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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58
votes
5answers
56k views

What is installd, and why is it eating my CPU?

My Macbook is frying my lap, and the CPU monitor is going crazy: over 200% CPU being used by something called "installd". What is it? Can I kill it? (OS X 10.8.)
32
votes
3answers
16k views

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

The different columns in Activity Monitor are a little confusing
27
votes
3answers
18k views

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

Mavericks' (and also Yosemite's) 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? ...
16
votes
5answers
25k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
14k 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.
12
votes
6answers
7k 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, ...
12
votes
3answers
819 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 Activity Monitor. Here we can see 'Energy Impact' and Avg Energy Impact' and that the values can exceed 100. Also ...
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, ...
8
votes
6answers
30k 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?
8
votes
6answers
8k views

Alternative activity monitors for OS X?

I’m a bit intrigued by the new detailed activity monitors and progress indicators in Windows 8 (copying files, the task monitor, network activity, etc.) It got me thinking: surely there must be some ...
8
votes
5answers
12k views

Issue with deleting user account

I want to delete a user account before selling my machine, so I chose the secure delete account option in System Preferences > Users & Groups. I think I saw a progress bar at first as it was ...
8
votes
1answer
460 views

What kind of “messages” does Activity Monitor track with the “Messages Sent” and “Messages Received” columns?

In Activity Monitor on OS X, it is possible to add additional columns to the process list view. Two columns available in that list are "Messages Sent" and "Messages Received", which show up as "Sent ...
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
1answer
2k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
9k views

How can I see bandwidth usage on a Mac?

I am having internet problems and the ISP technicians suggested that something is using my bandwidth. Is there a software to monitor which processes use how much bandwidth?
7
votes
2answers
8k 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 – ...
7
votes
2answers
791 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Memory terminology in Mavericks Activity Monitory

In Mavericks, the Activity Monitor has changed its memory terminology. The columns available when viewing processes in the memory tab now include "Memory", "Real Memory", "Real Private Memory", "Real ...
6
votes
3answers
35k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How many cores does a Mid 2012 Macbook Air have?

I checked the specs, and the i5-3427U CPU has 2 cores. But the Activity Monitor shows 4 little charts for the CPU, so it looks like 4 cores. Which is correct? Why does the Activity Monitor have 4 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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! ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

VM size in Activity Monitor: hundreds of GB?

When I open the Activity Monitor, I get something looking like this: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1342. But why the heck is "VM size" around 100-200 GB?? Here is the capture from the apple support: ...
4
votes
2answers
484 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
428 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
234 views

Why can't this process terminate?

Just recently I ran into an issue where my network program couldn't bind to a port because it was already in use. I opened the activity monitor and realized it (named "server") was already running ...
4
votes
3answers
567 views

Is there a htop-on-linux like alternative for top / Activity Monitor on OS X?

I'm looking for a better alternative for top. Both top and Activity Monitor are highly limited with regards to features. In particular, I'm interested in the following features: Limit processes by ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Make Activity Monitor show more than 4 cores worth of CPU usage in the Dock

Is it possible to force more than 4 cores in the Dock, this looks like a feature apple does not want after checking out Mac OS X: Activity Monitor shows one CPU Usage graph on systems with more than ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
407 views

How can one filter MULTIPLE processes in Activity Monitor?

How can I look at several processes at once, instead of just one? For example… typing in bash, shows bash processes.. how to I show both bash and say httpd? First thoughts.. bash|httpd, no. Or bash ...
4
votes
1answer
19k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

How do I read this Activity Monitor report?

