- How To Free Up Memory (RAM) On A Mac - Macworld UK
- Delete All Cached ContentChoose Apple Menu > System Preferences, Then Click Sharing.Select Content Caching, Then Click Options.Click Reset, Then Cl...
- Macbook Pro Clear Cache Files
- You Are Welcome. I'm Not Sure I Understand, But There Is No Sharing Option For Content Or Caches.
- How To Clear The Memory Cache On A Mac
Delete the 'Caches' folder's contents. Click the File menu item at the top of the screen, then click Move Items to Trash in the drop-down menu. The 'Caches' folder's contents will be moved to the Trash. If you receive an error telling you that one or more of the files can't be deleted, they're being used by a program that's currently open. If you want to clear the cache on your Mac right now, we suggest doing it the easy way: Launch CleanMyMac X (download the trial version here). After a fresh backup has completed, here is how to delete and clear cache and temp files from the active user: Quit out of any actively open Mac apps Go to the Finder in Mac OS Hold down the SHIFT key (in Sierra) or OPTION / ALT key (Earlier) and pull down the “Go” menu in the Finder. Go to cache and delete the contents – that is what the cache cleaning on Mac is about. Open Finder, select “Go”, click “Go to folder”, type “Library/Caches/”, remove certain cache files, and empty trash. Fix a lot of browser related errors by Mac safari cache cleaning.
One of the most common problems that Mac users encounter is low computer memory. Over time, even the most powerful computer will get cluttered with apps, files, extensions , and processes that are too much to handle. To get everything back to normal (because every byte matters), you need to declutter your Mac by cleaning up the mess and removing unnecessary stuff that consumes your computer’s memory.
So when your computer is slowing down, you are likely to notice a “Your system has run out of application memory” message, many of your apps are crashing, or you keep on seeing a lot of spinning rainbow wheels. All these mean your computer is probably low on memory or RAM.
This article will show you how to free up memory on a Mac and other tips to optimize your machine.
What Is RAM?
RAM stands for Random Access Memory and it is one of the most important components of computers and laptops. It is where the computer stores data before being processed. It is a form of volatile memory, where the data is available only when the device is powered on, and everything gets deleted when it is shut down.
Pro Tip: Scan your Mac for performance issues, junk files, harmful apps, and security threats
that can cause system issues or slow performance.
Most Macs are equipped with 8GB RAM, but older versions only have 4GB RAM. This is enough if you’re not using RAM-hungry apps, but even then, you’ll still most probably run into memory-related problems in the long run. If you notice that your Mac is taking ages to load or your applications are often crashing, you need to do something to manage your computer’s memory and give it some breathing space.
However, upgrading your Mac’s RAM is more complicated than it sounds. Not all Macs have upgradeable RAM , so you need to check first whether your Mac model has a removable RAM or not. In some models, particularly MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, the RAM is soldered to the board and cannot be replaced.
Before you think about installing more RAM, you should first try the tips listed below to free up your Mac memory.
How to Free Up RAM on macOS Mojave
There are several things you can do to manage your Mac memory usage and fix any RAM-related problems you are experiencing.
Reboot Your Mac
The first thing you should do when you free up RAM is to restart your Mac. Refreshing the system solves the problem most of the time, especially if the issue was caused by a minor glitch or an app that crashed. Restarting your Mac will delete the data on your RAM and any disk cache, so things should run smoother and faster after rebooting.
However, if you’re in the middle of something and you’re afraid of losing whatever you’re working on, restarting your computer might not be a good idea. If your macOS has hung because you ran out of memory but you don’t want to lose any unsaved information, you might want to try the other solutions below.
Update Your macOS
It is also possible that your memory problem is being caused by a macOS bug or issue. If this is the case, it is important to check whether you are running the latest version of macOS and install any necessary updates.
To check whether there’s an update you need to install, follow the steps below:
- Click the Apple logo and choose App Store under System Preferences.
- Click the Updates tab.
- Install all updates, if there are any.
After installing all the updates, restart your Mac and check whether your RAM problem has been resolved.
Check Memory Usage via Activity Monitor
When your app freezes or your Mac seems to be slower than usual, the first thing you need to check is the Activity Monitor. This is a built-in tool that shows you how much memory is being used, which apps are using it, and how much memory each app or process is hogging. The Activity Monitor will also help you determine if a particular process or app is consuming memory resources more than it should.
When you access the Activity Monitor app, you’ll see complete information regarding each running process or app. You can also add extra data by adding columns on the window.
