How To Clean Your Computer Memory

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  1. How To Clean Your Computer Memory
  2. How To Clean Up Your Computer Memory
  3. How To Clean Your Computer Memory Problems

When you use up all of the available RAM on your computer, you may notice that your device struggles to complete tasks. If you find that your computer’s applications are frequently crashing and it takes longer to do simple tasks, then you might be wondering how to free up RAM on your computer.

How to clean your computer memory cards

What is RAM?

Open Task Manager with Ctrl + Alt + Del keys. Go to Task Manager, open Processes tab and the list displaying all your running tasks. Here you see the usage according to CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network. Choose the tasks consuming high CPU percentage and click End Task.

  • None the less, in this article, we will show you how to wipe your computer clean with installation disc and data erasing software. Part 1: Format Windows Hard Drive (Not Recommended) Part 2: Wipe Computer Clean with Secure Data Erasing Software; Part 1: Wipe Computer Clean by Formatting Entire Hard Drive.
  • How to Clean Up Computer Memory Space. Over a period of extended computer use, you will install numerous programs and save many files. These will be scattered throughout your computer's hard drive.

Your computer’s Random Access Memory (RAM) is stored on a memory chip that is typically found on the motherboard. This where your computer stores short term data. RAM is the hub of storage for all active and running programs and processes. Your computer uses the information it has stored in RAM to complete tasks while simultaneously receiving and performing other functions.

When you use up all of the available RAM memory, your computer’s performance can slow down because it doesn’t have the storage required to complete its tasks. When you clear RAM space, it gives your computer the capability to carry out tasks. Depending on your computer, there are a few different ways you can free up RAM space.

How to Make the Most of Your RAM

It can be easy to use up your RAM because it supports so many functions. Before you start removing programs from your computer, try these quick fixes to free up RAM space.

Restart Your Computer

The first thing you can try to free up RAM is restarting your computer. When you restart or turn off your computer, all of your RAM (stored data) will be wiped clean and programs will be rebooted. This can potentially clear out some processes and programs that are running behind the scenes, taking up your RAM storage.

Update Your Software

It’s important to be running the most updated versions of your computer software and applications. Older renditions of software and apps can take more memory to process, causing your computer to slow down.

Try a Different Browser

How To Clean Your Computer Memory

Something else you can try is changing browsers, as some have been known to use more data than others. If you’re not already, try using a browser like Chrome or Firefox, which are typically good browsers for memory management.

Clear Your Cache

If you still find yourself short on RAM, the next option is to try deleting your cache. Sometimes your cache can take up a lot of space because it uses RAM for memory functions. The cache holds on to information that your computer uses to reload pages it has seen before rather than downloading them again. This can save you time when browsing, but if you are short on RAM, it’s something you can sacrifice with minimal effect.

Remove Browser Extensions

Many of your daily work and home computer operations have been made easy by the use of browser extensions. However, they also require memory, so you might want to think about disabling or removing your extensions.

5 Ways to Free up RAM on Windows 10

If you are still having trouble freeing up your RAM storage, you might have too many programs and applications without even knowing. Try these five ways to free up RAM storage for Windows 10 computers.

1. Track Memory and Clean Up Processes

You should monitor your computer RAM usage so that you don’t deplete your supply before you really need it. To monitor your computer’s memory, you can navigate to the task manager to check the processes. This is where you’ll be able to see which programs are running and what kind of space they are taking up.

To locate your computer memory:

  1. Hold the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys to open the Task Manager.
  2. Select the “Processes” tab.
  3. Click the “Memory” column to view how much space they are taking up.

You can now see which of your programs are taking up the most time and space on your computer. If you find anything suspicious eating up your memory, you should delete programs you don’t need or use.

2. Disable Startup Programs You Don’t Need

If you have used your computer for at least a few years, then you have probably downloaded a fair amount of software that you either forgot about or no longer use. After the processes tab tells you which programs use the most space, you will want to maneuver to the startup tab to stop those you no longer need.

To disable startup programs:

  1. Select the “Startup” tab from the Task Manager.
  2. Click “Startup impact” to organize the programs from high to low usage.
  3. Right-click to disable any programs that you don’t need.

Startup programs are those that activate when your computer is booted up. When these programs start, each one takes up a little bit of RAM in the background without your consent. After a while, all of the software and programs can add up. Be sure that the ones that aren’t needed are disabled or removed.

3. Stop Running Background Apps

The next items that could be taking up RAM are your applications that are set to automatically run in the background. You may have used your computer for years before noticing some of these apps taking up your RAM storage. This can quickly exhaust your memory, battery, and data bandwidth.

To stop background apps:

  1. Go to computer settings.
  2. Click the “Privacy” category.
  3. Scroll down the panel on the left side to “Background Apps.”
  4. Turn off any apps you do not use.

