We never like to have problems with our computers, right? However, some of them are inevitable. Sometimes your apps don’t work, your Mac gets slow, you see a spinning wheel of death, and more. Understanding the root of some problems can be difficult; fortunately, there are some troubleshooting tools to diagnose what’s wrong with your Mac.

One of such tools is the Activity Monitor, and in this article we’ll tell you how to use it, what alternatives are out there, and how to maintain your Mac to avoid different problems. So let’s start!

A remote desktop connection manager is used to manage remote desktop administration for the different connections and sessions you have. Typical enterprises have multiple Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) sessions per day and managing these manually means having to repeatedly enter your credentials.

Desktop

Activity Monitor — The Task Manager for Mac

If you’re familiar with the Windows Task Manager, then you may wonder whether there is a twin for Mac. Don’t worry, a Task Manager exists on Macs but it has another name — Activity Monitor. Just keep in mind that Activity Monitor is the Mac Task Manager equivalent and functions in a very similar way as it does in Windows.

Activity Monitor shows the processes that are running on your computer, so you can see how they affect your Mac’s performance. This important tool will help you manage your Mac’s activity, so you should know how to use it at its full potential.

How to open Task Manager on Mac

Activity Monitor is located in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder and there are a few ways to launch it. The simplest one is to use Spotlight for a quick search.

Here’s how to access Task Manager on Mac using the Spotlight:

  1. Press Command+Spacebar to get the Spotlight search field.
  2. Start typing “Activity monitor.”
  3. Select the Activity Monitor when it comes up. This will take you to the app.

Remote Desktop Manager For Mac

However, if Spotlight doesn’t work or you just want to try another way to open Task Manager Mac, do the following:

  1. Click on the Finder icon in the Dock.
  2. Choose Applications from the side menu of the window that appears.
  3. In the Applications folder, select the Utilities folder and open it.
  4. Double-click on the Activity Monitor icon to launch it.

Good news, you can avoid the long ways of opening a Task Manager by pinning it to the Dock. Once you do it, you’ll be able to access the Activity Monitor by simply clicking on its icon.

Follow these steps and you won’t keep asking yourself how to start Task Manager on Mac every time you need to check some processes:

  1. Open the Activity Monitor using one of the ways described above.
  2. Right-click on the Activity Monitor icon in the Dock.
  3. In the menu, choose Options and then click Keep in Dock.

That’s it! The Activity Monitor will be available from the Dock of your Mac, so you can view it easily.

How to use the Activity Monitor

The Activity Monitor is a simple but very important tool. Find out what you can do with its help.

Monitor the system parameters

Once you open the Activity Monitor on your Mac, you’ll get access to the five tabs: CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, and Network. By analyzing the data, you can identify what processes affect your Mac performance.

  • The CPU pane shows how processes are affecting the processor activity.
  • The Memory pane shows how the RAM is used by apps on your Mac.
  • Tap on the Energy pane and you’ll see the overall energy use and the energy used by each app.
  • The Disk pane shows the amount of data that each process has read from your disk and has written to it.
  • Use the Network pane to identify which processes send and receive the most data.

View additional info about an app or process

The Mac Task Manager also allows you to check the additional information about every application or process on your Mac. Here’s how to view it:

  1. Click on the application or process you’re interested in.
  2. Click on the i button in the top left corner of the Activity Monitor window.
  3. You’ll see a pop-up window showing additional information about an app or process.

As you see, the Activity Monitor is a real gem. It helps you gain insight into many useful things. Therefore, it will be much easier to diagnose any problem your Mac has.

How to Force Quit applications from a Task Manager in Mac

If some application or program freezes and you can’t quit it normally, you can use the Activity Monitor to shut it down. To force quit an app from a Mac Task Manager, do the following:

  1. Open the Activity Monitor on your Mac and click on the application you want to force quit.
  2. Then click on the X button in the top left corner of the Activity Monitor window.
  3. You will see a pop-up window asking if you want to quit this process.
  4. Click Quit to close the unresponsive app.
  5. If the app is still open, choose Force Quit to immediately end the process.

What’s a Control+Alt+Delete equivalent on Mac?

All Windows users know this magic combination: Control+Alt+Delete. The first thing they do when an app or program hangs is using this keyboard shortcut. Fear not: there’s the similar shortcut for Macs.

