Something is eating my memory....

in macOS edited January 2014
Something is eating my memory and I dont know what it is. Here's a pic of my TOP:

I've tried everything I can think of... with nothing open I should have at least 200 MB free. What can I do? Restarting doesn't seem to help. It says that 230 MB is inactive but 18.4 MB is free.... And if this belongs in the genius bar please redirect it there for me. ^^;;

I think my TOP is lying... because I seem to be running ok...


  • Reply 1 of 4
    This is just a way that X deals with dynamic memory allocation. You'll see that two values to the left of the 18.4 MB free, it says 230 MB inactive. This is memory that can be released when other apps require it. X doesn't automatically go and set all the ram free, but just says that if another app needs it, it can go and use it. So effectively you have 248 MB of useable space before you start to use VM to any extent.

    [Edit: fixed typos]
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Code Master is right. Mac OS X caches lots of stuff so it'll run faster. If the RAM is needed for other apps, then and only then is it released.

    This is a Good Thing?.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    Everyone who runs 'top' for the first time freaks out, then someone familiar with unix schools them.

    Unused RAM is wasted ram. Unix tries to use as much ram as possible for eg: caches so as not to spend time re-reading data off a HD.

    BTW, if more ram is needed, old caches are flushed to make room for new, sexy data.

    No matter how much or how little RAM you have in your Mac, OSX/Linux/BSD will (try to) use it all. That's a good thing?.

    edit: wow, what a waste of a post! Should have read first two responses.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    heheh. I've run the TOP command many times... but only now with your help I finally understand how it all works. Thanks you guys.
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