Have you ever experienced the situation when your Mac runs out of memory while you are trying to complete a complex yet important task? It’s actually annoying, isn’t it? That colorful, continuously spinning beachball you see on your screen is making the situation more intense.
If you are facing this problem and getting the error message “Your system has run out of application memory,” then there are some solutions that you can try to free up RAM and fix the problem.
Let’s first understand RAM quickly.
What is RAM?
RAM (Random Access Memory) is your MacBook’s short-term memory, without which none of the files, applications, programs, or live-streams would be able to perform. In short, RAM stores your system’s working data.
How to Check your RAM Usage
Take the following steps to check your RAM’s usage in the Activity Monitor on Mac. Click Memory to see the details given below:
Memory Pressure: Displays how efficiently the Memory is fulfilling the processing requirements. You can determine memory pressure by identifying the amount of file cached memory, free memory, wired memory, and swap rate.
Physical Memory: The overall amount of RAM installed on the Mac.
Memory Used: The amount of RAM being used from the total volume. In the right pane, you can check memory allocation details.
Cached Files: The files cached into unused memory by the Mac system for better performance. Until you overwrite the memory, it remains cached to improve the performance of reopening the app.
Swap Used: Displays the amount of storage being used on the startup drive for swapping unused applications to and from RAM.
What Does It Mean to Use RAM on a Mac?
Applications installed on the Mac require RAM to function seamlessly. When users quit recently active apps, RAM consumed by these apps remains active for a considerable duration. The system reserves the inactive RAM for a quick launch of applications in case the user opens it in the near future.
Doing this, the system will not require reallocating memory when the user reopens the app, and if it doesn’t, the memory will be freed after a specific time period.
How Much RAM Is Enough for Mac?
Well, it depends on the kind of programs you use on your MacBook or other Apple devices. The more applications you run on your system, the more RAM you need to support them.
If you access not-so-heavy applications on your Mac, 8 GB RAM is sufficient to perform day-to-day tasks. However, if you are a gaming freak or spend more time browsing memory-hungry applications, you may need more than that.
How to Clear RAM on Mac?
If you are getting an error message that says, “Your system has run out of application memory” and needs to clear RAM, there are few methods that you can follow.
Clear RAM with Mac Terminal
You can clear RAM from Mac Terminal to improve the performance of your system.
- Run Terminal and enter this command: sudo purge
- System will ask you to enter an admin password to confirm and continue the process.
- On entering the right admin password, the system will clear all inactive RAM.
Disable Login Items
Login items are the applications and programs that launch automatically every time you power on your MacBook or other Apple devices. By disabling these items, you are not actually deleting them but stopping them from launching automatically on startup.
- Open System Preferences, click Users & Groups and select the Login Items tab.
- Tick the checkbox available under the Hide column to stop these apps from launching on login.
- Next, click on the Lock icon to save changes you recently made to the system.
Free up Disk Space Regularly
When you are running out of RAM, the available space on your Mac hard drive turns into virtual memory to keep your system up. We all have the habit of accumulating large amounts of data which is not required in the future, not even at present.
The redundant data needs a regular cleanup as the volume keeps growing with time. You must clear system storage, large unused files, old downloads, system junk, and other redundant data to free up memory space.
Clear Cache & Flush DNS
Cache files are the temporary files that the system downloads and stores in its memory. It helps in saving time while browsing the same apps in the future. These files consume a lot of memory space and need to be deleted regularly to make more storage and speed up your laptop.
DNS cache is the temporary storage of detailed information of the previous DNS lookups on web browsers or systems operating systems. It contains records of all the websites that you have visited recently. Flushing off the DNS cache will optimize the storage and improve system performance considerably.