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Mac Basics - How To Use Activity Monitor Pt. 3

written by: Nicholas•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 12/8/2009

This is the last and final part in the Activity Monitor series. This article covers the Disk Usage, and Network tabs of OS X's built in utility Activity Monitor. It also wraps up the series with some tips and advice.

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    Disk Usage Tab


    Although they may seem similar, the Disk Usage tab is completely different than the Disk Activity tab, which was covered in Pt. 2. The Disk Usage Tab does not cover any information on how your Mac's hard drive is perfroming. Rather, it details how space is being used on the hard drive. The first thing that you will notice upon clicking over to the Disk Usage tab is the blue and green pie chart. This pie chart is very simple, blue space equals used hard drive space, green space equals free hard drive space. If you have ever wanted to know how much space you have left on your Mac, this is a very convenient way to view it. Under the pie chart, you will find a number representing the total capacity of your Mac's hard drive. This can be very useful if you are needing to upgrade your hard drive. By using the Disk Usage tab, you can find out what the best size would be for your new hard drive.

    To the left of the chart you will notice two basic readings: space utilized, and space free. These readings are the actual numbers represented in the pie chart. If your Mac has more than one hard drive connected to it, you can view details about other drives by using the drop down menu.

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    Network Tab 

    The last feature of Activity Monitor is the Network tab. The network tab shows detailed information about your Mac's network connections. The graph on this page shows two major readings, data received, and data sent. This can be very useful for local wireless networking. For example, if you are backing up a large file to an external hard drive connected to your Time Capsule, this graph will tell you everything you need to know. In this case, data received would be the amount of data on your hard drive that Time Capsule has analyzed. Data send would be the amount of dada on your hard drive that has actually been written to your Time Capsule.

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    Activity Monitor Conclusion

    Activity monitor is a great way to view many details about your computer, all in one convenient place. You may not always use all of the tabs in Activity Monitor. However, you will probably find yourself needing to use a couple of them more than once. There is also an application called Tech Tool Deluxe that analyzed your Mac's hardware to make sure that everything is running appropriately.

Mac Basics - Activity Monitor

Activity monitor is a very useful built-in utility of OS X. Much of the time, Activity Monitor can be used to perform actions as well as view network readings about your Mac. This series details Activity Monitor, and explains all aspects of Activity monitor in detail.
  1. Mac Basics - How To Use Activity Monitor Pt. 1
  2. Mac Basics - How To Use Activity Monitor Pt. 2
  3. Mac Basics - How To Use Activity Monitor Pt. 3