Basics of Activity Monitor

The Disk pane shows the amount of data each process has read from or written to the disk. Having enough RAM is essential for performance, but free space on your startup drive is critical for system stability. Pay close attention to the number of reads or writes and observe how your system accesses the read or write data.

If disk activity is high, does it correlate with the CPU usage? Some apps or processes can cause both heavy disk activity and CPU usage, like when you convert video or edit RAW photos. The Network pane shows how much data your Mac is sending or receiving over your network. In the Activity Monitor, you can quickly identify apps that transmit lots of data. Some processes naturally generate a lot of network activity, but others using the network a lot might not make much sense. Determining which external resource each process is connecting to is a huge pain.

Freeing Up Memory on a Mac OS X

Activity Monitor can also help you generate a report about the status of your Mac. You can save the report and send it to a friend or Apple support for troubleshooting purposes. Wait for a while for this to complete. Activity Monitor the stock macOS task manager. Find out by running some benchmark tests on your Mac. Your email address will not be published. How about stop all the verbal diarrhea and just state the facts. What is the short key for activity monitor?

How to See CPU Utilization on a MacBook Pro

What does the applications folder look like? Can anyone on this planet answer a simple question without walking people around the block. I have to kill Firefox several times a day due to script hangups. Thunderbird hangs fairly regularly too. I had to stop using Chrime - it was just hopeless. But thanks for this article - it can't hurt to have a more detailed way to actually see what's happening inside those black boxes we call apps.

Nice article. Covering the basics is always a good thing, especially after were past the basics.

How to Use Activity Monitor to Troubleshoot Problems on a Mac

Now that we're able to understand and care, we're actually ready to hear about them. Or top. But, that depends on what you;re comfortable with. Rob Nightingale. Top Deals. What Is Activity Monitor? The Mac Equivalent of Task Manager. Email Facebook Whatsapp Pinterest Twitter.

Tip # 1. Remove Login Items to lower Mac memory usage

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter! Enter your Email. Read our privacy policy. I can't seem to find it for the life of me, too.

CPU usage on Mac

Oops, I meant Chrome. This thing needs an Edit option or I need to learn to type …. Awesome article, Mark.


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Thanks especially for the screenshots and tips. Scroll down for the next article. Are Mac Cleaning Apps Worthless? Selected Processes: Processes that you selected in the Activity Monitor window. Applications in the last 8 hours: Apps that were running processes in the last 8 hours. User: The percentage of CPU capability currently used by apps that you opened, or by the processes those apps opened. Idle: The percentage of CPU capability not being used. The color blue shows the percentage of total CPU capability currently used by user processes.

The color red shows the percentage of total CPU capability currently used by system processes. Threads: The total number of threads used by all processes combined. Processes: The total number of processes currently running. Yellow : Memory resources are still available but are being tasked by memory-management processes, such as compression.


  • Activity Monitor.
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  • This is the most important indicator that your Mac may need more RAM. The amount of wired memory used by an app is determined by the app's programmer. Look in the Compressed Mem column to see the amount of memory compressed for each process. It's normal to see some activity here. As long as memory pressure is not in the red state, macOS has memory resources available.

    The Best System Monitor for Mac OS X

    Energy The Energy pane shows overall energy use and the energy used by each app: Energy Impact: A relative measure of the current energy consumption of the app. Lower numbers are better.


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    • A triangle to the left of an app's name means that the app consists of multiple processes. Click the triangle to see details about each process. Average energy impact is also shown for apps that were running during that time, but have since been quit. The names of those apps are dimmed. For example, an app might nap when it's hidden behind other windows, or when it's open in a space that you aren't currently viewing.

      Preventing Sleep: Indicates whether the app is preventing your Mac from going to sleep. Higher—performance cards use more energy. They switch to a higher-performance graphics chip only when an app needs it. Remaining Charge: The percentage of charge remaining on the battery of a portable Mac.

      The color green shows times when the Mac was getting power from a power adapter. Disk The Disk pane shows the amount of data that each process has read from your disk and written to your disk. Network The Network pane shows how much data your Mac is sending or receiving over your network. You can also see a short description of many items in the Activity Monitor window by hovering the mouse pointer over the item.

      Yes No. Character limit: Maximum character limit is Start a Discussion in Apple Support Communities.