There is no shortage of utility applications to manage a Mac’s memory. A few dozen populate the Mac App Store and prices range from free to 99-cents. A Mac user should have only two questions for such apps?
First, do they do anything useful. Second, which one should you use if you use one? In recent years I’ve tried half a dozen of these so-called memory cleaner and system optimizer apps, and while they don’t seem to hurt, what they do may not be much unless you have an older Mac with limited RAM.
Free Is Good
One that I recommend to friends, family, co-workers, faculty and staff at the school where I work is called Memory Cleaner. It’s probably as easy to use as any of the memory cleaner and system optimizer apps and it’s priced just right. Free.
Here’s what you get with a click to the Mac’s Menubar.
Memory Cleaner analyzes your Mac’s system, displays the amount of App Memory, Free Memory, Wired Memory, Compressed, and Cache. It also displays which apps are using the most memory. The graphed colors represent how much memory is being used for each.
Click the Optimize button in the center and Memory Cleaner goes to work, optimizes memory usage, and displays the changes in the graph.
Memory Cleaner has a number of color themes which can be set with a click. There’s even a built-in Notification Center Widget.
Preferences are straightforward, too. Set the app to Open at Login, Show in Dock, and enable Shortcuts to optimize straight from the keyboard. There are other options to automatically optimize, or compact the menu.
So, back to the original question.
Does Memory Cleaner do any good? The answer is yes. And no. If your Mac has 16GB or more and you’re not using too many apps at the same time, you’re not like to notice any difference in performance. If you’re using an older Mac with 4GB of RAM then that’s where you may see a difference in performance– at least on the frontmost app in use.
Still, it’s hard to knock the ratings. On the Mac App Store, Memory Cleaner gets over 5,000 four and five star reviews so plenty of Mac users seem to like cleaner memory.