To launch Activity Monitor, go to Finder > Go > Utilities > Activity Monitor or type in activity monitor in Spotlight. In the Activity Monitor Window, you’ll see a list of processes along with tabs of information regarding those processes, namely CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, and Network.
Click on the Memory tab to understand how your memory is actually being used by your apps and processes. At the bottom of the window, you’ll see a graph on Memory Pressure and information regarding Physical Memory, Memory Used, Cached Files , and Swap Used. On the rightmost side of the graph, you’ll see data for App Memory, Wired Memory, and Compressed.
The Memory Pressure graph shows how much pressure your computer’s RAM is currently under. Ideally, the graph should be green, which indicates low pressure for your memory. A yellow graph means that you are short of memory while a red graph indicates a critical situation for your RAM, at which point you need to free up some space as soon as possible.
Follow the instructions below to free up some of your RAM using Activity Monitor:
- Launch Activity Monitor and click on the Memory tab.
- Click on the Memory column to arrange the processes according to their memory usage. Make sure that the processes are sorted out from the highest to the lowest.
- If you think that an app is consuming more than its share of memory resources, you can easily kill the process by clicking on the Quit button. Take note, however, that this does not necessarily kill the app. If the process you killed is a webpage, it will just close and reload that page without closing the browser. But if you closed a specific app, you’ll usually see a “closed unexpectedly” warning.
Warning: Don’t close processes that you are not familiar with because they may be related to other important processes on your computer.
Close Unnecessary Apps
Some Mac users are guilty of clicking the close button and thinking that the app is already close d. Note, though, that clicking the close button only closes the window, not the app itself. More often than not, you’re left with several apps still open without you even knowing about it.
Even without looking at the Activity Monitor, you can see which apps are running just by looking at the Dock. If you see a dot below the icon of the app, it means that these apps are still open.
Here’s how to properly close an application and free up some of your memory:
- Right-click the app icon on the Dock.
- Select Quit from the right-click menu.
- Alternatively, you can also choose Quit from the app’s top menu.
Tidy Up Your Files
If you have the habit of saving everything on your Desktop and just leaving them there, then you might want to organize your stuff to lessen the stress on your computer. macOS treats every icon on the Desktop as an active window, so the more items you have on it, the bigger your memory consumption will be.
Delete all unnecessary files and get rid of your junk files using an app such as Outbyte MacRepair. You can also drag all of them into one folder to make your Desktop neat and tidy.
Delete Cache Files
Deleting cache files will help free up some of your memory, but this is not something a beginner should do. The Cache folder contains some system files that are important for your Mac to run properly, so you should know which files to delete and which ones to keep.
If you’re confident that you know what you’re doing, you can delete cache files by following these steps:
- Click Finder > Go > Go to Folder.
- Type in ~/Library/Caches/ in the dialog box.
- Delete the cache files that you don’t need in the folder, but make sure that you know what files you are deleting.
Clear Inactive Memory via Terminal
Another way to free up your computer’s memory is by purging it using the Terminal. To do this, open the Terminal and type in sudo purge. Hit Enter and type in the admin password. Next, wait as your Mac’s inactive memory is being deleted.
- Edit Your Finder Settings.
If you launch the Finder app and you see either All My Files or Recents, then you might want to change how your Finder app is configured because all the locations of the files shown in that window will be stored in RAM, therefore using up more resources. What you can do is show a specific folder so that only one location will appear.
To do this:
- Launch Finder and go to Preferences.
- Click the General tab.
- Under New Finder windows show , choose a specific folder such as Documents or Desktop.
- Close Finder and relaunch the app.
If you have multiple Finder windows open, you can either close those that you don’t need or merge them all together. To merge all open window, click Window from the top menu and click Merge All Windows. This may not save you a huge chunk of memory space, but it helps.
A computer’s memory is a precious commodity that needs to be managed strategically. Since upgrading RAM on Mac computers can be difficult, and sometimes not possible, you can try the methods above to gain back some breathing room for your memory. The trick here is to quit all that you don’t need, delete your junk files, and streamline your processes. Once you do, you’ll definitely notice a huge improvement in your Mac’s performance.
“No matter what I do, my Mac is still slow”, an average tech-consultant hears this phrase multiple times a day. Give a person even the most powerful computer, and pretty soon it will be cluttered with apps, extensions, and things that are too much for it to handle. To reverse it, one has to go back and сlean up the mess, removing memory agents one by one. Prepare for a fight — every byte of memory is at stake. So let’s put your Mac on a diet and get it more free RAM to breathe freely.
