Console: Using the “Ignore Sender” Feature

I’ve mentioned before how useful the Console application is for troubleshooting problems. Within its cryptic and repetitive logs, I often find solace. Comfort, even, for my ailing machine—indeed, to my ailing soul.

Sorry, I drifted off there. What I mean to say is that the program is critical when you need to find out what’s going on with a misbehaving Mac. You can use its view of your computer’s logs to find specific data and then do a Web search for any error messages you find. One of its best features, though, is that you can choose to block irrelevant messages, leaving a cleaner log for you to page through. Here’s how. 

After you’ve opened the program (it lives in your Applications > Utilities folder), check out the Ignore Sender button on the toolbar.

(If for some reason you don’t have that button, go to View > Customize Toolbar to add it in.)

Select any message in the Console and click Ignore Sender, and it’ll automatically hide everything from that application or process. So, for example, if you’re having trouble with your Mac, but you know it’s not related to Safari, you can hide all of Safari’s messages to help isolate the data you actually want. Groovy!

Now, you might be wondering how to un-ignore a sender. You guys are so fickle. To do that, click on the small “open drawer” icon at the bottom-left of the Console window.

In the drawer that pops up, you’ll see a list of your top senders, organized by how many messages they’ve produced. If you’ve ignored any senders, those will appear at the bottom of the list in yellow.

Click the X next to a sender’s name, and shazam—it’s no longer being ignored. 

If you’d like to see more applications and processes show up in your list of top senders, you can also change the number of them in that view in Console > Preferences.

And finally, try using that list to exclude all messages except those from a specific sender by clicking the checkbox next to one of ’em.

And now only logged events from Time Machine’s backupd process will show up. Luckily, this all looks normal. Go Melissa’s MacBook Air!