In addition to the Activity Monitor, Macs have a Force Quit Applications Manager that allows to close the frozen apps and programs. To open it, hold down the Command+Option+Escape keys.

If you just need to force quit an application and don’t care how much CPU or Energy it is using, then you should launch a Force Quit Applications Manager to perform the task. It gives an immediate access to all apps, so you can quickly solve the problem of an unresponsive program.

Maintain your Mac a whole lot easier with CleanMyMac X

What if we tell you that there is a way to avoid all those frozen apps, unresponsive programs, and spinning beach balls? Most likely, you won’t even need to know how to get Task Manager on Mac because everything will work smoothly. Sounds attractive?

The secret is the regular maintenance of your Mac. And a smart utility like CleanMyMac X will help you keep an eye on your computer and take its performance to a new level. You can download it for free here.

CleanMyMac can not only clean up the system from all the junk, but also free up RAM, delete and reset apps, manage the startup items, remove cache files, and speed up your Mac with its maintenance scripts. That’s what will ensure the good health of your Mac and its top performance.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

These might also interest you:

DragonFly Black/Red Firmware v1.07
▸ addresses the volume control issue found in Android devices
DragonFly Black/Red Firmware v1.06
▸ added MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) rendering support to the DragonFly DAC
DragonFly Black/Red Firmware v1.03
▸ addressed volume control issues on some Android devices

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At this time, there is no need to download our Desktop Device Manager or attempt to update your device.

Your DragonFly shipped from the factory fully compatible and ready to be used with Apple iOS mobile devices, Android smartphones and tablets, and Mac and Windows PCs. (In some cases, Android devices will require a third-party app in order to support USB audio output. For more info, see “For Use with Android Devices” in your Flight Manual.)

With the release of the first firmware update for DragonFly Cobalt, the Desktop Device Manager will be activated. Until then, the Desktop Device Manager is intended for use with our Beetle Toslink-Bluetooth-USB DAC and DragonFlys Black and Red.

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As a fully functional MQA renderer, your DragonFly is ready to unfold and play MQA files through the Tidal music-streaming service. If you have a Tidal Master account and want to enjoy the full benefits of Tidal Master (MQA) files through DragonFly, simply adjust your Tidal playback settings:

Mac Desktop Manager AppmacOS
  • ▸ Click on your profile name (located in the top left corner of the Tidal desktop application)
  • ▸ Choose “Settings”
  • ▸ Select “Streaming”
  • ▸ Under “Streaming Audio Quality,” select “Master”
  • ▸ Make sure that your DragonFly is selected for Sound Output
  • ▸ Beside “Sound Output,” click “More settings”
  • ▸ Select “Use Exclusive Mode”
  • ▸ Make sure that “Passthrough MQA” is not selected
iOS, iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro
  • ▸ Click “My Collection” (the heart icon; located in the bottom right of the mobile app)
  • ▸ Click the gear wheel (located in the upper right)
  • ▸ Scroll down and click “Streaming”
  • ▸ Set WiFi to “Master”
  • ▸ Set Cellular to your desired option, noting that streaming hi-res with MQA will require a relatively large amount of data
  • ▸ Make sure “Optimized playback” is enabled
  • ▸ Start at a very low volume and gradually work your way up to a comfortable level
Windows
  • ▸ Click on your profile name
  • ▸ Choose “Settings”
  • ▸ Select “Streaming”
  • ▸ Make sure that your DragonFly is selected for Sound Output
  • ▸ Beside “Sound Output,” click “More settings”
  • ▸ Select “Use Exclusive Mode”
  • ▸ Start at a very low volume and gradually work your way up to a comfortable level
Android

For Android playback, we recommend the USB Audio Player Pro media player by eXtream Software Development. USB Audio Player PRO Version 5 now supports audio from Google Music, Tidal (including Tidal Masters), Qobuz, and Shoutcast, and includes an MQA Core Decoder, which will unfold MQA streams from 44.1/48kHz to 88.2/96kHz and can be combined with DragonFly for further unfolding of even higher sample rates. To ensure the best performance, customers who own earlier versions of UAPP should upgrade to the latest version.

You’re ready to enjoy beautiful music!

