For many Mac owners the fan comes on when wayward apps hijack the Mac’s CPU. Is there a way to figure out what’s going on with all the wonkiness so you can fix it? Of course. Here are two ways. One free. One not. One built in. One not.
What’s Going On In A Mac?
Your Mac is a complicated slab of technology with far more going on in the background than most of us realize. You won’t believe how many apps are running that you don’t even know about, but here’s how you can find out.
Unless you’re crunching numbers from NASA, it’s usually a wayward application or plugin which causes a Mac’s fan to come on. Where there’s fan noise, there’s heat, and where there’s heat, there’s diminished battery life. What causes it all and what can you do? Simply monitor the Mac’s system using one of these two ways.
The slow but free way is to open Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder. It displays all the running apps on your Mac, including needed background processes. And, it can identify which apps are sucking up the most CPU, hence the fan noise, and quick battery daring.
Or, you can use MenuBar Stats to monitor the Mac’s innards with a glance. It’s a bit like having a dashboard that tells you what’s going on with your Mac.
This new version of MenuBar Stats is modular in nature, runs on OS X Yosemite and El Capitan (sorry, older Macs), displays CPU, Memory, Network, Battery, Plugins, and Disk space at a glance. The CPU setting shows both User and System, plus Idle time and Mac Uptime.
The Memory component has a one-click option to Clean the Mac’s memory, freeing up unused RAM for other apps. The Disk utility simply displays to total storage and how much remains. The Network option shows your Mac’s IP addresses, both public and local, as well as both upload and download data totals.
Each of the Modules has separate configuration and settings, too.
And, Menubar Stats can generate Notification Center alerts, including an option to remind you when to plugin your Mac for a battery recharge. These features in modules are all well and good and quite affordable, so deserving of all the four and five star reviews of previous versions, but I would like to see more functions– options to kill CPU-sucking apps, control the Mac’s fans, and a one-click option to see some graphics of CPU usage.
As it is now, Menubar Stats is useful and a quick way to view how the Mac is doing from an internal perspective, but the basics take up far too much Menubar space.
And, if your Menubar is getting cluttered and disorganized, the same Mac app developer also publishes MenuBar ReArranger, a neat utility which lets you manage where Menubar apps reside.