10+ ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac device (2023)

As you use up all the available memory on your computer, your device may struggle to complete tasks. If you find that applications on your computer often crash and simple tasks take longer, you might be wondering how to free up RAM on your computer.

10+ ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac device (1)

What is RAM memory?

Your computer's random access memory (RAM) is stored on a memory chip, usually located on the motherboard. This is where your computer stores short-term data. RAM is the storage center for all active and running programs and processes. Your computer uses information stored in RAM to perform tasks while simultaneously receiving and executing other functions.

When you use all available RAM memory, yourComputer performance may decreasebecause it does not have the necessary memory to carry out its tasks. Freeing up RAM gives your computer a chance to perform tasks. Depending on your computer, there are different ways to free up RAM space.

Here's How to Make the Most of Your RAM

It can be easy to consume your RAM as it supports a lot of features. 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 isrestart your computer. When you restart or shut down your computer, all your RAM (saved data) is cleared and programs restart. This can kill some processes and programs running in the background that are using up your RAM.

update your program

It is important to run the latest versions of software and applications on your computer. Older versions of software and apps can take up more memory to process, slowing down your computer.

10+ ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac device (2)

Try another browser

You could also try switching browsers, as some are known to use more data than others. If you haven't already, try a browser like Chrome or Firefox, which are generally good browsers.memory management.

(Video) How To Fix High RAM/Memory Usage on Windows 10 [Complete Guide]

clear your cache

If you are still low on RAM, the next option is to try clearing the cache. Sometimes your cache can take up a lot of disk space as it uses RAM for storage functions. The cache stores information that your computer uses to reload pages you've viewed before, rather than downloading them again. This can save you time while browsing, but if you're low on RAM, you can sacrifice it with minimal effect.

Remove browser extensions

many of youdaily work and home computinghave been simplified through the use of browser extensions. However, they also require storage space, so you should consider disabling or removing your extensions.

5 ways to free up RAM in Windows 10

If you're still having trouble freeing up your RAM, it could be that you have too many programs and apps without knowing it. Try these five ways to free up RAM on Windows 10 computers.

1. Scan memory and clean processes

10+ ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac device (3)

You should monitor your computer's RAM usage so you don't run out of your supply before you really need it. To monitor your computer's memory, you can navigate to Task Manager to check processes. Here you can see which programs are running and how much space they are taking up.

To find your computer's memory:

  1. Hold down the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys to open the Task Manager.
  2. Select the "Processes" tab.
  3. Click on the Storage column to see how much storage space they take up.

Now you can see which programs are taking up the most time and space on your computer. If you find something suspicious consuming your memory, consider removing programs you don't need or use.

2. Disable unnecessary startup programs

10+ ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac device (4)

If you've been using your computer for at least a few years, chances are you've downloaded a fair amount of software that you've forgotten or no longer use. Once the Processes tab tells you which programs are taking up the most memory, you should go to the Startup tab to stop those that you no longer need.

To disable startup programs:

(Video) How to Clear Memory and Boost RAM on Windows 10 | 2020

  1. In Task Manager, select the Startup tab.
  2. Click Startup Impact to sort programs from high to low usage.
  3. Right-click to disable any unnecessary programs.

Startup programs are those that are activated when the computer starts up. When these programs are launched, they each occupy a small amount of RAM in the background without your permission. After a while, all software and programs can be added. Be sure to disable or remove the ones you don't need.

3. Stop running background apps

10+ ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac device (5)

The next items that could be taking up RAM are your apps, which are set to automatically run in the background. You may have been using your computer for years before you noticed that some of these apps were eating up your RAM. This can quickly drain your memory, battery, and data bandwidth.

To exit background apps:

  1. Go to computer settings.
  2. Click on the "Privacy" category.
  3. In the left pane, scroll down to Background Apps.
  4. Disable any apps you don't use.

Apps are usually automatically configured to run in the background on your device. This allows them to see notifications and automatically update the software. Disabling this for apps you don't use can save RAM.

4. Clear pagefile on shutdown

10+ ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac device (6)

When you restart your computer, paging files are not deleted or reset because they are stored on the hard disk instead of RAM. So if the RAM is storing files on the page, it won't be cleared with the rest on shutdown.

Deleting paging files on your hard drive will erase any RAM that may have stored them and help your computer run efficiently. You can set this to automatically clean up when the computer shuts down, just like RAM. To do this, open 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. Scroll left to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and select it.
  4. Scroll to select "SYSTEM".
  5. Select "Current Control Set".
  6. Locate and select "Controls".
  7. Scroll to select Session Manager.
  8. Find and select "Storage Management".
  9. Select ClearPageFileAtShutdown.
  10. Enter the number "1" under the value data and click OK.

