Do you find that your Mac often moves slower than you would like it to? Does it often slow down to a crawl forcing you to quit (or force quit) applications just to get it back up to speed? Sadly this is a huge pain and can hurt you by slowing down your productivity, among other things.
I love my Mac dearly, but it’s frustrating to have so many memory hogging applications – especially when I need to have more than one open at a time. For example running a Web browser, Evernote, iTunes, Dropbox, Growl and Voila all at once is just asking for trouble.
Having all of these apps open for long periods of times really starts to eat away at my memory and decreases the performance of my Mac. This is why I recently went searching for a solution in the Mac App Store and luckily, I came across FreeMemory.
What is FreeMemory?
FreeMemory is a free, simple Mac app that monitors your memory usage in the menu bar. If you are low on memory and your Mac is going slow, you can quickly free up some memory in a single click.
If you want even more features (like a pie chart and menu bar customization options) you can upgrade to the Pro version, but if you’re just looking to increase your free memory whenever needed the free version is perfect.
So let’s see how to quickly free up memory with just one click using the FreeMemory app.
Installation and Setup
FreeMemory can be downloaded from the Mac App Store. It’s a small file and should take under a minute to download. Installing is easy, just run the app and you’ll see your current amount of free memory on your menu bar.
There’s no setup required for the app. It works right out of the box and besides enabling the “open at login” feature, there’s nothing else to be customized.
Freeing Up Memory
Now comes the fun and easy part: freeing up your memory. You can free up memory at any time, but once your memory usage is too high, the info on the menu bar will turn red – warning you to take action. By then, your Mac will probably be extremely slow anyway and you’ll see the spinning beach ball every few minutes.
To free up memory, simply click on the info in your menu bar to display FreeMemory’s menu. Then scroll down to the “Free Memory” option; it’s the first item on the menu. From there you’ll have to play the waiting game.
You’ll see “freeing memory” in the menu bar in place of the amount of free memory you once had. This can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
One thing to remember is to be patient because your Mac will become extremely slow while the memory is being cleared; if you try to do something else while this is going on, you won’t get far. Don’t worry, the slowness and inability to do anything is just temporary.
Once complete, the app will briefly display the amount of memory that has been freed up on the menu bar. After a few seconds it will go back to displaying how much free memory you have and your Mac should be back up to speed.
Once you start using FreeMemory, you’ll be surprised at how much memory certain apps on your Mac are using.
I found out that my default browser Firefox was even more of a memory hog than I thought, and Safari isn’t much better. Thanks to FreeMemory, I’m now using Opera as my default browser on my Mac because of its light memory usage. So this is definitely an app and process that has (and continues to) come in handy for me.
How about you? Do you know how much memory your apps are taking up? Do you think that FreeMemory will become a lifesaver for you as well?