computer software

How to Reduce Memory Usage in Mac

If your Mac is not working as it should be, then applications in your system may be using extra memory. A quality computer can perform poorly if it is a victim of loads of application. Heavy applications and software need memory, Mac distributes its memory to these applications to run. You might want to the symptoms of low memory in the computer. Remember, your Mac system will indicate you the extra memory usage by performing slowly, the browser is crashing, and your system will keep displaying a message saying the system is running out of memory. But thanks to the developers for providing an inbuilt tool, Activity Monitor, to inspect the application using maximum memory usage.

To launch the tool,

  1. Open Applications and go to search bar
  2. Type Activity Monitor and press enter
  3. Activity Monitor is opened to display the memory usage
  4. In the left pane of the Monitor, the graph should not be red. If it is red, then your Mac needs fresh memory. Note,
  • If the graph is green, then the memory resource is available
  • If the graph is yellow, then the memory resource is available, but memory management processes task it for example compression
  1. The box has sections presenting the memory used
  • Cached files mean the memory you can use
  • Swap Used means the memory usage by macOS
  • App Memory means the memory used by applications and processes
  • Wired memory means the memory for reserved apps which can’t be free
  • Compressed means inactive, other apps can use it
  1. To check CPU usage, click the CPU tab in the upper toolbar
  • The computer is regular if the usage is 0-4% but above the 4% is an indication to clean up the memory
  • To reduce the memory usage, go to Memory tab and click on it
  • A menu will open showing all the processes and applications using the memory
  • Find a program using maximum memory
  • Select it and click information tab from the left corner in the toolbar
  • It will give all the information including memory usage
  • If you suspect the program, you can shut it down using the tool as well
  • To shut it down, click X tab from the left corner in the toolbar
  • Generally, the Quit option works but if it doesn’t then click Force Quit
  • Activity Monitor will let you inspect the memory usage and quit the program as well

Moreover, you can try other tricks like cleaning up your desktop, remove browser extensions, and delete unnecessary files, application to clean up Mac and deleting cached files.

To clean up your cache memory, open Finder and click on Go. Now, select Go To Folder and type ~/Library/Crashes/. It will display the files which can be deleted. But do not delete all the files as some of them are important for the system.

Aida Martin is a self-professed security expert; She has been making the people aware of the security threats. Her passion is to write about Cyber security, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and new media. She writes for Norton security products at


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