What Is RAM?
How to Check Memory (RAM) Usage on Mac
Curious about what’s gobbling up all the memory on your Mac? Let’s turn detective and find out! It’s super easy to check which apps and processes are hogging your memory, and all it takes is a quick peek at the Activity Monitor. Here’s how you can do it:
- Starting the Search: First, click on the magnifying glass icon in the menu bar. That’s your Spotlight search – think of it as your Mac’s own detective tool.
- Finding the Activity Monitor: In the Spotlight search, type “Activity Monitor” and hit Enter. This is where the magic happens!
- The Memory Tab: Once the Activity Monitor opens, click on the “Memory” tab. Here, you’ll see a list of all the things your Mac is currently thinking about (a.k.a. ongoing processes) and how much memory each one is using.
Now, let’s decode what you see in the Activity Monitor:
- Memory Pressure: This is like a traffic light for your Mac’s memory. Green means all good, and memory resources are available.
- Physical RAM: This shows how much RAM your Mac has in total.
- Memory Used: This tells you how much memory is being used by everything running on your Mac.
- App Memory: This is the memory used specifically by your apps and their processes.
- Wired Memory: Think of this as ‘reserved’ memory that can’t be moved or squished down.
- Compressed: This is like your Mac putting some of its thoughts into a smaller box to make room for more.
- Cached Files: These are bits of memory that apps used recently and have left behind, but they can be reused by other apps.
- Swap Used: This is extra memory that your Mac creates by borrowing space from your storage when it runs out of RAM.
How to Lower Memory (RAM) Usage on Mac
So, you’ve figured out that your Mac’s memory is a bit on the stressed side. No worries! It’s time to give it a little breathing room. Let’s dive into some straightforward and effective ways to free up that RAM and get your Mac running smoothly again.
1. Restart Your Mac
The simplest trick in the book? Just restart your Mac. Why does this work? Because RAM is like your Mac’s short-term memory. Restarting clears out all those temporary files, giving you a fresh start.
2. Free Up RAM with Terminal
If restarting sounds like too much of a hassle (especially if you’ve got a million tabs open), there’s a more tech-savvy way: using the Terminal.
Here’s how: Open Terminal through Spotlight, type in
sudo purge, and hit Enter. You’ll need to enter your admin password. This command tells your Mac to clear out the RAM without the need for a full restart.
3. Free Up RAM with Third-Party Tools
If you’re not a fan of diving into settings and commands, a third-party tool like BuhoCleaner can be a lifesaver. It’s a simple tool that frees up RAM with just a click.
Download and install BuhoCleaner, open it, and click on ‘ToolKit’ > ‘Free Up RAM’ > ‘Start’. It’s quick and easy. Plus, BuhoCleaner has other cool features like junk file cleaning, app uninstallation, and more.
4. Tidy Up Your Desktop
Did you know? Every icon on your macOS desktop is treated as an active window. So, a cluttered desktop equals more memory usage.
Time for some desktop decluttering! You don’t even need a third-party app for this. Just right-click on your desktop and choose ‘Use Stacks’. This neat little feature will automatically organize your files into tidy groups.
5. Disable Login Items
Login items are those programs that eagerly jump into action the moment you log into your Mac. They’re helpful, sure, but sometimes they’re a bit too enthusiastic and end up hogging your memory. The good news? You can easily manage which ones get the green light at startup.
Here’s how you do it:
- Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen, then navigate to System Settings > General > Login Items.
- You’ll see a list of apps that automatically start up. If you spot some that aren’t really needed, highlight them and click the Minus (-) button. This will stop them from opening automatically.
Or, if you want to manage this with a bit more flair, BuhoCleaner comes to the rescue again:
- Download and install BuhoCleaner.
- Open it and select ‘Startup Items’ from the sidebar.
- Hit the ‘Scan’ button, and it’ll show you all your login items and startup services. From there, you can easily change their status as you wish.
6. Keep Fewer Finder Windows
In your day-to-day Mac use, you might open a bunch of Finder windows. But leaving them open can be a bit like leaving all the lights on in your house – it’s a drain on resources.
To fix this:
- Simply close the Finder windows you’re not using.
- Or, for a more organized look, go to the Finder Menu, select Windows, and then click on ‘Merge All Windows’. This neat trick combines all your open Finder windows into one tabbed window.
7. Close Browser Tabs You Don’t Use
Browser tabs are like little memory munchers. If you’re the type to have a zillion tabs open, they could be eating up your Mac’s memory and slowing things down.
The fix is super simple:
- Just close the tabs you’re not using. It’s like closing the doors on memory hogs and giving your Mac a little more room to breathe.
8. Remove Unused Browser Extensions
Browser extensions are like those extra tools in your toolbox – super handy, but only if you’re actually using them. Otherwise, they just take up space. And in the case of your Mac, these unused extensions can really bog down your browser’s performance because they eat up memory.
The solution? Take a moment to sift through your extensions and uninstall the ones you don’t use. It’s like decluttering your digital closet – your browser will thank you for the extra breathing room!
9. Free Up Storage Space
Here’s a little-known fact: when your Mac’s disk starts getting full, it sometimes uses RAM to store cached files. It’s like trying to cram one more book into an already overflowing bookshelf. To avoid this, it’s a great idea to regularly clean up your storage space.
But how do you do that? Well, there are plenty of ways to free up disk space on your Mac. From finding and deleting large, forgotten files to clearing out old downloads and duplicates, a little bit of digital housekeeping can go a long way.
For more detailed tips and tricks on how to free up disk space, you can check out the article titled “How to Free Disk Space on Mac.” It’s packed with useful advice to help you keep your Mac’s storage tidy and efficient.
Bonus Tip: How to Monitor Memory (RAM) Usage in Mac Menu Bar
Why wait for your Mac’s memory to cry for help before you take action? It’s smarter to keep an eye on things regularly. And guess what? BuhoCleaner can help you do just that, right from your Mac’s menu bar. It’s like having a memory watchdog that’s always on duty.
Here’s how to set it up:
- Download and Launch BuhoCleaner: First things first, download, install, and launch BuhoCleaner on your Mac.
- Enable Memory Monitoring: Next, click on ‘BuhoCleaner Menu’ and go to ‘Preferences’ > ‘Status Menu’.
- Activate Memory Load Display: Check the box next to ‘Memory Load’. Voilà! You’ll now see your memory usage displayed in your status menu, keeping you informed in real-time.
- Quick Memory Release: Notice your memory getting full? Just click on the ‘Memory Load’ in the status menu, and then hit the blue lightning button next to ‘RAM’. This will free up memory with just one click.
How to monitor memory usage with BuhoCleaner Menu: