A Complete Review On Mac Task Manager

Mac Task Manager
Written by Hassan Abbas

What do you know about Mac Task Manager? Many Mac newbies are coming from the Windows world where they can access the Task Manager to end tasks and stop harmful processes. However, Mac has it’s own Task Manager but it goes by another name such as Activity Monitor. Activity Monitor can function in a same way to how Task Manager does in Windows. Also, it enables you to easily manage, view, and end tasks, applications, and other active processes that are executing in Mac OS X. If you don’t know the task management or Activity Monitor on the Mac, in general, don’t fret, because besides it power and control, it’s not complex to use.

The Mac Task Manager

Besides named Activity Monitor lots of Mac switchers continue to refer to the utility when the Windows name of Task Manager.

Mac Task Manager

Remember, the Task Manager for Mac = Activity Monitor!

Using the Task Manager in Mac OS X

If you’re Windows experts, then you must get to the Task Manager after pressing Control+ALT+DEL. In Mac OS X, it’s quite different. You can also launch the app directly it’s containing directory. Using LaunchPad, drag it into the Dock, or simply use Spotlight for instant keyboard access.

Access the Mac Task Manager

Activity Monitor is present in your /Applications/Utilities/ folder. The easiest way to get to Activity Monitor in Mac OS X is to use Spotlight as a keyboard shortcut for instant access:

  • Press Command+Spacebar to bring the Spotlight search field
  • Input in “Activity Monitor”
  • Press the Return key when “Activity Monitor” populates in the spotlight results
  • Now you are in Activity Monitor where you can manipulate or manage tasks

It’s also helpful to sort tasks by CPU. But also you can sort them by memory usage, name, process ID, and simply use the search box located in the top right corner to locate particular tasks that match characters or names.

Activity Monitor is very powerful because it not only shows you what applications are running for the active user, but it also displays system-level tasks, kernel tasks, processes, daemons that belong to other users, quite literally every process will display up. If it’s executing on the Mac, you can then find it on this list.

Destroying or Stopping a Task/Process with Activity Monitor

Well, within Activity Monitor, just tap on the task or app you like to end and then tap on the large red “Quit Process” button located in the left corner of the app window. You will also get a warning message.

Suppose you have chosen the process/application you like to end. Just tap on the “Quit” button. When the app is can’t working, you can then tap on the “Force Quit” button rather than kill the process and stop the apps from running without any warning.

Memory Usage, Get System Stats, CPU, Network, and Disk Info in Activity Monitor

Looking under the Activity Monitor you can get system usage information about Mac. Simply tap click on the tabs to view the information about CPU, Disk Activity, System Memory, Disk Usage (space), and Network activity and usage.

If you like to view live system activity or stats all the time. Then minimize Activity Monitor. You can then right-tap on its Dock icon to turn on different system activity monitors right in the Dock which will display live graphs rather than a standard icon. You can also set them to be particular to CPU, disk activity, network, and RAM usage.

Quick Tip for New Mac Users from the Windows World

Mac users are more familiar with Spotlight and how the Mac works. I certainly suggest recent switchers keep Activity Monitor in their Dock for simple access. Also, you rarely use Activity Monitor, since Mac OS and apps within it run better than Windows.


Here’s all about “Mac Task Manager”. Is this article helpful? Let us know below. For further queries and questions let us know in the comments section below!

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About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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