62

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?

4
  • 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 '16 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 '19 at 10:43
  • 3
    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 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 at 12:09

12 Answers 12

33

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).

11
  • +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 '10 at 11:27
  • 1
    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 '10 at 10:16
  • 1
    @MattSephton What do you base that on?
    – David
    Nov 1 '18 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 '18 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 '20 at 15:24
54

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.

14
  • I wasn't able to get this to work. After unzipping, running installer, and logging out/in, it doesn't appear on the menubar.
    – spong
    Sep 8 '10 at 11:28
  • 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 '10 at 16:06
  • 2
    I love MenuMeters. I'd vote it up, but I'm out of votes for today. :-(
    – daviesgeek
    Oct 19 '11 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 '15 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 '16 at 15:21
30

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 --cask 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.

4
  • 6
    This is a winner! Sep 3 '20 at 17:21
  • I'm loving this one thanks! Nov 18 '20 at 13:20
  • this one's better for me.
    – Jovanni G
    Jan 24 at 23:39
  • I can't see this in BigSur after installing.
    – imflash217
    Mar 31 at 0:39
25

Check out iGlance it's open source.

iglance screenshot enter image description here

2
  • 2
    Exactly what I was looking for.
    – cmcginty
    Jun 5 '20 at 8:10
  • 2
    brew install --cask iglance
    – fafrd
    May 16 at 3:23
7

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

https://github.com/ningt/iStats

enter image description here

1
  • RAM usage display seems non-standard or even not-accurate? Apr 18 '18 at 10:03
6

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

enter image description here

You can download it from here:

https://github.com/joelmora/macos-activity-monitor

5

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.

1
  • Still costs dollars, but much fewer than iStat Menus does, so thank you :)
    – mike
    Apr 23 '16 at 23:36
3

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

1
  • Clean, simple and open source 👍
    – BenRoe
    Jun 19 '19 at 19:03
1

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.

2
  • 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 '12 at 19:38
  • You could try using Übersicht Feb 22 '17 at 17:35
1

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

1

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

1

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.

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