexpected for a program.
  • Follow the same steps for Rcvd Bytes column.
  • Quit all apps that are consuming most of your bandwidth.
  • If you discover anything suspicious, search the web for its name. 
  • Check if the app is malware.
  • Run a scan for viruses in just a few clicks.

What Other Ways Can I Use the Activity Monitor?

Other handy ways to use Activity Monitor

The Mac version of Task Manager can be useful in several ways. Here are some other handy methods to benefit from the Activity Monitor:

  • Check how much CPU is used in real-time
  • Check the disk tab for disk activity, disk usage, rewriting data, and network information in your Mac’s Dock
  • Use the Memory Pressure chart to see if you need more RAM

Final Thoughts

The Activity Monitor can be great for performing several useful actions. That’s because you can never know what program or process might affect your Mac performance.

However, with the Mac version of Task Manager, you can:

  • Limit network usage
  • Control energy usage, CPU load, disk space, and monitor RAM memory

Moreover, if you open Task Manager alternative for Mac, it can help you spot malware. 

In addition, with the Force Quit Application Manager, you can force quit the app in the blink of an eye. All you have to do is press a combination of keys to quit any program.

Alternatively, you can also press the Apple icon in the menu bar. You can follow these Mac tips to avoid issues.

However, when quitting apps or processes with Activity Monitor, you must ensure that you are not closing any process vital for your Mac’s performance. 

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How to Open Task Manager on Mac: A Complete Guide on Mac's Activity Monitor

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 27, 2024 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

If you have also moved to the macOS ecosystem recently, then you can have a similar query as well. Unlike Windows, accessing the task manager on Mac can be a tedious job. Though, it is one of the essential features of the operating system. From monitoring the CPU consumption of an application to closing a process forcefully – there are so many things that you can do with Macbook task manager.

To help you do the same, we have come up with this detailed guide on macOS task manager. Read on and learn how to access the task manager on Mac in no time.

format-drive-mac-pc-1

  • Is There a Task Manager for Mac?
  • How to Open Task Manager on Mac?
  • How to Format Hard Drive for Mac and PC on Windows?
  • How to Force Quit an Application on Mac?
  • How to View Running Processes via Terminal?
  • Tips for Using Task Manager on Mac

Part 1. Is There a Task Manager for Mac?

As you know, the task manager is a native feature on Windows computers. Though, Mac also has a similar component, which is known as Activity Monitor. As the name suggests, it will let you view and monitor all kinds of activities that are running on your Mac. You can view the CPU utilization of a process, system memory, disk storage, and other vital parameters. Furthermore, you can also use the Mac program manager to forcefully quit an app as well.

The feature was first introduced in Mac OS X v10.3 release and was initially known as process viewer or task manager on Mac. It was later when the tool was revamped and got released as an "Activity Monitor" with Mac OS X 10.9 release.

task-manager-mac-1

Part 2. How to Open Task Manager on Mac?

In order to access the features of the Mac process manager, you need to locate the application first. Here are some quick ways on how to open the task manager on Mac that you can also try.

1. Access Task Manager from the Finder

This is the easiest solution to open the task manager on Mac . All you got to do is click on the Apple icon from the main menu and visit System Preferences > Applications. From the available Applications on Finder, visit the Utility folder.

task-manager-mac-2

This will open all the utility tools and components on your Mac. Just look for the "Activity Monitor" tool and double-click its icon to open it.

task-manager-mac-3

2. Get Mac Task Manager on Spotlight

Spotlight is one of the most widely used features in Mac that helps us look for files and apps instantly. If you can't find where is task manager on Mac , then click on the spotlight bar (the search icon) at the top right corner of the screen. Now, just type "Activity Monitor" on it as Mac would look up for it in the background. As you would get the relevant results, click on the Activity Monitor app to open it.

task-manager-mac-4

3. Open Task Manager from Mac's Dock

Apart from Finder, Mac's dock also lets us access the vital tools and applications quickly. By default, Activity Monitor is already a part of Mac's dock. Though, you can just drag and drop its icon to include it in the dock as well. Just double-click the Activity Monitor icon on the dock to launch it.

task-manager-mac-5

If you want, you can further customize the task manager Mac icon as well. Just right-click the icon to access its context menu. From here, you can select what to monitor and change the dock icon to different options.

task-manager-mac-6

4. Use the Mac Task Manager Shortcut

Some macOS versions also have a keyboard shortcut to open task manager in Mac . All you got to do is press Command + Option + Shift + Esc keys at the same time. Keep holding them simultaneously for at least 3 seconds to launch the Activity Monitor app on the screen.

task-manager-mac-7

Part 3. How to Format Hard Drive for Mac and PC on Windows?

Now when you know how to access the task manager on Mac , you can easily make the most of it. It can help you monitor the activity of all kinds of apps and processes running on your system. If you want, you can even use the Mac task manager app to forcefully quite a process as well. Apart from that, you can get to know about the following components via task manager on Mac (Activity Monitor).

  • CPU – This is the most important component as it provides a visual representation of the CPU utilization. Here, you can view how the processor of your Mac is affected by the app and what component is utilized by it. This can help you identify the most resource-consuming apps and processes.
  • Memory – This is mostly the second component in Activity Monitor which depicts how much memory (RAM) a process is consuming on your Mac.
  • Energy – If you are worried about the power consumption or overheating of Mac , then you should visit this tab. It will display the amount of energy consumed by an app or a process.
  • Disk – This component will provide useful details about disk utilization on Mac. You can see the amount of disk an app has consumed, the kind of data consumed, who can access it, and so on.
  • Network – Lastly, the tab will let you know the amount of data that has been exchanged on the network. This would include incoming and outgoing data via different sources.

task-manager-mac-8

Part 4. How to Force Quit an Application on Mac?

This is one of the major jobs of the Mac task manager app. It can help you monitor all kinds of above-listed parameters and let you forcefully quit an application too. For instance, if an application has been stuck or frozen, then you can just close it in the background using the task manager on Mac . Here are some of the simplest ways to forcefully quit an application on Mac.

1. Use the Apple Menu

If an application has been crashed on your Mac, then don't worry. Just press and hold the Shift key and click on the Apple logo (on the top left corner of the screen). Here, you can see an option of "Force Quit" with the name of the selected application. Just click on it to close the application in the background.

task-manager-mac-9

2. Use the Mac Dock

If you want, you can also take the assistance of Mac's dock to close an application as well. Needless to say, the mouse should be working and the app must be present on the dock. All you got to do is select the app icon and right-click it. From the available context menu, click on "Force Quit" to close it.

task-manager-mac-10

3. Use Activity Monitor

If you want to know about the details of an application before closing it, then consider using Activity Monitor. You can follow either of the above-listed methods to open the task manager on Mac . As you would get a list of all the running applications in the background, select the one that you wish to close. Click on the "Force Quit" button and confirm your choice to close the selected application.

task-manager-mac-11

Part 5. How to View Running Processes via Terminal?

Just like Activity Monitor, you can also use the Terminal to view all the running processes in your Mac. It will display a unique ID for every process, which you can later be used to kill the process as well.

  • Go to your Mac's Applications > Utility and launch the Terminal app from here.

task-manager-mac-12

  • Once the terminal app has been launched on your screen, simply type the "ps –ax" command and press enter.
  • This will display a list of all the running processes with their process ID (known as PID).

task-manager-mac-13

Part 6. Tips for Using Task Manager on Mac

Since Activity Monitor (task manager on Mac) is such a useful component, it will come handy to you on different occasions. If you want to make the most of it, then consider following these tips.

