Welcome to a comprehensive guide on monitoring running applications! In this article, we will delve into the significance of understanding what applications are currently running on your system and how to do so efficiently using software tools.

Understanding the Need for Monitoring Running Applications

Before we dive into the specifics of software tools, let’s grasp why it’s essential to monitor running applications. Whether you’re a regular user or a system administrator, knowing which applications are consuming resources can help in troubleshooting issues, optimizing performance, and ensuring smooth operation of your device.

Introducing Task Manager

What is Task Manager?

Task Manager is a built-in utility in Windows operating systems that provides information about processes, performance, application history, and more.

How to Access Task Manager?

To access Task Manager, simply right-click on the taskbar and select “Task Manager” from the context menu. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard.

Exploring Activity Monitor

What is Activity Monitor?

Activity Monitor is the macOS counterpart of Task Manager. It offers detailed information about processes, CPU usage, memory usage, energy impact, disk activity, and network activity.

Accessing Activity Monitor

To access Activity Monitor, you can either open it from the Applications folder in Finder or use Spotlight Search by pressing Command + Space and typing “Activity Monitor.”

Using Resource Monitor on Windows

Introduction to Resource Monitor

Resource Monitor is an advanced tool included in Windows operating systems that provides an in-depth view of resource usage, including CPU, memory, disk, and network activity.

Accessing Resource Monitor

To access Resource Monitor, you can open Task Manager (as mentioned earlier) and navigate to the “Performance” tab. From there, click on “Open Resource Monitor” at the bottom.

Checking System Monitor on Linux

Overview of System Monitor

System Monitor, also known as GNOME System Monitor or System Monitor Tool, is a graphical application for Linux systems that displays system resources usage, including CPU, memory, disk, and network activity.

Accessing System Monitor

Accessing System Monitor varies slightly depending on the Linux distribution you’re using. However, it’s commonly found in the System Tools or Utilities menu. You can also launch it using the terminal by typing gnome-system-monitor.

Comparing Different Software Tools

Each of the aforementioned tools—Task Manager, Activity Monitor, Resource Monitor, and System Monitor—offers unique features and functionalities. While Task Manager and Activity Monitor cater to specific operating systems, Resource Monitor and System Monitor are exclusive to Windows and Linux, respectively. Depending on your platform and requirements, you can choose the tool that best suits your needs for monitoring running applications.


Monitoring running applications is crucial for optimizing system performance and troubleshooting issues effectively. By utilizing software tools like Task Manager, Activity Monitor, Resource Monitor, and System Monitor, users can gain insights into resource utilization and ensure the smooth operation of their devices.


  1. Can I use Task Manager on macOS?
    • No, Task Manager is a utility specific to Windows operating systems. macOS users can use Activity Monitor instead.
  2. Are there any alternatives to Resource Monitor on Linux?
    • Yes, there are several alternatives such as htop, atop, and nmon, each offering unique features for monitoring system resources.
  3. Can I terminate processes using System Monitor?
    • Yes, System Monitor allows users to end processes just like Task Manager and Activity Monitor.
  4. What should I do if my system is running slow?
    • You can use these software tools to identify resource-intensive processes and either terminate them or allocate additional resources as needed.
  5. Is it possible to monitor network activity with these tools?
    • Yes, all the mentioned tools provide insights into network activity along with other resource usage metrics.
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