How to Use the Activity Monitor on Mac

Around the world, there are 100 million Mac users.

If you’re one of those millions of users, you might be wondering how to troubleshoot problems. Thankfully, you can do that by checking the Activity Monitor on Mac.

But how do you do that? Keep reading to learn more about how to fix issues when your Mac is not responding.

What is the Activity Monitor?

The Activity Monitor is built into your Mac’s Operating System. It will let you view what activity is going on in your computer.

With that information, you can use it to fix the performance, slow apps, and find other software or hardware issues.

If you’ve used a Windows computer before, it’s similar to the Task Manager. That tool will let you see all of the apps that are currently running on your computer.

With Mac’s tool, you’ll be able to see the network, disk, energy, memory, and CPU pane.

Find the Activity Monitor

If you aren’t sure where the Activity Monitor is located, you should go to your Applications folder.

From there, click on the Utilities folder, and you should be able to see the Activity Monitor there. Double click on it.

One window will pop up, and it should have five different tabs. It’s okay if the number of entries is changing frequently.

View Activity

Now that you’ve found the tool, you’ll need to learn about what to look at.

The processes that your Mac can run can be all kinds of different things. For example, running an app would be considered a process. However, Mac has their own system apps and invisible processes that can run in the background.

With the Activity Monitor, you’ll be able to see in real-time what your computer is currently doing.

If you want to view any of the activities in more detail, select a process. You can do this by double-clicking it or going to the Info button in the window.

Then, sort the processes by clicking on a column header.

You can also click on the triangle in the selected column, which can reverse the order of what’s shown. If you still can’t find the process that you’re looking for, you can search in the field to find something specific.

Customize View

Most Activity Monitors will come with a default view, but you can also do a custom one as well.

For example, you can see more columns by going to the View option. Then you’ll be able to see a column option that will let you turn on or off the options you want.

You can also group certain processes to make it easier to analyze your computer. For example, you can select processes that are owned by your own Mac account.

You could also organize it by system processes, which means that these are going to be the ones that Mac is running.

You can also select to see which apps have been running within the last twelve hours. This could be helpful if your laptop’s battery is draining and you’re not sure why.

Things to Check On

Regardless of what view you’re looking at, there are three main things that you should focus on.

These three will impact how slow or fast your computer runs.

CPU Usage

The CPU usage is how hard your computer has to work to run everything.

If you are using a large percentage of your CPU, then your computer is probably going to run slow because its resources are too spread out.

Keep in mind that certain processes will spike your CPU temporarily. For example, if you’re rendering a video or audio file, this will use a lot of CPU.

If your laptop starts getting too hot, the fan will come on, which will also spike the CPU because it will try to keep your laptop’s temperature down. These are all perfectly normal.

For tips on how to lower the CPU usage, make sure you check out this link:


The memory tab will let you see how much RAM your computer is using. It will also let you know how much space you have left.

If you are running out of space, you might need to get an external hard drive or get rid of some old files.

This tab will tell you where most of your RAM’s energy is going towards, so you can try and get rid of those files or apps first.


If you’re working remotely or away from the charger, you’ll really need to pay attention to the Energy tab. This will let you know how your battery is doing.

If you think your battery is draining too fast, you should check out this tab. Keep in mind that the number and type of apps you use will change how much battery life you’re using.

If you want to save some battery life, you can open some of the lines that show up on the Energy tab. You’ll be able to close them right then and there without having to go through and shut them down individually.

Learn More About Using the Activity Monitor on Mac

These are only a few tips on how to use the Activity Monitor on Mac, but there are many more tips out there.

We know that keeping up with the latest technology trends can be stressful, but we’re here to help you out.

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