Introduction to Activity Monitor on MacOS

Many MacOS users usually overlook the Activity Monitor as one of the most important apps on Mac devices. For those switching from Windows, Activity Monitor has the same function as Task Manager. This system tool helps machines running smoothly. In this post today, we’ll have a detailed look at Activity Monitor on MacOS.

Mac Task Manager: A Command Center 

With Activity Monitor, you can see a plethora of information about your device. Those who are unfamiliar with it, the info might be confusing. Below is an image of Mac task manager so that you understand your Mac task manager better.


CPU Pane

CPU pane is the first screen greeting when opening Activity Monitor. From this screen, you will know how your Mac is working. There is a list showing up all processes and running apps on your Mac and demanding processes are displayed in descending order.

Additional CPU Info

If you are an average user, you might spend most of your time in the CPU section. You can see each item’s impact on performance. If there is an app or process causing trouble and eating up too much power of your Mac, you just click on the stop sign to force quit it.

There are also some useful graphs near the bottom of the screen for a quick glance. You can see how much processing power is being taken up from left to right.

Memory Pane

You can also see how much memory each process is eating up on your MacOS. While memory usage is reported in real time, it still fluctuates less than CPU usage. However, memory usage is usually more stable, even when there are changes to the numbers. Similar to the CPU pane, you will see some common categories such as Process Name, Threads, PID, and User.

Energy Pane

From this pane, you can see the battery usage impacts of your apps, as well as the processes associated with them. Each process will affect the battery life differently, and the mission of Activity Monitor is assigning each a score. The higher the number is, the more energy the item uses. If there is an app requiring high CPU usage that leads to using up more battery power, the Energy pane will show you that. If any apps or processes are trying to prevent your Mac from booting sleep mode, the pane will also notify you.

Also read: How to Lock and Unlock Mac with iPhone

Disk Pane

The Disk pane includes hard drive activity and performance. If your Mac is running an HDD or a solid-state drive (SSD), Disk pane will display data is being read or written by tasks and apps. If apps and processes read and write more, the Activity Monitor will also update the totals in the list. Each of the processes will be classified as 64 or 32 bit.

Network Pane

In the Network pane, you can see how much data is sent and received by your Mac. Apps and processes requiring an internet connection will transmit data back and forth to the cloud.

Processes that do not require an internet connection send and receive 0 bytes of data. However, online apps have to connect with their servers to work properly. The data is usually sent as units, called packets. Your Mac Activity Monitor displays both total sent and received total packets. Downloads and uploads are under these categories.

That’s the detailed look at Activity Monitor on MacOS. If you have any question, let’s know in the comment below.

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