Mac OS

How to Launch macOS Activity Monitor (Task Manager) from the Utility and Terminal (Command Line)

Activity Monitor is similar to Windows Task Manager. It displays a variety of resources in use on your system in real-time. It shows the processes that are running on your Mac, so you can manage them and see how they affect your Mac’s activity and performance. For more information on Process Explorer – SysInternal Tools, see https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/03/07/process-explorer/
– How to use SysInternals Live Tools, see https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/02/09/how-to-use-sysinternals-live-tools/
– How to download and use Windows SysInternals tools locally, see https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/01/25/windows-sysinternals-tools-psexec-and-auto-logon/
– Process Explorer (Replace built-in Task Manager) https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/03/08/process-explorer-replace-built-in-task-manager/

To launch Activity Monitor, there are various ways to go about this.
– From the LaunchPad, Search for Activity Monitor


– Alternatively, from the Applications, Then click on Utilities. Navigate to this folder and double-click the icon to launch the app as shown below.

However, you can get to this (or any Mac app) much faster using Spotlight search. Press Cmd + Space to open Spotlight. Then type in the first few letters of the app and press Return.

Either of the following steps will open up Activity Monitor as shown below

The Activity Monitor Window of the application is the principal process monitor. It displays a list of both open apps and system processes. Some apps are easy to spot, while others are system-level processes essential for running macOS.

Click the column header at the top to arrange the processes in either ascending or descending order. On the upper-right, there is a Search Filter box that lets you search for a specific process.

On how to launch the Task Manager in Windows, see https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/04/24/how-to-launch-windows-task-manager/

The category tabs at the top of the window as shown below (CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, and Network) focuses on specific kinds of data. They’re the primary system monitor indicators and gives you a lot of valuable information for troubleshooting purposes. Each pane shows real-time stats and graphs of resource usage over time.

How to pin Activity Monitor: To pin Activity Monitor in your Dock.
– Right-click the app icon and
– Choose Options
– Keep in Dock.
You can even monitor vital parameters right from the Dock by selecting
– View
– Dock Icon and
– Select Show CPU Usage or History.

For more information, visit this page https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201464

Using the the Terminal, We basically have two commands to do this.
- ps aux
- Top

Example 1: Via the Terminal – To show all running processes on macOS via the command line, the following command below is needed and it is generally available for both Linux and Mac.

ps aux

Other commands that can be used
ps -ax: Type ps -ax at Terminal’s command prompt to list every process running, along with additional details such as the PID, the elapsed time running, and the process name and location. Another useful command to help find a process by name or PID is grep which can filter out the desired information. It can be used in conjunction with the ps -ax command to list only the process that you are interested in. At the command prompt type ps -ax | grep <application name>.

Example 2: Via the Terminal – Lastly you could use the “top” command. The “top” command is used to show the processes in mac and in Linux. It provides a dynamic real-time view of the running system. Usually, this command shows the summary information of the system and the list of processes or thread.

Once you know the process ID has been determined, killing it via the Terminal is simple. But absolute care needed to be taken however because, forcing a process to suddenly exit can have unforeseen consequences, so it’s advisable to check carefully that the process you are about to kill is the correct one. There are essentially two easy ways to kill a process:

  1. By PID: the simplest way is with the kill command followed by the PID, which causes the selected process to terminate immediately. In the Sky example, kill 14530 does the job and causes the process to exit immediately
  2. By name: this method uses the killall command to kill all the processes that contain that name. For example killall Skype will terminate all the processes that have Skype in their name

Caution: killall should be used sparingly to avoid accidentally terminating the wrong processes.

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