Those who have sat behind computers for an extended period will undoubtedly know what a pain it can be if the system is running low on memory.

If you’ve just purchased a new Mac, this will not be an immediate priority but knowing where to check up on your memory in the future can help facilitate a more joyous experience.

The rest of this article will cover what memory is, how to check it on a macOS device, and lastly, why checking memory is an important indicator for overall system health.

Intro to Memory

Personal computers have become computing powerhouses in a few decades, due in part to developments regarding computer memory. In summary, memory is the hardware component the computer accesses to retrieve information that is stored temporarily.

This is done to improve performance and allow applications to quickly access information. What started out as kilobytes, became megabytes, now systems have gigabytes of memory, known as Random Access Memory or RAM, on tap.

The future will bring us even better memory technology that promises even better performance. However, that is the world of tomorrow, today you might just encounter the limits of today’s technology.

How to check memory on mac?

1. The first step in how to check memory on a mac is to first open Finder, which can be found in the dock on the bottom of the screen. Once found simply open the application.

2. Once open, on the left sidebar click on the Applications tab, scroll down, and open the Utilities folder.

3. Then find the Activity Monitor and double click to open. 

4. Toggle the Memory section with the Activity Monitor.

5. At the bottom, you find a graph labeled memory pressure. This will present users with a graphical usage of how much memory is being used.

The memory pressure graph is incredibly useful for several reasons. By simply indicating with a color, the graph can quickly tell you all you need to know. If the graph is in the green, then memory is being used at a rate that will not impact system performance.

If it’s in the yellow, you are likely to be running several applications simultaneously and some may be resource-heavy. This can be seen as a warning that your system is on the verge of being impacted negatively in the performance department if the user hasn’t noticed it yet.

Lastly, the graph will read in the red, like in the movies this is not good, your memory is depleted, and you should close applications. If in the red, your Mac will be using the start-up drive as a memory resource.

More Signs you’re running out of Memory

Memory is such a critical aspect of computing that the market is expected to be worth 36 Billion USD by 2030 and with new advancements changing how memory will be processed and the hardware constructed will make personal computers rival today’s super computers.

Right now, your running of multiple applications may cause your computer’s memory to wish it was the future. Other than checking the Activity Monitor, here are three more signs your Mac’s memory is taking the strain.

Files take a long time to open, and programs are slow to load. Modern computers and Macs, in general, should not take longer than a couple of seconds.

This is a clear indication that your operating system is struggling to process the load, and this can be a result of depleted memory. Modern computers are also more than capable of running multiple applications at the same time, if your computer is struggling to do this it may be a memory issue.

Lastly, if your computer randomly reboots or freezes you may be pushing your memory to the limit and likely even more than that.


Modern computers have come a long way since the first personal computers became available to the public. They are now capable of doing far more than designers a few years ago could imagine.

Along with the increase in sheer power came more complex applications capable of doing a million things but do require significant system resources.

The increase in complexity has resulted in applications never being too far behind the memory performance of modern computers. Checking and managing memory will still be a reality for years to come. Hope now you know how to check memory on mac?

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