Previous 1 2 3 Next 31 Replies Latest reply: Jul 18, 2014 7:17 AM by BobHarris
d00dbro Level 1 Level 1

I used to have a 2007 iMac running Snow Leopard, and I switched to a 2011 iMac running Mountain Lion. On both of my computers, I kept running out of free RAM after a while, and my inactive RAM kept taking up all my free RAM. It still does it. I end up with around 30MB of free RAM, a reasonable amount of active RAM, and a massive amount of inactive RAM after a few days, then my computer slows down a lot.


I have to keep flushing the inactive RAM with a memory cleaning tool or else my computer slows to a crawl. Repairing the permissions is supposed to clean out the inactive RAM (thanks, Tuttle), but alarmingly, this doesn't work for me. There must be something causing this problem, and I want to find it. How do I do this? Can processes currently running be using inactive RAM, or is that only possible if they have just been closed? Is there a tool that can check how much inactive RAM is allocated to each process?


P.S. To make it clear: I know that I'm not supposed to worry about inactive RAM and let the system do its own optimization, but it must not be doing it right because it's causing extremely noticeable slowdowns. The computer is like a Geo Metro pulling a whale if I don't flush the inactive RAM periodically.

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4), 2011 model
Solved by etresoft on Jun 27, 2013 7:27 AM Solved

Sorry for the trouble with EtreCheck. I couldn't reproduce the problem, but I released a new version to try to clear up any confusion.


From your screenshots, you seem to have the triumvirate of problems - an ancient startup item, a bunch of 3rd party kernel extensions, and a bunch of failed Apple system services.


Your problem definitely isn't RAM. You should remove those 3rd party system software until all of the Apple system software is working properly. It may take a few restarts.

Reply by John Galt on Jun 26, 2013 12:37 PM Helpful

I have to keep flushing the inactive RAM with a memory cleaning tool or else my computer slows to a crawl.



That's just not normal.


One or more programs you are running may be leaking memory. Memory leaks are not unusual, but it should be so little as to be insignificant. They can be difficult to track down.


The best I've found so far is this, which might help me find some startup items that are causing problems, but it doesn't offer direct information about inactive RAM:


I suggest you post its results here. Perhaps something else is going on.

Reply by John Galt on Jun 26, 2013 3:45 PM Helpful

Use the "copy to clipboard" button and paste it here. If personal information appears just xxxxx it out when posting. Memory usage only shows the results of the problem, which you already know. Determining the cause is necessary.


The rest of the report may or may not help but it will be more information than we have now.


The other post you referenced didn't follow up after the suggestion to run Etrecheck. That happens frequently; wish I knew the reason.

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