These are the best memory cleaners for your Mac

macOS does a pretty good job of managing system memory and, as long as you have a reasonable amount of space free on your boot drive, it can also swap data between RAM and disk when it needs to. However, even the most recent Macs only ship with 8GB of RAM as standard, which can be tight for apps hungry for memory.

In addition, some apps misbehave and “leak” memory, meaning they hog more than their fair share leaving less for other apps. The solution is to use a memory cleaning app to free up RAM. Here, we selected the top 10 best Mac memory cleaners that will help you control memory usage.

Tip

If you want to know just how much RAM each app you’re running is consuming, go to Applications > Utilities and launch Activity Monitor. That will display all running processes, including browser tabs, and show you how much RAM they are using.


CleanMyMac X

CleanMyMac X memory cleaner

CleanMyMac X has two methods for cleaning memory. The first is its Maintenance module that has a Free Up RAM tool that can grab gigabytes of memory back with a couple of clicks. The other tool is the CleanMyMac X menu bar item. When it’s running, it will pop up a warning whenever your Mac runs low on RAM and offers to free some up for you.CleanMyMac X also has a System Junk tool that clears out junk files from your boot drive, giving you more space for virtual RAM. The app is notarized by Apple, which means it’s safe to use on a Mac. Download the free version to try out all features.

2. Memory Clean

Memory Clean is a menu bar item that shows how much memory you have available and what is occupying the rest. It also displays the apps that are eating out your Mac’s resources and inactive apps occupying RAM. There are two options for cleaning, Clean and Extreme Clean, and you can also set Memory Clean to free up RAM automatically, so you never have to think about it.

3. Nektony Memory Cleaner

Memory Cleaner is also a menu bar app with a clear, easy-to-read dashboard-style layout. When you click on it, Memory Cleaner displays how much RAM you have in use as a percentage of the total, as well as the apps that are using the most memory. You can then free up RAM with one click.

Memory Cleaner also shows you how much space is being used by junk files on your Mac and allows you to free some of that space up, too.

4. Memory Diag

Memory Diag

Memory Diag is a RAM cleaning tool that not only looks good but does a great job of letting you know when memory is running low. Like others on this list, it’s a menu bar item. In this case, it displays what it calls a memory pressure graph that’s color-coded so you can easily see how much memory your Mac has free. If it’s in the green, no problem. If the meter is deep in the red, though, it’s time to press the recycle button to free up memory. Memory Diag also shows you which apps are taking up most RAM.

5. Memory Magic

Memory Magic app

Memory Magic is so-called because it works away in the background performing tasks to optimize memory and free up space for applications that need it. If you click on its menu bar item, you’ll see how much RAM you have still available and can, if required, manually force it to recover memory. History graphs allow you to see how often you come close to running out of memory space.

6. Instastats

Instastats

This menu bar app displays how much memory is occupied and color codes wired, active, inactive, used, and free, so you can see precisely how RAM is allocated at any given time. It does a similar job for CPU, disk space, network, and battery. And it has a Notification Center widget that provides the same information. It automatically cleans memory every five minutes if it is running low.

7. Memory Purge for Mac

Memory Purge is another menu bar tool that helps quickly clean memory. It looks clear and simple and does what you expect: it presents brief memory usage stats and specifies which apps are using a significant amount of memory. You can then click then free up RAM with a single click.

8. Memory Check

Memory Check can display a memory meter in your menu bar showing the percentage of memory currently in use. It will also warn you when memory usage goes beyond a certain level and allow you to free up space. There’s a Notification Center widget and support for Dark Mode.

9. SystemPal

SystemPal combines a memory monitor and cleaning tool with other features like a mini music player and screenshot utility, as well as CPU and network monitors. The memory monitor displays a pie chart showing how memory is allocated and lists the most memory-hungry processes currently running. There’s also a button to free up memory.

10. iCleanMemory

iCleanMemory is the simplest of all the tools here. The menu bar item shows how much memory is in use and how much is free. Click on its icon, and it displays how memory is currently available. If it looks low, press the optimize memory button, and it will free some up.

There are lots of options for memory cleaners on the Mac. Some just do one job and sit in the menu bar. Others combine multiple features and allow you to customize them. Which one you choose depends on whether you just want a tool to clean up memory or whether you want other features to help keep your Mac running smoothly.

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CleanMyMac X

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