5. Reduce the visual effects

10+ ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac device (7)

With improved technologies, there are many more possibilities for visual and computer effects. For example, you can disable animations and application icons that use memory for unnecessary effects. If you're low on RAM, there are some effects you can postpone until you free up more memory.

(Video) How to FREE Up Disk Space on Windows 10, 8 or 7! 🖥️ More than 50GB+!

To access visual effects on your computer:

  1. Open your file explorer.
  2. Right-click "This PC" on the left to select Properties.
  3. Click "Advanced System Settings" on the left.
  4. Select the "Advanced" tab.
  5. Select Settings from the Performance category.
  6. Go to Adjust for best performance.

This setting disables all animated features on your computer. This frees up more storage space for you, but severely limits your computer's aesthetics. However, on the same tab, you can also customize which visual effects you want your computer to run.

5 Ways to Free Up RAM on Mac

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

1. Repair Finder (also close Finder windows)

10+ ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac device (8)

When you open a new Finder window, the data that each window displays is stored in RAM. Adjusting Finder preferences can cause your folders to open in tabs instead of new Finder windows.

To open Finder Preferences:

  1. Click on Finder in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. From the drop-down options, right-click on "Settings".
  3. Enable this option to open folders in tabs instead of new windows.

There is another way to clear RAM by merging Finder windows. To do this, select the "Window" drop-down menu instead of Finder. From there, select "Merge All Windows" to consolidate all Finder windows in one place. This saves disk space and tidies up your desktop.

2. Check Activity Monitor

10+ ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac device (9)

To keep track of RAM usage on Mac, you can check Activity Monitor which shows how much memory is being used and what it is using. Use Activity Monitor to see which apps are taking up the most of your storage space. Delete the ones you no longer use.

To check Activity Monitor:

(Video) FIX high Memory/RAM Usage (Windows 10/11)✔️

  1. Search for "Activity Monitor" in the Spotlight search bar (Command + Space).
  2. Click on the Storage tab.
  3. Remove unwanted apps.

3. Check CPU Usage

You can also use Activity Monitor app to check status and CPU usage.The CPU is your central processing unit., and executes instructions from computer software information stored as RAM.

To monitor your CPU, simply select the "CPU" tab before the "Memory" tab. Here you can see if apps require more computing power than others.

4. Cleaner programs and apps

If you want to have a healthy and consistent amount of RAM, you need to keep your computer clean and tidy. A cluttered desktop will consume disk space much more quickly because macOS sees each icon on the desktop as the active window. Even if you think you can't organize your files, putting everything in a common folder can free up a lot of RAM.

5. Free up disk space

If you find that your RAM is completely full but you still need storage space, you can use your Mac's free disk space, known as virtual storage. This extra storage space resides on the Mac computer's hard drives so that it can continue to run applications. The feature is always on, but to use virtual memory you need to check if there is space in the driver's memory to swap.

Additional Ways to Free Up RAM on Windows or Mac

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

10+ ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac device (10)

Install a memory/RAM cleaner

If you feel like you don't have the time or you just can't get your computer organized, there are memory cleaner apps to help you out.Sanitize your computer. Many of these cleaners have special features to remove apps or extensions and allow users to manage their startup programs.

increase memory

You can always add more RAM to your computer if you have a lot of data that you don't want to delete. Buying and installing RAM is easy for a desktop computer, but it can be a hassle for laptops. Make sure you invest in the right type of RAM for your computer, as well as the right amount for your specific storage needs.

Scan for viruses and malware

When you download software programs or extensions to your computer, they most likely have a virus or malware attached to them. Once you have malware on your computer, it can steal your information and your RAM. To avoid ingestion of malware or viruses, tryPanda Security Antivirusto protect your computer and storage.

Now is the time to put an end to the file accumulation. Many of your computer's files take up space in RAM without you noticing. Now you know how to safely rid your computer of these unused files and free up RAM so your computer can run more efficiently.

(Video) 🔧 How to FREE Up More than 30GB+ Of Disk Space in Windows 11 & 10! ✅

Sources:Team Hope|Central do Windows|high technology|DigitalTrends


How do I free up RAM on my Mac and PC? ›

How to free up memory on a Mac
  1. Restart your Mac. ...
  2. Update your macOS. ...
  3. Examine the Activity Monitor. ...
  4. Clean your Desktop. ...
  5. Delete Cached files. ...
  6. Configure Chrome's Task Manager. ...
  7. Use a Mac memory cleaner.
  8. Close the Finder windows.As you know, every window in Finder utilizes memory.

