How to Find My CPU Usage

By Leonardo R. Grabkowski

CPU usage indicates how much of your computer's available memory is in use. A high CPU usage can cause slow or groggy performance; it can also indicate a frozen or faulty program. This is why it's a good idea to monitor your CPU usage from time to time, particularly if your computer is running slowly. The process can be done on both Windows-equipped computers and Mac computers, although the access method is slightly different for each system.

Window's Operating System

Step 1

Simultaneously press the keys "Ctrl," "Alt" and "Delete."

Step 2

Click "Start Task Manager" from the Welcome screen, if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7.If you are using Windows XP, the "Task Manager" program will appear immediately after pressing "Ctrl," "Alt" and "Delete."

Step 3

Click on the tab labeled "Performance" at the top portion of the Task Manager.

Step 4

View your CPU usage under the section titled "CPU Usage."

Mac Operating System

Step 1

Enter your "Applications" folder, and choose "Utilities."

Step 2

Click on "Activity Monitor," the Macintosh equivalent of Windows Task Manager.

Step 3

Click on the tab labeled "CPU" to view your CPU Usage.

Tips & Warnings

  • The "normal" level of CPU usage will vary depending on what type of system you are running. Generally, the lower the usage is, the faster and more fluid your system will respond. To lower your CPU usage, consider closing unused programs running in the background, such as messengers and file-sharing services.