  • If the Activity Monitor icon is not added to the dock, then simply drag and drop it there. This will let you access it quickly.
  • Using the task manager on Mac , you can even close some vital system processes. Therefore, try not to close a process you are not able to understand.
  • You can also use the Activity Monitor the see the battery consumption of the system. It will also help you identify and close the most power-consuming apps.
  • Ideally, it is used to forcefully close a malfunctioning application. Whenever an app would crash, open the Activity Monitor, select it, and forcefully quit the application.
  • Try not to use the Activity Monitor to close apps on a regular basis. This might end up corrupting your apps at times.

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  • Preview files before recovering.
  • Even Pause and Resume the scanning process.

That brings us to the end of this informative guide on how to access the task manager on Mac. Not only have we discussed how to open the task manager on Mac, but we have also listed its usage and all the vital things we can do with it. Since Activity Monitor is the Mac equivalent of Task Manager (Windows), every user should be aware of it. Feel free to follow this guide and try to access Activity Monitor on your Mac as well.

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How to Open Task Manager on Your MacBook

Many users who have switched from Windows computers to Mac often wonder how to access Task Manager on Mac . The equivalent of Task Manager in Mac OS is called the Activity Monitor. It lets you control system settings, view information about Mac apps or processes, and even manage apps easily. Let’s find out how to open and use Activity Monitor.

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Users situation

I have bought a new MacBook but have a confusion about how to open the task manager in mac. I am new to this so please help! — Apple Support Community

How to Open the Task Manager on Your Mac

To open the Task Manager on Windows, all you need is just right-click on the taskbar. When it comes to how to start Task Manager on Mac, the process is different . Below you will find several variants:

Go to the Launchpad and enter "Activity Monitor" in the search box. Click on the "Activity Monitor" icon.

 Activity Monitor

Use the Spotlight search. Just press the Command + Space key combination, type "Activity Monitor" in a search engine and press "Enter" to open the application. Instead of using a keyboard shortcut, you can also click the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the screen to display the search engine.

 Spotlight search

Navigate "Applications" and select the "Utilities" folder. Here find the "Activity Monitor" and double-click it.

 Utilities folder

Like many other applications installed on Mac, there are several ways to open Activity Monitor and it is all up to you: to choose the only one (the most convenient to you at any time) or use several of them according to your wishes.

Alternative Way to Use Task Manager MacBook

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Activity Monitor is not the exact copy of the Windows analog and it lacks some features. That is why if you want to monitor the running processes a little more closely and get real-time updates on your Mac's performance we can recommend you an excellent Mac Task Manager alternative – Commander One .

The app allows viewing and managing all the running processes on your Mac computer and if it is required to kill the process simply by pressing the Del button. Among the advantages of this app is the alphabetic order of all running processes with detailed information about them (the process name, PID, used memory, the date and the time of launch, etc.), the ability to kill even the system processes.

Besides that, Commander One is a powerful file manager that helps you to have well-organized documentation on your Mac with a huge variety of handy features (Terminal emulator, cloud storage integration, mounting and managing iOS, Android, and other devices supporting MPT protocol, root access, archiver, etc.).

Commander One is a powerful file manager.

Terminating Stubborn Programs with "Force Quit"

If you have used computers running Windows, then you know that the Ctrl+Alt+Delete is used for terminating unresponsive programs. There is a similar keyboard shortcut on the Mac as well.

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

Activity Monitor lets you view detailed information about the processes running on your Mac and how they affect CPU, memory, energy, disk, and network. What’s more, you can monitor the status of your system right in the Dock.

Mac Activity Monitor and CPU Load

The Activity Monitor is divided into several categories: CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, Network, and Cache. They are the main indicators of system monitoring and also provide valuable information for troubleshooting. Each pane shows real-time statistics and resource usage graphs.

By default, Activity Monitor opens in the CPU tab that shows how each process uses the CPU on your computer. These statistics will help you determine which processes are affecting your Mac's performance, battery life, temperature, and fan activity. At the bottom, you will find the following information:

  • System. Percentage of the total CPU time the process is using (% CPU).
  • User. The percentage of current CPU usage. This usage applies to applications that the user have opened.
  • Idle. The percentage of time that the CPU is idle, not performing any tasks.
  • CPU Load. CPU usage over time.
  • Threads. The total number of threads used by all processes.
  • Processes. The total number of processes.

Please note that when you open the Activity Monitor, the CPU usage for the kernel_task process is quite high. Also, the fan may work harder than usual. In simple terms, kernel_task regulates the load on the central processor, preventing the system from overheating.

Memory Pane

In the Memory pane of the Mac Activity Monitor, you can find out how much RAW your Mac is using, find a real-time memory graph with values. These stats will help you diagnose performance, and check the used memory, wired memory, application memory, etc.

  • Memory Pressure. Here you will see the availability of memory resources highlighted in different colors.
  • Physical Memory. The amount of your Mac’s RAM.
  • Memory Used. The total amount of memory currently used.
  • App Memory. The total amount of memory currently used by all applications and their processes.
  • Wired Memory. Memory that cannot be paged out.
  • Compressed. The amount of memory that is compressed to make room for other processes.
  • Swap Used. The total amount of memory used on the startup drive by macOS memory management.
  • Cached Files. Memory that was recently used by applications and is now available for use by other applications.

Energy Pane

The Energy tab shows the total energy use, as well as provides information on how much energy each app consumes. Let’s check each parameter of the Energy pane.

  • Energy Impact. The total energy used by all applications.
  • Graphics Card. The type of graphics card being used.
  • Remaining Charge. Percentage of remaining battery life.
  • Time Until Full. The amount of time the Mac must be plugged into the power source before it is fully charged.
  • Time Remaining. Estimated time that a Mac can run on battery power.
  • Time on Battery. The time elapsed since the device was unplugged from the power source.
  • Battery. Battery level for the last 12 hours.

The Disk panel shows the amount of data each process has written to and read from your disk. It represents the number of times your Mac has accessed the disk to read and write data.

Network Pane

The Network tab displays the data your Mac is sending or receiving over the network. You can also quickly identify the applications that are transferring data and external resources for each process in the Task Manager. The information at the bottom of the Network pane shows the overall network activity of all applications.

If your MacBook is running macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 or later and the content caching is enabled, you’ll also see an additional pane - Cache. Here you will find information such as the amount of cached content uploaded, downloaded, or dropped over time by local network devices.

It is very important to know how to use the MacBook Task Manager. Activity Manager not only stops slow or unresponsive processes but also contains useful data and statistics to help you check and improve your Mac's performance.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to see what's running on mac, how to get the task manager on mac, what is ctrl + alt + del on a mac, what is the shortcut key to open task manager on mac.

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Best free task management software in 2024

Mehdi Punjwani

Sierra Campbell

Sierra Campbell

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

Published 7:24 a.m. UTC Feb. 15, 2024

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A good task management software will give you the tools you need to organize projects for your business and help individuals, teams and businesses stay organized and productive. They offer a range of features and capabilities depending on the complexities of your business and projects, allowing you to set deadlines, assign tasks to team members, allocate resources and track and report on progress.

