Macs are not hard to use once you get the hang of it, contrary to popular misconceptions authored by misguided anti-Mac voices. But this popular misconception seems to insist that they’re hard to use and to fix by yourself whenever something doesn’t work right. Today we want to help deconstruct this assumption by showing you how you can use Macs’ Activity Monitor to help them run more smoothly and faster without calling in for specialized help or maintenance. We’ve previously shared with you five ideas for maintaining your Mac’s optimal performance, but the Macs’ Activity Monitor was not among them and deserved to be in the spotlight by itself. Sometimes, people tend to neglect how useful this software tool can be when trying to improve the system’s performance and it would be a shame not to put it to better use.
What’s the Mac’s Activity Monitor and how does it work?
This system tool that all Macs are equipped with does a general monitoring job for the use of energy by the various programs and processes that are active at the time of the monitoring. The little gem of an application lies hidden in the Utilities folder of the Applications folder. Each tab in the window of the Macs’ Activity Monitor provides information about a specific topic. For example, the most important categories you will need to pay extra attention to are the CPU, Disk and Network tabs, which you can select near the top of the main window.
Familiarize yourself a bit with those first, and then it’s time to try and control what processes and aps get monitored. Just go to the View menu and select from there either All Processes or All Processes Hierarchically, or My Processes, System Processes, or Applications in the last 8 hours and so on. Don’t be put off by the wealth of information; once you learn what to focus on, the app will become truly invaluable in optimizing your Mac’s performance. For example, to see what programs use up the most bandwidth from your limited internet connection, you can go to the Network tab and filter the apps by selecting the Rcdv Bytes (Received Bytes) column to find out who the main culprits are. And the list of ways you can use Macs’ Activity Monitor to speed up the system is just getting started. Explore around those tabs, armed with patience, and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
Macs’ Activity Monitor can make them work faster
Once you get accustomed to the basics of that window, you can move to the pro league, to really make it work towards speeding up your system. The main tab you should pay attention to then is the CPU tab, to monitor how your running applications are using up the Mac’s resources. As soon as you see one constantly using a large percentage of the CPU, consider closing it and never keeping it open unless really necessary. But – and this is really important – if you don’t recognize a process by its name, don’t close it, as that might lead to system crashes or loss of data. Search the app’s name on Google and you may find out surprising things about how you can avoid the traps of parasitic apps.
To cut a long story short, never hesitate to make use of Macs’ Activity Monitor to improve the system’s performance. Any time your screen shows you the spinning beach-ball yet again, or the computer’s fan gets amped very often, or you just feel that it runs slower than it should, open up the magic app window. In time, you will become better and better at using it and you’ll be even happier with your Mac, if that’s even possible, of course.