How to Use the Task Manager (Mac)

How to open Task Manager Mac

Most Windows users are aware that right-clicking on the taskbar brings up the Task Manager. Right-clicking on the Dock only pulls up some settings on the Mac.

task manager mac
How to Use the Task Manager (Mac) 2

There are two options if there isn’t a shortcut or a Dock option.

  • Type Activity Monitor into the search field on your Launchpad (the rocket icon in your Dock).
  • To quickly discover and open the Activity Monitor, use the Spotlight utility (Spacebar).
Activity Monitor

What is the Control-Alt-Delete shortcut for Mac?

Control+Alt+Delete is a combo that every Windows user is familiar with. When an app or program hangs, they use this keyboard shortcut as soon as possible.

Macs include a Force Quit Applications Manager in addition to the Activity Monitor. Apple task manager allows you to close down any frozen apps or programs.

  • Hold down the Command+Option+Escape keys to open it.
Command," "Option," and "ESC
  • Force Quit Applications Manager is an application that allows you to shut down any frozen apps or programs.
  • Force quit an application and aren’t concerned with how much CPU or energy it consumes. 
Force Quit Applications
  • You should use a Force Quit Applications Manager. It allows you rapid access to all apps, allowing you to fix a program that isn’t responding swiftly.

Features of Mac task manager

  • Open Task Manager on Mac OS Big Sur
    • From spotlight 
    • From Finder
  • How to use Force Quit on macOS Big Sur
    • Quit Processes on Activity Monitor 
    • Force Quit from Apple Menu
    • Force Close App using your Keyboard
    • Force Quit From the Dock
  • How to use the Mac Activity Monitor
    • Keep an eye on the system’s settings.
    • Look up information about Apps and Processes.
  • How to check programs that are running on Mac
    • Make use of Activity Monitor.
    • Check RAM usage on a Mac
  • System status in the Dock With Activity Monitor

Open Task Manager on Mac OS Big Sur

Unlike Windows, which has a built-in keyboard shortcut for opening Task Manager, you’ll have to set one up on Mac. However, it would still be a click shortcut rather than a keyboard shortcut. On your macOS Big Sur, there are three ways to open Task Manager.

1. From spotlight 

On your macOS Big Sur, you may quickly launch Activity Monitor from Spotlight. The magnifying glass symbol in your menu bar represents Spotlight.

  • Spotlight can also be accessed by pressing Command (⌘) + Space.
  • To open the Task Manager from Spotlight, follow the steps below.
  • Click the magnifying glass symbol in your menu bar to launch Spotlight.
  • In the search field that displays, type “Activity Monitor.”
Activity Monitor
  • By clicking or pressing the Return key, select the Activity Monitor option highlighted in the search results.

After you’ve completed the instructions, the Activity Monitor window will appear. It will show a list of processes working on your Mac and the RAM each one is taking. If you encounter any stuck processes, you can force quit apps and reopen them to get them running normally again.

2. From Finder

The Finder icon in the Dock on your Mac has a blue and white face. The icons in the Dock in macOS Big Sur have rounded corners, unlike prior versions of the Mac OS. The Finder window’s appearance has also altered, with a new top-to-bottom design for its sidebar and design inspiration from iOS and iPad OS.

Here’s how to use Finder to access the Task Manager.

  • From your Dock, select the Finder icon.
  • In the Finder window’s sidebar, select Applications.
  • Go to the utility folder and choose it.
  • Double-click the Activity Monitor to open it.

It is a different approach to open the Task Manager on your Mac and monitor the currently running processes.

How to use Force Quit on macOS Big Sur

1. Quit Processes on Activity Monitor 

On macOS Big Sur, you can force processes to halt using the Activity Monitor.

  • On the Activity Monitor, go to the CPU or Memory tab.
  • Look for unusual patterns in the use of resources.
  • To highlight an app with a lot of usage, click on it.
  • On the toolbar at the top, press the X icon.
  • Confirm that you want to cause the procedure to stop.

Once you confirm that you want to force quit a process, it will terminate, and you will no longer see it in the Activity Monitor.

2. Force Quit from Apple Menu

Using the Apple menu to force a program to close. On macOS Catalina, it’s one of the most effective ways to complete a program.

  • Using the Apple menu, you can force an app to close.
apple menu
  • Simply press the shift key while pressing the Apple menu in the upper left corner.
force quit
  • Then you’ll notice “Force Quit [Your Application Name]” on this screen.
force quit application
  • The app should now close when you’ve completed this.

