How to Open Activity Monitor by Keyboard Shortcut on Mac

Feb 1, 2023 - 4 Comments

Use a keyboard shortcut for opening Activity Monitor on Mac

Many Mac users rely on Activity Monitor to quickly terminate processes and monitor system resources on their Macs. Creating a keyboard shortcut for quick access to Activity Monitor can be a beneficial trick to more easily access the task manager in MacOS.

This article will demonstrate how to use the Shortcuts app to make a keyboard shortcut for launching Activity Monitor in MacOS.

How to Make a Keyboard Shortcut for Opening Activity Monitor on Mac with Shortcuts

The Shortcuts app allows you to easily create a keyboard shortcut for launching Activity Monitor:

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on Mac
  2. Pull down the File menu and choose “New Shortcut”
  3. Double-click on ‘Open App’ from the right-side suggestions (you may need to search for “Open App” if it’s not listed by default)
  4. Click on the ‘App’ text to access the pulldown menu of applications, and choose “Activity Monitor” from the list
  5. Create a keyboard shortcut for opening Activity Monitor on MacOS

  6. Next, click on the little settings button from the right-side menu options, and under the Details tab click to enable “Use as Quick Action”
  7. Next, click on “Add Keyboard Shortcut” and press the keyboard shortcut sequence you want to use to launch Activity Monitor on the Mac (we chose fn+shift+delete for this article)
  8. Give the Shortcut a name like “Open Activity Monitor” by typing that into the window titlebar
  9. Open Activity Monitor keyboard shortcut on Mac

  10. Close out of Shortcuts, your Activity Monitor keyboard shortcut is now ready to use

You can now test the shortcut by pressing fn+shift+delete or whatever keyboard shortcut you chose, and assuming you set this up properly, Activity Monitor will instantly open on the Mac.

If you’re running into problems, make sure you did not pick a keyboard shortcut that will conflict with something else. You may experience a delay in creating a shortcut and when the keyboard shortcut works, this can be up to a few minutes for whatever reason since the Shortcuts app is less than meticulously refined for the Mac, so if you’re not having an instantly working shortcut keep that in mind.

The Shortcuts app is a little weird for many Mac users because it does not have typical ‘save’ options since the app was basically just copy/pasted over from the iPhone, so you don’t need to worry about manually saving any Shortcuts, they will save on their own when completed.

You can also use the much more powerful and much more Mac-like Automator app if you’d prefer to, to achieve the same effect; a keyboard shortcut for launching Activity Monitor.

Activity Monitor is basically the full featured task manager available on a Mac, providing much more detail beyond what you get in the simple Force Quit menu which is kind of like the Control+ALT+DEL equivalent for MacOS.

If you’re coming to the Mac from the Windows world and want to create a similar keystroke pattern that you’re used to, it may be helpful to remember that the ALT key is the OPTION key on Mac keyboards.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Hola says:

    This actually help thanks

  2. Franck says:


  3. Frank Walter says:

    You can also put its icon in the dock that way it is always available at a mouse click :)

  4. Lou Dankovich says:

    Step 5 tells us to “Next, click on the little settings button from the right-side menu options”. There are many little buttons on the right-side menu, but which one is the “settings” button? I don’t know and can’t proceed from Step 5


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