I just purchased a new MacBook Pro with Mavericks installed and noticed that Activity Monitor doesn't have the "Show Memory Usage" dock icon option anymore. I really liked this option since I used it to prevent disk swapping by closing applications when I had too many open. What gives?

activity monitor

  • It's likely that utility developers will soon produce small utils that will display memory pressure in the Dock. These utils will (hopefully) also use less resources than keeping Activity Monitor open.
    – user61478
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 23:18
  • Good question. Now, when the Mac goes slow, I don't even know why :( Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 11:26

4 Answers 4


It seems that this feature – since Apple has changed the way how they display memory usage – isn't a option anymore:

This is no longer an option, especially since Mavericks has new memory management routines (ie, memory compression) that make the charting of memory usage less straightforward. Apple has switched to a new "Memory Pressure" approach to viewing memory usage, which is available in the Memory section of Activity Monitor, but so far has not been added as a Dock icon option. Hopefully Apple will do so, as this would perhaps be one of the more useful Dock icon options.

I've got that from here one would hope that at some point we could graph memory pressure in the dock using Apple's Activity monitor as opposed to needing to open the whole tool with a window that shows many other items.


Another option is iStat Menus which gives a lot of really useful information displayed in a very user friendly way and is not expensive.


They have recently updated it for Mavericks.


An alternative is Stats (by Exelban), a free and open source utility that can display memory, cpu, network, etc on the menu bar.

Install with brew install --cask stats or go to https://github.com/exelban/stats

Tip: You can set the RAM color to be Based on Memory Pressure, which is more useful than Memory Used.


You actually don't need to that anymore, because XNU now does that automatically - by utilizing memory pressure notifications, it triggers a special kernel thread called MemoryStatus which finds processes that can be exited cleanly - and automatically closes them (well, kills them) for you. This alleviates the need for you to keep a close watch on RAM utilization, and likely accounts for the design decision to remove that option.

  • 4
    Perhaps you don't need to, but some of us geeks like to.
    – Wildcard
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 9:06
  • 1
    @Wildcard no no, Apple knows what's best for you. Always.
    – alexw
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 16:43

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