If your Mac suddenly feels very sluggish and does not respond, it is possible that a lost program consumes a large proportion of the processor̵7;s processing power. To find out, we use a built-in macOS tool called Activity Monitor. Here’s how.
First open “Spotlight” by pressing Command + Space or by clicking on the “small magnifying glass” icon in the menu bar.
When the “Spotlight Search” field appears on your screen, type “Activity Monitor” and press “Return”. Or you can click on the “Activity Monitor.app” icon that appears.
“Activity Monitor” displays a list of all processes running on your computer. The term “process” is a generic term for any program running on your Mac. This includes both applications you run and silent programs that work in the background that make your computer work properly.
Click on the “CPU” tab to see which process uses the most CPU. Then click on the column heading “% CPU” until the carat next to it faces down. This will rank the processes, from largest to smallest, by what percentage of the total CPU processing capacity they use.
Look for suspicious numbers in the “% CPU” column next to one of the items in the list. Most applications rarely use more than 50% CPU unless they do something very processor intensive, such as playing a complex game or making a video, and you usually understand why. In that case, it is best to just wait until the task is complete.
But if a runaway process is your problem – a program that gets stuck in an unwanted CPU-intensive loop – it should be obvious by looking at the high CPU percentage specified in Activity Monitor. When you end up in the 90% range or higher, the odds are high that that process will dramatically slow down your machine.
At this time, if the process that uses a large percentage of the CPU is an app, you can try to exit it using common methods, such as selecting “Exit” from the File menu or right-clicking its icon in the Dock and selecting “Exit . “
However, if the process or app does not respond and you want to force it to close, click on the process in the list to select it and then press the “Stop” button, which looks like an octagon with an “X” inside.
When you press the “Stop” button, a small menu appears asking for confirmation. Click on “Force Quit”.
Then the problematic app or process closes. If your computer becomes sensitive again, you know that it was not a faulty process.
If you continue to have recurring CPU issues with the same app, it’s best to try updating the app, which may fix an error that is causing the issue. You can also try updating macOS, which can fix a bug with a background process or a bug that affects how an app runs. It also does not hurt to restart your Mac, which can solve a variety of problems. Good luck!
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