How to clear RAM on Mac

There are situations when you do not have enough RAM memory for a good Mac performance. In this case, you need to clear RAM on Mac as soon as possible. In this article, we will share three methods of how to free up RAM on Mac to make your system run fast.


1. What is RAM
2. What is using RAM on Mac
3. How much RAM do you need
4. How to clear RAM on Mac

What is RAM

RAM (Random Access Memory) is a type of memory that is used to store data of running applications and system processes. In short, RAM is a temporary workspace on your hard drive where currently being used apps and processes are kept.

What is using RAM on Mac

Every program and system process on the computer needs RAM to work smoothly. Even when you quit recently active apps, the system keeps inactive RAM memory of them during some period of time. Inactive RAM is reserved in case you want to open the program again. If it happens, the system does not need to reallocate memory that accelerates performance speed. If you do not re-open the program, after a while the memory of the inactive program will be freed or relocated.

How much RAM do you need

The more programs your system is running, the more memory you’ll need. Just like with a hard drive space, the amount of RAM you need for your Mac depends on the tasks you do on your computer, for example, for gaming, surfing the Internet or for working with high memory consuming apps, such as video or photo editing programs. For regular everyday tasks, 16GB RAM is enough.

How to clear RAM on Mac

If you are facing a slow Mac performance, or even worse, you often get a notification that “Your system has run out of application memory”, then probably your RAM is being used to the max. In this case, you should clear RAM memory on Mac.
Read on to learn three ways on how to free up RAM memory on Mac.

Clear RAM with Mac Terminal

Follow these steps to clear RAM using the Terminal app:

  • Run Terminal – the default app on every Mac.
  • terminal for clear ram mac

  • Enter the following command: sudo purge
  • The system will ask you to enter the admin password to confirm the operation.
  • freeing up ram on mac

  • After being entered the password inactive RAM memory will be cleared.
  • Pros and Cons of clearing RAM with Terminal

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

    Cons: Freeing up the process in such a way definitely slows down your system. You also have to re-open Terminal and enter the lines once again, as well as the administrator password. Firstly, it is not convenient, secondly, if the system is already slowing down, opening another app takes time.

    Clear RAM with Script Editor

    If you use old versions of macOS, such as High Sierra or El Capitan, you can use Script Editor to clear RAM. This method is a bit difficult since you usually need to be a computer geek and have some basic knowledge of development, but don’t be afraid. With our tutorial, everything is simple.

    Here is how to clear RAM with Script Editor:

    1. Launch the Script Editor app – another Mac default program.
    2. Enter the following text:

      display dialog “Free inactive RAM?” buttons {“Cancel”, “OK”} with icon 2 with the 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

    3. After press Command(⌘)+S and save your script. Choose the application format instead of Script.
    4. free up ram on mac

    5. Each time you want to free up RAM, run this script file.

    Pros and cons of clearing RAM with Script Editor

    Pros: Once you create a special script app, you do not need to write commands in Terminal every time.

    Cons: You still have to launch the app each time you have to clean up RAM, which is also not convenient.

    Clear RAM with Memory Cleaner

    Use the special app to free up RAM on Mac – Memory Cleaner. Memory Cleaner is ABSOLUTELY FREE and allows you to automatically clean up inactive memory and speed up your Mac.

    Follow these steps to clear RAM with Memory Cleaner:

    1. Launch Memory Cleaner. The app will constantly be active from the toolbar on your desktop, displaying the used memory.
    2. how to free up ram on mac

    3. In Preferences set up the frequency of automatic memory cleanup.

    app to free up ram on mac
    And that’s all! The app will automatically clear RAM each time you quit large apps, your memory usage gets high volume or there is a low CPU usage on your Mac.

    Pros and Cons clearing RAM with Memory Cleaner

    Pros: Once you launch the app, you need to do nothing to free up RAM. The app can clear RAM automatically. Memory Cleaner is free.

    Cons: You need to install additional software.

    Video Tutorial – How to get more RAM on Mac

    Memory Cleaner logo

    Memory Cleaner

    Free Download

    System requirements: macOS 10.10-10.15
    Priсe: Free


    Now you know the ways of freeing up RAM on Mac. Use any of the provided methods to clear RAM on your Mac and speed up your system. If you still face slow Mac performance, check other tips on how to fix a slow Mac.