Applications are often automatically set to run in the background of your device. This enables them to display notifications and update their software automatically. By turning this off on apps you don’t use, you can save RAM storage.

4. Clear Page File When Shutting Down

When you restart your computer, your page files don’t get cleared or reset because unlike RAM, they get stored on the hard drive. So, when RAM gets stored on-page files it does not get cleared with the rest at shutdown.

Clearing page files on your hard drive will clear any RAM it has stored and help keep your computer running efficiently. You can set this to automatically clear when your computer shuts down, just like the RAM. Do this by opening the Registry Editor:

  1. Type “Registry Editor” into the start menu search bar.
  2. Click “Yes” to allow Registry Editor to make changes to your device.
  3. On the left, scroll to and select “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.”
  4. Scroll to select “SYSTEM.”
  5. Select “CurrentControlSet.”
  6. Find and select “Control.”
  7. Scroll to select “Session Manager.”
  8. Look for and choose “Memory Management.”
  9. Select “ClearPageFileAtShutdown.”
  10. Enter the number “1” under the value data and hit OK.

5. Reduce Visual Effects

With improving technologies, there are many more possibilities for computer effects and visuals. For example, you can turn off the animations for apps and icons that use storage for unnecessary effects. If you seem to be running low on RAM storage, there are some effects you can shelve until you free up more memory.

To access your computer’s visual effects:

  1. Open your File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on “This PC” on the left-side panel to select properties.
  3. Click “Advanced system settings” on the left.
  4. Select the “Advanced” tab.
  5. Choose settings under the “Performance” category.
  6. Change to “Adjust for best performance.”

This setting will disable all animated features on your computer. This will create more storage for you, but limit your computer’s aesthetics significantly. However, you can also customize which visual effects your computer will perform to your preferences in the same tab.

5 Ways to Free up RAM on Mac

For Mac users, there are many convenient tools to monitor and free up RAM storage on your computer.

1. Fix the Finder (Close Finder Windows Too)

When you open a new window in the finder, the data each window displays gets stored as RAM. Adjusting the finder preferences can make your folders open in tabs rather than new finder windows.

To open your Finder Preferences:

  1. Click “Finder” in the top left of your screen.
  2. Right-click on “Preferences” from the dropdown options.
  3. Check to Open folders in tabs instead of new windows.
Clean

There is another way to clear RAM storage by merging your Finder windows. To do this you will select the “Window” dropdown rather than Finder. From there you will select “Merge All Windows” to put all your Finder windows into one place. This will save you on storage as well as declutter your desktop.

2. Check Activity Monitor

To keep track of your RAM usage on Mac you can check the Activity Monitor, which shows you how much memory is being used and what is using it. Utilize the Activity Monitor to determine which apps take up most of your storage. Remove the ones you no longer use.

To Check the Activity Monitor:

  1. Search “Activity Monitor” in the spotlight search bar (command + space).
  2. Click on the “Memory” tab.
  3. Remove unwanted applications.

3. Check CPU Usage

You can also use the Activity Monitor app to check your CPU health and usage. CPU is your Central Processing Unit, and it carries out instructions from the computer software information stored as RAM.

To monitor your CPU, just select the “CPU” tab in front of the memory tab. This is where you can see if any apps take more processing power than others.

4. Clean-Up Programs and Applications

If you are looking to keep a consistently healthy amount of RAM storage, then you will want to keep your computer clean and organized. A cluttered desktop is going to use storage much faster because macOS views each desktop icon as an active window. Even if you don’t think you can organize your files, putting everything into one general folder can free up a lot of RAM.

5. Free up Disk Space

If you find that your RAM is completely full, but you’re still in need of storage, you can use free space on your Mac’s drive called virtual memory. This extra storage is found on Mac computer’s hard drives so that you can continue running apps. The function is always on, however to use virtual memory you will need to be sure you have driver space available to swap.

Additional Ways to Free up RAM on Windows or Mac

The best thing to do is to be proactive with your computer’s RAM so that you don’t have to worry about freeing up space. Use these additional ways to keep your RAM storage free.

Install a Memory/RAM Cleaner

If you find that you do not have the time, or you just cannot manage to organize your computer, there are memory cleaner apps to help you disinfect your computer. Many of these cleaners have special features for removing apps or extensions and allow users to manage their startup programs.

Increase RAM

You can always add more RAM to your computer if you have a lot of information you don’t want to delete. Buying and installing RAM is easy to do for a desktop computer, but can be troublesome for laptops. Be sure that you invest in the correct type of RAM for your computer as well as the correct amount for your specific storage needs.

Scan for Virus and Malware

When you download any software programs or extensions to your computer there is the chance they could have a virus or malware attached. Once you have malware on your computer, it can steal both your information and your RAM space. To prevent picking up any malware or viruses try using Panda Security antivirus to protect your computer and memory.

