How to See Whats Running on Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Have you ever wondered how to see what processes are running on your Mac? Whether you want to monitor your system’s performance or troubleshoot a problem, knowing how to check running processes can be incredibly useful. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to see what’s running on your Mac.

Using Activity Monitor

The easiest way to view running processes on a Mac is by using the built-in Activity Monitor application. To launch Activity Monitor, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Finder icon in your dock.
  2. In the top menu bar, click on “Go” and then select “Utilities”.
  3. In the Utilities folder, find and double-click on the “Activity Monitor” application.

Once Activity Monitor is open, you will see a window with several tabs: CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, Network, and Cache. By default, the CPU tab is selected.

The CPU Tab

The CPU tab provides detailed information about the processes that are currently running and how much CPU resources they are consuming. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Navigate to the CPU tab if it’s not already selected.
  2. You will see a list of all the processes currently running on your Mac sorted by their CPU usage. The process at the top of the list is usually the one consuming the most resources.
  3. If you want to filter or sort the list based on specific criteria, use the options available in the menu bar.
  4. To force quit a process, select it from the list and click on the “X” button in the toolbar.

The Memory Tab

The Memory tab provides information about how much memory each process is using. To access this tab, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “Memory” tab in the Activity Monitor window.
  2. A list of processes will be displayed, showing their memory usage. The process using the most memory will be at the top.
  3. You can also use the filtering and sorting options to customize your view.

Using Terminal

If you prefer a command-line interface, you can also use Terminal to check running processes. Here’s how:

  1. Open Terminal by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in your dock and searching for “Terminal”.
  2. In the Terminal window, type “top -o cpu” and press Enter.
  3. A live-updated list of running processes will be displayed, sorted by CPU usage. The process at the top will have the highest CPU consumption.
  4. To exit Terminal’s process monitoring mode, press “Ctrl + C“.

Now that you know how to see what’s running on your Mac using Activity Monitor and Terminal, you have a powerful set of tools to monitor your system’s performance and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Whether you prefer a graphical interface or a command-line approach, both methods provide valuable insights into your Mac’s processes.

Note: It’s important to exercise caution when terminating processes, as force quitting certain system processes or essential applications may cause instability or data loss.

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