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Make your Mac faster with Activity Monitor – OS X Tutorial

Improve your Mac's performance and use Activity Monitor to monitor and check it's processess

Activity Monitor - Main Image

Activity Monitor Panel
Activity Monitor - Main ImageQuietly tucked away in your Utilities folder, Activity Monitor is one of those simple, yet useful applications that is a crucial part of what makes a Mac great to work with. Firstly, it can give you a great deal of information on what is happening inside your computer and secondly, this very convivial software consists not only of an instructive tool for the beginner but also a troubleshooting powerhouse for the more experienced user. Activity Monitor principally provides a flexible list of all the system and user processes taking place at any given moment inside your Mac. Additionally, it allows a quick look at your Mac’s resource allocation and system performances.

1: Locate and launch
Open a new Finder window in the sidebar, locate your system Application folder, navigate to the Utilities subfolder and double-click on the Activity Monitor.

2: Activity Monitor’s menus
The Activity Monitor menu has no Preferences menu item – its most relevant functionalities are located in the View and Window menus.

3: Toolbar
Many of AM’s functions are accessible from its toolbar: terminating or inspecting processes and allowing the filtering, sorting and extracting of process data.

4: Process list
The main part of the application window is devoted to listing all the processes taking place on your computer. It’s configurable and displays process information.

5: Monitoring tabs
Below the process list a row of monitoring tabs present in-depth information on CPU, System Memory, Disk and Network activity as well as performances.

6: Monitoring CPU performances
Using a live graphical display, this tab permits the monitoring of processor activity. It shows the amount of power used by User System and idle processes.

7: Monitoring System memory
The System Memory tab interface is very detailed – the colour scheme used to list the amount of memory allocated or free can also be used in a pie chart.

8: Disk Activity and Usage tabs
The detailed Disk Activity and Disk Usage tabs allow you to assess free and used disk space. They also give control of the amount of read/write operations taking place.

9: The Network monitoring tab
The extensive, protocol-level, network tab shows the number of sent and received data packets over your network connection and a live graphical view of traffic.

Click Image to Enlarge

Annotated Activity Monitor Screenshot