Finding the best task management software for your business means considering a range of factors, like the core features on offer, the customer service you’ll get and the ability to scale up according to your needs. We’ve tried and tested some of the biggest platforms available to give you our list of best task management software in 2024.

Featured project management software offers

task manager in macbook

Via Monday.com’s site

Monthly fee

$10 per user, with a minimum of three users

Free version

Yes, for two users

24/7 customer support

Yes, with paid plans

task manager in macbook

Via Clickup’s website

$10 per user

Yes, for unlimited members

Best free task management software

  • Notion : Best for flexibility.
  • ClickUp : Best for customization.
  • Trello : Best for automation.
  • Hive : Best for collaboration.
  • Zoho Projects : Best for startups using Zoho.
  • Teamwork : Best for client task management.
  • Monday : Best for individuals and freelancers.
  • Asana : Best for complex tasks.
  • Podio : Best for app building.
  • GoodDay : Best for scaling up.

Why trust our small business experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of business products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 62 companies reviewed.
  • 164 products reviewed.
  • 2,028 data points analyzed.

Best for flexibility

Notion

Cheapest paid plan (billed monthly)

Number of users, number of projects/tasks, what you should know.

Notion is a versatile task management platform that gives you a high degree of control and customization even on its free plan. With an abundance of views and formats, including Kanban boards, Gantt charts, calendar views and to-do lists, it offers users multiple ways to track and organize projects. You can also make use of thousands of templates built by Notion and its users, catering to an array of health and fitness, work and office and day-to-day home management needs.

You won’t need to pay anything to get unlimited pages and workflows as an individual, but you’ll need to upgrade to give multiple users full functionality. While you can upload unlimited files on the free plan, you’ll be limited to 5 MB per file, as well as a seven-day history and one synced database.

We’d recommend it if you want to use one platform to manage a variety of project and task types with flexible views and displays; it’s particularly good for content creators.

Pros and cons

  • Multiple views, including Kanban boards, Gantt charts and to-do lists.
  • Thousands of versatile templates for things like health and fitness, work and home.
  • Free version offers individuals unlimited pages and workflows.
  • Custom automation features only available on paid plans.
  • Maximum file upload of 5 MB on free plan.
  • Limited admin and security features on free plan.

Best for customization

ClickUp

ClickUp’s free platform gives you a highly capable and customizable task management platform with an unlimited number of tasks and members. It also offers 24/7 customer service on all plans. You’ll be able to view tasks in unlimited lists, boards and calendars, but you’ll only get 60 uses of Gantt charts, timelines and workloads.

The free plan also allows custom statuses and up to 20 custom task types, as well as other useful features like multiple assignees, checklists, dependencies and a basic custom field manager. However, you’ll only be able to create five “spaces” as part of the free plan — unlimited spaces are only available on paid plans. There are also no time-tracking features and very limited other reporting capabilities.

  • Free version offers unlimited free plan members and tasks.
  • A range of views, including Kanban boards and Gantt charts.
  • 24/7 customer support on all plans.
  • Limits on how many views, custom fields and workloads you can use.
  • No time tracking features.
  • Only five ‘spaces’ on free plan.

Best for automation

Trello

While Trello’s free platform only offers its Kanban-style board view, its two main highlights are its automation services and unlimited power-ups. With its Butler automation, you’ll be able to create rules, buttons and commands, and repetitive actions are recognized with suggested automations that help increase productivity. Third-party apps you can integrate include Slack, Jira, Gmail, Microsoft Teams and Google Drive.

You’ll be limited to 10 MB file uploads and only 10 boards per workspace, though with unlimited storage and workspaces for all plans, this isn’t too restrictive. It’s not ideal if you want to see projects and tasks in calendar or timeline views, but as a basic task manager with smart automation tools, it can be a useful platform for individuals and small businesses.

  • Very straightforward and easy to use.
  • Built-in automation features, including an automation bot called Butler.
  • Unlimited power-up feature lets you integrate third-party apps.
  • File uploads are limited to 10 MB per file.
  • You only get up to 10 boards per workspace.
  • Limited view options.

Best for collaboration

Hive

Hive comes with its own native communication tools, allowing for straightforward collaboration with up to 10 workspace members on its free plan. As a task manager, it’s fairly capable, offering unlimited tasks and subtasks as well as multiple views such as Kanban, Gantt, calendars and tables. However, you’ll only get two pages and 100 workflows, and while Kanban views are unlimited, the free plan only offers 100 uses of Gantt, calendar and table views.

Your ability to customize projects and tasks will also be fairly restricted with no custom fields or labels, and your storage limit on the free plan will be 200 MB overall. Its free plan also comes without a few other features, such as AI assists, custom dashboards and analytics. We’d recommend it as a simple free task manager for small teams working together that will benefit from its native collaborative tools.

  • Native collaboration and communication tools.
  • Multiple views and layouts.
  • Unlimited tasks and sub-tasks.
  • 200 MB storage limit.
  • 10 projects and two pages on free plan.
  • No custom project fields or task labels.

Best for startups using Zoho

Zoho projects.

Zoho Projects

Zoho offers a project manager as part of its larger suite of tools and products, offering a free version for up to three users as well as a 10-day free trial on its paid plans. You’ll be able to manage two projects, create feeds, share documents and custom statuses and set up task dependencies within projects. It’s particularly useful for startups already making use of other Zoho products like CRM, Meeting and Sprints, all of which integrate into the free platform.

You can also use third-party app integrations for Microsoft Teams and Office 365, Slack, Dropbox, Zendesk and Zapier. However, there are some significant limitations to the free version, including limited customization — you can’t create custom fields or views, and there are only basic reporting capabilities.

  • Integrates with Zoho CRM, Meeting and Sprints.
  • Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Offers useful core features, including document sharing, subtasks and custom statuses.
  • Only three users and two projects on free plan.
  • No Gantt charts, custom views, time tracking or custom fields.

Best for client task management

Teamwork

Teamwork will be particularly useful for agencies needing to manage client tasks, as it comes with built-in billable time-tracking features and estimated time management. It also offers client-level insights and client-company management, though you’ll only get client users with premium paid plans. With Teamwork, you’ll also get a range of automation features, including automatic Slack updates, HubSpot deals and Microsoft Teams messages.

It does have drawbacks in the shape of limited reporting capabilities — while all plans come with a dashboard, only premium paid plans offer reports on status, portfolio health, time, utilization and profitability. You also won’t have any phone, live chat or email support options on its free plan.

  • Billable time-tracking and invoicing features useful for agencies.
  • Client views and management features.
  • Wide range of automation features.
  • No phone, live chat or email support.
  • Limited reporting and customization options.
  • No client users on free plan.

Best for individuals and freelancers

Monday

Monday is a popular task management platform with businesses worldwide, but we’d recommend its free plan specifically for individuals and freelancers managing their businesses. It offers a straightforward Kanban interface only, with over 200 templates available, so you’ll be able to create up to three boards with two users and unlimited documents.

However, Monday’s free plan is missing a number of wider features like timeline, Gantt and calendar views, as well as offering no integrations or automations. It’s a relatively simplistic platform compared to others, so we’d recommend it more for individuals than teams that will need more advanced collaboration and reporting capabilities.

  • Over 200 templates available.
  • Apps for iOS and Android.
  • Intuitive and easy to use interface.
  • No integrations on free version.
  • Only offers Kanban view.

