Disk

What is the Mac Activity Monitor and how do you use it?

Energy Tab Activity Monitor

The Activity Monitor on your Mac is one of those tools that you should become familiar with. You by no means need be an expert on it, but you should know the basics. Why, you ask? Because the Activity Monitors shows all the processes running on your Mac. It’s like a task manager, so you can see how those processes affect your Mac and close any if needed.

Whether you’re new to Mac or simply new to the Activity Monitor, we’ll walk you through the basics you need to know.

How to hide mounted volumes from your desktop and the Finder

We've already covered how to completely prevent partitions from mounting under macOS but, as one iDB reader pointed out, sometimes you want a partition mounted and ready to use but still want the benefit of it not cluttering up your desktop and the Finder sidebar. Luckily, there is a way to leave specific volumes mounted whilst hiding them from both the desktop and the entirety of the Finder in one fell swoop.

How to prevent partitions from mounting when you boot up, log in, or connect drives to your Mac

With the exception of partitions in unreadable formats and certain hidden partitions such as EFI and Recovery HD, the default behaviour of macOS is to mount all partitions of a drive on boot-up, login, or on connecting an external drive.

Whilst this behaviour is useful for the novice or for those connecting a single USB stick to copy some files, it can become unwieldy and even annoying if you have many multi-partitioned drives attached to your Mac.

For example, my desktop Hackintosh has three internal drives, each with at least two partitions, and one of these drives is not even needed when booted under macOS – it is for Windows 10 and Linux. Add to this a couple of external hard drives with partitions for storage, OS installers and Time Machine backups for other computers, and your desktop and Finder sidebar can begin to look a real mess. It also takes time for the drives to mount on every boot and unmount on sleep or shutdown.

This guide will detail how to ensure only the drives of your choosing mount automatically, leaving the rest unmounted within macOS.

SSD in the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can’t be upgraded

After seeing in iFixit's teardown that the base model of the new 2016 MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar had a removable PCIe SSD storage unit, many were excited at the possibility of aftermarket upgrade parts across the new MacBook Pro lineup.

But new images surfacing on the web this week after the first MacBook Pro with Touch Bar units began reaching the hands of buyers are showing that the Touch Bar models don't follow suit and have SSD storage chips soldered into their logic boards instead.

Understanding how iOS and macOS calculate storage capacity

One of the questions I hear a lot about storage space on Macs and iOS devices is why when you purchase a 256GB Mac you only get about 230GB of space to play with, or why when you get a 16GB iPhone, you only get about 12.6GB to use for yourself.

The fact of the matter is, your storage space is used by more than just what you put on your own computer or device, and in this piece, we'll explain how Apple calculates all that storage space that you can never seem to claim on your devices.

How to format drives on your Mac with Disk Utility

At times, you may have the need to erase and re-use a hard drive, solid state drive, or even a USB flash drive so it can be used for alternative purposes. Fortunately, your Mac comes with all the tools you'll need to do this, making it super simple for you to erase and format that drive for your needs.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how you can format a USB flash drive using the Disk Utility built into your macOS operating system. This process also works with external hard drives, internal solid state drives, and any other drive that doesn't contain your operating system on it.

How to repair Mac disk errors in macOS Recovery Mode

macOS on your Mac includes a disk-repairing app, called Disk Utility, which you can use to scan your connected drives for errors, erase a disk, repair disk permissions, check the disk's structure for physical errors and more.

But what can you do, if anything, should your Mac experience issues preventing it from starting up properly? Not to worry, our friends, because macOS lets you launch a standalone version of Disk Utility from your Mac's built in recovery partition.

In other words, macOS' Recovery Mode gives you a chance to repair a malfunctioning startup disk that prevents your Mac from booting properly.

Review: CleanMyDrive 2—stylish, lightweight app to get rid of junk cluttering your drives

MacPaw, a fresh, independent developer behind the versatile and powerful CleanMyMac application, today unleashed a major update to CleanMyDrive.

CleanMyDrive is a free-of-charge Mac utility designed to help reclaim free disk space by cleaning the junk from your internal hard drives and external storage devices such as USB thumb drives, SSDs and more

The new and much improved CleanMyDrive 2 app boasts a completely redesigned user interface that lets you check disk stats, drag-and-drop files directly to any drive, automatically clean disks after hitting the Eject button and more.

With it, cleaning hidden junk that's been clogging up your drives is easy and fun.

How to choose your startup disk on Mac

If you have multiple bootable partitions on your Mac, such as the case when you create a separate partition for testing a new OS, you'll need to know how to manage your Mac's startup disk.

The startup disk is the disk that the Mac boots from when restarting your computer. You can change this disk permanently, or change it on a temporary case-by-case basis.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to establish a set startup disk, and how to change the startup disk on the fly as you reboot your Mac.