How to

Pin­point prob­lems us­ing Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor

Mac Format - - FEATURE -

1 Open Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor

Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor is in­cluded with macOS. It’s in Util­i­ties in the Ap­pli­ca­tions folder. The quick­est way to open it is us­ing Spot­light: press ç+[ space­bar], start typ­ing ‘ac­tiv­ity’ and when the app is listed, se­lect it and press ® .

2 See what’s go­ing on

All the cur­rently run­ning pro­cesses are listed at the left. Some of these are app names that you’ll recog­nise (with their icons), oth­ers are sys­tem func­tions that you won’t. To see only apps, choose View > Win­dowed Pro­cesses.

3 Check re­source us­age

The tabs across the top show which pro­cesses are us­ing which re­sources. If the hard disk is con­stantly chunter­ing, for ex­am­ple, see Disk. Click the Process Name col­umn to al­pha­be­tise pro­cesses, or another to rank by us­age.

4 It’s down to CPU

To check what’s slow­ing down your Mac right now, click the CPU tab and rank by % CPU. If ‘nsurl­stor­aged’ turns out to be a busy lit­tle bee, that’s Sa­fari. Close any pages you don’t need open, or quit Sa­fari, and see the per­cent­age fall.

5 All sys­tems go

Don’t be sur­prised that ob­scure sys­tem pro­cesses use re­sources, but if one seems ex­ces­sive, search Google for its name to get tips. Pro­cesses begin­ning ‘md’ (for ‘meta­data’) re­late to Spot­light ac­tiv­ity. Con­sider lim­it­ing it (see page 28).

6 Ker­nel blip

If ‘ker­nel_­task’ is us­ing a lot of CPU, it may be man­ag­ing the pro­ces­sor to stop it over­heat­ing un­der load. If no other pro­cesses are us­ing much CPU, re­set the SMC (see page 24). If it still hap­pens, there could be a hard­ware fault.

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