How to Free Up Memory in OS X with iCleanMemory

Admittedly, I have been a long-time Windows enthusiast due to the wide range of third-party tools and first-hand customization options available to its users. When I made the switch to the Mac (I still use Windows on my laptop), my first impression was that I’d better get used to having my hands tied in terms of tweaking and optimizing how the OS handles things like RAM. To my pleasant surprise, I was inaccurate.

Doing video editing, memory (RAM) is in constant demand. Even with 12 GB installed and ready, a large HD project can easily eat away at that resource and come back for more. Even further, the use of Parallels and other virtualization programs pretty much took what little was left. This left me very upset considering that 12 GB was a lot of RAM only a few years ago.

So, this is where iCleanMemory comes in. iCleanMemory is an app available on the Mac App Store that even works on OS X 10.7 Lion. What it does is quite simple. It analyzes your current memory usage and optimizes it, freeing up more RAM for use where you need it most. Sometimes, programs we run will call dibs on more RAM than they actually need. This can even occur after a program has been closed, leaving precious resources to waste while you’re struggling to get video rendered and move on to the next project.

After installing iCleanMemory, it sits in your main menu bar at the top of the screen and gives you a constantly updating readout of current used and free memory. If you’re running dangerously low, you can give it a click and hit the Optimize Memory button. Once this is pressed, you should see a higher number populate in the free memory field, indicating that iCleanMemory did its job. Don’t expect a miracle here though; it will only free up memory that isn’t actually needed to run programs that are currently in use.

Right now iCleanMemory is available at 80% off ($.99) at the Mac App Store.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • http://twitter.com/j800r J Ryan

    All it seems to really do is move the inactive memory to the free memory. OSX manages that anyway. Inactive memory is released as it’s needed. Essentially Inactive memory IS free memory. If it fixed memory leaks or freed up memory that was in use then it may be a little more useful.

  • James Rushton

    Kontera? There’s a ‘u’ missing. I hate those damn things that pop up when your mouse passes over them. They are a GIGANTIC pita!
    On a lighter note, hi Chris! Love your work.

    • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

      Thanks? :)

  • http://twitter.com/jabwd Antwan van Houdt

    ****SIGH**** Useless tool, lookup the man page of “purge”.