Did you switch to a Mac after you got accustomed to Windows, then, you will quickly find out that the standard Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut does not do anything. Mac OS X does have its version of the Task Manager, but it’s a bit different than Windows’, and you access it by pressing Command + Option + Esc.
While Windows Task Manager contains a wealth of information as well as features, OS X splits some of the features into separate apps. The Force Quit dialog, which you get to access using the keyboard shortcut Command + Option + Esc, allows you to close misbehaving applications the same way, like Ctrl + Alt + Delete Task Manager in Windows. However, if you wish to know more in-depth information info regarding your running applications as well as overall system resource usage, you would have to use the separate Activity Monitor application.
How to Force Quit Misbehaving Apps using the keyboard shortcut Command + Option + Esc?
If an application is frozen on your Mac, use the Force Quit dialog to close it forcibly. This comes in particularly handy when you are using a full-screen application, for example, a game, and the Mac isn’t responding.
If you want to open the Force Quit dialog, press the Command + Option + Esc keys together. This will work even if a misbehaving application has taken over the screen as well as if your Mac is not responding to keyboard or mouse actions. If somehow the shortcut doesn’t work, you would likely have to forcibly shut down, then restart your Mac. If you have to force your Mac to shut down, press and hold the Power button for several seconds. You should only do this if your Mac is not responding to any commands, and isn’t shutting down normally.
(Slightly known attribute: Command + Option + Esc is different from the infamous Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut on Windows. It is similar to Windows’ Ctrl + Shift + Escape shortcut, the shortcut that opens the Task Manager directly without having to perform an extra click it takes from the Windows’ Ctrl + Alt + Delete screen.)
You also have the ability to open the Force Quit dialog, for that, you have to click on the Apple menu on your menu bar, then click on “Force Quit.”
Scroll down in the list, then click on the misbehaving application you wish to close. Click on the “Force Quit” button, then your Mac will forcibly close the selected application.
You have another option as well to force quit a misbehaving application. For example, you can press and hold the Option as well as the Ctrl keys, then click on an application’s icon on the dock. (Or you could press and hold the Option key, then right-click on an application’s icon on the dock.) Click on the “Force Quit” option that will appear, this will forcibly quit the application you selected.
If an application is not responding, even after you’ve clicked on the red “Close” button on its title bar several times, you might also spot a prompt window asking if you wish to force-quit that application.
How to View More Information with Activity Monitor on the Mac OS?
Using the Force Quit dialog you can take care of closing misbehaving or frozen applications. However, it does not allow you to see how much CPU or memory applications are used. You can’t get an overview of your system’s overall resource usage, or other statistics like how Windows Task Manager provides.
To access other features, you have to use the Activity Monitor. To access the Activity monitor, use the Command + Space keyboard shortcut to open Spotlight search, then enter “Activity monitor,” then press the Enter key. Or, you could open the Applications folder in the Finder, double-click on “Utilities,” then double-click on “Activity Monitor.”
The upcoming window displays a list of the running applications as well as other processes. You can view information regarding their CPU, memory, energy, disk, or network usage. Click on a tab at the top of the window to choose what you want to view. From the “View” menu, select any processes you wish to see.
Overall system resource statistics can also be seen here. The CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, as well as Network tabs all, show how much resources the processes on your computer are using.
You can close applications from here as well, all you need to do is click on an application in the list, click on “X” at the top-left of the toolbar, then click on “Quit” to close the application normally. Or, click “Force Quit” if the application isn’t responding.
How to Manage Startup Programs for Mac OS?
If you have used the Task Manager on Windows 8 or 10, you would know that it also provides you the ability to control which startup programs launch when you log into your computer. OS X also happens to have a similar tool; however, it is not included in the Force Quit or the Activity Monitor tools.
If you want to manage startup programs on your Mac, click on the Apple menu, then click on “System Preferences.” Click on “Users & Groups” in the System Preferences window.
Click on the user account you wish to manage, your user account, then click on “Login Items.” Applications that are checked in this list will launch when you sign in, you can always uncheck them if you don’t need them to launch automatically. You can drag and drop applications from your dock or Applications folder to this window, too. If you do so they’ll be added to this list, they will automatically open when you sign in.
If you’re Mac ever troubles you, use the Command + Option + Escape shortcut to open the Force Quit dialog to force close apps. For anything else, you can access Activity Monitor as well as System Preferences.
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