Before considering cleaning memory on your Mac, make sure you’ve tried available cleaning options for your hard drive and only after that go to RAM (Random Access Memory). For a refresher on what RAM does and the which processes are associated with it see Apple Support topic on Activity Monitor.
If your Mac start running slow and you already got rid of junk files and uninstalled programs that might affect its productivity, take a look at RAM usage for optimization opportunities. This part of hard drive is reserved as a temporary place for working processes and active tasks you perform on your MacBook, as well as background system processes your Mac needs to run in order to operate. So as soon as RAM starts running out of available capacity, Mac slows down noticeably.
How to clean RAM memory on a Mac?
The most obvious solution for RAM optimization is to close all open files, close down all browsers and quit all running programs. But what if you need to use multiple apps, keep open more than one page in Safari and work on more than one document for your work?
To see a list of apps and processes that are currently running on your Mac open Finder and find the Activity Monitor in your Utilities folder. The CPU tab is the place to investigate first so you can determine whether the Central Processing Unit (your processor) has sufficient idle capacity, and whether it is working on system-initiated processes or those initiated by you (they are called “User”). The processes that use up the most processing power will be closer to the top of the list so that you are instantly able to easily identify them. If your idle processor capacity is below 15-20% your Mac’s performance will degrade significantly, so you can Force Quit processes or apps you are familiar with but do not plan to use before opening new applications or browser windows.
For memory cleanup on your Mac you can:
– quit apps that use excessive memory capacity (listed closer to the top of the list within the Activity Monitor)
– check slow apps for available updates or delete and reinstall them completely
– as a “nuclear option”, upgrade your Mac with additional RAM hardware (physically buy and add memory card to your Mac)
As you can see, effective long-term RAM memory cleaning solutions can be very time consuming, require technical expertise above the average in addition to costing quite a bit. Unfortunately they may not be effective enough without expert knowledge in both Mac software and hardware. Unless you are you ready to roll up your sleeves and become a DIY engineer for your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or an iMac or, alternatively, send it off to a service center and wait for weeks for it to return, maybe you should consider an app that would automatically help you get more out of your Mac’s processor.