w - macOS



The **w** command displays information about current system users and their processes. It’s particularly useful for monitoring user activity, identifying processes consuming resources, and diagnosing system issues.


w [options]


  • -a: Display processes associated with all users, including those not currently logged in.
  • -f: Display a full command line for each process.
  • -h: Display a short help message and exit.
  • -o: Sort the output by user ID.
  • -s: Show only summary information, omitting the process list.
  • -S: Sort the output by start time.
  • -u: Display only processes owned by the current user.
  • -W: Display wide output, showing the entire command line on a single line.


1. Display a list of logged-in users and their processes:


2. Show only processes owned by the current user:

w -u

3. Display a full command line for each process:

w -f

4. Sort the output by user ID:

w -o

Common Issues

  • Ensure you have sufficient permissions to use the **w** command.
  • If the output is truncated, try using the **-W** option to display the entire command line.
  • If the command doesn’t provide expected results, check the system logs or use other monitoring tools for additional information.


**w** can be integrated with other macOS commands for advanced tasks, such as:

  • ps -A: Combine with **ps** to display processes associated with all users.
  • awk -F’:’:** Parse the output and extract specific information, such as user names or process IDs.
  • grep: Filter the output to find specific processes or users.
  • ps: Displays process information
  • top: Monitors system activity in real-time
  • uptime: Shows system uptime and load averages