Best for complex tasks

Asana

We’d recommend Asana’s powerful platform as an ideal choice for small businesses managing complex tasks or projects with plenty of moving parts. With unlimited tasks, projects, file storage, assignees and messages alongside multiple views such as boards, calendars and lists all included on its free plan, it’s a capable piece of software. You’ll also have access to over 100 free third-party integrations such as Microsoft Teams, Adobe Creative Cloud, Okta and Tableau.

However, you won’t be able to use timelines, Gantt views, goals or portfolios with the free plan, nor time-tracking, workflows or various automation features. The free plan is also fairly limited when it comes to reporting, with only status updates and CSV and PDF exports available.

  • Unlimited project management essential features.
  • Multiple views available.
  • Over 100 free integrations.
  • Limited reporting features.
  • No 24/7 support.

Best for app building

Podio

Podio offers a unique solution for businesses that will benefit from building their own customized project management apps to suit their specific needs. As well as the ability to design a bespoke task manager for your team, you’ll have access to hundreds of user-created apps online. It allows you to keep all important aspects of your business and projects in one central place, depending on the requirements of you and your team.

However, its free version is limited in the other features it offers — including the number of items and client users you can support. It also doesn’t offer automated workflows or visual reports, so keep this in mind if you’re considering Podio.

  • You can build your own customizable apps for project management.
  • You’ll also have access to hundreds of pre-made apps.
  • Live chat support available.
  • Limited features on the free plan.
  • Takes a while to set up and customize to your exact specifications.

Best for scaling up

GoodDay

With a robust set of features and capabilities as well as relatively affordable price plans for upgrading, we’d recommend GoodDay for businesses looking to scale up their operations. Its free version is already quite powerful, offering unlimited projects and tasks for up to 15 users, with views including lists, boards, tables, calendars, event summaries and portfolios. You can customize views, priorities, workflows and statuses, as well as set up dependencies, reminders and to-do lists.

Other customization options are only available on paid plans, such as task, project and user fields, as well as task types and IDs. Additionally, many security features and all CRM features are only available when you upgrade, but with the next price plan up only costing $6 per month, it’s an affordable choice for scaling up.

  • Unlimited projects and tasks.
  • Unlimited views, with most available on free plan.
  • Powerful features for big businesses with affordable plans for scaling up.
  • Many customization options unavailable on free plan.
  • No finance, time tracking, chats or automation.

Best task management software comparison

Methodology

We extensively research the key competitors within an industry to determine the best products and services for your business. Our experts identify the factors that matter most to business owners, including pricing, features and customer support, to ensure that our recommendations offer well-rounded products that will meet the needs of various small businesses.

We collect extensive data to narrow our best list to reputable, easy-to-use products with stand-out features at a reasonable price point. And we look at user reviews to ensure that business owners like you are satisfied with our top picks’ services. We use the same rubric to assess companies within a particular space so you can confidently follow our blueprint to the best free task management software.

The best task management software has positive user reviews on customer review sites and app stores. Task management software companies should provide customers with fast and reliable support. Using a combination of phone support, live chat and knowledge bases, customers should be able to quickly resolve issues 24/7.

Task management software should have role assignment features, timelines and dependencies. It should also allow businesses to use customizable templates, track expenses and track milestones.

And the best task management software should offer client access, billing and invoice capabilities and budgeting features.

What is task management software and how does it work?

Task management software is a digital tool you can use as an individual or a business to manage, organize and prioritize tasks. While levels of features and capabilities will vary between platforms, many also offer the ability to communicate between team members, share files and updates and track progress toward objectives. 

You’ll be able to use task management software to create and assign tasks, set deadlines, allocate resources and allow for collaboration between colleagues. These tools can help you and your business increase productivity and efficiency. However, it’s important to be aware of how complex your needs are. 

Some task management programs can be complex and could end up reducing your productivity and organization, which is why it’s so important to find the right platform for your needs.

Benefits of free task management software

Using task management software can offer a number of benefits for individuals and businesses, including:

  • Free forever: A good free task management software will offer unlimited projects or workflows without any extra costs — not just a free trial before you have to pay.
  • Productivity: Task management platforms can increase your team’s productivity through automation, progress tracking and reporting, saving time on repetitive tasks.
  • Centralized workflow: You can use task management software to keep all workflows centralized, allowing easy access for all team members and collaborators to stay updated and informed.
  • Collaboration: You’ll be able to clearly assign roles and allocate resources on projects and tasks to different team members, and many platforms also allow team members to work together and communicate. 
  • Manage big projects: Complex and lengthy projects can be broken down into separate tasks and workflows with multiple teams and team members. 
  • Remote workers: If you rely on remote workers or freelancers, many task management platforms allow all team members to collaborate online from any location.

Who needs task management software?

Task management software can prove useful for a variety of individuals and businesses. You might be a freelancer with a number of client tasks to manage or a hobbyist running a side hustle — in which case, a free task manager will be ideal. 

Likewise, small teams and businesses can also benefit from using task management software to organize and track workflow progress for team projects. A free plan or trial period offers a great way to try out different platforms and products so you can find one that suits your needs best before committing to a paid plan with more features and capabilities required by your business.

How to choose the best task management software

Choosing the best free task management software for your business means considering a range of factors and how each of these will best suit your needs. You will need to think about the core features offered by each platform, as well as whether it plugs into any existing software you have and how easy and intuitive it is to use. 

Additionally, you should look into the customer support options each platform offers, as this will be crucial in case things go wrong and your work is at risk.

Key features to look for

Levels of complexity and customization will vary between platforms, but in general, you should look out for the following features as part of your task management software:

  • Sub-tasks: Key to keeping big projects organized, task managers should allow you to split tasks and assign different deadlines and workers to each sub-task.
  • Views and visualizations: You should also be able to see your tasks and projects in different views, like Kanban dashboards or Gantt charts. You may find these to be limited in free versions of some platforms, so check price plans to ensure you’re getting what you need.
  • Integration: If you have any existing software or hardware in use for your business, such as finance and accounting apps, design tools or communication platforms, it’s worth seeing if these will plug into the task management software you want. It helps keep everything synchronized and centralized.
  • Tracking and reporting: Your task manager should also allow you to track task and project progress against deadlines and objectives, as well as generate reports. 
  • Automation: Some platforms will even offer automation services that let you set up automatic tracking and reporting.
  • Collaboration: Lastly, if you’re managing a team’s workload, it’s vital they can work together, so look for task management software that allows for communication and role delegation.

Ease of use

Some task management tools will be relatively simple and easy to use, with intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces that allow for straightforward organization. However, others offer more complex capabilities, including multiple views like Gantt charts, calendars, lists and galleries, automated reporting and collaboration between multiple team members. 

Consider what you’ll need the software for, how many people and tasks you’ll be managing and what kind of insights you’ll want when making your choice.

Security 

You should also factor in any security requirements you might have, especially if you’re a big organization or you use third-party apps, providers or even freelancers. Being able to control access on multiple levels may be particularly important. Additionally, consider things like two-factor authentication, secure sharing and data protection when choosing platforms.

Customer service

If something goes wrong with your task manager, it can affect your business’s ability to complete projects and assure stakeholders of progress. Customer service is a key part of being able to resolve issues, so look for providers that offer both round-the-clock availability and instant contact by phone or live chat as a priority.

How much does task management software cost?

When looking for free task management software, consider whether it’s truly free forever — meaning you’ll have access to all the features on the free plan forever without having to pay. 

