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Guide on how to open the Task Manager on Mac

Olga Weis Sep 30, 2021

Table of contents

Many users who have changed their familiar Windows OS to macOS encounter certain inconveniences while using a computer. Which is quite natural, because the differences are quite significant. Familiar menu items, functions, modes, and options are not the same as before. One of the most used and useful Windows utilities is the well-known Task Manager. However, how to find Task Manager on Mac? In this article, we will figure out how to open the Task Manager on Mac, which utility replaces it, and how to use it. Let's get started.

What is an Activity Monitor? Key features and capabilities

Mac Task Manager is called Activity Monitor and it is a tool that comes natively in all versions of macOS. It lets you control system settings, view information about Mac apps or processes, or even manage apps easily. Let’s take a look at the key features of Activity Monitor and how to open Task Manager in Mac operating system.

Activity Monitor

1. CPU Monitor

The CPU tab shows how each process uses the CPU on your computer. You will see what percentage of the total CPU time the process is using (% CPU), how long it has been active (CPU Time), how many times the process has woken up from sleep (Idle Wake Ups), and more.

2. Check memory

You can find out how much RAW your Mac is using, find a real-time memory graph with values ​​that can help you diagnose performance, and check the used memory, wired memory, application memory, etc.

3. Energy use overview

In the Energy tab, you can check the Energy Impact along with the Average Energy Impact for each application over the past eight hours. App Nap allows your Mac to put inactive applications to sleep and way more.

4. Disk Panel

To check that a process has been read or written to disk, you can use the Disk tab. It represents the number of times your Mac has accessed the disk to read and write data.

5. Network Tab

The Network tab displays the data your Mac is sending or receiving over the network. You can also quickly identify the applications that are transferring data and external resources for each process in the Task Manager.

Ok, now that we know Activity Monitor’s features it is logical to go to the next question, namely “How to open Mac Task Manager?” Continue reading to know more.

How to open Task Manager on Mac?

Like many other applications installed on Mac, there are several ways to open Activity Monitor and it is all up to you: to choose the only one (the most convenient to you at any time) or use several of them according to your wishes. So how to bring up Task Manager on Mac? Below you will find several variants.

  • Perhaps the fastest and most direct way is to use a Spotlight. In this case, all you have to do is press the Command + Space key combination, type Activity Monitor in a search engine, and press Enter to open the application. Instead of using a keyboard shortcut, you can also click the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the screen to display the search engine. Spotlight
  • Another option is to go directly to the Applications folder. Inside this folder, there is another one called Utilities, and in it, you will have an icon representing the Activity Monitor. To open the Activity Monitor, you just need to double-click it. Applications folder
  • Wondering how to access Task Manager on Mac in one more way? Well, the last option to open the program is to access the Launchpad and then open the "Others" folder. Inside you will also find an icon that allows you to directly open the application. Others

Of course, if you want to have faster access to applications, you can drag the icon to the Dock and you always have to open it with a simple click.

Is there any better alternative Task Manager for Mac?

Activity Monitor is the equivalent of Task Manager for Mac. However, it is not the exact copy of the Windows analog and it lacks some features.

That is why if you want to monitor the running processes a little more closely and get real-time updates on your Mac's performance we can recommend you an excellent Mac Task Manager alternative – Commander One.

Commander One

The app allows viewing and managing all the running processes on your Mac computer and if it is required to kill the process simply by pressing the Del button. Among the advantages of this app is the alphabetic order of all running processes with detailed information about them (the process name, PID, used memory, the date and the time of launch, etc.), the ability to kill even the system processes.

Besides that, Commander One is a powerful file manager that helps you to have well-organized documentation on your Mac with a huge variety of handy features (Terminal emulator, cloud storage integration, mounting and managing iOS, Android, and other devices supporting MPT protocol, root access, archiver, etc.).


We hope that the article was rather informative and the questions like “What is the Task Manager called in macOS” and “How to pull up Task Manager on Mac computer” will not confuse you anymore. Besides that, keep in mind that the data contained in the Activity Monitor reveals a lot of necessary information. As you can not only stop processes that are slow or not responding by forcibly quitting but also figure out what kind of processes are running currently on your Mac.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you want to know what kind of processes are running on your mac you need to open Activity Monitor.
Press Command+Spacebar to invoke the Spotlight search field. Start typing “Activity Monitor.” Select the Activity Monitor when it comes up.
There are several ways to launch Activity Monitor on Mac. You can use Spotlight, Applications, or Dock.
Press Command + Option + Esc to open the Force Quit dialog.
Mac Task Manager is called Activity Monitor and it is a tool that comes natively in all versions of macOS.
By default, there is no shortcut to open Task Manager on Mac. However, you can create your own. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Commander One

This dual panel file manager for Mac is fully compatible with MacOS 10.12 and later. Requires 58.68MB of free space, latest version 3.3(3508). Released 2 Sep, 2021.

4.7 rank based on 889+ users, Reviews (524)
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