What Is Heavy Memory Usage and How to Fix It

It is always frustrating to see the message on your Mac, "Your system has run out of application memory." Usually, this is not the primary indication that something is fishy in your Mac. You may have seen that your Mac has slowed down and not operating as fast as it used to or it is overheating regularly. All these signs are of  high memory usage.

heavy memory usage on mac

This means your Mac system does not have enough RAM for your CPU for quick access. So, whenever the system is short of RAM, all process on your system becomes very slow. But running out of application memory doesn't always mean your storage is full. It can also occur when your CPU can't manage the process and run all the applications that are currently installed on your Mac.

How to Check the Memory Usage on Mac

To check the memory usage on your Mac, you should visit Activity Monitor firstly. Just go to Applications and type in Activity Monitor in the search bar(Or you can press F4 and start typing Activity Monitor in the search bar). Here you can check how much free memory you’ve got left.

You can check the following information to know the actual meaning of all:

App memory: taken by apps and processes

Wired memory: reserved by apps, can’t be freed up

Compressed: inactive, can be used by other apps

Swap used: memory used by macOS

Cached files: memory you can really use

activity monitor on mac

Though it's hard to manage Macs for its advanced technology, here listed plenty of options to tackle this problem and get your Mac operating smoothly again.

Find the Reasons of Mac's Heavy Memory Usage

There are plenty of applications and processes that take up a lot of space for your RAM. Browsers are one of them. Also, startups (login items) or launch agents running in the background can cause heavy memory usage on your Mac.

Browsers and Their Extensions

Browsers can consume high RAM usage, especially when you keep plenty of tabs open all the time. Same goes with the browser extensions, they will consume too much of your RAM which may cause heavy memory usage.

Apps Running in the Background

When you run numerous applications in the background, they will consume large RAM memory on your system. These apps continue to run in the background and keep getting updated to sync data all the time which will cause heavy memory usage.

Many Apps Start up Automatically after Login

By default, so many applications open automatically as you start up your Mac. They will largely slow down your Mac's running speed in such a way. You even can't realize that they are running secretly when you using Mac, but they are one of the biggest RAM eaters.

Even when you deleted the app from your system, there are some broken items which can start in the background after you log in. This can not only occupy the RAM storage but can affect the performance of your system to a great extent.

The Ultimate Solution for Mac Heavy Memory Usage Issue

We have already know the possible reasons may cause Mac heavy memory usage. So, it's better to find a tool can manage them all. Here you are recommended to make use of iMyFone Umate Mac Cleaner to sort out the problem. This is one of the most powerful tools which can help you improve the performance of your Mac system significantly.

Advantages of Using iMyFone Umate Mac Cleaner:

  • One-click to manage all the statups (login items), heavy consumers and launch agents on your Mac.
  • Show you which apps are consuming large memory in real-time.
  • The operation is pretty easy. All the items can be managed individually or in batches.
  • Find all the extensions on your Mac and you can remove them in one-click without file corruption.
  • Support other wonderful features: Junk files clean up, private data erase and Mac application uninstall.

Steps of Using iMyFone Umate Mac Cleaner App:

Step 1: Download & install the program on your Mac computer and then launch it to continue.

Mac version

Step 2: Select "Speed Up Your Mac" and then "Start Now" button.

speed up feature

Step 3: Then you will see the tab related to RAM, just click it to manage the processes and free up more memory. If you have the need for other features, just click the relevant tabs.

manage heavy consumers

As you can see, the process to fix Mac heavy memory usage is very easy.  All can be done by the program instead of doing it manually and have no risk of file corruption. As a Mac manager, Umate Mac Cleaner can not just fix the memory issue, it can also clean up junk files, erase private data, manage applications and extensions on your Mac.

Can I Fix Mac Heavy Memory Usage Issue Manually?

The answer to this question is a big "Yes." You can also fix this issue of heavy memory usage manually.  But the steps can be relatively complex. Below are a few major items you can manage with and the steps you can take.

1. Close Unwanted Apps in the Background

As mentioned above, there may be several apps open in the background. You would have to manually select each app and close it. Once you do this, the high RAM usage would then not be displayed and the performance of your Mac system will improve drastically.

2. Close Browser Tabs and Extensions

There may be some extensions on your browser which you are not using. Try to check each of the browser extensions, and remove it one by one. There also have many tabs opened on your browser at the same time. Just close the tabs which are not in use. This can significantly help you in dealing with the high memory usage issue on your Mac system.

3. Disable the Apps Which Launch Automatically after Your lOgin

You can manually disable the apps and programs which launch as startups in two ways which are described below.

3.1 Manage Login Items

Step 1: Go to System Preferences > Users & Group

Step 2: Click on your name/nickname.

Step 3: Click on the "Login Items" tab.

Step 4: Select the startup programs which you want to disable and click on the "-" option.

manage login items

3.2 Manage Agents & Daemons

Step 1: Go to System Folder > Library> Startup Items.

Step 2: Remove the startup items which you want to.

Step 3: Go to Library > LaunchingDaemons.

Step 4: Delete the files which you feel are unwanted during startup.

launch daemons

Step 5: Go to Library > LaunchingAgents.

Step 6: Delete the files which you feel are unwanted during login.

Restart your Mac after this, the error of high memory usage would no longer appear.


Although by using the manual way to fix this issue of high Mac memory usage will not assure you to uproot this dilemma completely, since there may be several files which you would have missed which may be causing the error of high memory usage. Also, these methods will take a long time and effort which seems unnecessary as there is a better way to fix this error. iMyFone Umate Mac Cleaner tool is recommended in such a scenario as it is specially developed to perform this task efficiently in the minimum amount of time.

Mac version

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