It is not possible for any device, including Macs, to function perfectly all the time. Some stuttering issues may arise while using an application, or you may experience lag while performing trivial tasks and actions. The reason behind these issues could be multiple applications or a single one. The solution to these problems is macOS’s native Activity Monitor. According to Apple, it is a helpful utility that helps in monitoring energy consumption, CPU, network, and disk status. It is similar to the “Task Manager” present in the Windows operating system. This article will shed light on the Activity Monitor and how you can use its different components to fix or troubleshoot any issues your Mac is experiencing. Let us get started.

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What is the Activity Monitor?

 

Activity Monitor is macOS’s native activity tracker or performance monitor that provides users with a complete list of every application running along with stats regarding different aspects such as how much CPU power it is consuming, how much disk space is being utilized, etc. Furthermore, it allows users to take the required actions on applications. For instance, if any application is not functioning smoothly or if it is being unresponsive, you can use your Mac’s Activity Monitor to forcefully shut it down. If you are wondering how to use the task manager for monitoring and managing applications, the Activity Monitor offers numerous features that facilitate users in doing the same. To open macOS’s native task manager, navigate to the “Applications” folder, click on “Utilities,” and open “Activity Monitor.”

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How to Use the Activity Monitor for Tracking and Solving Issues:

 

The Activity Monitor comprises five tabs, and each one has a specific purpose. The tabs are – CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, and Network. Depending on whether your Mac has a content caching service, there is also an additional tab named “Cache.” Each of these tabs is helpful in one way or another when it comes to diagnosing and solving a problem. Here is how:

 

  • CPU Tab – Helps You in Assessing Which Application is Not Functioning Well

 

The CPU tab features all of your Mac’s foreground and background processes. This section of the Activity Monitor sheds light on which application is working hard. For instance, if you are using performing multiple tasks simultaneously, i.e., checking up on unread emails and browsing through content on Safari, and your Mac’s fans start making more noise than usual, or if the battery starts depleting faster, you can navigate to the CPU tab to take a look at which application is straining your CPU. Similarly, you can also check which app is not functioning correctly. If any app is malfunctioning or crashing, a message saying “Not Responding” pops us beside it. By clicking on the process’ name and pressing the X button, you will be prompted whether you want to quit the process or not. By clicking on “Quit,” you can shut down the malfunctioning app. If that does not work, you can also “Force Quit” the application.

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  • RAM Tab – Allows You to Close the Apps Which Are Consuming Extra RAM

 

Numerous applications gorge on RAM. By navigating to the RAM tab in the Activity Monitor, you can conveniently look at which application is utilizing how much RAM and quit the unnecessary apps that are utilizing too much RAM. Furthermore, you can also inspect how much Swap Space is used. Swap files are virtual memory-containing written to Mac’s disks. As compared to reading data from RAM, the process of reading data from Swap files is prolonged. Therefore, if there is little swap space left, your Mac will function slowly and less efficiently. Using the RAM tab, you can conveniently check and close the applications or processes slowing your Mac down.

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  • Network Tab – Provides You With Features to View Data Transfer Statistics

 

The “Network” tab provides accurate statistics regarding different data-related aspects. For instance, you can conveniently check how much data your Mac is receiving and how much data is leaving your Mac. Therefore, if loading web pages takes more time than usual, you can easily find the root cause of the issue by looking up the “Networks” tab. Furthermore, if you work with multiple devices or computers, you can also look at the statistics of data being transferred back and forth between them. Therefore, this tab provides you with both information and control of data consumption.

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Apart from the functionalities mentioned above, you can also use your Mac’s Activity Monitor to generate a “System Diagnostics Report”. The report will provide you with a complete list of all your Mac’s status. If you see any abnormal activity, you can share it with Apple Support for troubleshooting requests. Activity Monitor does a fantastic job when it comes to monitoring and managing applications. Over the years, the in-built feature has only gotten better with updates.

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