Windows Release Date: 05/17/2017
MacOS Release Date: 08/01/2019
The AudioQuest Device/Desktop Manager for MacOS and Windows operating systems enables firmware updating of DragonFly Black, DragonFly Red, and future digital products from AudioQuest. Its simple interface details your product type, serial number, and current firmware version while streamlining the firmware update process. The most recent firmware for your device is automatically downloaded from AudioQuest's secure servers when running the Device/Desktop Manager app, so customers can be certain that they have access to the most recent AudioQuest device firmware, functionality, and performance.
DragonFly Black, DragonFly Red (Note: not compatible with DragonFly 1.2 and earlier)

While new DragonFlys ship with the latest firmware, existing DragonFly Black and Red customers need only download our free Device/Desktop Manager Application to easily upgrade their devices.

The AudioQuest Device/Desktop Manager Application allows you to identify your DragonFly’s serial number and software version to ensure that the device is up to date. In Order to install the AudioQuest Device Manager Application:

Download the latest Device/Desktop Manager for your operating system (download below).

For Windows Operating Systems:

  1. Install by running the setup.exe that you downloaded for your version of Windows and follow the instructions on screen. You must have an administrator account to install.
  2. Plug your DragonFly Red or Black into a USB port on your computer. Note that this app will not work with DragonFly 1.2 or earlier.
  3. Run the AQ Device/Desktop Manager app (AQ DM). Be patient; you may have to wait several seconds when the app is run for the first time. Your DragonFly will begin to blink green, indicating it is in firmware update mode. DragonFly will not pass audio while in this mode. The AQ DM will check for a new firmware version from our server and automatically download it if applicable. If so, the AQ DM will state “An update is available for your device.”
  4. Click the button labeled “Update Now.” The update process will begin and can be tracked by watching the progress bar. DO NOT DISCONNECT YOUR DRAGONFLY DURING THIS PROCESS.
  5. A pop-up dialog will inform you when the update is finished. You may then quit the AQ DM and use your updated DragonFly normally.
  6. If the installation is complete and the DragonFly is not visible you may need to restart your computer to complete the installation.

For Mac Operating Systems:

  1. Once the download has completed, you will find the .dmg file in the Downloads folder (from Finder menu click Go > Downloads).
  2. Double-click the .dmg file to view its contents. If a window did not appear after double-clicking, you may have to navigate to your Desktop and click the AudioQuest_Device_Manager.dmg to view its contents.
  3. From the .dmg, Drag the AQ Device/Desktop Manager App to your Applications folder to install it. You may then eject the .dmg by right clicking its icon on the Desktop and selecting Eject 'AudioQuest_Device_Manager.dmg'.
  4. Plug DragonFly Black, Red, or Cobalt into a USB port on your computer. Note that this app will not work with DragonFly v1.2 or earlier.
  5. Run the AQ Device/Desktop Manager app (AQ DM). Your DragonFly will begin to blink green, indicating it is in firmware update mode. DragonFly will not pass audio while in this mode.
    The AQ DM will check for a new firmware version from our server and automatically download it if applicable. If so, the AQ DM will state “An update is available for your device.”
  6. Click the button labeled “Update Now.”
    The update process will begin and can be tracked by watching the progress bar. DO NOT DISCONNECT YOUR DRAGONFLY DURING THIS PROCESS.
  7. A pop-up dialog will inform you when the update is finished. You may then quit the AQ DM and use your updated DragonFly normally.
  8. You may need to reboot and/or hot-plug your DragonFly to complete the update process.
Running the AudioQuest Device Manager on Catalina Operating Systems
If you’re running macOS Catalina (10.15.##), you may not be able to open the AudioQuest Device Manager. A pop-up message will appear on your screen indicating that the Device Manager was not downloaded from the App Store. There is a simple solution.
Follow these steps:
  1. Click “OK” to close the pop-up window. The Device Manager will not run.
  2. Open System Preferences. Click “Security & Privacy.”
  3. At the top of the window, select “General.”
  4. Near the bottom of the window, you’ll see a message that reads “‘Device Manager’ was blocked from use because it is not from an identified developer.” Click “Open Anyway.”
  5. The Device Manager will open automatically.
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
  • OS X 10.8.x and above

Mac Desktop Manager App Windows 10

DragonFly and MQA Related FAQs
Part-time Audiophile - MQA upgrade in under 5 minutes with the Audioquest Dragonfly
Digital Audio Review - How to add MQA support to AudioQuest DragonFly Black/Red (Video)

End User License Agreement

Mac Desktop Manager App Installer