With this tutorial, release some RAM on your Mac and enjoy a smoother experience.
Is your Mac on hold? Your RAM may have reached its maximum capacity.
Photo Gabriel Beaudry at Unsplash
In fact, there are warning signs that your computer’s memory is full. They can include a response pause, the sudden closure of an application, or the message “Your system is running out of application memory.
To learn how to clean your Mac’s RAM, clean it and optimize its performance, read on.
What is RAM?
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. Commonly known as Random Access Memory, it stores the data your drive needs to open a program. It is faster than the hard drive and is essential for the proper functioning of your Mac.
Most Macs come with 8 GB of RAM, although older models have only 4 GB.
The latter configuration is sufficient if you do not run greedy applications and games. However, even for a very simple use, it is not excluded that there may be problems due to the monopolization of memory because of web pages, for example.
To update the RAM of your Mac, you can download a third-party application that promises to optimize your RAM.
However, it should be noted that your MacOS is capable of efficiently managing its memory and automatically processing all large files.
Therefore, before installing more RAM or downloading an application yourself, there are other tips to consider when solving RAM problems.
1. Reboot your Mac
Rebooting the computer is the easiest way to free up RAM memory.
That’s because when your Mac reboots, it automatically drains its memory and the hard drives are exhausted. And the same applies to smartphones.
However, in some cases, this option is not always ideal, especially if you have not had the opportunity to save what you were doing.
2. Updating the MacOS
Your problem may be related to the MacOS update. Therefore, we advise you to download the latest version of your operating system.
Recommended article: Updating your MacOS
3. Review the Activity Monitor
When your Mac slows down or an application crashes, check your Activity Monitor, which is built into your Mac. It’s available in your Utilities folder and through Spotlight.
With the Activity Monitor, you will have access to various information such as storage space or energy consumption. A graph even illustrates the availability of memory resources.
You will also find a section for Application Memory, Resident Memory and Compressed Memory.
- The application memory is used by applications and operations.
- The resident memory is reserved by the applications and cannot be compressed or transferred.
- The compressed memory is inactive and cannot be used by other applications.
Then there is the cache function, which represents the unallocated memory available to you.
Finally, in the memory pressure section, you will have an overview of the pressure your system is under. Ideally, the graph should be green, but if you run out of memory, it will be yellow, or worse, red.
This is how you get out of applications that are draining your memory:
- Opens the Activity Monitor.
- Click on the Memory tab.
- In the column displayed, identify a suspicious application, select it and click on the information icon (i) on the menu.
- It ends with Quit.
4. Close suspicious applications
Have you noticed that some applications are taking advantage of your resources when you were not using them? If so, you may want to shut them down.
With a quick look at your Dock, identify the running applications that need to be launched to provide space.
To close an application :
- Right-click or trackpad on the application icon.
- Click on Exit.
To force a waiver of an application:
- Go to the Apple.
- In the drop-down menu, go to Force Exit.
- Select the application and finish with Exit.
You can also prevent certain applications from starting automatically when you turn on your Mac. To do this, you can do the following:
- Open the system preferences.
- Click on Users and Groups → in the Opening tab.
- Select one of the applications from the list and click on the – sign.
5. Checking CPU usage
Sometimes an application requires a lot of processing power, which slows down your programs. To remedy this problem, check the CPU usage in the Activity Monitor :
- Open the Activity Monitor.
- Click the Processor tab.
- Using the % Processor column, look for an anomaly.
If an application, or process, has a high percentage of CPU, this is probably the cause of the problems.
- Select it and click on the X in the menu.
A kernel_task kernel can be running in the background and take up a lot of resources.
If so, then the only way to get rid of it is to reboot your Mac.
Tips for optimizing your RAM
Even if your Mac does not have much RAM, there are several solutions to optimize its performance.
1. Organize your office
If your desktop is full of documents, images, screenshots and more, then it’s time to reorganize it and remove unnecessary folders.
macOS treats every icon on your desktop as if it were an active window. As a result, the more icons displayed on the desktop, the more memory is taken up.
2. Close web browser tabs
It is not impossible that one of the recently visited websites is very greedy, so it is necessary to remove the browser extensions.
That is why:
- Open Safari.
- Go to Preferences.
- Click on the Extensions tab.
- Choose the extension you want to uninstall.
- Ends with Uninstallation.
3. Close or merge Finder windows
Each Finder window can have an impact on your RAM. Therefore, it is advisable to leave the windows or merge them.
- Enter the Finder.
- On the menu bar, click Window → Merge all windows.
4. Check the printer
Have you recently printed a document? Work may be on hold and may have caused your Mac to freeze.
- See you in the Apple.
- Go to System Preferences → Printers and Scanners.
5. Free RAM through the terminal
We only recommend this advice to advanced users.
- Open your terminal application.
- Purging type of sweat.
- Enter your administrator password and wait until the inactive memory is cleared.
6. Clearing the user cache on a Mac
If you wish, you can clear your user cache (again, we do not recommend this for beginners).
- Open the search engine.
- On the sidebar, click “Go to folder”.
- Type ~/Library/Cache/.
- Delete the folders you want, be careful not to delete anything necessary for your system!
7. Using third party software
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, it should not be necessary to install a third-party application to manage your RAM, because the MacOS does the job itself.
On the other hand, if your Mac does not have as much memory as you would like, then this solution can be less expensive and complicated than adding strips of RAM.
With Parallels Toolbox, for example, you have about 30 tools to quickly recover memory, create content or optimize your computer. The subscription fee is ?19.99 per year, and before you commit, you get a free 7-day trial.
We also offer the Macpaw CleanMyMac utility. Thanks to it, uninstall your applications and remove several extensions to improve the performance of your MacOS, in just a few clicks.
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