Best version of OSX for Mom's 2010 MacBook Air with 2GB of RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by spyguy10709, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. spyguy10709 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2010
    One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA
    Hi All,

    My mom has a Macbook Air from 2010 with only 2GB of RAM. After updating her to Yosemite, she's complaining about having to restart her computer often to fix slowdowns, which makes me think she's running out of RAM. After checking activity monitor, yup - she is.

    So now the question - is it better to install an automatic RAM Cleaner on Yosemite, or just to install an older version of OSX? If so, anyone with one of this older machines, which one would you pick - experiences?

    She's not using the machine for much. Mainly facebook and Pages.

  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    What is using up all the RAM? Seems like Facebook and Pages by themselves shouldn't be enough to cause problems.

    I would avoid any "RAM Cleaners" ... I wouldn't trust a 3rd party to manage memory on a Mac any better than Apple does themselves.
  3. alex0002 macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2013
    New Zealand
    Buy your mother some RAM and install it for her.
    Even upgrading to 4GB should make a big difference.

    You could install an older version of OS X, but you'd probably have to go back to a version that is already out of support (no security updates) to make a significant difference in RAM usage, although some people that have tried both Mavericks and Yosemite have said that Mavericks is a little better.
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    You can't upgrade the RAM in a MBA.
  5. alex0002 macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2013
    New Zealand
    Thanks, for some reason I thought it was a MBP .... my eyes must be getting bad. :eek:
  6. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    Did you clean install or upgrade?

    Are there any background third party apps running?
  7. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    This is the correct answer.
    Avoid memory cleaners and try to find out what uses up all her memory.
    If nothing works, downgrade to Mavericks or perform some other OS reinstall.
  8. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    The first thing to do is a clean install. If she's had the macbook air since 2010 and has been upgrading this whole time a clean install would probably help.

    If that doesn't help I would downgrade back to mountain lion. Of the OS upgrades that have been the smoothest for me I remember mountain lion being pretty good. Mavericks is also probably fine.

    You could also try just disabling some of the visual flare like transparency in Yosemite. (see Accessibility settings) This can be graphically intensive for slower systems.

    An automatic RAM cleaner sounds like a terrible idea because of the way OSX caches apps in memory and compresses data stored in memory to save RAM. I wouldn't use that at all.
  9. barmann macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2010
    Maybe try a cleanish install - clean install of Maverick instead of Yosemite, and migrate all old content from a backup drive during the install.

    The by far fastest working OS on that model is 10.6.8 .

    Just make sure to backup everything first, in case you need to do a proper clean install , manually .

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8 February 9, 2015