M1 out of memory errors

I recently began having the task killer window pop up with the complaint that my 16GB, 1TB M1 MBP is out of memory, and implying that I should force-quit some apps.
My guess: it seems like the M1 isn’t using the SSD for virtual memory.
(I have plenty (>50%) of free disk space.)
Any thoughts?

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Didn’t @MacSparky have a similar problem on an M1 laptop?

Not sure, I haven’t listened to the podcast in a while.

Have you used Activity Monitor to see what your apps are using?

This happened to me when I first received my M1 13" MBP, but has not happened recently. I presumed that a MacOS update fixed it. I’ve been using the same number of apps simultaneously.

TL;DR: It happened. It stopped happening. Fin.

Yes. I had a similar problem with a temporaray 8GB M1. (Long story.)


I think you are correct. I recall reading an article that stated there is no swapping between ram and ssd.

I installed iStat Menus, and it shows virtual memory, so it is swapping to the SSD. Shouldn’t be running out of memory if that is the case.

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This morning when I woke my laptop, I had the out of application memory error again, yet iStat Menus didn’t show anything out of the ordinary. The error may have popped up during something traumatic during the night that resolved itself, but still. Anyway, I’m going to keep an eye on it and might break down and call Apple. I’ve paid for Apple Care for years and don’t think I’ve ever used it.

A long story with not so positive things about Apple is not worth a blogpost?

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Not sure this one was actually worth a blog post. The first M1 MacBook was bent out of the box. Like something went wrong in the factory. So I took it to the Apple store and they were like “Whoops. We’ll order you another one” … But at the time it took a month to get a new one with the specs I wanted. It was during the holiday season when Apple had extended returns. So I bought an 8GB model with the intent of returning it when mine arrived. During that month, I was getting low RAM notices. Granted I was using it to make 4K video and a bunch of other stuff, that didn’t surprise me. I talked about it on the show but didn’t make it a blog post.

When my non-bent. machine arrived with 16GB RAM, (and I returned the temp machine), message went away.

Like I said, long (and not particularly interesting) story.


Thanks for your answer.

Def interested in learning more about this

Oddly enough, since the most recent update I’ve noticed that memory pressure is much higher than it was before, for the same amount of swap space being used. I wonder if they recalibrated something, or reduced the amount of space that can be used for swap.

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I noticed the same thing with my 8GB M1 Mac mini

Never had high memory pressure issues prior to the most recent macOS update and now basically have persistent high memory pressure despite using the exact same apps prior to and after the update

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If it makes you feel any better, mine’s a 16GB model. On the other hand, I haven’t seen any actual issues arising yet, just the yellow/orange memory pressure indicator.

Yeah, I haven’t had issues either

The only way I even noticed it was b/c my camera server software, SecuritySpy, notices it and sends me notifications about it

Any updates on this?

Although I’d rather wait with buying a new Mac until there’s a Mac Mini with more than 16GB, there may come a moment where I’m so sick of my 2017 MBP that I will buy the 16GB M1 MM. Would be good to know what issues to expect then.

Haven’t had that issue on my maxed up Mac mini.

Hasn’t happened recently for me.

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