First, remove desktop clutter. Get a combination of Setapp apps that clear away unneeded desktop files.Download Declutter Free
“Your system has run out of application memory”
How do you know your Mac is low on memory? Floating “rainbow wheels” aside, you may notice your Mac now takes ages to load. You’ll also see many browser applications crashing. You’ll be also thrown warning messages as “Your system has run out of application memory”. To help it, you should first visit the Activity monitor to see memory usage on Mac.
How to check RAM usage on Mac
Go to Applications and type in Activity Monitor in the search bar. This invokes a good old Activity Monitor that should tell how much free memory you’ve got left.
A shortcut to open Activity Monitor:
Press F4 and start typing Activity Monitor in the search bar.
I’ve attached a screenshot from my Mac and as you can see my memory usage almost reached full capacity. Here’s what it all means:
App memory: taken by apps and processes
Wired memory: reserved by apps, can’t be freed up
Compressed: inactive, can be used by other apps
Swap used: memory used by macOS
Cached files: memory you can really use
Notice the colored graph under Memory Pressure. If your graph is all but red and yellow, your Mac is really gasping for fresh memory. It seems counter-intuitive, but “available memory” your Activity Monitor is not that important after all. In fact, it’s a system intended behavior to use all memory resources when available. On the contrary, the Memory Pressure graph is much more telling, so grow a habit to check this graph in the Activity Monitor every now and then.
How to check CPU usage on Mac
Open the CPU tab in Activity Monitor to keep in check CPU-heavy processes. Normally an app would be using 0-4% of CPU. If it takes abnormally more than that, go inside that particular item in the list and press the Quit button.
How to free up memory on Mac
Tip # 1. Remove Login Items to lower Mac memory usage
Login items are programs that load automatically upon Mac startup. Some of them covertly add themselves to the list and this is no good. If you’re looking to free up RAM, they are the first candidates for deletion. Don’t worry, you’re not deleting the app itself, you just stop it from auto-launching every time.
So, to remove Login Items and at the same time reduce your memory usage of your Mac, you need to:
- Open System Preferences and select Users & Groups.
- Click your nickname on the left.
- Select the Login Items tab.
- Check programs you don’t want to load as your Mac starts.
- Press the “–” sign below.
Now, you won’t see these apps pop up the moment you turn on your Mac. Although this method doesn’t require some superpowers of yours, some special Mac optimization and memory cleaner tools may do the job faster and ensure the smooth performance of your Mac. CleanMyMac X is an excellent example of such software. Here’s how to disable Login Items with CleanMyMac X:
- Download it for free and go to the Optimization tab.
- Check Login Items to see the list of apps that get opened when you start your Mac.
- Click Remove.
As you’ve already come to the Optimization module of CleanMyMac, you can also fix hung apps and heavy memory consumers there. In this way, you’ll free up the solid amount of RAM on Mac — 100% free of charge.
Tip # 2. Free up disk space if Mac is low on memory
The available space on your Mac’s drive translates into virtual memory. This comes to save you when you’ve run out of physical RAM. So now your computer relies on your hard drive space to keep your apps going.
The classic geek rule of thumb holds it that you should keep at least 20% of disk space on your startup drive. Not only this potentially reduces your future spending on iCloud storage but it also keeps your Mac speedier.
What to delete to free up space:
- Large unused files, like movies
- Old downloads
- Rarely used applications
- System junk
But here’s a simpler solution to save your time — clean up your drive with CleanMyMac X— the app I’ve mentioned above. Many users recommend it as an excellent way to free up more space because it searches for large & old files, useless system files, Photo junk, mail attachments and shows everything you can safely delete. Interestingly, it finds about 74 GB of junk on an average computer.
Extra trick: How to free up RAM on Mac with CleanMyMac X
If you have downloaded CleanMyMac, you may also take advantage of its amazing feature — the ability to free up RAM in a few seconds. Try this next time you see “Your system has run out of application memory” message.
- Go to the Maintenance tab on the left.
- Click Free Up RAM.
- Click Run.
As simple as that!
And you can do it even if you download a free version of the app.
Tip # 3. Clean up your Desktop
This tip always comes at the bottom of instructions and unfairly so as it is quite effective. Without even looking at your Desktop I would assume it’s cluttered with mountains of icons. Thing is, your macOS was designed in a way that it treats every Desktop icon as a little active window. The more icons, the heavier memory usage on Mac. So in order to release available memory resources, it’s recommended to keep your Desktop clean.
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. With apps like Declutter and Spotless, every desktop cleaning session will be scheduled in advance and executed automatically. Your only job is to define the rules on how your files should be organized.
Tip #4. Clear cache files
Another way to free up RAM on Mac is to clear it of cache files. Of course, it won’t save you gigabytes of space, but deleting cache regularly, you can help your Mac run faster and avoid system issues.
