OS X's task manager utility application. It is used to perform different tasks on computer processes, as well as monitor system resource usage.

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10
votes
3answers
38k views

Managing and removing startup processes on OSX Lion

My Startup Items for my username (i am admin) shows only dropbox - yet a look at my processes (in activity monitor) shows other helper processes from Adobe, Lexmark, etc, etc. Where can I see and ...
4
votes
2answers
25k views

how to start/stop/restart processes

As a new comer from Windows OS, I wonder how to start/stop/restart a service on Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 ?(it's straight forward on Windows using its Task Manager). I tried Activity Monitor, but ...
2
votes
1answer
459 views

Mac app to show cumulative CPU usage?

Activity Monitor will show you how much CPU time the current instances of each process have taken. I want an app that will show the total CPU time all instances of each process have taken, so I can ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How can virtual memory be greater than the total available space?

Why does my MBP sometimes report VM Size: 300+ GB in Activity Monitor under System Memory tab, when my hard disk size is only 250 GB (total) and RAM is 4GB? I know it can't magically get that extra ...
19
votes
7answers
25k views

How to monitor file access for an OS X application?

I am looking for the OS X corespondent of FileMon, that was later included in ProcessMon. BTW, it is essential to be able to filter by process.
1
vote
0answers
893 views

What is “Software Update” doing when it says “Checking for new software”?

"Software Update" seems to take a long time. What's it doing? Utilities -> Activity Monitor yields: CPU usage low ( 1% - 2% ) by the "Software Update" process. + network traffic inbound, ...
18
votes
6answers
29k views

How do I debug an out-of-control “kernel_task” process?

Just recently I noticed my battery life having a pretty significant drop and the "kernel_task" process using quite a bit of CPU (a constant 1-6% on my 2.8ghz dual-core i7, 2010 MBP). Obviously I think ...
2
votes
3answers
603 views

What are the alternatives to Activity Monitor that will summarize cpu time over time?

Activity monitor is not always good if you want to see what is keeping your computer busy for a period of time. For example if you have gcc executed hundred of times it will take a lot of CPU power ...
11
votes
7answers
8k views

What's triggering my Finder's CPU binges?

A few times a week, the Finder on my Macbook shoots up to around 100% CPU use, and the fans start blasting. I've done everything I can think of - repaired permissions, rebooted, trashed preferences, ...
4
votes
2answers
504 views

What process is accessing the hard drive?

I can hear the hard drive chugging away when it should be idle. Some process is writing/reading from it in semi-random bursts, let's say once every second. Very annoying and wasteful. I tried ...
4
votes
2answers
440 views

How do I tell what processes are driving I/O loads?

Something is driving a lot of Disk I/O on my system lately. I can see in ActivityMonitor that there are huge volumes of reads and writes every second. But none of the "normal" suspects are active when ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the racoon doing in my apple?

I'm not normally one for paraniodly checking my activity monitor for rogue processes; but this one just has my internal nature-watcher all curious. Why is there a racoon running under my root user? ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

MacBook Running Really Slow, Activity Monitor Reports HUGE VM

My MacBook is running really really slow at the moment, I have quit loads of processes (but activity monitor only reported about 10% cpu usage anyway). I had just noticed I have a VM Size of 250GB! ...
10
votes
6answers
42k views

Is there a keyboard shortcut for launching Activity Monitor?

I can't seem to find a shortcut for launching the activity monitor. Does it have one?
35
votes
3answers
20k views

What's the difference between Real, Virtual, Shared, and Private Memory?

The different columns in Activity Monitor are a little confusing
11
votes
1answer
3k views

What does it mean when a %CPU exceeds (# of cores) x 100%?

Several responses to a question I asked earlier suggested I try Opera kiosk mode, so I decided to download it and give it a try. Once the download had completed and the disk image was being verified, ...