While this might mean many advanced features are hidden behind paywalls, you’ll at least be able to rely on the software for your basic needs without restriction. This is in contrast to free trials that often give you access to the entire platform for a limited time, after which you won’t be able to use it without paying.

If you’re looking to try a free plan in order to get a feel for a specific task management software before committing to a paid plan, you’ll likely be more on the lookout for usability as well as scalability. Consider which paid plans offer the most bang for your buck to narrow down your options, but focus on which free software feels the most natural to use for your business. 

You may find that some software platforms offer prices on a per-user basis while others offer a set number of users for each plan. Others may even have a minimum-user requirement, so if they charge a set price per user and require at least three users, you’ll need to pay three times the price you see given as a minimum.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The best free task management software will depend entirely on your needs and requirements as an individual or business. ClickUp and Notion both offer great customization features, with Notion especially good for content creators.

Paid task management software plans offer a range of extra benefits, including more users or projects, additional features and advanced integrations and security. These will often be more useful for bigger teams and companies managing complex projects with multiple moving parts and stakeholders that need to be kept informed. 

When prioritizing tasks in project management, you should consider the resources available, any dependencies on the task being completed and the urgency of the request. 

Task management software lets you manage multiple tasks at work by allowing you to create, organize and assign tasks, set deadlines, track progress and, if required, add sub-tasks. All tasks are kept in one place and accessible for anyone who needs to see them, often in digestible formats like calendars, boards and timelines.

Improving task management skills will require you to be disciplined and attentive to detail in order to get the best from task management software and boost your productivity. You should: 

  • Focus on prioritizing tasks on your to-do list.
  • Create a manageable schedule for delivery with realistic deadlines. 
  • Ensure you’re communicating with stakeholders to keep everyone on the same page.

The best software will make this easy and help you manage your workload efficiently and effectively — but it’s made even easier when you know you’ve picked the right task management software for your requirements.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Mehdi Punjwani

Mehdi is a writer and editor with many years of personal finance expertise under his belt. He's a spirited money-saver, with a passion for making personal finance accessible and manageable. When he isn't writing, Mehdi likes to read about history and travel, hike along coastlines and in forests, and watch his beloved team Manchester United underperform.

Sierra Campbell is a small business editor for USA Today Blueprint. She specializes in writing, editing and fact-checking content centered around helping businesses. She has worked as a digital content and show producer for several local TV stations, an editor for U.S. News & World Report and a freelance writer and editor for many companies. Sierra prides herself in delivering accurate and up-to-date information to readers. Her expertise includes credit card processing companies, e-commerce platforms, payroll software, accounting software and virtual private networks (VPNs). She also owns Editing by Sierra, where she offers editing services to writers of all backgrounds, including self-published and traditionally published authors.

How to start a small business: A step-by-step guide

How to start a small business: A step-by-step guide

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How to open the Task Manager on Mac and monitor load

Similarly to the Windows equivalent, in the Apple Task Manager you can easily close programs that are frozen or hanging . But if you want more details about a problem, you’ll need to open the Mac Activity Monitor. This lets you kill unused or unresponsive applications, and consult statistics on CPU and memory load, and energy use . But how do you open the Task Manager on a Mac? And what information is shown in the Activity Monitor? We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you out.

Force quitting programs using the Mac Task Manager

Memory pane, energy pane, network pane.

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The Mac Task Manager is a mini-version of the Activity Monitor. To open it, simultaneously press down the [CMD] + [ALT] + [ESC] keys on your keyboard. This will open a window containing a list of all currently opened programs and applications that are running in the background. Select the program or application that has frozen and click on the “Force Quit” button to close it.

The Alt key is also referred to as the Option key. In fact, on some keyboards it is actually labeled “Option”.

Mac Task Manager

Mac Activity Monitor and CPU load

Like the Task Manager, the Mac Activity Monitor also lists all of the processes that are running on the system. You can open it by going into Applications and selecting Utilities , or searching for it directly in Spotlight by clicking on the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of the menu bar.

The Mac Activity Monitor is split into several sections: CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, Network, and (in later versions) Cache . The list of processes includes user apps, system apps used by the operating system, and invisible background processes. You can choose which columns to display and filter the processes by going into the “View” menu. As well as the Mac Activity Monitor, you can also install other programs such as  htop  to manage system processes.

The “CPU” pane shows how different processes are affecting CPU performance . Alongside the stats in the “Energy” pane, this information can help you work out what processes are affecting the performance, battery runtime, temperature and fan activity of your Mac. Just below the main window, you will see an additional section containing the following information:

  • System : Percentage of CPU capability currently being used by system processes.
  • User : Percentage of CPU capability currently being used by apps or processes launched by the user.
  • Idle : Percentage of CPU capability not in use.
  • CPU Load : Percentage of CPU capability currently being used by all processes (System and User combined).
  • Threads : Total number of threads used across all processes.
  • Processes : Total number of processes that are currently running.

When you open the Activity Monitor, you might notice that the CPU load for the kernel_task process is rather high, and also that the fan is working harder than usual. One of the roles of kernel_task is to regulate the temperature of the CPU .

The Memory pane of the Mac Activity Monitor tells you how memory is currently being used . The section at the bottom shows the following statistics:

  • Memory Pressure : This is a graph that illustrates the availability of memory resources.
  • Physical Memory : Total amount of RAM installed.
  • Memory Used : Total amount of RAM currently in use.
  • App Memory : Total amount of memory currently being used by apps and their processes.
  • Wired Memory : Memory that cannot be compressed or paged out to the hard drive and that must therefore remain in RAM.
  • Compressed : Amount of RAM that is compressed to make space for other processes.
  • Swap Used : Space that the memory management system of the OS is using on your startup drive.
  • Cached Files : Memory that was recently used by apps but is now available to other apps.

The “Energy” pane provides information on overall energy use and tells you how much energy is being used by each app. As in the other views, you can click the column headings to sort the processes according to the values measured. The bottom pane shows the following:

  • Energy Impact : Total energy used by all apps.
  • Graphics Card : Type of graphics card installed.
  • Remaining Charge : Percentage of battery charge remaining.
  • Time Until Full : Amount of time the Mac must be plugged into the mains before it is fully charged.
  • Time on AC : Time elapsed since the Mac was plugged in.
  • Time Remaining : Estimated amount of time the Mac can keep running on battery.
  • Time on Battery : Time elapsed since the Mac was unplugged.
  • Battery (Last 12 hours): Battery charge level over the last 12 hours.

Mac Activity Monitor: Energy pane

The “Disk” pane shows how much data each process has read from or written to your disk. It also shows “reads in” and “writes out” (IO), that is, the number of times your Mac accesses the disk to read and write data. The information at the bottom of the “Disk” pane shows the total disk activity for all processes combined.

In the “Network” pane you can see how much data your Mac is sending and receiving over the network. This allows you to identify processes that are sending or receiving the largest amounts of data . The information at the bottom of the “Network” pane shows the total network activity for all apps combined.

Mac Activity Monitor: “Network” pane

In macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 or later, the Activity Monitor has an additional pane called “Cache” (if Content Caching is enabled in the “Sharing” pane of System Preferences). This pane shows information such as how much cached content local network devices have uploaded, downloaded or dropped over time.

The information available in the Activity Monitor will depend on what Apple devices and macOS version you are using.

