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Packard’s Tips! Arrgg! Where is the task manger on this Mac? A tip for switchers!

You have finally made the transition from Windows to the Mac, but you are missing the power of knowing where and what your CPU is doing.

Please make note that if you are not familiar with the processes of what’s going on with the computer, then this tip isn’t for you. However with that said, if you do tinker with this and things stop working just right, this can be easily remedied by a reboot.  The processes in here will restart and be good again once you have done that.  The item in this case is not called the task manager; in this instance instead of starting it with a key command you have to go to the Applications folder -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor

Once you have started this you will see all the processes your computer is currently doing.

You will see the following the following picture:

If you look through this list and depending on how your colors are setup, most of the tasks that your computer are working on and having no issues will be in a standard black text. However, if a process has stopped working or has hung itself some how, it should be in a red color. When you see this happen, and under the user name shows your user name that you signed in with then you can quit this process without the computer putting up much of a fuss or little fanfare. If you click the drop down box that by default should show “My Processes” you won’t see any thing else going on with the computer.  Click this and you will see a selection and select “All Processes” you will now see even more of what’s’ going on, including what the system is doing behind the curtain. You will see another process going on called “root”.  These are the main system processes that are stuff that you don’t usually think about as they run on their own.  You can click on these and force them to quit should they decide to hang on you. With one exception, if you try to force these to quit the system will prompt you for the Admin user name and password. This is normal.

One of the other things you will see is a small bar green and white boxed bar appear on your screen as seen in this picture below.

The is called the floating CPU Window and is like the one you would see in the task manager except with this one you can move it anywhere on the screen you want it and will remain there until you move it again or change its look to be in a vertically, horizontally, or not at all.

With this application, you can take back to processes and keep an eye on your Mac like your PC and see everything that is going on and tell it what to do like you could with Windows.


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