Aps for fix­ing prob­lems

When mon­i­tor­ing throws up an is­sue, you need to deal with it be­fore it makes things even worse. As ever, there are apps for that!

Mac Format - - MONITOR YOUR MAC -

When you spot some­thing not right in a mon­i­tor­ing tool, the fix de­pends on the oc­cur­ring prob­lem. The most ur­gent is­sues are around ex­ces­sive temperatures – pos­si­bly a hard­ware fault (al­though th­ese could in fact be caused by us­ing your Mac in a man­ner that blocks air vents). Also, be aware some Mac com­po­nents run very hot, so don’t as­sume a high tem­per­a­ture is a fault – only ma­jor changes af­ter a long pe­riod of sta­bil­ity are of real con­cern.

An app/process us­ing a lot of CPU or mem­ory can cause a Mac to be­come slow and un­re­spon­sive. The nu­clear op­tion is a restart, but some­times such is­sues can be by­passed if you see us­age abruptly spik­ing us­ing a mon­i­tor­ing app.

First, you’ll need to iden­tify the app or process that’s to blame – iS­tat Menus now pro­vides a list of top of­fend­ers in its menus, but a full list can always be ac­cessed in Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor, where pro­cesses can be quit (or force-quit when re­ally mis­be­hav­ing). Where pos­si­ble, save any un­saved work be­fore do­ing so, and es­pe­cially be­fore quit­ting a process that may form part of OS X. An ex­cep­tion is with Sa­fari – oc­ca­sion­ally a Sa­fari Web Con­tent process will use huge amounts of CPU due to a mal­func­tion­ing web page and can be safely force-quit; you’ll merely lose the rel­e­vant tab, which will im­me­di­ately close.

Mon­i­tor disk space; if you run low it’ll neg­a­tively im­pact on OS X’s per­for­mance. iS­tat Menus and MenuMeters both en­able you to keep tabs on space, but you’ll need other apps to find what’s tak­ing up room. Grand Per­spec­tive (free, grand­per­spec­tiv.source­forge.net), DaisyDisk (£6.99, daisy­diskapp.com) and Disk Doc­tor (£1.99, fi­plab.com) can all be used to scan a disk rapidly and pro­vide an in­di­ca­tion of huge files, fold­ers and apps, which you could then back up to an ex­ter­nal disk and delete.

Net­work is­sues are harder to pin down. If you’re see­ing spikes or drops in traf­fic, try to think of apps you use that could cause this – on­line back-ups, tor­rents apps and so on. Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor can pro­vide an in­di­ca­tion of net­work traf­fic, but more spe­cialised tools such as Lit­tleSnitch (€30, ob­dev.at/prod­ucts /lit­tlesnitch) and Rub­ber­net (€30, rub­ber­ne­tapp.com) give you finer re­port­ing and con­trol.

Flick the switches in Du­pli­cate Zap­per to lo­cate du­pli­cate files that can be deleted. DaisyDisk lets you see ex­actly what’s tak­ing up all that

space on your Mac. A screen within a screen: thanks to the Air­Port Ex­treme and Screen Sharing, you can hook a sec­ond Mac up to ac­cess the first.

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