How to View Running Processes on Mac OS X

If your computer is slowing down or behaving strangely, you may have some rogue processes gumming up your Mac's metaphorical gears. The Activity Monitor application on your Mac is designed to help you in instances such as these. With Activity monitor you can track CPU use, memory, energy, network and disk activity on a process-by-process basis. It's a handy tool, and it comes bundled with your OS X Mavericks operating system.

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Activity Monitor comes with all Mac desktops and laptops.
credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

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Step

Click the "Applications" folder if it's pinned to your Dock, scroll down and select the "Utilities" folder and then click "Activity Monitor" to launch Activity Monitor. Alternatively, you can also open Activity Monitor by searching for "Activity Monitor" in the Search field on the Launchpad and then selecting "Activity Monitor" from the search results.

Step

Scroll through the processes listed in the Process Name column on the far left side of Activity Monitor. Each process currently running on your computer appears on its own line in this column. Follow along the row to the right of the process name to read its statistics.

Step

Click the name of a process and then click the "i" icon located above the Process Name column. Clicking this icon displays a brief snapshot of information about the selected process, including how much CPU and memory it's using, how long it has been active and which files and ports it's using.

Step

Select a tab along the top of the Activity Monitor window to view how processes are using resources on your Mac. Available tabs in OS X Mavericks include CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk and Network. Each tab then has an associated list of sub-sections that help you to further drill down into process resource usage.

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