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How to Use Activity Monitor on Mac – Guide
The Activity Monitor application on macOS allows you to force shutdown of misbehaving applications, find out how much power your Mac is using, and see which applications or processes are consuming the most processor cycles. If you use a portable Mac and suspect that an application is draining the battery, Activity Monitor can help you identify it. This article explains how to use the.
You will find Activity Monitor on your Mac in the / Applications / Utility folder. The main window lists all the programs and processes currently running on your Mac. You will notice that the order changes slightly. This is because the list is updated every five seconds to reflect changes in usage statistics for individual applications.
You can click the triangle next to a program name to display all of the underlying processes for that program. To display more columns, select View -> Columns from the menu bar, then choose the columns you want to display. Which speakers are available to you depends on whether you are using a desktop or a Mac notebook.back to menu ↑
The CPU tab is perhaps the most important to look at when it comes to problems with your Mac. This panel can help you locate any processes that may be adversely affecting your Mac’s performance. This includes those that consume a lot of battery and those that also cause overheating.
The ‘% CPU’ column is definitely the one you want to use here, as classifying the data in this way will instantly give you an idea of which processes may be to blame for its performance impact.
Applications and processes that are not in use should always remain around the one percent mark or less, and most applications that you actually use should not exceed the lower two-digit range. If you see a process exceeding these intervals, you may have found the culprit for this performance drop.back to menu ↑
The Memory tab, although less critical, is still important. It shows the memory distribution for all applications running on your Mac, which directly affects the boot drive.
Just as important is the bottom panel completely. Here you get some very important information at a glance: like the total amount of memory available on your Mac and the memory used so far. If you find that your Mac’s memory usage is approaching its limit, the apps responsible for doing so are usually one or two apps at the top of the Memory column.back to menu ↑
The Energy tab is the one that is most closely linked to the use of the battery. When sorted using the ‘Power Impact’ column, it shows the percentage at which various applications are affecting battery consumption. This can be very useful, especially if your Mac is disconnected, as you can use this information to close applications that put more pressure on the battery.
App Nap is another important column here. The few apps that use this feature usually updates even if the Mac is in sleep mode. You can use this panel to find out which apps use App Nap and then disable the feature.back to menu ↑
The main function of the Disc tab is to show the amount of data being written to your disc, as well as the amount of data read. As such, it generally has very little impact on your Mac’s performance.back to menu ↑
Although it may not provide information about the direct impact on your Mac’s performance, the Network tab shows the amount of data sent and received by the different applications running. This can be very useful, as certain applications that rely almost entirely on the network to function (such as Dropbox or torrent clients) can start to swallow power and CPU the more intense their data consumption becomes.back to menu ↑
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