Now is the time to stop file hoarding. Many of the files on your computer are taking up RAM space without you realizing it. Now you know how to safely declutter your computer of these unused files and how to free up RAM so your computer runs more efficiently.

Sources: ComputerHope WindowsCentral HelloTech DigitalTrends

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No matter how good you are about keeping your computer clean and up-to-date, they tend to slow down after time. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to help speed them up― without upgrading your hardware.

Original product version: Windows 7 Service Pack 1
Original KB number: 3064207

Note

If you are an advanced user, you can download a free tool from the Microsoft website that shows you all of the programs and processes that run when you start Windows, including the ones that Windows requires to operate successfully. Use this tool only if you are comfortable restoring Windows after an error occurs.

Uninstall extra antivirus programs

If you use more than one antivirus or antispyware program at the same time, your device may experience decreased performance, become unstable, or restart unexpectedly. To remedy the issue, you should select one Internet security program to run on your device. You should then uninstall the other programs.

Caution

Make sure you have an Internet security program running on your device before you uninstall other security programs.

Some Internet security applications do not uninstall completely. You may need to download and run a cleanup utility for your previous security application to completely remove it.

If you use another antispyware program together with Microsoft Security Essentials, we recommend that you turn off real-time scanning in the other program. For more information, see the documentation supplied by that antispyware program.

To remove an antivirus or antispyware program, follow these instructions:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).
  2. Tap or select Search.
  3. Type appwiz.cpl in the Search box.
  4. Tap or select Appwiz.cpl on the left side of your screen.
  5. In the list of installed programs, uninstall the Internet security programs you don't need.
  6. Restart your device.

Close programs in the notification area running with startup

If your device takes a long time to start up, one of the causes could be having a large number of startup apps or a few apps that have a high impact on startup time.

Some of these programs add an icon to the notification area on the taskbar to show that they are running with startup.

To stop a program that has one of these icons from automatically running on startup, follow these instructions:

How To Clean Up Your Computer Memory

  1. On the Start screen, tap or select Desktop image to see the icon tray.
  2. Point to each icon to see the program name.
  3. To ensure that you can see icons for all running programs, tap or select Show hidden icons.
  4. Open a program that you do not want to run on startup. In the options for that program, find a setting similar to Run at startup. Set the option to Off or No.

Note

You must open any program that you do not want to run on startup and change the setting.

View Startup items

To see what programs run at startup and disable any, follow these instructions:

  1. Press and hold or right-click in the blank area on Taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Tap or select More details in the lower-left corner of Task Manager.
  3. Under the Startup tab in Task Manager, you can view a list of applications that start automatically every time you turn on your device and sign in to Windows.
  4. If you see any programs in this list that you do not want to run when Windows starts, tap or select the application and then tap or select Disable.

Note

Disabling a program from running at startup doesn't stop the program from running if you need it. If you tap or select the program after startup, it will start and run normally.

Change a program

Sometimes, by adding or removing certain program options, you can prevent a program from running at startup.

If you can't stop the program from running on startup and the program does not have the option to change the configuration, you must talk to the program manufacturer for a solution.

To change the configuration of a program, follow these instructions:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).
  2. Tap or select Search.
  3. Type appwiz.cpl in the Search box.
  4. Tap or select Apps.
  5. Tap or select Appwiz.cpl on the left side of your screen.
  6. Tap or select a program, and then tap or select Uninstall, Change, or Repair.

If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.

Clean up disk errors

Over time, your device may create errors on its hard drive. These errors can slow your device. The Check Disk program identifies and cleans any errors.

To run Check Disk, follow these instructions:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).

  2. Tap or select Search.

  3. Type computer in the Search box.

  4. Tap or select Apps.

  5. Tap or select Computer on the left side of your screen.

  6. Press and hold or right-click the drive you want to repair, and then tap or select Properties.

  7. Tap or select the Tools tab.

  8. Under Error checking, tap or select Check. Depending upon the size of your hard disk, this may take several minutes. For best results, don't use your device for any other tasks while it's checking for errors. If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.

  9. You may need to restart your device after error checking is complete.

Defragment your hard disk

One of the best ways to help improve your device's performance is by optimizing the hard drive. Optimize Drives, previously known as Disk Defragmenter, is a Windows feature that helps optimize different types of drives. The feature runs automatically on a weekly schedule, but you can also run Optimize Drives manually.

To run Optimize Drives manually, follow these instructions:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).

  2. Tap or select Search.

  3. Type computer in the Search box.

  4. Tap or select Apps.

  5. Tap or select Computer on the left side of your screen.

  6. Press and hold or right-click the drive you want to repair, and then tap or select Properties.

  7. Tap or select the Tools tab.

  8. Tap or select Optimize under Optimize and defragment drive.

  9. Under Status, tap or select the drive you want to optimize. (The Media type column tells you what type of drive you're optimizing.)

  10. To determine if the drive needs to be optimized, tap or select Analyze. Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.

  11. After Windows finishes analyzing the drive, check the Current status column to see whether you need to optimize the drive. If the drive is more than 10 percent fragmented, you should optimize it.

  12. Tap or select Optimize.

Note

  • Optimizing a drive can take anywhere from several minutes to several hours to finish, depending on the size of the drive and degree of optimization required. You can still use your device during the optimization process.
  • If the drive is being used by another program or is formatted using a file system other than NTFS, FAT, or FAT32, it can't be optimized.
  • Network drives can't be optimized.
  • If a drive doesn't appear in Optimize Drives, it might be because it contains an error. Try to repair the drive first, then return to Optimize Drives to try again.

To change the optimization schedule, follow these instructions:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).

  2. Tap or select Search.

  3. Type computer in the Search box.

  4. Tap or select Apps.

  5. Tap or select Computer on the left side of your screen.

  6. Press and hold or right-click the drive you want to repair, and then tap or select Properties.

  7. Tap or select the Tools tab.

  8. Tap or select Optimize under Optimize and defragment drive.

  9. Tap or select Change settings. If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.

  10. Select one of the following:

    • To turn off scheduled optimization, clear the Run on a schedule check box.
    • To change the frequency of scheduled optimization, tap or select the drop-down list next to Frequency, and then tap or select Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. The default schedule for optimization is weekly and runs during Automatic Maintenance.
    • To select the drives you want to include or exclude in scheduled optimization, tap or select Choose next to Drives. Select or clear the check boxes next to the drives and then tap or select OK. You can also clear the Automatically optimize new drives check box if you don't want new drives added to scheduled optimization. If Windows can't optimize a drive, it won't offer the drive as an option for Automatic Maintenance.
  11. Tap or select OK.

Clean your hard disk

Disk Cleanup reduces the number of unnecessary files on your drives by deleting temporary files and system files, emptying the Recycle Bin, and removing a variety of other items that you may no longer need.

To clean your hard disk, follow these instructions:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).
  2. Tap or select Search.
  3. Type free up disk space in the Search box.
  4. Tap or select Settings.
  5. Tap or select Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files on the left side of your screen.
  6. In the Drives list, tap or select the drive that you want to clean up.
  7. Tap or select OK.
  8. In the message that appears, tap or select Delete files.

To clean up system files associated with your account, follow these instructions:

  1. In the Drives list, tap or select the drive that you want to clean up and then tap or select OK.

  2. In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, tap or select Clean up system files. Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.

  3. The More Options tab is available when you opt to clean up system files from your device. This tab includes two additional options for freeing up space:

    • Programs and Features. This option opens Programs and Features in Control Panel, where you can uninstall programs that you no longer use. The Size column in Programs and Features shows how much space each program uses.
    • System Restore and Shadow Copies. System Restore uses restore points to return your system files to an earlier point in time. If your device is running normally, you can save space by deleting earlier restore points.
How To Clean Your Computer Memory

Turn off visual effects

If Windows is running slowly, you can speed it up by disabling certain visual effects. You can select which visual effects to turn off one by one or you can let Windows select for you.

To turn off visual effects, follow these instructions:

How To Clean Your Computer Memory Problems

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).
  2. Tap or select Search.
  3. Type Performance Information and Tools in the Search box.
  4. Tap or select Settings.
  5. Tap or select Performance Information and Tools on the left side of your screen.
  6. Tap or select Adjust visual effects. If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  7. Under Visual Effects tab, check on Adjust for best performance, and then tap or select OK. (For a less drastic option, select Let Windows choose what's best for my computer.

Run fewer programs at the same time

Sometimes you can improve system performance by changing your computing behavior. Running four or more programs while leaving multiple browser windows and email messages open may be more than your device can handle.

If you find your device slowing down, decide whether you really need to keep all of your programs and windows open at the same time. Also, find a way to remind yourself to reply to email messages later instead of keeping them open until you reply.

Use ReadyBoost

ReadyBoost can speed up your device by using storage space on flash memory cards and USB flash drives. If you have a storage device that will work with ReadyBoost, you'll see an option to use ReadyBoost when you plug it into your device. If you select this option, you can select how much memory to use.

Adjust indexing options

Windows uses an index to perform very fast searches of the most common files on your device. If it's taking too long to search for things on your device, you can narrow your search to focus on the files and folders that you most commonly use.

Adjust power plan

A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings (such as display, sleep, and so on) that manages how your device uses power. The power plans you can use depend on the kind of device you have.