Help- Over 1 Gigabyte of "Swap Used" in Activity Monitor RAM!

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by Yewbeam, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. Yewbeam macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2015
    #1
    Hello,

    I have a late 2013 Retina Macbook Pro running Yosemite, with 8 Gigabytes of RAM. I noticed that on the Activity Monitor it shows that I have over 1 Gig of "swap used"! In the screenshot it says 974 megabytes, which is still bad. I've heard that it's okay for your memory usage to be high as long as the memory pressure graphic is green, but I've also heard that swap shouldn't be used, especially not 1 Gig of Swap.

    I'm not running any high intensity programs, only Safari, Spotify, iMessage, Mail, iTunes, Chrome, and things of that sort. Why would it be so high?

    High swap used is a bad thing, because it uses the SSD and shortens its lifetime. I don't even know why I would be using it, as I'm not running anything very intense.

    What can I do? What should I do? Should I re-install Yosemite from scratch? Does anyone know what app could be making this happen in the background?
     
  2. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

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    #2
    high swap is not 'a bad thing', 1 gig is nothing, especially on an SSD.

    now, you say your doing nothing special just browsing the web and stuff, then, with 8 gigs of RAM you should not be using swap at all...

    check in the activity monitor which programs are using most memory. maybe one of them has a leakage :) . i'd bet on chrome, that POS
     
  3. Yewbeam thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2015
    #3
    Sorry, I forgot the screenshot. Also, I don't use Chrome most of the time. Kernel_Task and WindowServer are the processes using the highest amounts of RAM that I don't know what they do.
     
  4. Yewbeam thread starter macrumors newbie

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  5. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

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    #5
    nothing special, mostly safari and the file cache eating your memory.

    here's mine for kickers... just fooling around in the internerds all day. if I fire one or two VMs that I use for work the pressure goes way up.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Yewbeam thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2015
    #6
    But you have 0 swap used.. that's what I'm worried about. Why is mine so high? What can I do about it? Thanks for helping.
     
  7. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

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    #7
    yep, probably because this MBP has 16 gigs, so still plenty of free mem. Just showing that your memory usage by process is similar to mine.

    tomorrow i'll switch to my travel MBP which is 8GB, will keep an eye on it. But I know I can run two windows VMs on it adding up to 5GB of RAM for both and it can do it just fine... pressure graph goes yellow tough :D

    only thing that is huge on RAM in yours is safari, but that can happen if you have lots of tabs open. I rarely use safari for fun, just corporate email and icloud stuff, so the mem footprint for it is low. Firefox can grow to more than a GB here sometimes.
     
  8. chabig macrumors 68040

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    Sep 6, 2002
    #8
    Don't do anything. Your Mac has an operating system that manages memory. You are the user--you don't have to concern yourself with the intricate technical details of memory management. The OS engineers are Apple are far smarter than you and me in these areas.
     
  9. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

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    #9
    not so sure about that - ML for instance had pretty crappy memory management, so crappy that i had to run with swap disabled for the whole era. had to upgrade the memory to 16gb for that.

    mavericks, on the other hand, can do everthing that ML choked about with 8GB just fine... go figure :)
     
  10. DJEmergency macrumors regular

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    Nov 4, 2011
    #10
    Seems normal to me. You're using up your RAM so it needs to use swap.
     
  11. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #11
    What this means is that at some point some app has requested a lot of memory and the only way for the system to grant that request was to back up some used RAM to the disk. Why that happens is pretty much a mystery at this point. Maybe you hit some random bug or maybe one of your apps had a circumstantial reason to request that much RAM. I wouldn't worry about that unless its a regular occurrence. You can restart your computer, this should reset the memory statistics.
     
  12. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
    #12
    Your memory pressure is low.
    Your amount of swap is not really high, and although your SSD will get writes, the amount is not particularly heavy (and that level is not likely to greatly affect the life
    Your uptime is likely considerably longer than b0fh666
    Looks like b0fh666 had possibly restarted recently.

    Seeing a high number of PID on your system, which shows that you haven't rebooted for some time.
    How long since you restarted your Mac?
    (I'm not recommending that you have to restart - but that would clear out your swap... :D )
     
  13. Natzoo macrumors 65816

    Natzoo

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    #13
    go energy settings on activity monitor, and if u see multiple apps saying using high preformance than thats it. i have a 15 inch retina with dual graphics and thats what happens to me
     
  14. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

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    #14
    good catch - i just rebooted earlier today for the fix of that pesky 'you need to update CUDA but there is no update' message :D
     
  15. NoBoMac macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 1, 2014
    #15
    What the heck is going on with Safari? Yeah, alot ot interwebs will start cranking up the RAM usage, and maybe can see over 1GB, but the number of threads and ports open looks off the hook.

    Stop and restart Safari? Clear out history, cookies, caches?
     
  16. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #16
    Stop worrying about it and use the machine. It's all fine.
     
  17. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #17
    That is what I am thinking too. Personally, I keep no more then about 4 tabs open at a time in Safari and have yet to see Safari's memory usage go above 500MB.

    Both my machines have 16GB of RAM so its really no big deal for me when it comes to RAM, in fact right now my Activity Monitor on my Mac Pro says that 6GB of memory is used with 10GB free.

    And OP, I would not be worried about the data being written to your SSD. It really isn't that big a deal. It may shorten the lifespan of the SSD, but even if it was using the entire SSD for swap space the SSD would still last longer then your average HDD. Meaning, it probably won't die until the machine is too old to be used in day to day operations.
     
  18. Yewbeam thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2015
    #18
    Thanks everyone. It might be Safari... it normally uses over 1 GB of RAM, even with just a few tabs open, though often I have a few tabs of videos. I haven't rebooted my Mac for probably around 2 weeks, so I suppose that could be the problem.

    I think I'll clear out history, cookies, and cache in Safari, and if that doesn't work I might do a clean re-install of Yosemite. I'm just surprised that it needs so much swap when I really just use Safari, Spotify, iTunes, and other low-intensity apps...
     
  19. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #19
    Just reboot, that will reset your swap usage to zero. Reinstalling will achieve nothing as you don't appear to have any kind of fault.
     
  20. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #20
    ...and then don't look at Activity Monitor again.
     
  21. Yewbeam thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2015
    #21
    I figured out what the problem was! It was AdBlock Plus. It made my Safari ram usage skyrocket to over 1 GB most of the time. When I disabled it, the Ram safari used went to around 100 megabytes. I suggest using AdBlock, as it increased the ram usage but not nearly as much as Adblock did.
     
  22. Watabou macrumors 68040

    Watabou

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    Feb 10, 2008
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    #22
    Yes this was my issue on Mavericks too. Seems like Adblock Plus is a bit buggy at this point, or maybe I had one too many lists subscribed to.

    I use adblock now, and so far Safari hovers around 1 GB memory, but that's normal for me because I use more than 30 tabs.

    Also, unless your memory pressure is red, don't worry about the memory. I get swaps up to 100MB, even so high as 1GB, when I use VMWare, my memory pressure stays green though, and there's no hint of the machine slowing down.
     

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