Exploring How The Activity Monitor Helps in Solving Mac Problems

Nobody likes a troublesome computer, especially if it is a Mac. Turning on the Mac to kick-start one’s workday is a daily routine for many. However, if faced with obstacles like a frozen display, slow performance, or unresponsive apps, it can create bottlenecks in the workflow. 

The Activity Monitor

It is not always possible to narrow down the reasons causing Mac to act like a troubled kid. But you can diagnose and fix the issues that ail your system using Mac’s in-built tools, such as the Activity Monitor. 

What Exactly is the Activity Monitor?

In simple terms, the Activity Monitor is the alternative to Windows Task Manager. It is a utility showing how much memory the process or programs on your Mac are using.

Also, it shows a list of all the active applications so you can force quit the unresponsive ones. 

You can open Task Manager on a Mac from Spotlight. First, open Spotlight by pressing Command + Spacebar > type Activity Monitor, and once it comes up, click on it or press Enter. 

How to Troubleshoot Problems Using the Activity Monitor?

The Activity Monitor offers information about several primary resources used by the Mac. By going through this information, users can quit or pause specific processes and apps that are causing trouble. 

The information is sorted into different tabs, and they are:

The Memory Tab

The Memory tab tells how much RAM or memory is used by the applications and processes. This is a good indicator of what processes or applications you need to close if your system is running slowly or getting frozen. 

Going through this list, you can determine the reason why your Mac is performing sluggishly. Closing those programs or processes will save some Memory resources and speed up your system. 

The CPU Column

The% CPU tab tells users how hard the active processes and applications are working. It shows the% of the CPU capacity being used.

In this column, you will also see similar stats for the GPU or graphics processing unit. If you see unnecessary processes hogging GPU, you can close them.

These two columns can be organized so you can see which applications or processes are taxing your Mac’s GPU or CPU. Closing them will prevent your system from overheating and fix noisy fans. 

The Disk Tab

The Disk tab is typically not a concern for users as it shows how much data is being read and written from your Mac’s drives. 

Reading and writing on a disk consumes power. Therefore, if you find a lot of disk activity and this results in your Mac’s battery hastily draining, close the apps causing this issue. 

iCloud is one such process that may show a lot of activity because it runs in the background.

If the number is extremely high, it means you have added a lot of pictures or videos to the Photo Library or transferred a lot of files to the cloud. 

The Energy Tab 

The Energy column offers information on how much energy is consumed by apps that are currently active.

If you are using a Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Studio, or Mac Pro, you don’t have to pay a lot of attention to this column. This is because these devices will be plugged into an outlet while you use them. 

But if you are working on MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, you need to check which application is using the bulk of your battery usage.

This information will assist you in conserving battery life and solving battery drainage issues. 

The Network Tab 

The Network tab is essential if all your tasks depend on the Internet. This tab shows the amount of data that is flowing in and out of the network interfaces.

It reveals the apps that are heavily using your network. 

Keeping a close watch on this tab is useful for users with a limited data plan. Whenever your data plan is nearing its capacity, you can quit the apps or processes using too much data. 

This tab is also helpful if you are experiencing network problems because of certain applications consuming too much bandwidth.

There might be applications slowing down your Internet connection, and closing them can speed things up. 

Furthermore, the Network tab reveals data that is flowing across your local area network. If you transfer data across devices using your home network, the information will be seen in this column. 

Final Thoughts 

The Activity Monitor is a highly useful tool as it helps to determine the cause of several problems affecting your Mac’s CPU, battery consumption, memory usage, and even the network speed. Remember to check it often to troubleshoot problems that may impact your Mac experience. 

So, have you used the Activity Monitor to troubleshoot Mac issues? Share your experience. 

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