Have you recently transitioned to the macOS environment from a Windows environment? As a new member of the Mac family, you might be trying to find your way around this operating system. Although there might be some similarities between the two operating systems, there are lots of dissimilarities that you have to get your head wrapped around with.
One of the gnawing questions on most new Mac user’s minds is – does Mac have a Task Manager? It is easy to understand why. The Task Manager is an integral part of the Windows environment, and whenever you are in trouble or faced with an unresponsive app, you must press the Control + Alt + Delete command to bring up the Task Manager window.
On your Mac, you don’t have a Task Manager. But you have something similar called the Activity Monitor. The Activity Monitor is a Mac utility that shows how much memory the Mac processes are consuming and which applications or programs are currently active. You can also use this utility to force quit the unnecessary applications or programs that are consuming too many system resources.
Hopefully, now you are clear about what Activity Monitor is and its role. Let’s move on to understanding how you can use this utility to improve the performance of your Mac and make it run faster.
Tips for Using the Activity Monitor to Boost Mac’s Performance
- Personalize Activity Monitor to display useful information in the Dock
The Dock icon of this utility can be changed to a live tile so you get useful information displayed to you whenever you look at the screen. This makes it extremely useful because you can make changes if required.
To do this, open Activity Monitor. When this is opened, the utility will appear in the Dock. You can right-click the icon in the Dock > choose Dock Icon. Then, you can select which data you value the most. The options include Show CPU History, Show Disk Activity, Show CPU Usage, and Show Network Usage.
Once you have made the selection, right-click on the icon again and choose Options > select Keep in Dock.
- Ensure the utility updates frequently
Are you facing difficulty identifying the processes that are taking up too much resources on your device? You can speed up Activity Monitor by ensuring it frequently updates. You can head to the menu bar and choose View > select Update Frequency. Instead of the 5-second update frequency, you can change it to 2-second or even 1-second.
- Inspect processes for more information
If you have spotted a process in Activity Monitor that you want more information about, you can select it and press Command + I. This will allow you to Inspect the process so you get more information on how much memory the process is using and how long it has been running.
Based on the information, you can either let the process continue to run or close the process.
- Tweak the order in which the processes are displayed
Are you unable to make sense of how the processes are displayed in the Activity Monitor? If so, you can open the utility > go to its menu bar > select View, and change the way the processes are displayed. You can have the processes displayed Hierarchically so you know which one is responsible for the resource hog.
- Quit the processes or programs hogging memory, energy, and CPU
You can check out the CPU, energy, and memory tab to find out which processes or programs are consuming too much system resources.
In the CPU tab, you will get an idea of the overall system and CPU load. If you find there are processes using a high percentage of CPU, they might be directly responsible for making your system overheat or function sluggishly.
In the Memory tab, you will see how much RAM is being consumed by each process or program. If you see there are processes that are unnecessarily consuming too much RAM, you can close those programs.
In the Energy tab, you will see how much battery power is being consumed by each process. This tab will also reveal the remaining battery time and the overall impact of these processes.
During your investigation of these three tabs, you may come across programs that are significantly hogging these key system resources. They might be responsible for the sluggish and slow performance of your computer. You can quit those programs and processes by clicking the X icon.
- Run system diagnostics
The Activity Monitor plays a key role in identifying the culprits and diagnosing the reason behind the sluggish performance of a Mac. You can use this utility to run system diagnostics, and this will reveal to you the programs or processes that are causing trouble.
However, please note that the diagnostics report might be too complex for the average user to understand. The report can be shared with technical experts for their input.
So, this is how you can use the Activity Monitor to boost the performance of your Mac.