Mac Task Manager : Guide for How to Use (Step by Step)

If you are having a hard time addressing the ways to use Mac Task Manager, then you’ll be glad to know that below we have listed some of the simple yet effective ways you can deploy for getting your job done. We have covered the whole Mac Task Manager in a nutshell so that it would be convenient for you to operate without any hassle.

Technology can be found anywhere and everywhere nowadays. It has become thoroughly embedded in our lifestyle and has led to various transformations. We require a sound knowledge of the ways to handle tech because of the multiple opportunities. Although at times, technology might feel quite perfect, there are some imperfections as well. Modern operating systems have been playing and are destined to play, a significant role in the digital world.

Mac Task Manager Guide

Needless to say, advanced operating systems are also not close to flawlessness. And here is exactly where Mac task managers come into play. Task managers are applications specifically made to handle the whole computing process and resources. They let you view and monitor what exactly is happening on your computer and allow you to shut down any functions you may want.

Mac Task Manager Guide

Activity Monitor is the official task manager for the Mac computers. Quirky name, right? For those viewing Activity Monitor for the first time, things can get a little too overwhelming, to say the least. This is because there is a lot of information and data that is displayed right at the start. Nothing to worry about though, as the rest of this article is all about what Mac Task Manager actually is and how you can use it to get the best out of your PC/laptop.

How to Open Activity Monitor on Mac

There are two different ways and an ultimate way when it comes to accessing the activity monitor or Mac task manager.

The First Method

  • Open the Finders Tab.

how to open mac task manager

  • Go to “Applications” and then click on “Utilities”.

how to access mac task manager

  • Finally, click on “Activity Monitor”.

The Second Method

  • Click the upper-right corner of the menu bar or press the “command+space bar” to open Spotlight.

how to open task manager on mac

  • Type “Activity Monitor” in the Spotlight.
  • Press Enter when the Activity Monitor icon pops up.

The Ultimate, Long-term Convenient Method

  • Open Finder and then navigate to “Applications” and then to “Utilities”, exactly like the first method.
  • Press down on the Activity Monitor icon and drag it to the dock.
  • This will pin it to the dock, and now you can instantly start up Activity Monitor without any hassles, anytime.

I did mention it was the ultimate method, didn’t I?

What are the Different Tabs on Mac Task Manager and What They Do

The Activity Monitor a.k.a Mac task manager displays all the applications and processes underway in 5 different panes. This is incredibly efficient as complete know-how of Mac’s functioning can be done easily done.


This area displays all that is happening or is burdening Mac’s processor, also known as the CPU. The more an application takes upon the processor, the more burdened the processor gets. You can easily sort by the percentage of CPU capability in use to weed out any unnecessary tasks having a large usage. More information like the amount of CPU capability left, the total number of processes launched, etc., can be viewed with ease in the Mac Task Manager or Activity Monitor.

 task manager in mac


Memory is a vital component of the speed and lag-free functioning of Mac’s operating system. When the memory usage is high, the system tends to slow. That is where this pane in the Activity Monitor helps. The statistics show physical memory, i.e., the amount of RAM installed, the amount of memory being used currently, and the amount of memory used by cached files. Even more, information like the amount of RAM occupied by applications (App Memory), the wired memory, etc is also present.

 task manager mac


The excessive energy used by some applications can drain your Mac’s battery real quick. The energy pane empowers you there with the ability to check the battery usage stats and also, to kill the battery exhausting apps/processes.

different tabs on mac task manager

Some more salient features of the Energy pane are:

  • Preventing Sleep column details the app or process that is blocking your Mac from going into sleep mode.
  • The Energy Impact column details exactly how much battery a specific app consumes.
  • Average Energy Impact depicts the complete information about battery and its usage by processes and apps in the last 8 hours. Needless to say, the lower the numbers are, the better your battery would perform.


The disk pane illustrates the total disk activity. The data size of every process and the size of data it writes to your computer disk. This is exceptionally beneficial if you want to keep a check on any malware being added to your system.

mac task manager or activity monitor


All the network-related tasks and processes are shown on the Network pane. Like the other panes, information such as the total amount of data sent/received is displayed at the bottom. The information present on this page gives a complete insight into how much data is being received/sent on your network.

activity monitor on mac


Only available in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 or later, the cache pane shows how many cache files have been dropped, downloaded, or uploaded. There is also a graph that illustrates the total cache activity of all time.

Activity Monitor also allows for removing or adding new panes through the View menu. The procedure is as such:

  • Open the Activity Monitor page.
  • Click on the “View” option situated at the top menu bar.
  • Finally, select columns from the drop-down tabs.

Now, you can remove or add the groups or panes to the display. Isn’t this quite easy?

How to Kill a Process In Mac Task Manager

Now that you know what precisely the panes and all of the features in Activity Monitor stand for, you can easily learn how to kill unwanted processes (sounds like killing germs hoorah!). The procedure is quite simple as you just have to right-click on the unnecessary process and tap quit. Now if the application/process gets frozen or is plainly stubborn, the “Force Quit” option looks after them. Clean, easy, and beneficial.

mac task manager force quit apps

Pro Tip: Do not Force Quit or Quit ‘kernel_task’ even though, it will be displayed as a very rigorous application. This is because it is the core of the Mac operating system and the entire system will stop if this does. Prevention is better than cure, yeah?


The Activity Monitor a.k.a. The Mac Task Manager is where every action on your operating system is noted and can be managed. Even the most complex problems can be solved by using the Activity Monitor. Hopefully, this article has been a comprehensive guide for everyone from a beginner Joe to the Tech-Licious geek on how to use the Mac task manager with ease. For more useful guides, visit the Techly Fire website.

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