How to use Activity Monitor on your Mac

Learn more about cache activity. The graph at the bottom shows total caching activity over time. Choose from the pop-up menu above the graph to change the interval: last hour, 24 hours, 7 days, or 30 days. Overview The processes shown in Activity Monitor can be user apps, system apps used by macOS, or invisible background processes.

My Processes: Processes owned by your macOS user account.

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System Processes: Processes owned by macOS. Inactive Processes: Running processes that are sleeping. Windowed Processes: Processes that can create a window. These are usually apps. Selected Processes: Processes that you selected in the Activity Monitor window. Applications in the last 8 hours: Apps that were running processes in the last 8 hours.

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User: The percentage of CPU capability currently used by apps that you opened, or by the processes those apps opened. Idle: The percentage of CPU capability not being used. The color blue shows the percentage of total CPU capability currently used by user processes. The color red shows the percentage of total CPU capability currently used by system processes. Threads: The total number of threads used by all processes combined.

Processes: The total number of processes currently running.

Yellow : Memory resources are still available but are being tasked by memory-management processes, such as compression. This is the most important indicator that your Mac may need more RAM. The amount of wired memory used by an app is determined by the app's programmer. Look in the Compressed Mem column to see the amount of memory compressed for each process. It's normal to see some activity here.

As long as memory pressure is not in the red state, macOS has memory resources available. Energy The Energy pane shows overall energy use and the energy used by each app: Energy Impact: A relative measure of the current energy consumption of the app. Lower numbers are better. A triangle to the left of an app's name means that the app consists of multiple processes.

Click the triangle to see details about each process. Average energy impact is also shown for apps that were running during that time, but have since been quit.

macOS: Activity Monitor

The names of those apps are dimmed. For example, an app might nap when it's hidden behind other windows, or when it's open in a space that you aren't currently viewing. Preventing Sleep: Indicates whether the app is preventing your Mac from going to sleep. Higher—performance cards use more energy. They switch to a higher-performance graphics chip only when an app needs it.

The color red shows either the number of writes out per second or the amount of data written per second.

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The Network pane shows how much data your Mac is sending or receiving over your network. Use this information to identify which processes are sending or receiving the most data. The information at the bottom of the Network pane shows total network activity across all apps.

The graph also includes a pop-up menu to switch between showing packets or data as a unit of measurement. The color blue shows either the number of packets received per second or the amount of data received per second. The color red shows either the number of packets sent per second or the amount of data sent per second. In macOS High Sierra The Cache pane shows how much cached content that local networked devices have uploaded, downloaded, or dropped over time.


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Use the Maximum Cache Pressure information to learn whether to adjust Content Caching settings to provide more disk space to the cache. Lower cache pressure is better. Learn more about cache activity. The graph at the bottom shows total caching activity over time. Choose from the pop-up menu above the graph to change the interval: last hour, 24 hours, 7 days, or 30 days.

Overview The processes shown in Activity Monitor can be user apps, system apps used by macOS, or invisible background processes. My Processes: Processes owned by your macOS user account. System Processes: Processes owned by macOS. Inactive Processes: Running processes that are sleeping. Windowed Processes: Processes that can create a window. These are usually apps. Selected Processes: Processes that you selected in the Activity Monitor window. Applications in the last 8 hours: Apps that were running processes in the last 8 hours.

User: The percentage of CPU capability currently used by apps that you opened, or by the processes those apps opened. Idle: The percentage of CPU capability not being used.

The color blue shows the percentage of total CPU capability currently used by user processes. The color red shows the percentage of total CPU capability currently used by system processes.

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Threads: The total number of threads used by all processes combined. Processes: The total number of processes currently running. Yellow : Memory resources are still available but are being tasked by memory-management processes, such as compression. This is the most important indicator that your Mac may need more RAM.

The amount of wired memory used by an app is determined by the app's programmer. Look in the Compressed Mem column to see the amount of memory compressed for each process. It's normal to see some activity here.