How to increase free RAM in Windows 10? ›

10 Tips to Free Up RAM on Your Windows 10
  1. Restart Windows 10.
  2. Disable startup apps.
  3. Scan for malware.
  4. Adjust virtual memory.
  5. Reduce visual effects.
  6. Stop background running apps.
  7. Disable SysMain in the Service Menu.
  8. Close the unused tabs open in your browser.

How to reduce RAM in Windows 10? ›

How To Stop RAM Usage in Windows 10 (Prevent High Usage)
  1. Close unused background programs.
  2. Disable startup programs.
  3. Uninstall programs you no longer use.
  4. Check your computer for Malware.
  5. Increase Virtual Memory Paging file size.
  6. Change NDU value in the Registry.
  7. Disable the SysMain/Superfetch Task in the Service Menu.
Oct 27, 2022

How do I reduce RAM usage? ›

Reducing RAM usage
  1. Disable and uninstall memory-intensive applications. ...
  2. Uninstall disabled applications. ...
  3. Uninstall applications that are running but have no rules enabled or otherwise aren't being used. ...
  4. Uninstall Spam Blocker and Phish Blocker if they're not being used. ...
  5. Bypass DNS sessions.

How do I remove RAM from my Mac? ›

Removing or installing memory
  1. Step 1: Remove the bottom case. Shut down your MacBook Pro. ...
  2. Step 2: Remove existing memory (if present) Push the levers on the sides of the memory module in an outward direction to release the module from the memory card slot. ...
  3. Step 3: Install memory. ...
  4. Step 4: Replace the bottom case.
Dec 16, 2022

How do I clean up my RAM? ›

How to Make the Most of Your RAM
  1. Restart Your Computer. The first thing you can try to free up RAM is restarting your computer. ...
  2. Update Your Software. ...
  3. Try a Different Browser. ...
  4. Clear Your Cache. ...
  5. Remove Browser Extensions. ...
  6. Track Memory and Clean Up Processes. ...
  7. Disable Startup Programs You Don't Need. ...
  8. Stop Running Background Apps.
Apr 3, 2020

How do I clear my RAM cache? ›

How to Clear RAM Cache Windows 10/11
  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut to open the Task Manager window and click on More details to access the full view.
  2. In the Processes tab, click on the Memory header to sort from most to least RAM usage.
  3. Right-click the progress that takes up much RAM, and select End Task.
Sep 23, 2022

What is RAM cleaner? ›

Ram Booster: Memory Cleaner is a powerful tool designed to help optimize the performance of your Windows device by freeing up non-essential memory and providing detailed information about the RAM installed on your system.

How can I increase RAM on my laptop? ›

Install New RAM in Your Laptop
  1. Turn off and unplug your laptop.
  2. Remove or loosen necessary screws and then take off the base. Now, we're ready to get to the RAM. ...
  3. Locate the RAM. ...
  4. Remove your old RAM. ...
  5. Put in your new RAM. ...
  6. Press down on the new RAM. ...
  7. Close up your laptop and power it on.
  8. Check that the RAM was installed.
Nov 8, 2022

How to increase 4gb RAM to 8gb? ›

Here's how to upgrade your laptop's memory.
  1. See how much RAM you're using. ...
  2. Find out if you can upgrade. ...
  3. Open the panel to locate your memory banks. ...
  4. Ground yourself to avoid electrostatic discharge. ...
  5. Remove memory if necessary. ...
  6. Install the new memory module(s)
Jan 12, 2023

How to increase RAM in Windows 10 4gb to 8gb? ›

Go to the Start Menu and click on Settings. Type performance. Choose Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows. In the new window, go to the Advanced tab and under the Virtual memory section, click on Change.

Why is my RAM so full? ›

Why is my memory usage so high in Windows 10? One reason could be a big program or game that takes high system RAM. The other reason could be malware that caused your device high memory usage.

Why is my RAM always at 50? ›

Sometimes memory usage will spike even if you're not doing anything on the computer as long as the applications are running on your machine. Also, you may run a system file checker to verify the integrity of windows system files on your computer making sure that there are no corrupted files on your windows.

What is using all my RAM? ›

Tracking RAM Use

To open the Task Manager, press "Control-Shift-Esc." Switch to the "Processes" tab to see a list of everything running on your computer, including both visible programs and background processes.