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Password protecting a Mac folder – here’s how

Password protecting a Mac folder – here’s how

Protect sensitive or private data from prying eyes by finding out how to lock folders on your Mac. Simply put, you just have to collect all your important files into a single folder, create an image file, and protect the folder with a password. To learn exactly how to password protect a folder on your Mac, however, see the step-by-step instructions below.

How to screen record on Mac

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Recording the screen of your MacBook or iMac is a useful way to help explain things to friends, colleagues, or support staff. As of macOS Mojave, Apple has included its own alternative to the popular QuickTime player, so that you can record your screen quickly and easily. We’ll explain how to record your Mac screen using either one of these tools.

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How to boot your Mac in safe mode

If your Mac starts to struggle with simple tasks and is unable to launch programs as normal, this typically means there’s a serious problem with the operating system. Starting the Mac in safe mode can provide a quick solution for rectifying lots of minor issues and system errors. Read this article to find out how to boot your Mac in safe mode.

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What is Windows 11 Task Manager?

What is Windows 11 Task Manager?

Not sure what to do if your system suddenly slows down or you suspect undetected malware? Windows 11 Task Manager can help you manage your system by providing an overview of running processes and programs. This lets you quickly identify suspicious processes, or programs that are computationally intensive. Keep on reading to find out how to use Windows 11 Task Manager.

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task manager in macbook

Dan Goodin - Feb 8, 2024 10:16 pm UTC

A password manager LastPass calls “fraudulent” booted from App Store

As Apple has stepped up its promotion of its App Store as a safer and more trustworthy source of apps, its operators scrambled Thursday to correct a major threat to that narrative: a listing that password manager-maker LastPass said was a “fraudulent app impersonating” its brand.

At the time this article on Ars went live, Apple had removed the app—titled LassPass and bearing a logo strikingly similar to the one used by LastPass—from its App Store. At the same time, Apple allowed a separate app submitted by the same developer to remain. Apple provided no explanation for the reason for removing the former app or for allowing the latter one to remain. (See update at the bottom.)

Apple warns of “new risks” from competition

The move comes as Apple has beefed up its efforts to promote the App Store as a safer alternative to competing sources of iOS apps mandated recently by the European Union. In an interview with App Store head Phil Schiller published this month by FastCompany, Schiller said the new app stores will “bring new risks”—including pornography, hate speech, and other forms of objectionable content—that Apple has long kept at bay.

“I have no qualms in saying that our goal is going to always be to make the App Store the safest, best place for users to get apps,” he told writer Michael Grothaus. “I think users—and the whole developer ecosystem—have benefited from that work that we’ve done together with them. And we’re going to keep doing that.”

Somehow, Apple’s app-vetting process—long vaunted even though Apple has provided few specifics—failed to spot the LastPass lookalike. Apple removed LassPass Thursday morning, two days, LastPass said, after it flagged the app to Apple and one day after warning its users the app was fraudulent.

“We are raising this to our customers’ attention to avoid potential confusion and/or loss of personal data,” LastPass Senior Principal Intelligence Analyst Mike Kosak wrote.

There’s no denying that the logo and name were strikingly similar to the official ones. Below is a screenshot of how LassPass appeared, followed by the official LastPass listing:

The LassPass entry as it appeared in the App Store.

Here yesterday, gone today

Thomas Reed, director of Mac offerings at security firm Malwarebytes, noted that the LassPass entry in the App Store said the app’s privacy policy was available on bluneel[.]com, but that the page was gone by Thursday, and the main page shows a generic landing page. Whois records indicated the domain was registered five months ago.

There’s no indication that LassPass collected users’ LastPass credentials or copied any of the data it stored. The app did, however, provide fields for users to enter a wealth of sensitive personal information, including passwords, email and physical addresses, and bank, credit, and debit card data. The app had an option for paid subscriptions.

A LastPass representative said the company learned of the app on Tuesday and focused its efforts on getting it removed rather than analyzing its behavior. Company officials don’t have information about precisely what LassPass did when it was installed or when it first appeared in the App Store.

The App Store continues to host a separate app from the same developer who is listed simply as Parvati Patel. (A quick Internet search reveals many individuals with the same name. At the moment, it wasn’t possible to identify the specific one.) The separate app is named PRAJAPATI SAMAJ 42 Gor ABD-GNR, and a corresponding privacy policy (at psag42[.]in/policy.html) is dated December 2023. It’s described as an “application for Ahmedabad-Gandhinager Prajapati Samaj app” and further as a “platform for community.” The app was also recently listed on Google Play but was no longer available for download at the time of publication. Attempts to contact the developer were unsuccessful.

There’s no indication the separate app violates any App Store policy. Apple representatives didn’t respond to an email asking questions about the incident or its vetting process or policies.

Update 2/9/2024, 11:33 AM: An Apple representative emailed to provide information on the condition it not be quoted:

Apple removed the app for violating an App Store guideline regarding "copycat apps." Apple also plans to remove the developer from the Apple Developer Program. The representative also provided links to App Store Review Guideline 4.1 and the content dispute process .

reader comments

Channel ars technica.

Sonar – Project Task Manager 4+

Github & gitlab issue editor, made by windmill, llc.

  • 5.0 • 3 Ratings
  • Offers In-App Purchases

Screenshots

Description.

Sonar is a native Mac app that offers a fast & lightweight alternative to managing tasks from the GitHub or GitLab web UI. Sonar can do nearly everything the GitHub or GitLab issues web UI can do, but much faster and much easier! With our “no strings attached” free trial, Sonar is free to use for the first 14 days with no subscriptions, sign-ups, or purchases of any kind required. We offer monthly and annual subscription plans after the free trial expires. Sonar's native UI sits on top of GitHub & GitLab’s official API, keeping your data completely secure and retaining 100% compatibility with other team members, whether they’re using Sonar or not. POWERFUL EDITING UI • Enter task titles, assignees, and labels, all on one line • Closing a task is as simple ticking a checkbox • Edit multiple tasks quickly and intuitively • Multitask with separate windows for tasks and repos • Pin important tasks to the top for quick access • Full Markdown support including tables, checkboxes, block quotes, and more SECURITY • Sonar uses the official GitHub and GitLab API so your data remains private and secure • Access tokens are securely stored in your keychain COLLABORATION • Comment on tasks and mention other users • Features a dedicated Activity view for every GitHub repo • Get notifications when GitHub tasks are assigned and updated • Self-hosted GitLab support • GitHub issue templates support PRIORITIES • Makes task priority a first class citizen by prominently displaying priorities alongside each task • Agile, Simple (low/high), and Fruit Co (P1-P4) priority systems are supported out of the box • Use your team’s existing priority labels, or create new ones SEARCH, SORT & FILTER • Create Smart Filters for quick access to custom filters • Smart Filters are conveniently stored in a sidebar and can be drag-copied to other repos • Search through 10s of thousands of tasks instantly • Filter based on open/close state or assignee • Sort by state, priority, date, or assignee MILESTONES & LABELS • Full support for GitHub & GitLab milestones and labels • Create labels and add label colors • Create milestones and set due dates • Group tasks by milestone or label and hide groups as needed NATIVE MAC APP • Lightning fast • Dark mode • Keyboard shortcuts • Notifications • Full offline support Sonar privacy policy and terms of service: https://www.sonartasks.com/privacy/

Version 1.1.2

Version 1.1.2 fixes an issue viewing some comments. Version 1.1 had: - Full Markdown support in task descriptions and comments. - A new sidebar, with Smart Filters, My Tasks, and more.

