Is Activity Monitor Crashing or Not Working On Mac? 5 Top Fixes

Activity Monitor is an alternative to Windows Task Manager, which is found in Applications > Utilities. The utility gives a breakdown of how much memory the Mac processes are consuming and which applications are currently active. The Activity Monitor also lets you force quit apps and programs if you cannot close them the usual way. But the problem is you may find that the Activity Monitor is crashing or not responding. This guide tells you the best fixes when you encounter this issue.

Is Activity Monitor Crashing or Not Working On Mac? 5 Top Fixes

Why Is The Activity Monitor Crashing Or Not Working?

This is not a common issue, and it may happen due to macOS bugs, errors in Activity Monitor, or third-party software interference.

No matter the troublemaker, there are solutions to fix misbehaving Activity Monitor. Continue reading to know the resolutions.

Follow These Fixes To Make The Activity Monitor Work Again

  • Restart your system

If the Activity Monitor is behaving abnormally or cannot be launched, the first step is to restart your Mac.

Generally, restarting a Mac is the solution for most problems, including Internet issues, unresponsive apps, frozen displays, etc. Therefore, this is the first thing you must try if the Activity Monitor is not working.

By restarting, you are giving your Mac a fresh start that fixes temporary errors. This may solve the problems causing the Activity Monitor not to respond.

You can restart your system by closing all the open applications and clicking the Apple menu > select Restart.

After rebooting your Mac, check if the Activity Monitor can be reopened.

  • Force Quit

If the Activity Monitor is not working, you can force quit the application and relaunch it. This might solve the issue.

To force quit the Activity Monitor, hold down the Option + Command + Escape keys or click the Apple menu > Force Quit. As soon as you see the force quit window, choose Activity Monitor and click Force Quit.

Then, relaunch the Activity Monitor.

  • Boot in Safe Mode

If force quitting and relaunching the Activity Monitor or restarting your Mac didn’t solve the problem, you could boot your Mac in Safe mode. After starting your system in Safe mode, you can use the Activity Monitor and check whether it works flawlessly.

If it does, it means that some third-party application was interfering with the working of the utility application.

Follow these steps to boot your Mac in Safe mode:

  1. Shut down your Mac by clicking the Apple menu and selecting the shutdown option.
  2. Power on your system and press the Shift key at the same time.
  3. Release the Shift key when the login screen appears on your Mac.
  4. Access your Mac by providing the login credentials and launching the Activity Monitor.

In Safe mode, the system runs on bare minimum resources. With some trial and error, you can find out the software or app causing interference. Remove the app or software, and the problem will be solved.

  • Update macOS

macOS bugs and errors are one of the possible reasons resulting in the Activity Monitor not working, responding, or loading. You may even notice that the Activity Monitor is not functioning after upgrading your system to macOS Monterey or Ventura.

Check if there are any updates available by going to the System Preferences app > Software Update. If any updates are available, go to Update your Mac and click install now.

Typically, macOS updates come with performance enhancements and security patches. Therefore, the Activity Monitor will start functioning as normal.

  • Delete The Plist File of Activity Monitor

If the steps mentioned above don’t work, you may have to delete the plist file of the Activity Monitor.

A plist file refers to a preference file for applications, which stores app preference settings. This file may get damaged or corrupted and result in problems like the Activity Monitor not responding. In this case, deleting the plist file may fix the issues causing the Activity Monitor not to function.

Once the plist file is deleted, a new file will be created by macOS with the system’s default settings.

To delete the plist file, you must exit the Activity Monitor if it is active > launch Finder > hold the Option key > click Go and Library > head to the Preferences folder > find the file > erase this file by dragging it to the Trash > empty the Trash.

Finally, open the Activity Monitor to see if the problem is solved.


That’s all you need to know if the Activity Monitor is not working and you need to troubleshoot the problem. Then, hopefully, you can eliminate the problems using this hack and get back to completing your tasks. Did any of these methods work for you? Do you have any other recommendations? Share in the comments below to help other Mac users with the same issue.

About Ankeet Solanki

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