How to Clean and Free Up Memory (RAM) on Macbook | 6 Methods

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Whatever your requirement is when buying a Mac, RAM (random access memory) should be a major consideration alongside other features, such as screen resolution or processor.

Because simply, your Mac experience cannot be brought to life without its RAM. And as you use your device, processes can slow down when your RAM isn’t optimized.

So, if you’re running short of it, then you’re in for more spinning beach balls, which, let’s admit, kind of gets annoying over time.

This page will guide you on how to check and free up your memory (RAM) on your Mac and quickly get rid of the spinning beach balls.

RAM Shortage Symptoms

Aside from the persistent spinning beach balls, you may also experience the following out of having low available RAM:

  • You will be alerted with a notification that says, “Your system has run out of application memory.”
  • Loading web pages takes forever.
  • Your applications keep crashing.

These events are undesirable, so below, we have created an easy-to-do course of action to fix this concern.

How to Clear & Free Up Memory (RAM) on your Mac?

1. Restart your Mac.

This may be a simple thing we usually do, but this is such a great help to refresh your Mac’s memory. To do this, go to the Apple logo located at the upper left corner of your Mac, then choose Restart.

This takes a short while and, when it’s turned back on, you may notice a smoother Mac experience.

2. Update your Mac operating system (macOS).

You must have been using an outdated operating system all along; that’s why your Mac is running slow.

Try checking for an available macOS update and install it as needed.

To do this,

  • Go to the Apple logo on your menu bar.
  • Choose “About this Mac”.
  • A display of your Mac details will pop up. Check if there is an available update by clicking on “Software Update”.
  • If it does have, try updating for a better Mac experience.

3. Check RAM Usage & stop processes through your Activity Monitor.

Mac has its own Activity Monitor (Task Manager in Windows) that you can access anytime to see which programs and processes are taking up most of your memory or RAM.

It’s loaded with a lot of data, including your CPU usage, disk and memory consumption, and network trends.

So, here let’s get into the Activity Monitor.

  • Press “command” and “space bar” at the same time to initialize Spotlight Search.
  • Type in “Activity Monitor” and press “Enter”.

The Activity Monitor will show up, and you may explore now and go through the details of your processes.

Not just that. In this way, you will also be able to selectively stop the processes that are taking up most of your memory.

To do this though your Activity Monitor,

  • Select the activity or activities you want to terminate.
  • Move and place your cursor to the “X” (or Stop) button on the upper left corner of the pop-up. Click on that.
  • Select “Quit”.

Doing this from time to time will surely help boost your Mac’s memory. It will also help you manage and sort your tasks and applications that you need at the moment.

4. Close applications properly.

We’re not kidding on this one.

After closing some applications, especially those that are docked on your desktop, you might not have noticed that there’s a little gray dot below the app icon that remains.

This means that these apps are still open, and in order to close these apps properly, you must quit them.

So, to quit these apps,

  • Simply put your cursor over its icon and right-click or hold the “control” key then press the icon. The following menu will resurface.
  • Choose “Quit”. After doing this, you may notice the little gray dot below the icon disappears, which means you have properly terminated the app.

Quitting these apps will help you reclaim some RAM so, practice closing applications the proper way to prevent your Mac from falling behind.

5. Close startup applications.

This time, you may have already downloaded some applications that slow down your Mac by taking up RAM on opening your screen. These are called startup applications.

These startup applications give rise to delays in your Mac’s response as these automatically run at the start of your screen time without your permission.

Tricky as they may seem but you can actually control these apps by getting into your System Preferences.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the Apple logo at the menu bar.
  • Choose “System Preferences”.
  • Open “Users & Groups”.
  • Check out the “Login items”. Here, you will see the applications that automatically open when you turn on your Mac.
  • Remove them by highlighting them and clicking “-“.

In your next Mac usage, you will notice a faster transition to your desktop because you have already removed the apps that consume your RAM at the start of your screen time.

6. Use an application that can clean your RAM.

You can make use of applications that can free up your RAM in minutes to speed up your Mac. As long as it’s safe to use, you may also opt to enjoy its other benefits aside from trimming down your RAM.

Most Mac users recommend CleanMyMac X since it is an all-around cleaning app for your Mac. On the app’s dashboard, under the Maintenance section, you may select “Free Up RAM” and other speed-boosting tasks and click Run.

You’ll be surprised by how much unnecessary files you have on your Mac that may fill up your RAM and slow your device down.

Final Words

Running into having a full RAM will surely ruin not just your day but also your productivity at work.

Instead of going for a RAM upgrade that will cost you at least $200, you may try to pull off at least one or two of these simple steps to clean and free up your memory (RAM) on your Mac.

You may also download and use the CleanMyMac X app, which may be useful whenever you need a boost of your RAM.

How’s your Mac after doing these tips? No more spinning beach balls? Let us hear in the comments below.