Activity monitor mac os x

I've previously used Little Snitch. On the command-line side, I find the MacOS version of top particularly unreadable, even more so if compared to the GNU version commonly found on Linux. These give you the best overview, at-a-glance in my humble opinion. Often clicking on a small icon gives you more detailed info. I find these a bit frustrating to use since I need to actively look for the stats I am interested in, rather than just checking the menubar.

But the advantage is that they have more real estate to show graphs, give stats etc. These are essentially behind all other tools. If you are mostly working in a terminal then you cant really beat htop in my opinion. You can also run top , fstab and similar command-line tools from tools like GeekTool mentioned before , or my current favorite, Ubersicht. They allow you to have custom widgets, for example integrated top instance running in the background. My problem here is that my desktop is overcrowded, both in real life and virtually on my computer : So I figured I needed to do a swipe gesture to be able to see anything.

I have tried several different solutions, but in the end I came back to iStat Menus , since no other solution gave me a good enough overview without any effort on my part. My advice is to try out a couple of different solutions and settle with what works best for your use case. MenuMeters is probably the most popular alternative.

Mac Task Manager

Another approach might be to set up GeekTool. Of these categories, Free and Page Outs are the most important. If the green section is a sliver, more RAM is recommended. To do this, perform one of the following tasks:. To remove all doubts about the adequacy of the RAM installed in your Mac, you can use Terminal to check an important RAM statistic that is omitted from the System Memory pane: page-ins and page-outs per second.

This will further rule out slow performance due to thrashing , a condition where Free RAM is so low that paging monopolizes CPU activity. See "Checking disk activity" later in this FAQ. You can never have too much RAM.


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Inactive memory lives in a twilight zone between Free and Active memory. Whether memory is Active or Inactive depends on how recently it was accessed, where recently is defined by undisclosed parameters of the VM system itself.

Use Activity Monitor to Track Mac Memory Usage

Memory allocated to applications that you have opened, but not accessed recently, may be included in Inactive memory. If you switch to an application whose memory is Inactive, that memory becomes Active. If you switch to an application whose allocated memory has been paged-out to a swap file, Active memory must be allocated for a page-in , where the contents of that application's memory on the swap file are copied back to RAM. Depending on the amount of Free memory, a page-in may first require more page-outs from Inactive memory to swap files.

For ideal performance, your Mac should have enough RAM that paging is unnecessary. When paging becomes excessive due to insufficient Free memory, thrashing can result. Therefore, while available RAM is the sum of Free and Inactive memory, the amount of Inactive memory is always in a state of flux.

Activity Monitor for Mac OS X Overview

Having a sizable amount of Free memory at all times is a good proxy for gauging whether or not you have enough RAM for your daily workload. Readers who are interested in additional details should review the following Apple Developer documents:. Free space on your startup disk is important if your Mac has less RAM than your work demands.

Free space is required for the swap files used in managing VM and for the scratch or temporary files often employed by multimedia editing applications. A lack of free space, especially when combined with insufficient RAM, can lead to poor performance due to thrashing , as well as host of other problems.

Show transcript

If the startup disk has insufficient free space, attempt to free up space by following the advice in our "Freeing space on your Mac OS X startup disk" FAQ. As a rule of thumb, 10 GB is the minimum amount of free disk space, but far more is better. Otherwise, you will need to upgrade the startup disk in your Mac to a larger hard disk drive.

Mac OS X Tiger For Dummies

If free startup disk space is visibly and significantly disappearing during your work day that cannot be explained by normal activity, such as new files you are creating or downloading, then an errant process may be writing incessantly to Console logs. See "Checking disk activity" later in this FAQ for details. Problems of thrashing or mysteriously disappearing free space on your startup disk may be confirmed by checking the Disk Activity pane in Activity Monitor:.

High values in the per-second fields, combined with a very busy graph, can be indicative of the following problems:. From a troubleshooting standpoint, the Network pane of Activity Monitor may at first seem to be the least useful. Nevertheless, the Network pane can be useful in determining if unexpected network activity is occurring.

Unexpected network activity can be due to anti-piracy features in applications as well as unauthorized transmissions from malware or spyware. Watch the graph. If you are seeing periods of very high network activity, then some application or background process is using the network. Some activity can be ignored:. Errant processes are those that interminably monopolize the CPU.

What Is Activity Monitor? The Mac Equivalent of Task Manager

By consuming CPU resources, they deprive other processes of their share, slowing performance and often resulting in frequent, protracted appearances of the SBBOD in all applications. Processes can become errant when they are frozen or hung, either due to programming bugs or system-related problems, such as directory corruption.

In an application's Dock menu, the phrase Application Not Responding will appear if the application is frozen or hung. Processes can also become errant due to unsupported system modifications, such as installing third-party hacks, interface modifications, or menu extras. Errant processes can also result from improperly uninstalling third-party applications.

For example, if a third-party application installed a Startup or Login Item and you deleted all of the application's other files except that one, that leftover may still be opened when you start up your Mac or log in to your account, becoming an errant process that hogs CPU cycles. A Web browser may show high CPU usage while rendering or displaying multimedia content. If a process is using considerable CPU, but its name does not appear in red text, it may simply be busy; patience is a virtue.

The processes consuming the most CPU will now be at the top of the list. Some apps or processes can cause both heavy disk activity and CPU usage, like when you convert video or edit RAW photos. The Network pane shows how much data your Mac is sending or receiving over your network. In the Activity Monitor, you can quickly identify apps that transmit lots of data. Some processes naturally generate a lot of network activity, but others using the network a lot might not make much sense. Determining which external resource each process is connecting to is a huge pain. Activity Monitor can also help you generate a report about the status of your Mac.

You can save the report and send it to a friend or Apple support for troubleshooting purposes. Wait for a while for this to complete. Activity Monitor the stock macOS task manager. Find out by running some benchmark tests on your Mac. Your email address will not be published. How about stop all the verbal diarrhea and just state the facts.

What is the short key for activity monitor? What does the applications folder look like? Can anyone on this planet answer a simple question without walking people around the block.