Activity Monitor Columns Are Missing, Fix

Activity Monitor is one of those essential applications that I use frequently. Activity Monitor has a five-category tabs at the top of the Activity Monitor window: CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, Network, and Cache. Each of these main categories includes subcategories called columns.

Activity Monitor Columns

Sometime you may realize that some or all of the columns items are disappeared. Does Activity Monitor not show any columns? If you are having this problem, this short article explains how you can bring back the column items in the Activity Monitor app.

Please try each step one at a time until you resolve your issue.

  1. Let us first state the obvious. As you probably know, you can add or remove columns by choosing View > Columns from the menu bar. Are columns selected? If not, select them and this will fix the issue.
  2. Still, columns are missing? We will delete the Activity Monitor app preferences. Here is how:
    1. First, quit the Activity Monitor app if it is running
    2. Go to the Finder of Mac OS
    3. Click the Go menu
    4. Click the Go To Folder menu (shurtcut: Command+Shift+G)Go To Folder
    5. This will open a window. In this window, enter the following command and click Go.
    6. ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.ActivityMonitor.plistActivity Monitor Preferences
    7. This will open the Preferences window with com.apple.ActivityMonitor.plist selected. com.apple.ActivityMonitor.plist
    8. Delete this file by moving it to the Trash
    9. Now open Activity Monitor and check if columns are there.

See also: Mac Spotlight Search Not Working? 

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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86 thoughts on “Activity Monitor Columns Are Missing, Fix”

  1. Worked perfectly. Thanks. It was driving me nuts. I knew it was in my profile because another user account on this machine has the default settings.

    Reply
  2. I used the terminal approach as I am often doing things in the termiinal. Allow me to be the first to tip my hat to you in 2021. Well done, sir/madam!

    Reply
  3. Please help, this only works once. Every time the MAC sleeps it goes back. I ca not delete the file as it says “Permission denied”
    Any ideas, thanks very much

    Reply
    • Be sure to quit the monitor first with command q or use the menu to quit. Clicking the red point to close is not enough.
      If that does not help,
      use afterwards the terminal and remove as root with the command
      sudo rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.ActivityMonitor.plist

      Reply

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