Keep That Spinning Beach Ball Deflated With FreeMemory [Daily Freebie]

Keep That Spinning Beach Ball Deflated With FreeMemory [Daily Freebie]

Yeah, that spinning beach ball looks all happy and fun, but the diabolical critter’ll make your system slower than the line at the central Los Angeles DMV on a late Friday afternoon. Not to worry — FreeMemory is here to help.

No, the free app won’t kick the little swine out to sea — but at least it’ll let you deflate it somewhat by keeping close tabs on the status of your RAM.

That’s because much of that spinning is often caused by a lack of available RAM. Much like the Activity Manager app that comes with every Mac, FreeMemory reports exactly how much memory is free; unlike AM, FreeMemory sits in your menu bar, making it much easier to access. Clicking on the figure also tells you how much memory is inactive (memory recently used), active (memory used by active processes) and wired (which is used by the system itself and can’t be altered by quitting/starting apps).

Armed with this info, you should be easily able to see which apps are laying low and which are resource hogs. Happy deflating.

Keep That Spinning Beach Ball Deflated With FreeMemory [Daily Freebie]

  • Kye Alan Russell

    Just as a side note, any Apps claiming to ‘free’ your memory are complete scams.  OS X handles memory management and it’ll keep things in RAM that are commonly used/have been recently used so it doesn’t have to go through the whole disk i/o thing every time you want to use them.  In the end, freeing up inactive memory can be bad for your system…active memory, sure, go ahead, close iPhoto or whatever is eating up all your memory, just don’t think that clearing your inactive memory will make that much of a difference.  If your Mac needs it, it’ll use it.

  • elimilchman

    Kye, thanks for the tip!

  • stopthisshipt

    Dear authors (Windows users), Mac OS X is amazing OS and unlike Windows free memory is not an indicator of performance. Many of the switchers, who remember now important to have free memory on the Windows can be scary looking at Activity Monitor, but this is wrong. Mac OS X uses memory the best way, the violation of the cleaning process can damage the OS work.

  • Solowalker

    I’m so glad somebody pointed this out before I got here. I don’t know what I would have done if they hadn’t…

    In fact, apps like this drive me insane. The belief that you need something like this to make your Mac run faster and more smoothly is ridiculous and shows an utter lack of understanding about how your Mac works.

    RAM is not a resource that is spent and then lost. Your computer will NOT run faster if you have more free memory available. Forcing your Mac to release and reassign memory it was using elsewhere may in fact it may even do the opposite and slow your machine down when you start to perform other tasks. Your computer is likely not running as fast as it could if it’s not using the memory it has.

    In an extremely dumbed down explanation (possibly overly so?), OS X is heavy on caching and retaining things in memory where possible so it doesn’t have to access the hard drive as often, which is slow as molasses in comparison. The more frequently your computer has to access the drive to load/store things, the slower it will seem. Using RAM “freers” like this negate the work your OS is doing in attempting to manage the spiffy upgrade you bought and installed to its fullest potential–i.e. USING memory. When an app is done with RAM, it’ll let it go. Lion can even go a bit further and will quit apps it doesn’t think you’re using to free RAM, if needed, just like iOS.

    Quit your apps manually all day long when you’re done with them if you want to do something to free RAM, but PLEASE don’t use one of these unnecessary things. Monitoring is one thing (watching for runaway processes and poorly written apps), but micromanaging your machine and forcing RAM free is NOT a good idea.

  • GeekTech_Ivan

    Errr, yeah, because my iMac is currently using 2.14GB RAM and I have spare 9.86GB and this app will make the iMac do what? Oh yeah, I forgot, it’s because the makers of FreeMemory know a lot more than Apple Devs and somehow they missed on the RAM management … so these other guys found the key to it … This just makes me laugh :)

  • Bruno Gama

    well, i’ve opened the page just to point what other users wrote.

    but if you still want to release all the memory. you could type the command “purge” in the terminal, it have the same effect as this app. But you need to have installed the Xcode.

  • ddevito

    Linux is better.

  • kootenayredneck

    You should really read this article about freeing up memory and not waste your time on apps such as these. Purge the OS X disk cache to analyze memory usage

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-1

  • Slash_Cynic

    Shrug, I never get spinning hourglasses on my Windows 7 gaming laptop. It just works. While on my Macbook Pro I get beach balls here and there. Both laptops have 8 gigs of ram.

  • Brandon Dillon

    Exact opposite for me. On my 2010 iMac with 4GB of RAM, I never get the beach ball, but on my Windows 7 rig, which has 8GB of RAM, I get the hourglass frequently. 

  • bdkennedy

    Who remembers the software Ram Doubler?

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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