Notes to Future-Me

Track Files Accessed by Applications on MacOS

Posted: 2024-06-18
Tags: MacOS, Xcode

Curious about what an application is doing, or where it is storing things?

Launch Instruments by either opening it directly from /Applications/


Select File Activity, click Choose

In the upper left, the current machine name will be listed and next to it by default will probably say All Processes.

When ready, click the red record button. This will launch the application (and probably prompt for administrator credentials).

Do whatever in the application, and then exit. This will trigger Instruments to process the trace.

The Disk Usage tab of the navigation bar will give a complete list of files interacted with by the application.