If you have ever wondered or maybe even needed to check what processes and applications are running on your Mac, Apple has provided several different ways for you to see. This can be especially helpful if your Mac is running slow or if an app isn’t responding how it should as these options allow you to easily close down the offender quickly and easily.
1. The Dock
This is the easiest and most obvious way to check and see what’s running. The little lights below the icons indicate that an app is loaded and you can easily close the apps right from the dock if you need to. But, this doesn’t give you a complete look at what is running.
2. Force Quit Menu
Long time Mac users are probably very familiar with this menu. By pressing Command – Option – ESC the Force Quit Applications window will open. From here you can quickly scroll through the list and view all the applications that are running and, of course, force them to close if they are acting unruly or not responding.
3. Activity Monitor
The first two options are great ways to view your apps running and even close out of misbehaving apps quickly and easily, but they don’t paint a complete picture. If you are looking for a more complete list of exactly what is running including processes and applications you will need to open the Activity Monitor.
You can access the Activity Monitor by going to Applications > Utilities
Once loaded, you will get a full detail view of all applications and processes that are running, how much CPU and Memory they are using, and much more. This is the perfect view for you if you really need to dig into what is running on your Mac but it is also more complicated to navigate. Oh, be sure if you close a process from the Activity Monitor that you know what you are closing, if you close something important it could cause your Mac to function even worse until you give it a full reboot.
As you can see, Apple gives you plenty of options for monitoring processes and applications on your Mac. So, if you have noticed your Mac running a bit slow, have a look in one of these and see if there is an app or process that is not responding or taking up too much of your CPU and memory. If you find one, simply shut it down and you are back up and running without having to reboot to clear it out.