3. Force Close App using your Keyboard

  • To close a frozen application, utilize keyboard shortcuts.
  • Press the “Command,” “Option,” and “ESC” keys on your keyboard to utilize it.
Command," "Option," and "ESC
  • Pressing these keys will open the “Force Quit Application” program in a new window.
Force Quit Application
How to Use the Task Manager (Mac) 3
  • Select the “force quit” option for the application you want to close. The app will be closed right away.
Force Quit
How to Use the Task Manager (Mac) 4
  • This last option isn’t the most well-known, but it is beneficial.
Force Quit
How to Use the Task Manager (Mac) 5
  • Hold COMMAND + OPTION + SHIFT + ESCAPE for a few seconds until the app closes on its own.

4. Force Quit From the Dock

Using the dock panel to force a Mac app to terminate is easy to solve a stalled app. 

  • To use the dock panel to close an app. 
  • Hold the Alt key and right-click the program’s logo.
  • Choose “force quit.” The Alt key is also the choice key, as a reminder.

How to use the Mac Activity Monitor

The Activity Monitor is a straightforward and yet crucial tool.

Keep an eye on the system’s settings

You’ll see five tabs when you launch the Activity Monitor on your Mac: CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, and Network. You can figure out what processes are affecting your Mac’s performance by evaluating the data.

  • The CPU pane displays the impact of processes on processor activity.
  • The Memory pane displays how apps utilize your Mac’s RAM.
  • When you tap the Energy pane, you’ll see the total amount of energy utilized as well as the amount of energy used by each app.
  • The Disk pane displays the amount of data that each process has read and written to your disc.
  • Identify which methods send and receive the most data using the Network panel.

Look up information about Apps and Processes

You may also use the Mac Task Manager for mac to view extra information about each application or process running on your Mac. Here’s how to look at it:

  • Select the application or procedure you want to learn more about.
  • In the corner (top left) of the Activity Monitor window, click the I button.
  • A pop-up window will appear, displaying additional information about the app or process.

The Activity Monitor, as you can see, is a true jewel. It allows you to get insight into a variety of essential topics. As a result, diagnosing any issues with your Mac will be a lot easier.

How to check programs that are running on Mac

Make use of Activity Monitor

Even a single open application or process can reduce your Mac’s performance dramatically. Among the several apps operating in the background, Activity Monitor assists in identifying such programs. The software allows you to inspect and control active processes on your Mac quickly. Also, cancel activities and applications.

The window for the activity monitor

You can use Activity Monitor to keep track of a variety of system parameters, including:

  • RAM load on CPU
  • The amount of energy used
  • Monitoring of disk space and network

Check RAM on a Mac

If your computer is working slowly, there are a few signs that a lack of RAM is hampering your Mac’s performance. Programs run slowly, and documents open slowly as well. In this instance, your Mac’s free RAM is most likely insufficient for your programs to run correctly. Find the programs that consume the most memory and close the ones that aren’t being used.

  • Go to the Memory tab in the Activity Monitor app.
  • Sort programs by memory usage.
  • Turn off the apps that use the most memory.

System Status in the Dock With Activity Monitor

You might think it’s inconvenient to have to look for the Activity Monitor every time you want to check on your Mac’s status.  Use the Activity Monitor’s live update feature to watch your system status right from your Dock.

  • Simply launch the Activity Monitor and expand the View tab on your Mac’s top bar. Hover your mouse over the Dock icon and select the required update.
  • After selecting the option you want to observe, the Activity Monitor will immediately convert to a live update.


On the Mac, there are several Task Manager alternatives, with Activity Monitor being one of them. It’s a built-in feature that most Mac users employ. Hopefully, this post has answered any queries you may have had about the Mac Task Manager.


How do you kill a task (task manager) on Mac?

Press and hold Command + Option + Esc on your keyboard. It will open a window labeled “Force Quit Application” right away. Select “Force Quit” from the dialogue window for the frozen application.

What is Ctrl Alt Delete for Mac Task Manager?

On a Mac, the keyboard shortcut +Option+Esc is the closest counterpart to Ctrl-Alt-Delete. To open up the Force Quit window, use the Command+Option+Esc keys together. Simply select the applications you want to close and press the Force Quit button.

How do you kill a task on a Mac?

Option, Command, and Esc should all be pressed at the same time (Escape). Go to the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your screen and select Force Quit. (On a computer, this is equivalent to pressing Control-Alt-Delete.) Then, in the Force Quit window, select the app and click Force Quit.