I was trying to figure out why my Mountain Lion server was running slow, and I when I opened Activity Monitor this is what I saw: Question 1: how am I getting >400% of CPU on the summed CPU column, ...
3
votes
3answers
11k views

Google Chrome Helper for “GPU Process” constantly shown as non responsive in OS X 10.9

I upgraded to OS X 10.9 yesterday, and since then, one Google Chrome Helper is constantly red in Activity Monitor. I checked the PID (375) in Google Chrome's own task manager, and it is GPU Process. I ...
3
votes
1answer
283 views

HP Product Research on Activity Log

I'm seeing an item on my activity monitor called 'HP Product Research.' I assume it's associated with some HP Printer drivers that I no long need, and have have removed, but this tracker hanging out. ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I kill a process that won't die?

I'm unable to kill a process using any of the techniques I'm aware of ("Force Quit" in Activity Monitor, top, killall from the Terminal) and wonder if there are some additional steps I can take. ~ ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Getting a list of currently running processes

I'd like to get a list of all the applications currently running on my machine using the command line. It should be similar to what you get when you open up Activity Monitor and choose to save the ...
2
votes
1answer
215 views

Activity process does not terminate?

I am using a Mac and I use Macvim for programming. If my program happens to go into an infinite loop and I have to quit Macvim and restart it due to this the program will restart but the program ...
2
votes
2answers
331 views

How long can my MacBook Pro sustain greater than 100% CPU usage?

The Activity Monitor app says my macbook pro 10.7.5 is at 300% CPU usage when I'm trying to install and sync my Bitcoin-Qt client. I let in run like this with the fan going crazy for 4 hours without ...
2
votes
2answers
772 views

Blank process name in Activity Monitor on OS X Mavericks

In my activity monitor I have noticed that there is a process appearing that has no name. It is owned by root. How can I find out what this process is?
2
votes
2answers
170 views

Is there a way to switch to the selected process in activity monitor?

I'm wondering if there's a way to bring focus to a process that's in "activity monitor". Specifically, I've got a bunch of Google Chrome processes and I'm trying to figure out which process ...
2
votes
2answers
553 views

What do the appleprofilepolicyd and wdhelper processes do?

I found in activity monitor appleprofilepolicyd and wdhelper but after googling a while didn't found any interesting information: wdhelper - could be a webdrive or webdav - found only wdhelper.dll ...
2
votes
1answer
388 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
542 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
136 views

What does “Vector 0xdd(TMR)” do and how can I fix a problem that I'm having with it?

I am currently having problems with kernal_task using ~2GB of RAM and looking at what advice exists I ran sysdiagnose and in powermeterics.txt I found that Vector 0xdd(TMR) was doing ~20,000 ...
2
votes
1answer
622 views

In Mavericks' Activity Monitor, what is a “Zombie?”

I have Nginx installed; compiled via MacPorts, and configured to launch on start-up. When I go to the Disk tab of Activity Monitor after installing Mavericks, the nginx process(es) is listed with a ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Understanding active, inactive, free and swap memory allocation

this is a conceptual question that came up from an issue I have. I've been monitoring memory usage with iStat Pro and Activity Monitor for some weeks, since my MacBook Pro (OSX 10.8.4 Mountain Lion ...
2
votes
1answer
480 views

What is webfilterdnsd process?

What is webfilterdnsd process running on my machine? Its started by user "nobody". Not able to find any other information on it online. How can I get more information on processes running on my mac? ...
2
votes
0answers
2k views

Safari 8 on Yosemite Spawning distnoted process and spiking CPU load

My Safari 8 was hijacked by Open-Search.com after updating OS to Yosemite (10.10). The effect was two fold, my home page was hijacked by Open-Search/MacKeeper and the CPU started to load spikes at ...
2
votes
1answer
689 views

Is there a network usage utility that shows data usage by network connection

I use my Mountain Lion MacBook Air to connect to the internet using various methods. At home, I use my wired connection, which does not have a cap. Sometimes though, I connect via my iPad, which uses ...
1
vote
2answers
207 views

How can I remove remnant processes from deleted preference panes?

I discovered in Activity Monitor that I have several leftover processes running in the background that shouldn't be there anymore. I deleted these preference panes long ago with an application that ...