How to troubleshoot RAM maxing out?

One of our Mac mini 2018 16GB on Catalina version 10.15.7 has CleanMyMac (CMM) installed. In the last 2-3 weeks, CMM has been alerted us that our RAM is maxing out and prompts us to FreeUp space. We do that. A few days later, we get another prompt. Today, I noticed that CMM is telling us Safari is using a lot of RAM. Our use of Safari has not changed. We are basic users.

What could we be looking at to troubleshoot this new behavior and alerts?

I would ignore Clean My Mac on this topic, keep an eye on the situation using all the tabs of the Activity Monitor app, and close apps as necessary.

macOS is very good in my experience at juggling your programs’ memory needs all on its own.


RAM isn’t like Storage space in a computer, it should be pretty well used as close to maximum as possible. [EDIT, I actually mean, “There is very little benefit to having unused memory” ]

The only time you may notice “issues” is when you’re using more than the amount of RAM in your computer as it either compresses inactive memory use or “swaps” out application memory which is not actively being used to the Hard Drive, and even swapping these days isn’t a major issue with fast modern SSDs.

I’d ignore CleanMyMac on this unless you’re experiencing system slow downs which hinder you.


I’ve seen this quite often. Ignore it - CMM pops up irritating (and for the most part useless) alerts to remind you how useful it is

If you genuinely run out of RAM - and disk swap space - MacOS will let you know and suggest you close apps. However, that’s an extremely rare occurrence


You can ignore it or you can go into the notifications tab in preferences (CMM X) and uncheck the box for the RAM message. I have the M1 Mac mini with 8GB of RAM and a M1 MacBook Air with 16 GB of RAM and would periodically receive this message from CMM X. After unchecking the RAM notification box, I did not notice any problems.


I would ignore the CMM popup and disable it.

How much harddisk/SSD space do you have left? The OS uses a swapfile on these can consume a fair amount of disk space. If your hdd/ssd has less than 20% free space, I would recommend cleaning up and see if that improves the situation.

Do NOT delete the swapfiles themselves as it will impact MacOS.

I had the same issue on my M1 mini. Initially, I freed up RAM using CMM, but it seemed to make my mini less stable. I set it to ignore the CMM notification and have not had a memory issue since.

1 Like

I have a new MacBook Air 8 GB and it does this 2-3/week. Clean My Mac warns me and I quit apps I don’t really need open.

But it has never even crashed so I don’t even worry about it.

Try ignoring Clean My Mac (and turning off its notification for RAM shortage) and see what happens. I predict nothing will happen and your Mac will be just fine.


That is exactly what I did! If it starts crashing, I’ll just turn it back on. Thanks!!!

Back when I still used CMM, it would give me the occasional running low on memory warning. Except I also run iStat Menu, which lets you quickly see exactly what is going with your memory. What appears to be happening is that sometimes an app like Safari will swell up to several GB (News is doing that on my machine currently, taking up 5GB). I am not sure why it does this, but nothing ever really happens, except that it will also show that the swap file is stepping into to help, also getting quite large. So, what I do is just kill the offending app, and everything is normal again.

I think CMM is overreacting in these cases, and nothing is going to happen.

All that said, macOS should be managing the memory fine and shutting down apps when it needs more memory. I don’t think you really need to do anything unless your computer seems to be moving slowly.

After I killed News:


No, it is fast as a whip. No crashing. It tended to happen when I had Music open. I can always do that on my iPad.

I’ll check out that app. Thanks!

Well, I found it easily. Now what? LOL!!. Where do I go?

You got it installed and the little widgets up in the corner? Nothing more to it, just whenever something seems off with your Mac, hover your mouse cursor over one of them to see what is wrong.

I was trying to say not to trust CMM, more than I was saying you should get iStat Menus.


Thanks Ever So Much!!!