Are you experiencing problems connecting to a certain network port on your Mac computer? Do you want to determine which process is using that port? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll show you how to see which process is listening on a port in MacOS. We’ll also explain the importance of port monitoring and how it can help you troubleshoot network connectivity issues.

Understanding Ports

Before we dive into the topic of port monitoring, it’s important to understand what ports are and how they work. In computer networking, a port is a communication endpoint that identifies a specific process or service running on a computer. Ports are identified by numbers ranging from 0 to 65535. Ports from 0 to 1023 are reserved for system services and should not be used for other purposes. Ports from 1024 to 49151 are registered ports, which are assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to specific services or applications. Ports from 49152 to 65535 are dynamic or private ports, which can be used by any application.

port in MacOS

Why Monitor Ports?

Monitoring ports is an essential part of network troubleshooting. When you encounter network connectivity issues, such as slow response times or dropped connections, monitoring the ports in use can help you identify the source of the problem. For example, if a certain port is being used by an application or process that is causing network issues, you can terminate that process or assign a different port to that application.

How to See Which Process Is Listening on a Port in MacOS

Now that you understand the importance of port monitoring, let’s look at how to see which process is listening on a port in MacOS. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Terminal application on your Mac. You can do this by searching for “Terminal” in Spotlight or navigating to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter:
Copy codesudo lsof -i :[port_number]

Replace [port_number] with the number of the port you want to monitor. For example, if you want to monitor port 80, the command should look like this:

Copy codesudo lsof -i :80
  1. If a process is listening on the specified port, you’ll see an output similar to this:
httpd      1234  root   4u   IPv6  4321   0t0    TCP *:http (LISTEN)

The output shows the command name (httpd), process ID (PID), user, file descriptor (FD), type, device, size/offset, node, and name of the process listening on the port. In this example, httpd is listening on port 80.

  1. If no process is listening on the specified port, you won’t see any output.


Monitoring ports is a crucial part of network troubleshooting, and knowing how to see which process is listening on a port in MacOS can help you quickly identify and resolve network issues. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily monitor the ports in use on your Mac and determine which process or application is using a specific port. We hope this article has been helpful in solving your network connectivity issues.

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