I'd like to be able to view my cpu and memory usage in real time. Not as a desktop widget or window application, but as a widget in the menu bar. Is this possible?

  • 1
    If you don't want to use third-party software, you can also use Activity Monitor (however, it's on the Dock, not the menu bar). Do this by opening Activity Monitor > View > Dock Icon > Show CPU Usage
    – Munesawagi
    Mar 23, 2016 at 17:03
  • CleanMyMacX has a free menu bar tools, just disable the things you don't like. But it has no option for the disk usage.
    – trinity420
    Jul 7, 2019 at 10:43
  • 7
    It's 2021 and we now have Stats - it's a free and opensource app that can show usage graphs for many aspects of the systems.
    – sfxedit
    Feb 1, 2021 at 23:53
  • Given the complex nature of memory management (and CPU management, what with multiple performance and efficiency cores), I question the merit of needing to check some summary of the activity frequently.
    – benwiggy
    Sep 1, 2021 at 12:09

12 Answers 12


iStat Menus has the functionality you are asking for. It is available starting at USD$14.39 for a single license or $17.99 for a family pack (up to five different Macs). It's also included with a membership to SetApp.

  • +1 I really like this one. can customize how much is shown and it seems to perform very well. I may actually buy it.
    – spong
    Sep 8, 2010 at 11:27
  • 2
    I also like it and I still use the old free version. What I don't like is that it invites you to upgrade without informing you that it costs money afterwards.
    – robcast
    Sep 9, 2010 at 10:16
  • 1
    @MattSephton What do you base that on?
    – David
    Nov 1, 2018 at 19:08
  • 1
    There's a comprehensive exchange between the developer and I on twitter. Here is one part mobile.twitter.com/bjango/status/987190421997740032 Nov 1, 2018 at 19:31
  • 1
    I tried many of the solutions listed. For free options, a combination of github.com/iglance/iGlance and github.com/yujitach/MenuMeters gets the job done. However, I kinda like the label from iStats, so I might settle with that one.
    – Adrian
    Jun 3, 2020 at 15:24

One that hasn't been mentioned yet is Stats, which describes itself as a

Simple macOS system monitor in your menu bar

It's an excellent open source project (https://github.com/exelban/stats) that can be installed via:

brew install stats

enter image description here

On big sur, after downloading, open launchpad, search for 'stats', and open it. It will start showing up in the menu bar.

  • I can't see this in BigSur after installing.
    – imflash217
    Mar 31, 2021 at 0:39
  • 1
    The app's UI in the menu bar is fantastic. One nit though is that it is showing somewhat different utilization % compared to the Activity Monitor, plus the most CPU consuming processes are different in Stats and Activity Monitory.
    – Bananeen
    Sep 8, 2022 at 18:23

I use MenuMeters for this functionality, and have a hard time living without it. How do other people know when their web browser is finally done downloading a page, or YouTube stalled out, or iPhoto still working, or ...?

MenuMeters is freeware, but well worth the donation.

The original author has stopped maintaining MenuMeters, but someone new has taken over for El Capitan.

  • 5
    @sunpech: Did you enable them from the Menu Meters Preference Pane? By default they don't enable until you say you want them.
    – Chealion
    Sep 8, 2010 at 16:06
  • 2
    I love MenuMeters. I'd vote it up, but I'm out of votes for today. :-(
    – daviesgeek
    Oct 19, 2011 at 19:01
  • 2
    Update - I was previously on 1.7. Upgraded to 1.8.1 to go with Yosemite and numbers are much closer now. FYI, developer says he will not update for El Capitan due to Apple policies; we'll see if MenuMeters keeps working then.
    – Michael H.
    Aug 27, 2015 at 3:13
  • 7
    A new author has taken over development of MenuMeters and it works with 10.11. El Capitan MenuMeters
    – Dan Pritts
    Mar 23, 2016 at 15:21
  • 1
    FWIW, I appear to have switched to iStatMenus for this. I don't remember why, but I'm guessing it has to do with better support for current OS and hardware.
    – Michael H.
    May 30, 2020 at 23:51

Check out iGlance it's open source.

iglance screenshot enter image description here

  • 2
    Exactly what I was looking for.
    – cmcginty
    Jun 5, 2020 at 8:10
  • 3
    brew install --cask iglance
    – fafrd
    May 16, 2021 at 3:23

I made a simple app that displays cpu and memory usage on menubar, free and open sourced. Feedback is welcome.


enter image description here

  • RAM usage display seems non-standard or even not-accurate? Apr 18, 2018 at 10:03

I created a free app that shows percentage on the menu bar:

enter image description here

You can download it from here:


  • Thanks for that! Easy and simple - working on M2 chipset. Aug 30, 2022 at 9:57

I prefer SystemPal. iStat itself consumes too much CPU and RAM. SystemPal is quick, tiny, configurable, neat, and powerful. It's available on Mac App Store.

  • Still costs dollars, but much fewer than iStat Menus does, so thank you :)
    – mike
    Apr 23, 2016 at 23:36

Not sure how long this has been a feature, but it's possible to replace the Activity Monitor dock icon with a graph showing CPU usage, CPU history, network usage, or disk activity.

enter image description here

For example, showing CPU history turns the icon into this little graph:

enter image description here

  • Great find, not sure why this is not the default.
    – Pieter
    Jul 26, 2022 at 6:34

A free open source solution is CpuInfo on GitHub (shows cpu only)

  • Clean, simple and open source 👍
    – BenRoe
    Jun 19, 2019 at 19:03

I really liked eul. Slick design and great configuration ability. Widgets are also available.

eul tray view

eul all views

brew install --cask eul

or install from Mac App Store.


Or you can try some geeklets from the internet (or make one yourself) on Geektool. I find it more customizable than menu bar apps, and prettier when I get to use the fonts and sizes I like.

  • 1
    I did that! I had a nice weather.com geeklet on my desktop. And then I upgraded to Mountain Lion, and the geektool is failing for mysterious reasons, and I have to debug it. :-/
    – Michael H.
    Nov 8, 2012 at 19:38
  • You could try using Übersicht
    – Oion Akif
    Feb 22, 2017 at 17:35

Haven't seen this one mentioned yet: Menu Bar Stats 3

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