Ratings and Reviews

App privacy.

The developer, Made by Windmill, LLC , indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy .

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Diagnostics

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

Information

  • Annual $39.00
  • Monthly $5.00
  • Developer Website
  • App Support
  • Privacy Policy

task manager in macbook

Family Sharing

Some in‑app purchases, including subscriptions, may be shareable with your family group when family sharing is enabled., more by this developer.

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How to open the Task Manager on Mac and monitor load

Similarly to the Windows equivalent, in the Apple Task Manager you can easily close programs that are frozen or hanging . But if you want more details about a problem, you’ll need to open the Mac Activity Monitor. This lets you kill unused or unresponsive applications, and consult statistics on CPU and memory load, and energy use . But how do you open the Task Manager on a Mac? And what information is shown in the Activity Monitor? We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you out.

Force quitting programs using the Mac Task Manager

Memory pane, energy pane, network pane.

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The Mac Task Manager is a mini-version of the Activity Monitor. To open it, simultaneously press down the [CMD] + [ALT] + [ESC] keys on your keyboard. This will open a window containing a list of all currently opened programs and applications that are running in the background. Select the program or application that has frozen and click on the “Force Quit” button to close it.

The Alt key is also referred to as the Option key. In fact, on some keyboards it is actually labelled “Option”.

Mac Task Manager

Mac Activity Monitor and CPU load

Like the Task Manager, the Mac Activity Monitor also lists all of the processes that are running on the system. You can open it by going into Applications and selecting Utilities , or searching for it directly in Spotlight by clicking on the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of the menu bar.

The Mac Activity Monitor is split into several sections: CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, Network, and (in later versions) Cache . The list of processes includes user apps, system apps used by the operating system, and invisible background processes. You can choose which columns to display and filter the processes by going into the “View” menu. As well as the Mac Activity Monitor, you can also install other programs such as  htop  to manage system processes.

The “CPU” pane shows how different processes are affecting CPU performance . Alongside the stats in the “Energy” pane, this information can help you work out what processes are affecting the performance, battery runtime, temperature and fan activity of your Mac. Just below the main window, you will see an additional section containing the following information:

  • System : Percentage of CPU capability currently being used by system processes.
  • User : Percentage of CPU capability currently being used by apps or processes launched by the user.
  • Idle : Percentage of CPU capability not in use.
  • CPU Load : Percentage of CPU capability currently being used by all processes (System and User combined).
  • Threads : Total number of threads used across all processes.
  • Processes : Total number of processes that are currently running.

When you open the Activity Monitor, you might notice that the CPU load for the kernel_task process is rather high, and also that the fan is working harder than usual. One of the roles of kernel_task is to regulate the temperature of the CPU .

The Memory pane of the Mac Activity Monitor tells you how memory is currently being used . The section at the bottom shows the following statistics:

  • Memory Pressure : This is a graph that illustrates the availability of memory resources.
  • Physical Memory : Total amount of RAM installed.
  • Memory Used : Total amount of RAM currently in use.
  • App Memory : Total amount of memory currently being used by apps and their processes.
  • Wired Memory : Memory that cannot be compressed or paged out to the hard drive and that must therefore remain in RAM.
  • Compressed : Amount of RAM that is compressed to make space for other processes.
  • Swap Used : Space that the memory management system of the OS is using on your start-up drive.
  • Cached Files : Memory that was recently used by apps but is now available to other apps.

The “Energy” pane provides information on overall energy use and tells you how much energy is being used by each app. As in the other views, you can click the column headings to sort the processes according to the values measured. The bottom pane shows the following:

  • Energy Impact : Total energy used by all apps.
  • Graphics Card : Type of graphics card installed.
  • Remaining Charge : Percentage of battery charge remaining.
  • Time Until Full : Amount of time the Mac must be plugged into the mains before it is fully charged.
  • Time on AC : Time elapsed since the Mac was plugged in.
  • Time Remaining : Estimated amount of time the Mac can keep running on battery.
  • Time on Battery : Time elapsed since the Mac was unplugged.
  • Battery (Last 12 hours): Battery charge level over the last 12 hours.

Mac Activity Monitor: Energy pane

The “Disk” pane shows how much data each process has read from or written to your disk. It also shows “reads in” and “writes out” (IO), that is, the number of times your Mac accesses the disk to read and write data. The information at the bottom of the “Disk” pane shows the total disk activity for all processes combined.

In the “Network” pane you can see how much data your Mac is sending and receiving over the network. This allows you to identify processes that are sending or receiving the largest amounts of data . The information at the bottom of the “Network” pane shows the total network activity for all apps combined.

Mac Activity Monitor: “Network” pane

In macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 or later, the Activity Monitor has an additional pane called “Cache” (if Content Caching is enabled in the “Sharing” pane of System Preferences). This pane shows information such as how much cached content local network devices have uploaded, downloaded or dropped over time.

The information available in the Activity Monitor will depend on what Apple devices and macOS version you are using.

Related articles

How to split a screen on Mac

How to split a screen on Mac

The function to split a screen on a Mac desktop or a MacBook provides a convenient way to view and work on two open applications simultaneously. In order to split a screen on Mac, you only need to follow a few simple steps. The opened applications can then be viewed next to one another.

Password protecting a Mac folder – here’s how

Password protecting a Mac folder – here’s how

Protect sensitive or private data from prying eyes by finding out how to lock folders on your Mac. Simply put, you just have to collect all your important files into a single folder, create an image file, and protect the folder with a password. To learn exactly how to password protect a folder on your Mac, however, see the step-by-step instructions below.

How to screen record on Mac

How to screen record on Mac

Recording the screen of your MacBook or iMac is a useful way to help explain things to friends, colleagues, or support staff. As of macOS Mojave, Apple has included its own alternative to the popular QuickTime player, so that you can record your screen quickly and easily. We’ll explain how to record your Mac screen using either one of these tools.

How to boot your Mac in safe mode

How to boot your Mac in safe mode

If your Mac starts to struggle with simple tasks and is unable to launch programs as normal, this typically means there’s a serious problem with the operating system. Starting the Mac in safe mode can provide a quick solution for rectifying lots of minor issues and system errors. Read this article to find out how to boot your Mac in safe mode.

How to uninstall applications on Mac

How to uninstall applications on Mac

Free up space on your Mac’s hard drive and delete applications you don’t need (anymore) with just a few clicks. Our step-by-step instructions including screenshots will take you through the options you have via the Launchpad and Finder to delete an installed Mac application.

What is Windows 11 Task Manager?

What is Windows 11 Task Manager?

Not sure what to do if your system suddenly slows down or you suspect undetected malware? Windows 11 Task Manager can help you manage your system by providing an overview of running processes and programs. This lets you quickly identify suspicious processes, or programs that are computationally intensive. Read on to find out how to use Windows 11 Task Manager.

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task manager in macbook

COMMENTS

  1. Where's the 'Task Manager' on a Mac?

    Where's the 'Task Manager' on a Mac? By Benj Edwards Published Sep 4, 2020 New to Mac and looking for the Task Manager? Apple's equivalent is Activity Monitor---we'll show you where it is and and how to use it. Readers like you help support How-To Geek. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

  2. How To Open And Use Task Manager On A Mac

    Where Is The Task Manager On a Mac? The equivalent of Ctrl-Alt-Delete on a Mac is pressing the Command + Option + Esc keys together. This instantly brings-up a mini version of the macOS Task Manager showing you a list of applications currently running on your Mac.

