If you’re an Apple enthusiast then you know that Mac computers are powerhouses capable of accomplishing almost any task. Apple prides itself on providing uses with strong, compact, and resourceful systems, which rarely, if ever, seem to disappoint. While Mac computers are, without a doubt, on the high end of powerhouse computers, they are far from perfect. Many Mac owners have complained recently of an application memory problem.

Usually, users receive a message that says something along the line of, “the system has run out of application memory.” Your Mac then prompts you to Force Quit some of the applications you have opened in the background. You’re probably confused as to why this error message occurs when it’s likely that you only have a few programs opened.

If you recently updated your Mac to Mac OS Catalina, Mojave or High Sierra, you may have noticed that this problem is occurring more frequently. Luckily, you don’t have to go rushing to the Apple Store. Usually, this problem can be solved from the comfort of your home. However, in order to properly solve this problem, you should first try to understand why It’s occurring. In order to understand the background of the problem, you’ll need to learn about system memory. In order to get started and quickly learn about system memory and how you can solve the problem of lacking application memory, follow the guidelines below.

What Exactly Does ‘’the system has run out of application memory’ Mean?

The first thing you should probably learn is what exactly ‘the system has run out of application memory’ error message means. Put simply, when your Mac runs out of application memory, it means your computer doesn’t have sufficient memory required by applications to run. There are two reasons as to why this may be occurring. In order to learn more, follow along below.

  • It’s possible that your boot disk doesn’t have sufficient space to run apps. When apps run on your Mac, physical RAM is being used. If all your RAM is being used up, Mac OS will attempt to create swap files, which take up disk space. This means your hard drive memory will be used, and if it’s already full, then it goes without saying, you wouldn’t have room for swap files. This will then result in the error message of lacking application memory. It could also be possible that you do have a fair amount of free disk space, but the applications that you’re running require a large amount of virtual memory (RAM).
  • You could also be experiencing this error message due to a memory leak. In other words, when a program sues more space over time, it fails to release memory. The app will continue to ask your Mac for more space, resulting in a loss of application memory.

Fix the Error Message on Your Mac

There are a few methods you can carry out in order to free up your Mac’s application memory. In order to get started, follow the simple instructions below.

Force Quit Unused Applications

The simplest solution you can carry out is Force Quitting applications. When you Force Quit applications, you’ll release a large amount of hogged memory. You can easily Force Quit applications through a keyboard shortcut. In order to get started, and Force Quit applications, follow the simple instructions below.

1. Press the option + command + esc keys at the same time.

2. The Force Quit Applications window will now open. Click on the application that you would like to close.

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3. Click on Force Quit.

It’s as simple as that. It’s best to Force Quit application that are running in the background, in order to free up memory for applications that you’re actively using.

Restart Your Mac

You should always try the simplest solutions first. One of the simplest solutions you can carry out is restarting your Mac. If you don’t tend to restart your Mac often, then it’s likely your system will store data such as cookies, form data, caches and more in application memory. You can easily refresh your Mac’s system memory by restarting your Mac. When you restart your Mac, the RAM and caches will empty, which will result in a more smoothly running system. You can easily restart your Mac, by following the simple instructions below.

1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen.

2. From the drop-down menu that appears, click on Restart.

It’s as simple as that. Please wait as your system restarts. Avoid interrupting the restart process.

Limit Memory Used by Finder

When you launch Finder, you probably see the All My Files options, which allows you to search through all your files, as the path of all your files are stored in RAM. This tends to consume a large amount of memory. This reduces the amount of memory your application can use. You can easily reduce the amount of memory used by Finder. It’s best to avoid loading all your files when Finder opens. In order to get started and reduce the amount of memory used by Finder, follow the simple instructions below.

1. Launch Finder.

2. Click on Finder in the menu bar, towards the top left.

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3. From the drop-down menu that appears, click on Preferences.

4. Click on the General tab, if it isn’t already opened.

5. Click on the drop-down menu for New Finder windows show:

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6. From the drop-down menu that appears, select a folder. Avoid selecting All My Files or Recents as the location.

7. Hold the control key, and right-click the Finder icon from your Dock.

8. From the right-click menu, click on Relaunch.

Organize Your Desktop

Similar to most people, you probably have many files, images, and other items saved on your Desktop. You may be unaware of the fact that every Desktop icon on your Mac is considered to be an active window. In other words, the more Desktop icons you have, the more memory your system is being used.

You can simply solve this problem by organizing your Desktop. You should delete unnecessary files, or create folders form multiple items that can be categorized in one place. This will greatly clear up your Mac’s application memory space.