access task manager on mac
  • How to Open Mac Task Manager and Use Activity Monitor

Featured Image Caption: Access Task Manager On Mac

Task Manager is an important utility in the Windows operating system to manage running apps, monitor CPU usage, Memory usage, kill background processes, and manage startup apps. MacOS also has a similar utility called Activity Monitor to manage all the running processes and apps. You can check CPU usage, Memory usage, Energy usage, Disk usage, Network usage, battery status, running apps, and managing system resources.

There are various methods to manage tasks however Mac Task Manager is a one-stop solution to access and manage tasks on Mac. You can access Activity Monitor through different methods. You can quickly quit unresponsive apps and fix freezing issues on your Mac. Here are some quick tips and tricks on How to Open Task Manager on Mac, how to use Task Manager on Mac, and how to make the most out of Activity Monitor on Mac.

How to Open Task Manager on Mac

photo of macbook keyboard

Photo Of MacBook Keyboard

The easiest way to open Task Manager on Mac is to press Command + Option + Esc keys to force quit apps on Mac. It will open up the mini version of Activity Monitor to select the app and click on the Force Quit button. Once done, you can press just the Esc key to close the window.

force quit applications popup

Force Quit Applications Popup

How to Open Activity Monitor

There are various methods to access the Activity Monitor.

  1. You can go to the Dock and click on the Activity Monitor app.
  2. You can also go to the ‘All Apps’ section on the bottom panel and click on the Activity Monitor if it is already added to the bar.
  3. Alternatively, you can click on the Finder app and select Applications. Go for Utilities and then select Activity Monitor.
  4. You can also click on the search option and search for Activity Monitor. Click on the Activity Monitor icon from the search results.

How to Use Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor has different sections (Tabs) to check different categories. As you open the Activity Monitor, you will reach the CPU tab.


CPU Tab displays how different processes affect the CPU usage and impact the performance of your Mac. It also gives you a piece of detailed information on battery runtime, performance, fan activity, temperature, and other essential components.

activity monitor

Activity Monitor

System: Shows the percentage of current CPU usage

Idle: Shows the percentage of Idle CPU capability that is not yet used.

User: Shows the percentage of CPU usage used by apps launched by the user.

CPU Load: This shows the percentage of overall CPU usage by system and user-triggered processes.

Threads: Displays the total number of threads used by all the processes.

Processes: This shows the total number of active processes on your Mac.

Memory Tab

The Memory tab is the next important tab that is used to check memory usage and manage apps and resources. If there are apps with high memory usage, you can disable those apps and balance out the memory usage. You can right-click and click on the Quit or Force Quit option.

activity monitor memory tab

Activity Monitor Memory Tab

Physical Memory: Shows the total size of RAM installed.

Memory Pressure: This shows a graph representing memory usage.

App Memory: Displays the total size of memory used by active Apps.

Memory Used: Displays the total amount of RAM that is in use right now.

Wired Memory: Displays the amount of memory that can’t be compressed or merged.

Cached Files: Displays the memory used by other apps earlier but is available as of now.

Swap Used: Displays the space occupied by the memory management system.

Compressed: Displays the amount of compressed RAM for emergency usage.

Energy Tab

The Energy tab displays the functionality of your battery usage and battery life. It displays the Energy impact of apps and remaining charges. It also displays the time remaining on the current battery life. If you see an app that is consuming high battery usage, you can select the app and quit it.

activity monitor energy tab

Activity Monitor Energy Tab

There are other tabs like Disk and Network that are rarely used to check the disk space and network usage. Disk space can be managed by checking apps that are utilizing more space on the drive. You can quit apps and uninstall unwanted apps to make more room for upcoming apps.

Summing Up

This article on how to open Task Manager on Mac has all the possible ways to access the Task Manager and the Activity Monitor. Task Manager allows you to quit unresponsive apps and give them a new start. The Activity Monitor is used to quit apps that are consuming high CPU usage or Memory usage. It’s a one-stop shop to manage all the running apps on your Mac. Activity Monitor is a quick start to boost your Mac performance and a handy tool to quit frozen apps.

By Janny Thomas
who is a technical content writer. As from being a capable engineer, her technical knowledge and expertise in research, blended with an intimate passion to write made her love her profession to the core. She is an avid reader.

Member since October, 2019
View all the articles of Janny Thomas.

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