  3. How to open the Task Manager on Mac and monitor load

    To open it, simultaneously press down the [CMD] + [ALT] + [ESC] keys on your keyboard. This will open a window containing a list of all currently opened programs and applications that are running in the background. Select the program or application that has frozen and click on the "Force Quit" button to close it. Note

  4. How to Open Task Manager on Mac

    February 11, 2022 / #Mac How to Open Task Manager on Mac - Apple Shortcut Tutorial Dionysia Lemonaki Having problems with our computers is never fun. And what's often worse than the problems themselves is that they seem to occur when we're in the middle of an important task that needs to get done.

  5. How to Open the Task Manager on a Mac

    What Does Your Mac's Task Manager Do? Key Takeaways You can open the macOS equivalent to Task Manager, called Activity Monitor, using Spotlight search, Launchpad, or the Applications folder in Finder. Keep Activity Monitor in the Dock for easy access by Control -clicking the app icon and selecting "Keep in Dock" from the context menu.

  6. In-depth guide to the Mac task manager

    Activity Monitor There's already an OSX Task Manager pre-installed (or rather the Mac equivalent of Task Manager) — called Activity Monitor, which you can find in Utilities or by using the Spotlight Search. Let's look at it in more detail. What is Activity Monitor?

  7. 'Task Manager' on Mac: How to Find and Use the Activity Monitor

    Launch the Activity Monitor on your Mac. You can find it in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Under the Process Name list, select the app or process you want to quit.

  8. How to Open Task Manager on your Macbook

    November 2, 2019 / #Mac Control Alt Delete on a Mac - How to Open Task Manager on your Macbook Abbey Rennemeyer It happens to the best of us: we're working away on some important project, and our trusty computer freezes. Or rather, a program we're in just stops responding. So what do you do?

  9. How to Open Task Manager on Mac- An In-depth Guide

    Use Finder To access task manager on Mac using Finder, follow these steps:

  10. How to Open Task Manager on Mac OS X: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

    Task Manager, which goes by the name of Activity Monitor on Mac OS X, is an application that allows you to view and monitor all active processes running on your computer. If your computer is running slow or inefficiently, you can open Activity Monitor to determine which applications are consuming the highest amount of resources.

  11. Learn How to Use Task Manager on Mac

    To open Task Manager on Mac, press the [CMD] + [Option] + [ESC] key combination on your keyboard. It will open up the task manager utility window with a list of all the apps and processes running on your Mac. From here, you can choose the application or processes causing troubles and click on ' Force Quit ' to remove them.

  12. Task Manager for Mac

    How to get Task Manager on a Mac? How to force quit on a Mac, and so on. In this blog post, we will explain the Mac equivalent of the Windows Task Manager and how to view running processes in macOS. Contents: 1. What is the Control Alt Delete for Mac. 2. How to open Mac Task Manager. 3. How to see what programs are running on a Mac. 4.

  13. How To Open Task Manager On Macbook: A Step-By-Step Guide

    Alternatively, there's another way to access the Task Manager through Finder. Open Finder by clicking on its icon located on your dock (it looks like a smiling face). Then go to "Applications," followed by "Utilities.". Once there, scroll down until you spot "Activity Monitor.". Clicking on it will launch our beloved Task Manager.

  14. Activity Monitor: Guide to Mac's Task Manager

    Start typing "Activity Monitor." Select the Activity Monitor when it comes up. This will take you to the app. However, if Spotlight doesn't work or you just want to try another way to open Task Manager Mac, do the following: Click on the Finder icon in the Dock. Choose Applications from the side menu of the window that appears.

  15. How to Use the Mac OS X Task Manager

    The Mac Task Manager is a mini-version of the Activity Monitor. To open it, simultaneously press down the [CMD] + [ALT] + [ESC] keys on your keyboard. This will open a window containing a list of all currently opened programs and applications that are running in the background. You might notice a process in the CPU tab called "kernel_task".

  16. Where is Task Manager on a Mac and what does it do?

    How to find Task Manager. The simplest way to find Task Manager/Activity Monitor will also show you another Mac concept you may have missed: Spotlight Search: Press Command-Space. In the search window that pops up, type Activity Monitor (you may not even need to complete writing both words). Press Return when Activity Monitor shows up.

  17. How to Open Task Manager in Macbook Air/ Pro Or iMac

    4 Share 482 views 9 months ago Mac OS Tutorials How to open task manager in MacBook? Learn to use setting on how to open the task manager in the MacBook Pro or Air. A simple tutorial that...

  18. What Is Task Manager Mac

    Or you can find Task Manager on your MacBook Air using Spotlight shortcut: Step 1. Open "Spotlight" on your MacBook Air. Step 2. Select the magnifying glass icon on the Apple menu bar. Step 3. Type activity monitor into the search box and hit "Return". Step 4.

  19. How to Access the Task Manager in Mac

    Follow these steps: Navigate to Spotlight in the upper-right corner of your Mac computer's screen. You can identify it by the magnifying glass icon. Type Activity Monitor. When the option appears, press Enter to start the Task Manager on Mac.

  20. How to Open Task Manager on Mac: Best Guide on Mac's ...

    4. Use the Mac Task Manager Shortcut. Some macOS versions also have a keyboard shortcut to open task manager in Mac. All you got to do is press Command + Option + Shift + Esc keys at the same time. Keep holding them simultaneously for at least 3 seconds to launch the Activity Monitor app on the screen. Part 3.

  21. How to Open Task Manager on Mac

    1. Go to the Launchpad and enter "Activity Monitor" in the search box. Click on the "Activity Monitor" icon. 2. Use the Spotlight search. Just press the Command + Space key combination, type "Activity Monitor" in a search engine and press "Enter" to open the application.

  22. Best Free Task Management Software in 2024

    The free plan also allows custom statuses and up to 20 custom task types, as well as other useful features like multiple assignees, checklists, dependencies and a basic custom field manager.

  23. How to open the Task Manager on Mac and monitor load

    The Mac Task Manager is a mini-version of the Activity Monitor. To open it, simultaneously press down the [CMD] + [ALT] + [ESC] keys on your keyboard. This will open a window containing a list of all currently opened programs and applications that are running in the background. Select the program or application that has frozen and click on the ...

  24. A password manager LastPass calls "fraudulent" booted from App Store

    Here yesterday, gone today. Thomas Reed, director of Mac offerings at security firm Malwarebytes, noted that the LassPass entry in the App Store said the app's privacy policy was available on ...

  25. ‎Sonar

    Download Sonar - Project Task Manager for macOS 12.0 or later and enjoy it on your Mac. ‎Sonar is a native Mac app that offers a fast & lightweight alternative to managing tasks from the GitHub or GitLab web UI. Sonar can do nearly everything the GitHub or GitLab issues web UI can do, but much faster and much easier! ...

  26. How to open the Task Manager on Mac and monitor load

    Force quitting programs using the Mac Task Manager. The Mac Task Manager is a mini-version of the Activity Monitor. To open it, simultaneously press down the [CMD] + [ALT] + [ESC] keys on your keyboard. This will open a window containing a list of all currently opened programs and applications that are running in the background.