How do I lower my CPU and RAM usage? ›

This can happen for several different reasons, which is why it's important to learn how to fix high CPU usage in Windows 11.
  1. Reboot Your PC. Before trying anything else, try restarting your PC. ...
  2. End or Restart Processes. ...
  3. Update Drivers. ...
  4. Scan for malware. ...
  5. Power Options. ...
  6. Find Specific Guidance Online. ...
  7. Reinstalling Windows.

Why is my RAM usage 90%? ›

If both your CPU usage and RAM usage are consistently over 90%, it is likely that your computer is struggling to keep up with the demands of your workload. In this situation, you may need to upgrade your hardware to improve performance.

Why is my RAM usage 75%? ›

This means that your computer is caching a lot of commonly used information (in pagefile on windows or swap file on Linux) so that when you go to access it, it can be read from RAM rather than storage; RAM is still significantly faster than even the fastest consumer storage drives such as Samsung NVME SSDs.

What is eating up my RAM 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.

Is 8 GB RAM good? ›

If you want to play games or watch movies without lag, you'll need at least 4GB of RAM. But a higher number will always make your computer run more smoothly, so 8GB is more than enough for everyday tasks. RAM (Random Access Memory) is a type of memory that allows your computer to store data temporarily.

How do I free up 8GB on my Mac? ›

Move or delete files
  1. Delete music, movies, podcasts, or other media, especially if it's media that you can stream or download again as needed.
  2. Delete files in your Downloads folder. ...
  3. If you use the Mail app for your email, choose Mailbox > Erase Junk Mail from the menu bar in Mail.
6 days ago

How do I clear my RAM without restarting it? ›

  1. Open "Notepad"
  2. Enter the following command:
  3. FreeMem = Space(100000000) In this example, you will release 100MB of RAM.
  4. Save this file with the ". VBS" format.
  5. Open again "Notepad"
  6. Enter the following command:
  7. Mystring = (80000000)
  8. Save this file with the ". VBS" format.
Jun 11, 2020

How do I clear my RAM and cookies? ›

In Chrome
  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More .
  3. Click More tools. Clear browsing data.
  4. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
  5. Next to "Cookies and other site data" and "Cached images and files," check the boxes.
  6. Click Clear data.

Does clearing cache affect RAM? ›

Conclusion. These files are said to eat up your system RAM and a small portion of memory. Cache deleting does not erase any of your important browser or system information. It will only delete those temporarily stored files and free some space for you.

What is dirty RAM? ›

Dirty RAM. The dirty RAM is organized as a 16-bit wide memory with two bits per 8-word cache line as shown in Figure 3.7. The dirty RAM address is the same as the tag RAMs address bus. It supports the following accesses: 16-bit dirty reads for write-back on a linefill.

Is 8 GB RAM good for gaming? ›

With 8GB RAM, you will be able to play most released games without many problems, but some games might not play at the highest quality, and you might have to shut down other applications.

How do I get 16GB RAM on my laptop? ›

If your laptop has 8GB of RAM, it probably uses two 4GB strips of RAM in separate slots. Because of the way memory fits into your laptop or computer, it's actually quite easy to remove and expand. One of the most common ways to upgrade your RAM is to replace your 4GB strips with 8GB strips, giving you a total 16GB.

Can we increase RAM speed in laptop? ›

In a nutshell, installing more RAM may improve computer speed if you frequently use many programs or browsing tabs at once, or if you do memory-intensive tasks like gaming or Photoshop. Under regular use, however, a CPU upgrade will probably have a greater immediate effect on performance.

How to go from 8GB to 16GB RAM? ›

To go from 8 GB RAM to 16 GB. You will have to actually purchase COMPATIBLE 16 GB sticks of RAM then install them. Dell Inspiron might have more information on what kind of RAM is compatible with your PC. Getting more RAM is not a simple troubleshooting fix and if you are on a laptop, it might be impossible.

How can I increase my RAM amount? ›

Step 1: Run the launcher on your system. Step 2: Click on Settings from the menu given on the right side. Step 3: Click on the Java/Minecraft tab. Step 4: Click on the maximum memory tab and enter the amount of RAM you want to allocate.

Can we increase your RAM? ›

RAM modules come in a range of capacities, so even if you have only a few RAM slots, you can meet your motherboard's RAM maximum by purchasing higher-capacity RAM modules. For example, if your motherboard has four RAM slots and maxes out at 32 GB of RAM, you can install four 8 GB RAM modules.