So, to remove cache files on your Mac, you need to:
- Open Finder.
- From the Go menu, select Go to Folder.
- Type ~/Library/Caches in the field and press Go.
- In the window that appears, you will see all your cache files.
- Press Command+A to select all files or delete files one by one.
- Enter your user name and password to confirm.
If you find some files still in the folder after you emptied it, maybe you have some windows open on your Mac. Just like that, you can save up some space on your Mac. Don’t forget to empty the bin afterward.
Tip # 5. Tune up Chrome’s Task Manager
Although Google Chrome is not the one to blame for massive memory usage, it can indeed affect your Mac's performance. If you use Chrome as your primary browser, you probably have many windows opened there. Chrome runs a lot of processes to ensure a fast browsing experience for you. So, it uses your RAM for storing your tabs, plugins, and extensions. Look at how many entries Google Chrome has in Activity Monitor:
The question then arises, 'Why does Chrome use so much RAM?' The thing is that each process is responsible for a separate plugin or extension of your browser. For example, when a tab unexpectedly falls, you need to refresh it to continue your work there. If one process were responsible for all tabs and extensions, you would need to restart the whole browser instead. Can you imagine how many times would you do that? That’s the proper answer to why Chrome uses so much RAM.
I’ve been using Chrome for some years only to discover (recently) that Chrome had a task manager of its own. You can use it to force quit memory-heavy processes in the browser. It’s a handy tool because it lets you see how a page weighs on CPU usage on a Mac.
- Go to Chrome settings (dotted icon in the top right corner)
- Click More tools -> Task Manager
To free up even more RAM, close the GPU process. The GPU Process, though helpful in theory to accelerate pages, eats up a considerable amount of memory. Click to end it to free up RAM on your Mac.
Tip # 6. Manage RAM usage with CleanMyMac X menu
CleanMyMac X has another useful and convenient feature for managing your Mac’s performance and memory usage. As you install CleanMyMac X and start it for the first time, it’s icon will appear in your menu bar. Click the icon to open the CleanMyMac X menu. Here you can find updates on the current condition of your Mac and perform quick tweaks to increase your Mac's speed. Whenever you feel like your Mac underperforms, open the CleanMyMac X menu to check how much RAM is available and free it up as well.
Tip # 7. Close Finder windows
Okay, suppose you’re still asking yourself, how do I clear RAM on my MacBook Pro/MacBook Air. The next trick is as magical (you’ll see for yourself) as it is time-saving. It’s no secret that each window in the Finder eats up RAM. But how many open windows are there? Some of them are collapsed or stacked in some blind spot on your screen. This Finder command merges all your windows into one. See how to do it:
Click on Finder > Window > Merge All Windows
Now you can manage Finder windows more effectively and free up memory on MacBook.
How To Free Up Memory (RAM) On A Mac - Macworld UK
What else you can do to minimize memory usage on Mac
I’ve saved the easiest tips for the end, as long as these ones are self-explanatory.
- Replace AdBlock (very memory-demanding) with a lighter extension
- Keep fewer opened tabs in the browser
- Restart your Mac more often to free up RAM
- Close all hung-up print queues
That was my take on how to make your Mac a bit speedier to use. If you’re looking for more guidance, check simple ways to speed up your Mac.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to check application memory on Mac?
To check RAM usage on your Mac, go to Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities). In the Memory tab, you will see all the active processes that are using your Mac’s RAM. At the end of the window, there is a Memory Used graph, which indicates how much application memory is used.
Delete All Cached ContentChoose Apple Menu > System Preferences, Then Click Sharing.Select Content Caching, Then Click Options.Click Reset, Then Cl...
How to find out whether your Mac needs more RAM?
Macbook Pro Clear Cache Files
Your Mac may be using almost all its RAM, but you don’t need more if it’s using it efficiently. Open Activity Monitor and go to the Memory tab. The Memory Pressure graph shows the current condition of your RAM: green color means your Mac’s using RAM effectively, while yellow is a sign that some application or process is using too much of application memory. The red memory pressure signals that your Mac needs more RAM.
You Are Welcome. I'm Not Sure I Understand, But There Is No Sharing Option For Content Or Caches.
How to quickly free up RAM on your MacBook?
How To Clear The Memory Cache On A Mac
To free up RAM on your Mac, firstly, you should find out what app uses so much of your memory. The memory-heavy programs are listed in Activity Monitor, Memory tab. If there is an app you aren’t using at the moment, click it and press the “X” sign to quit it. This will, in turn, free some of the application memory.