See What Files & Ports an Application is Using with Activity Monitor

This is a discussion on See What Files & Ports an Application is Using with Activity Monitor within the Mac OS X forums, part of the Mac Software category; The OS X task management tool Activity Monitor includes an excellent and little known feature that lets you see precisely what files, ports, and IPís ...

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    See What Files & Ports an Application is Using with Activity Monitor




    The OS X task management tool Activity Monitor includes an excellent and little known feature that lets you see precisely what files, ports, and IPís are being interacted with by any single process or application. Here is how to use it:

    Launch Activity Monitor, found in /Applications/Utilities/

    Double-click on the process or application name you want to see open files and ports for

    Click the ďOpen Files and PortsĒ tab

    The list is scrollable and shows full paths to all files that are being interacted with by the application/process. Much of the data will be unfamiliar to many users, with obscure system files, caches, and plists being accessed, but youíll also find paths that are easy to identify which can be helpful in resolving system conflicts and troubleshooting certain problems. Similar filesystem access data can be provided with the command line tool opensnoop, but for most Mac users the GUI Activity Monitor will be more friendly to their needs.

    Ports are identified as numbers, and youíll also be able to see the IPís of any active internet or network connections that have been opened by the application. The data is presented a little rough, if you want an easier to browse version of open network connections take a look at the free GUI tool PrivateEye. IP and port data can also be uncovered through the command line tool lsof if youíre more technically inclined.

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