What is the highest RAM for PC? ›

Remember that 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education will support up to 2TB of RAM, while the 64-bit version of Windows 10 Home is limited to only 128GB.

Can I upgrade 4GB RAM to 12gb RAM? ›

It can support up to 2 x 32 GB of memory for a total of 64 GB. To answer your question... adding an 8 GB memory module to the 4 GB module will work but you will eventually want to replace the 4 GB memory chip with an 8 GB module because...

Is it OK if my RAM is 4GB and 8GB? ›

Most modern motherboards will provide four RAM slots. There's a prevailing misconception you cannot use different RAM sizes together or that you cannot mix RAM brands. Simply put, that's not true.

Is it bad for RAM to be at 100%? ›

If the memory usage is close to 100%, this can slow things down a lot. This is because the computer will then try to use your hard disk as a temporary memory store, called swap memory. Hard disks are much slower than the system memory. You can try to free up some system memory by closing some programs.

What are symptoms of not enough RAM? ›

Three signs you need more memory in your computer
  • Files don't open immediately, or programs are slow to load. ...
  • You receive a memory error message or your computer is using 80 percent or more of its memory. ...
  • You are unable to run multiple programs at the same time. ...
  • Note about 32-bit systems:

At what point is too much RAM? ›

8 GB is plenty much space for current applications and programs. It's ideal for high-end multimedia businesses. Likewise, 16 GB gives you a lot of comfortable space for future applications. Anything above that is probably overkilled unless you have specific uses for it, depending on your business's industry.

What happens if RAM is full on Mac? ›

If your Mac is using the majority of the RAM available you may experience problems such as: Performance issues. Spinning beach ball. 'Your system has run out of application memory' message.

Why is my RAM usage 100% Mac? ›

Your RAM usage keeps maxing out on Mac because Mac OS makes the most out of available resources to maximize efficiency and performance. If maxed-out RAM usage comes with performance issues, there is probably an app hogging memory, or you are running too many apps and background processes concurrently.

What is taking up so much RAM on my Mac? ›

Login items, browser extensions, and preference panes, such as Flash, are another common source of memory usage. Most of us have several installed that we rarely use, but which hog memory and reduce performance. One way to do this is through System Preferences: From your Mac menu bar, select System Preferences.

Can you use the same RAM in Mac and PC? ›

While PC and Mac enthusiasts will have you believe their systems are completely different, many internal components are actually universal, including the random access memory. While there are some caveats MacBook owners should be aware of, there is virtually no difference between PC laptop RAM and MacBook RAM.

Is 16GB RAM enough in Mac? ›

The high-end 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models benefit from much faster SSD and memory, enabling them to swap memory even faster. This is the basis for the excellent memory performance of the 16GB model and why it should suffice for most users.

Why is 50% of my RAM in use? ›

Normally Memory usage depends on how many applications are running at the same time on your computer. Sometimes memory usage will spike even if you're not doing anything on the computer as long as the applications are running on your machine.

Is 16GB RAM enough? ›

16GB is the recommended amount of RAM for playing most games and will provide a noticeable increase in performance from 8GB. You will also be able to run applications in the background without affecting gameplay.

Can Apple upgrade my RAM? ›

You can purchase memory upgrade kits by visiting an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Reseller. If you need to order replacement memory, contact Apple. RAM availability varies by country and region.

Does increasing RAM speed up Mac? ›

New RAM is not the only way to improve Mac performance. Although a RAM upgrade will improve Mac performance, it's not always an option. If RAM is too expensive or your Mac doesn't allow for an upgrade, try a comprehensive performance tool to speed up your Mac and give it the boost you need.

What type of RAM does Mac use? ›

Model specifications
Mac Pro modelMax RAMSpeed
8-core768GB2666MHz DDR4 ECC
12-core768GB2933MHz DDR4 ECC
16-core768GB2933MHz DDR4 ECC
24-core1.5TB2933MHz DDR4 ECC
1 more row
Dec 12, 2019

Is Mac RAM better? ›

Compared to PCs without an Apple silicon SoC, the unified memory architecture and superior memory management in macOS appear to be getting significantly more out of the RAM. The faster SSD and RAM in the high-end 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models allow for even quicker memory swapping.

Does my Mac need more RAM? ›

In the Activity Monitor app on your Mac, click Memory (or use the Touch Bar). The Memory Pressure graph lets you know if your computer is using memory efficiently. Green memory pressure: Your computer is using all of its RAM efficiently. Yellow memory pressure: Your computer might eventually need more RAM.


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