14 Replies Latest reply: Aug 2, 2012 12:09 PM by WZZZ
margaretfromnm Level 1 (0 points)

I am receiving the error message, "Your Mac 0SX has no more space available for application memory".  Do I need to purchase more memory?  Or, do I need to eliminate applictions?  I am (obviously) a new IMac user.

 

Thank you.


iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Allan Eckert Level 9 (50,694 points)

    How much free disk space do you have on your system disk?

     

    Allan

  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,845 points)

    It's probably a question of insufficient RAM, not free hard drive space. But how much is there? (Right click on the HD icon>GetInfo.)

     

    Open Activity Monitor (in utilities)>System Memory. How much Free is there? What is it showing for Page ins, Page outs and Swap used? How much RAM do you have installed?

     

    See if closing all unneeded applications helps. Otherwise, restart.  Keep fewer applications open concurrently

  • cathy fasano Level 2 (340 points)

    Note when reading Activity Monitor -- the read and yellow memory is in use, while the green AND blue is free and available.  The blue memory has been freed up by applications, but it has not yet been allocated to other apps.  If you quit all the way out of an app that has "inactive" (blue) memory, then it will get thrown back into the "free" (green) heap.  If you have a bunch of blue memory and no green, it just means that your computer has been up for awhile, and you are running apps which have cycled through and marked memory as inactive but those apps are still running.  So you do have plenty of memory even though very little is TOTALLY free.

  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,845 points)

    Puzzled about why this was in response to me, since this is basic memory management, which I am already well aware of. I wouldn't be trying to help in this thread if I needed this primer.

     

    Btw, what you have written about Inactive memory is all true in theory, but it doesn't appear to work this way in practice. From what I've seen, closing applications whose allocated memory has gone in to Inactive, usually does not restore that memory to Free.

     

    And I don't see how this helps the OP until we get some answers to the questions I raised.

     

    Message was edited by: WZZZ

  • margaretfromnm Level 1 (0 points)

    If I am reading correctly, it is 900MB.

  • Dtinen Level 1 (85 points)

    Whoa!  Your startup disk is almost full.  You should have several GB at least.  The Mac operating system needs free space to work with on the hard disk. 

     

    Open a Finder window, and select View/Show View Options.  A new window will open up, click the button that says "Calculate All Sizes".  Hint:  at the top of the Finder window (where it says the column headings "Name, Date Modified, Size, Kind" click on "Size".  It will turn blue, and your folders and documents will arrange themselves in the order of size. 

     

    Go through your disk and look through your Documents, Music, and Movies folders and look for the things eating up the most disk space.  Common culprits are your iPhoto library (especially videos!), and your iMovie library.  Move some of your videos and pictures to a different drive or Trash them (then Empty the trash!).  Burn DVDs of things you only look at once in a while.  Particularly look at your Downloads folder:  people often leave stuff they don't need here. 

     

    But don't mess around with your Library or System folders unless you know what you're doing. 

     

    Good luck!

  • Allan Eckert Level 9 (50,694 points)

    A tool to help you do what Dtinen is suggesting is OmniDiskSweeper. Oi will tell you the files and folders which are using up the largest amount of disk space.

     

    OmniDiskSweeper needs around 6 MB of disk space to install.

     

    In addition, when you run the free disk space so low the chances of corruption are greatly increased. In order to repair that I suggest that you both from another drive and use Disk Utility to repair your system disk.

     

    Allan

  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,845 points)

    I've sometimes seen the "your startup disk has no more room for application memory" message on these forums where there was considerable, even huge free drive space, but not much available memory. And that's always puzzled me. It's probably based on some mystery algorithm. But I would have thought at 900MB, it would be a toss up which message would appear, that one or the "your startup disk is full."

     

    Here, apparently, there's no more drive space to page out to. Hypothetically, with more RAM and little or no paging going on, I'm guessing the startup disk is full message would have kicked in some time later. How much later, I'm not sure.

  • margaretfromnm Level 1 (0 points)

    I downloaded the OnmiDiskSweeper and reviewed and deleted files (and emptied trash).  I also used Disk Utility to repair the disk and on System Memory, it indicates I have 2.92 GB free

     

    Disk Utility indicates I have available 968 GB of the 999 capacity.  I am confused.  Do I need to purchase more RAM?

     

    Many thanks for your help.

  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,845 points)

    The issue is not, then, free drive space, which was my first thought. You had tons of free drive space. There was absolutely no need for you to make room on the drive. (When you deleted stuff, you couldn't possibly have removed 900+GB.  GB is Gigabytes. 1 Gigabyte on a hard drive is 1,000MB or Megabytes.)

    If I am reading correctly, it is 900MB.

    Where was this coming from? This really threw everyone off.

     

    Can you post back with the following, which I asked for in my first post.

     

    Open Activity Monitor (in utilities)>System Memory. How much Free is there? What is it showing for Page ins, Page outs and Swap used?

     

    Also, in Activity Monitor, switch to CPU>Active Processes, and see if there is one application in particular consuming a great deal of Real memory. This is assuming all the applications which were open when this message first appeared are still open. It may be one application in particular that is causing this. It may have a large memory leak, which is gradually consuming more and more memory (almost all applications and processes gradually consume increasing amounts of memory...to a point.) If there is one culprit, it may not still be open and this may have to wait until the next time you receive this message.

     

    If you've restarted since and now have fewer or different applications open, the information I asked for above will have completely changed.

  • margaretfromnm Level 1 (0 points)

    The System Memory now indicates 2.76 GB free. 

    The CPU Usage indicates "kernel_task - root - is using 334.9MB.  That seems to be the only large user.

    However the problem seems to solved, and I am no longer getting the error message. 

  • margaretfromnm Level 1 (0 points)

    Also, the Page ins is 594.6 MG, and the Page outs are 0 bytes.

  • cathy fasano Level 2 (340 points)

    WZZZ wrote:

     

    Puzzled about why this was in response to me, since this is basic memory management, which I am already well aware of. I wouldn't be trying to help in this thread if I needed this primer.

    Sorry -- my response was meant as an extension to what you said, and aimed at the original poster.

     

    I've seen it a million times -- a user pops up Activity Monitor and goes to the memory tab, and sees the pie chart with a tiny little sliver of green, looks and sees that green is "free" memory, and immediately goes into panicky "my computer is out of memory what do I do?!?!?!" mode.  When you look at it, it will show only a little sliver of green, but a quarter, half, or even more will be blue.  So my complaint is a user interface issue -- the Activity Monitor display is unnecessarily alarming.  Maybe they should have made the colors two different shades of green instead of green and blue?  Or maybe the label "released" or "marked free" rather than "Inactive" ?

  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,845 points)

    I know it must obviously be related to memory usage, but I'd still like to understand what exactly triggers this message. I've never been able to see a consistent pattern, and I can't find an Apple KB on it, even after considerable searching. It's supposed to be a combination of available memory and drive space, but in every case I've seen, including this one now, drive space has been ample or huge.

     

    I've seen slowdowns on my system due to excessive paging, but I've never seen this message.