Task manager isn’t something only Windows devices have. Your Mac has this secret gem as well, but it isn’t as well known.
So, if your Mac’s misbehaving or you want to look into the nitty-gritty running of your device, continue reading. We’re going to look at everything you need to know about navigating task manager.
Let’s dive in!
Task Manager AKA Activity Monitor
To those who often use a computer, an Alt+CTRL+Delete command might be a familiar one. But that’s only true if you’re using Windows operational system. If you’re a fan of Mac, the situation is a bit different.
But there’s no need to panic – Mac has its own task manager that allows you to control the resource usage of the programs and apps. It’s called Activity Monitor, and it’s a built-in option in every Apple laptop.
And before you argue that your Mac runs smoothly as it is, it’s good to have a way out if specific programs start going out of control.
No key-binding would let you access the Activity Monitor (like it’s with Windows OS), so navigating task manager could be a bit harder if you’re used to the Windows system, but there are ways to find it on your Mac as well.
You can find it by pressing the command button and a spacebar. It takes you to a search window, where you just type out what you’re looking for – Activity monitor, in this case – and select the process.
Alternatively, you can use a finder and search for the application there. The icon for Activity Monitor will be among the utility programs. If you wish to bypass the hassle, you can make your task manager accessible from the dock.
Simply open up the application, right-click on the icon that appears in the dock and select “Keep in Dock” function.
Just pick a way that sounds best for you, and you have all the power at your fingertips! For more info on this see: https://setapp.com/how-to/in-depth-guide-to-the-task-manager-for-mac
Navigating Task Manager
The program is called the manager for a reason! And it’s time to discuss what you can do with it.
The application has several tabs, first of them being CPU. In short, it displays all the currently running programs and how much resources they take from your Mac.
It also allows you to shut down misbehaving programs if you find any. Simply highlight them and click the X on the top left corner (it’s also known as “stop”).
However, you should be mindful of what you’re doing. For example, kernel_task can eat up great resources, and you don’t even have a program like that open!
But it’s the internal system app that monitors Mac’s performance, and keeping it running is in your best interest. So just ignore it and focus on the names you do recognize.
Next to CPU is the Memory tab. As the name suggests, it’s associated with your computer’s memory and the RAM.
RAM represents your Mac’s speed, and so if you see specific programs taking a lot out of the computer, try to restrict their usage or don’t use them entirely, and it’ll keep your laptop running smoothly!
Other Useful Tabs
Another useful tab is energy. It ranks your apps and programs based on how much power drain they have.
So, if you are away from a charger and need your Mac to perform longer, you can use this tab to close non-essential apps. It also gives you insight into the energy processes of your Mac so that you can monitor it accurately.
As you navigate the task manager even further, it will lead you towards a Disk tab. This is where you can see your hard drive’s engagement with your Mac’s processes. This requires a bit of attention and maybe even a good eye, so it’s not for everyday use.
However, this is also the place where you can observe various system interactions and catch any suspicious activity.
The last tab is called ‘Network’ and shows app information and how much data each app use. This also highlights the programs that intensively eat into your data and shouldn’t be left unchecked.
Just because Macs have built-in task managers, doesn’t mean there aren’t additional or alternative services for the same purpose. You might want to try navigating the task manager more professionally, and we’re here to help!
iStat Menus is the first on the list. The program can be readily available right from your menu bar, quickly showing the essential information.
The program does have a price tag ($18.14), but, in exchange, you get detailed reports on Mac’s resource usage, and you can even rearrange drop-down menus of the program to suit your needs.
XRG is an open-source monitor available on the latest versions of Mac. It’s slightly different than navigating the traditional task manager, but it has cool additional features like weather reports and even stock market information. It also doesn’t drain your Mac’s resources, which is a plus!
Ready to Start Navigating Task Manager?
Navigating task manager isn’t that hard, even if you’re new to using Macs.
There are several ways to access the application, and each of them has their own steps. Because task manager for Mac isn’t bound to any keys, you can pin it to your dock for easy access.
The Activity Monitor shows how much your Mac uses to power different categories -be it energy, memory, or sheer working power. Your apps can be adjusted or shut down if you feel the need.
Lastly, you can get yourself additional programs that’ll let you access the same information as task manager. They usually come with more straightforward navigation and often boast other features.
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