Mac Task Manager

If you have just switched from Windows to Mac you may find out that most key shortcuts don’t work on Mac. For example, when an application crashes on Windows, a command Ctrl-Shift-Esc is used to bring up the Task Manager and quit the offending process. What about a Mac? How does one kill such processes whenever Safari or Mail crashes and locks the machine up?

One of the methods is to click the Dock icon and select “Force quit.” But what do you do when the Dock won’t pop up? This blog post will explain the Mac equivalent of Task Manager and how to view running processes in macOS.

How to open Task Manager on Mac?

1. Task Manager = Activity Monitor

Firstly, we would like to mention that the equivalent of Task Manager on Mac is Activity Monitor. Activity Monitor lets you easily view active processes that are running on your Mac, manage them, and even quit tasks or applications.

Activity Monitor

Often even one application or running process can significantly degrade your Mac’s performance. How do we identify such a program among a dozen apps running in the background?

Find Activity Monitor in Launchpad.

Apple Activity Monitor

On Activity Monitor you can monitor many parameters of the system such as:

  • CPU load
  • RAM memory
  • Energy used
  • Disk space
  • Network monitoring

You will instantly be able to identify the process that is consuming too many resources of macOS.

2. How can you Force Quit on Mac?

A list of running programs can be also viewed in a “Force Quit” dialogue. This can be accessed by a simple keyboard shortcut Command + Option + Escape, or through the Menu → Force Quit.

Force Quit on Mac

3. Use Terminal* to view a list of running processes.

For those who prefer working with Terminal, there are simple commands to view the list of running programs. Just open the Terminal and type only one word:


mac os x task manager

If you need to view a list of the most voracious applications that consume the most bytes, sort them by CPU:

top -o cpu

Sort applications by memory usage:

top -p size

*Read in our previous article Top 8 most useful Terminal Commands.

4. Monitor Memory Usage with Memory Cleaner

Memory Cleaner is a free utility to clear inactive RAM memory. With the app you can get access to memory usage right from the menu bar. The app also allows you to kill or stop running applications.

mac equivalent of task manager

As you can see, there are various equivalents of Task Manager on Mac. Activity Monitor is one of them. It is built-in utility that is used by most Mac users. However, if you want to monitor RAM memory usage and clear inactive RAM, we would recommend Memory Cleaner below.


Memory Cleaner

Free Download