How to Check CPU Usage on Mac

Checking the CPU usage is essential to keep your computer running smoothly. It’s also a quick and easy way to troubleshoot any performance issues. To check your CPU usage on Mac, open “Activity Monitor”. Simply go to the “Go” menu at the top of the screen, select “Utilities”, and search for “Activity Monitor”. 

Hi! I’m Nancy, and I’ve been using Mac computers for many years. At times, we may experience slow performance such as lagging or freezing when the CPU usage is high. In this article, I’ll guide you through the steps to check your CPU usage on a Mac and help you understand what it all means. 

Let’s get started.

What is CPU on a Mac?

CPU stands for Central Processing Unit, and it’s the part of your computer that handles all the calculations and instructions to ensure everything runs smoothly. If you’re noticing consistent slowdowns or freezes, it’s worth taking the time to investigate and find solutions. 

Closing unused applications, optimizing software, and troubleshooting any potential issues can all help to get your system running smoothly again.

How Do I Check My CPU Usage?

You can check the CPU usage in the Activity Monitor app. Follow the steps below to do this.

Launch Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor is a built-in utility application that allows you to monitor the processor performance of your Mac. It’s a valuable tool for those who want to track the performance of their system in real-time and see what applications are slowing down their Mac.

To access the Activity Monitor application, you have a few options:

Method 1: Using the Go Menu: Click on “Go” in the top menu of your Mac. In the dropdown menu, select “Utilities.” In the new window that appears, you will find the Activity Monitor application listed.

Method 2: Spotlight Search: Press Command + Spacebar to open the Spotlight search bar. Type “Activity Monitor” in the search field, and the application should appear in the search results. Click on it to launch the app.

Method 3: Finder Search: Open a Finder window by clicking on the Finder icon in the Dock or pressing Command + N on your keyboard. In the search bar located in the top-right corner of the Finder window, type in “Activity Monitor” and press Enter. The application should be listed in the search results. Double-click on it to open the app.

Method 4: Dock Menu: After you have launched the Activity Monitor app using one of the previously mentioned methods, you can keep it in the Dock menu for easier access. Just right click the Activity Monitor icon, click on Options, and then select Keep in Dock.

Check the CPU Usage

Once you open the application, you’ll be presented with a list of all the active processes on your Mac. You can view the CPU usage for each process by looking at the % CPU column. 

At the bottom, there is a graph that provides information on the CPU usage in three categories: System, User, and Idle.

  • System shows the CPU usage by macOS processes.
  • User shows the CPU usage by user-opened apps and their processes.
  • Idle represents the unused CPU capacity. 

It helps you understand how CPU resources are assigned between system tasks, user applications, and the available capacity leftover.

The Dock menu is another great way to check the CPU usage. To view the usage, right-click on the Activity Monitor icon in the Dock, choose Monitors, and then click on Show CPU Usage.

This action reveals real-time usage displayed in four bars. When the blue bars are higher, it means there is a lot of usage, and it’s a sign that you may need to open the app and close some processes to reduce the load.

How to Close an App on Activity Monitor

It’s very simple to close an app in Activity Monitor. 

First, make sure you are in the CPU tab in the top menu. Look for the Process Name column, and sort the %CPU from highest to lowest to identify the programs consuming the most power. Then, select the process name you want to close and press the Stop button at the top menu. This will close the application and stop the process from running.

If you double click on a process name, it will open a new window with detailed information, such as the memory or statistics. You can also press the Quit button to close the program.

Final Thoughts

Monitoring your CPU usage is important for maintaining optimal performance and preventing your Mac from becoming overloaded with processing tasks. 

Fortunately, it’s simple to check your CPU usage with Activity Monitor. If you find your CPU usage to be higher than usual, you can just close any applications that are using a lot of processing power. Doing this will make sure you enjoy a seamless experience on your Mac.

Let us know in the comments section below if you have any more questions about how to check CPU usage on a Mac.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *