Where can you monitor processes on your Mac? The Activity Monitor, found in Applications>Utilities. This tool, in fact, is one which I almost always keep open on my Mac. I like seeing how much CPU is being used, and what applications take up the most memory. The Activity Monitor is also great for overlooking disk usage and activity and checking data sent and received over your network.
I don’t feel it really has evolved over the latest versions of OS X, yet it hasn’t really needed to. One useful hint to know is that by simply opening up Activity Monitor you can unfreeze any blocked application. You don’t have to stick with Activity Monitor if you don’t want to. In this case try one of these five different alternatives:
- Peek-a-boo – A cool process throb diagram view which shows you how processes connect to one another. Clicking on a process which show detailed info on it like CPU or memory usage.
- iStat pro – A nifty little widget which includes nine different process sections. It has a sleek little interface, is very regularly updated and is accessible straight from your Dashboard. What more could you ask for.
- iStat menus – Comes from the same developers as iStat pro, yet this one appears in your menu bar. Very advanced, and process windows can be organized and moved around your screen.
- MenuMeters – Another menu bar process manager, yet this one won’t show you all the details, only the processes that you deem most important.
- XRG – A clean interface showing detailed graphics and all processes. It can even show other elements like weather or stock data.