How to Free Inactive Memory on Mac

Inactive memory used by recently active and quit apps. OS X keeps it reserved in case the user wants to open the program again. If it happens, OS X does not need to relocate memory that accelerates performance speed. If you do not re-open the program, after a while the memory of the inactive will be freed or relocated.

There are situations when you do not have enough memory for a good performance, thus you need to free up memory as soon as possible. To do this, you have to clear the inactive RAM. Today we will tell you three methods to do it.

Method 1 – Terminal

Start the Terminal application, default app on every Mac.


Then enter the following command

sudo purge

Next, the system will ask you to enter a password, after being entered inactive memory will be cleared.

Pros and cons

Pros: you use a standard method without any additional software.

Cons: free up the process in such a way definitely slows down your system. As well you have to re-open Terminal and enter the lines once again. Firstly, it is not convenient, secondary, if the system is already slowing down, opening another app takes time.

2 Method – Script Editor

To use this method you have to be a developer 🙂 But don’t be afraid, in this case, you just have to follow our rules.

Launch Scrip Editor


In an opened window it will look something alike:

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 12.48.58 PM

Write down the following text:

display dialog “Free inactive RAM?” buttons {“Cancel”, “OK”} with icon 2 with title “Freeing RAM” default button 2

set buttonAnswer to the button returned of the result

if buttonAnswer is “ОК” then

say “Freeing RAM. Wait please.”

tell application “Terminal”

do shell script “purge”


end tell

say “Done!”

end if

After press  ⌘+S and save your script in Applications folders. Choose Application format instead of Script.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 12.55.49 PM


Pros and cons

Pros: Fancy creation process using standard tools, special app without a necessity to write commands in Terminal every time.

Cons: Still you have to launch an app, any time you have to clean up RAM, that is not always easy.

Method 3 – Memory Cleaner X

We have created a special COMPLETELY FREE app to free up inactive memory to enhance a performance of your Mac.

Memory Cleaner X


After being launched the app constantly will be active from the Menu Bar. Displaying used memory in percentage or Mb (as you wish).

Memory Cleaner X simple

If you see that index surpasses required value, simply click “Cleanup” and the app will do the rest.

Moreover, Memory Cleaner X can clear the memory automatically, so you do not have to do it manually. In the settings of the app, you can set the frequency and when to perform auto cleanup. Also, the app cleans the memory if you quit a big app. Thus, the program supports stable operation of your system.