The Preferences dialog is accessed by selecting Instruments > Preferences. It contains five tabs where you can customize Instruments to best suit your needs.
The General tab contains customization options for startup and data collection in Instruments.
Always use deferred mode
Collects trace data in deferred mode. This delays analysis of the data until the end of the recording.
Suppress template chooser
Instruments displays a trace document when opened or a new instance is created.
Save current run only
Saves only the current run of data for each instrument.
Compress run data
Saves run data in zip format.
Default document location
Determines the default location for data storage.
Global Keyboard Shortcuts
Sets a keyboard shortcut for starting the time profiling instrument.
Lets active cores execute more than one execution unit.
Sets the number of active cores used by Instruments to record data.
The Display tab contains customization options for the Track pane and the Detail pane.
Enforce initial deck height
All instruments start at their default height.
Sort process lists by identifier
Sorts process lists by their identifier instead of alphabetically.
Always snap track to fit at end of run
Fits all collected data into the current track width.
The DTrace tab contains customization options for collecting DTrace data.
Buffer size (megabytes)
Sets the size of the DTrace kernal buffer. Defaults to 25 MB.
Max backtrace depth
Sets the maximum stack depth to capture for DTrace instruments. Defaults to a depth of 128.
Permit zero match probes.
Avoids an error condition if a probe can not be found.
Preserve intermediate files
Prevents Instruments from removing intermediate files from the disk.
Flag runtime messages
Automatically flags any error or status messages.
Background Profiling Tab
The Background Profiling tab contains customization options for collecting data on spinning processes.
Automatic Time Profiling
Automatically performs time profiling on any spinning processes.
Sets how often sampling is performed. Defaults to 1 millisecond.
Sets how long the sampling process lasts. Defaults to 5 seconds.
Search Paths Tab
The Search Paths tab allows the user to set global search paths for files that contain symbol information. Click the plus (+) button to add a new search path.