Mac 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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28
votes
3answers
13k views

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

The different columns in Activity Monitor are a little confusing
13
votes
5answers
20k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
351 views

How does Apple calculate the energy consumption of a process in OS X Mavericks

In OS X Mavericks you can monitor the energy consumption of different processes in the "Activity Monitor"-App. Also there will be a menu bar icon which lists the most energy consuming applications ...
7
votes
2answers
652 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

How does 'stuck' (in results of 'top') relate to 'not responding' (in Activity Monitor), 'spin' or 'hang'?

In results of top commands, I sometimes see stuck. Apple's top(1) OS X Manual Page does not explain this use of the word. How, if it all, does stuck relate to the following? not responding – ...
9
votes
1answer
2k 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, ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Activity Monitor in Mavericks “Show Memory Usage” dock icon gone?

I just purchased a new MacBook Pro with Mavericks installed and noticed that Activity Monitor doesn't have the "Show Memory Usage" dock icon option anymore. I really liked this option since I used it ...
6
votes
3answers
31k 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
467 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
9k views

What scale or measure does Mavericks' “memory pressure” adhere to?

Mavericks' Activity Monitor shows a new diagram, the "memory pressure". Sadly, its help text only vaguely explains what exactly it measures. How is memory pressure calculated? Picture creds go to ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does Apple Activity Monitor report that my Mac with a dual-core Intel i5 Ivy Bridge CPU has 4 cores?

I just got a new Apple MacBook Pro 13", mid-2012, which has a dual-core Intel i5 Ivy Bridge CPU. When I run Activity Monitor and turn on the Floating CPU Window, it shows a 4-bar graph (indicating 4 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Help identify what uses the CPU when the Activity Monitor list of all processes does not help

Problem After rebooting, and with only Activity Monitor open, my MacBook Pro (10.6, i7) shows a very high idle % (98% or higher) but then shortly after drops down to 40% - 50%. In the Activity ...