Do you want to know how to check the RAM on your Mac? Here’s how to test your RAM to discover how much you have and if it’s working properly.
RAM (Random Access Memory) is an essential component of every computer. When you open an app on your Mac, it consumes some of your available RAM. When your computer’s memory fails, serious issues might occur.
In this article, we’ll look at how to find out how much RAM your Mac has, what’s utilizing it, and how to thoroughly test it to verify it’s running properly. If you just inserted a new stick of RAM and are having issues, doing a Mac memory test is an important aspect of troubleshooting.
Find Out How Much Memory Your Mac Has
To discover how much memory your Mac has, go to the Apple menu located in the upper-left corner of the screen, click on the Apple logo, and then pick About This Mac. Memory is a line that can be found on the Overview tab. It provides information about the quantity of RAM in gigabytes, the speed of the RAM in megahertz, and the generation of double data rate (DDR) that you are presently using.
This is crucial to keep in mind if you want to upgrade the amount of RAM (random access memory) in your Mac in the future, as you will want to ensure that any new RAM is compatible with the RAM that is already installed. Since the RAM on Apple’s more recent laptops is soldered to the logic board and cannot be upgraded, this piece of advise is mostly intended for users of iMacs and previous models of the MacBook.
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Also, if you use an Apple silicon Mac with unified memory, you won’t see any details other than the total amount of RAM; this is the only information that will be shown.
To get more details, go to the Memory section after clicking the System Report button and navigating to it. If you wish to update your system in the future, this is another piece of information that you need to keep in mind because it allows you to see how many RAM sticks you currently have installed. macOS will also provide you with a status report detailing the present state of your RAM; however, more testing will be required to identify specific issues.
Find Out What’s Using Your Mac’s Memory
The Activity Monitor software is a lightweight programme that may be found in the Applications > Utilities folder on your computer. It gives you information about the programmes and processes that are active on your computer at the moment. You can also use it to determine which applications are consuming your available RAM and how much of it each app is using.
Activity Monitor should be launched, then go to the Memory tab. Then, sort the Memory column by decreasing order (which means it will display an arrow pointing downwards), and you will be able to view the processes that are using the most memory at the top of the list. It is normal for the operating system to use a significant amount of RAM in the background, so you shouldn’t be concerned if you notice “kernel task” eating a lot of it.
You may terminate any process by choosing the process, then clicking the X button that is located at the very top of the window. Be aware that doing so will shut the app or browser tab that corresponds to this action. Quit the programme the way you usually would, or select it and use the keyboard shortcut for quitting (Command + Q). This will prevent any data from being lost.
At the bottom of this screen, you will get a summary of the total memory that is available on your Mac, the amount that you are now using, as well as a graph illustrating the “pressure” that is being placed on the memory over time. Try launching a few different applications to observe how the performance changes with each one.
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Check Your Mac’s Memory Using Apple Diagnostics
You can easily check your RAM using Apple’s diagnostics tools. Once your Mac has finished restarting, press and hold the D key until the screen turns black. Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test will appear on your computer’s screen if you’ve done it properly.
To access Apple Diagnostics on a silicon Mac, you must use a different method. Holding down the Power button until you come to the start-up choices screen is the first step in shutting down and restarting your Mac. Press Cmd + D to exit.
Observe the on-screen instructions and wait for the test to finish. If you’re using an older computer, this process may take some time. When you’re done, you’ll be presented with a summary of any concerns that were found. Unfortunately, you will only learn whether issues were found during the exam. If you have a bad RAM module, you won’t be able to identify it.
What’s the problem with the test? This test may be conducted via the internet by pressing Option + D on startup. When the download is complete, it should operate just as well as the original method. This is only true for Macs powered by Intel.
Check Your Mac’s Memory Using MemTest86
MemTest86 is one of the greatest tools for learning about issues Apple’s diagnostics found or doing another test for peace of mind. MemTest86 is routinely updated, unlike similar-sounding programmes. MemTest86 needs UEFI firmware and won’t operate on Apple-made Macs.
Make a bootable USB device to test your system. First, pick an appropriate USB device and delete any essential data on it. Then insert the USB drive.
Download Etcher and put it in your Applications folder. Then, visit the MemTest86 Downloads page and choose Linux/Mac Downloads.
Extract MemTest86 and run Etcher. Then click Select image and select memtest-usb.img from the extracted files. Choose your USB drive by clicking Select drive. When ready, click Flash!
Next, shut down your Mac and insert your USB device. Option-key-start your Mac. Click the arrow to boot into MemTest86 from the external disc you made (it may be labelled EFI Boot). Don’t choose Macintosh HD, your internal drive.
Activate MemTest86. If testing doesn’t start after a pause, choose Config > Start Test. Our test took 40 minutes. At the conclusion, you may save an HTML report to a USB device.
If you detect anything unexpected, save the report and ask for assistance on Apple Support Communities or from a computer expert.
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It is possible that you may first need to allow booting from external media on your Intel-based Mac with an Apple T2 Security Chip before you can begin running MemTest86. To do this, restart the device while maintaining pressure on the Cmd and R keys, and then launch mac OS Recovery. After that, go to the top menu and choose Utilities > Startup Security Utility. Once there, enable the option that says Allow booting from external or removable media.
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