Best Free Memory Optimizer

 
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Introduction

Windows (XP and Vista) has excellent memory management and for the most part you don't need a third party memory management product. I've tried a few free memory managers but none has impressed me enough to allow recommendation. Until now that is.

Most people believe that Memory Optimizers are nothing but "Snake Oil". And, that is mostly true. Most memory optimizers simply fill up memory in windows, and force everything to the page file. However, there a couple that seem to actually work.

Discussion

CleanMem I've got to talk about this little program that another category editor told me about.  I've been running it now for over a year and I've got to say that I almost forgot about it.  You never notice it other than you eventually notice that your system is running smoother and faster.  After installation, you don't even realize that it is working. The program will install and set it to run every 30 min via the windows task scheduler. You can change this to any amount of time you like by simply going to the task scheduler in windows and changing any of the options you like.

Install it and your done! The program doesn't run in the back ground, once it does its job it closes and doesn't run again until the task scheduler runs it.  The program is very simple to operate as it will run and clean the memory out of all processes it can, without any user input.

This doesn't work like other memory cleaners that do nothing but force windows to free up memory by using up all the avail. memory.  This old trick then causes your system to lag big time!

NEW UPDATE:

CleanMem has been upgraded to version 2.3.0.  

CleanMem is now 3.5x faster. CleanMem use to take 3.5 sec to do its job and close. It now takes 1 sec. Added better support for the window positions of the program. On some users systems, if they had another program running that worked with program windows, it would cause CleanMem to save the window positions off screen, or if a user lowered their screen resolution and the old position would now be off screen. The program now checks the current screen resolution and brings the windows back on screen. Supports people with multiple monitors.

 
Several new cool features have been added.  The most dramatic is a new CleanMem Mini Monitor. This runs separate from CleanMem. The mini monitor allows a user to keep an eye on current memory usage and clean the system memory with one click of a button. The program calls CleanMem to do its job. This new mini monitor is an addition to CleanMem, not a replacement. The mini monitor actually calls cleanmem to run, the mini monitor itself doesnt do the cleaning. CleanMem still installs and runs in the back ground via the task scheduler just as it always has.  You do NOT have to use the mini monitor if you chose not to.  However, I like it.  You can also hide it to the tray icon.

One additional feature that I am also excited about is a feature to change cleanmem auto run time via the right click menu.  Basically, when you click it, it opens the task scheduler for the user.  It isn't rocket science, but it is a new handy feature.

Special Note:  Upon installation, you have 2 choices--you can either install a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version.

 

FreeRAM XP is a memory manager that not only works but also doesn't seem to cause problems; a rare combination. It ticks away in the background, consumes few resources, and does genuinely free up a bit of memory when you ask it to. It can also be configured to automatically free up memory.

Does freeing up memory improve performance? On both my test system and personal laptop it certainly did release some more memory, but it didn't make much difference to performance. Still, all my systems are XP and have 1GB plus. Maybe on older PCs with less memory, or when using applications like PhotoShop that eat up a lot of memory it may make a difference, I can't say. What I can say is that FreeRAM XP caused no problems other than a 10-30 second freeze of my PC when FreeRAM is in the actual process of releasing memory.

This product no longer appears to be in development.  The most recent release is from 2006.

 

Special Note:

I recently upgraded to Windows 7 (64-bit).  To be quite honest with you, after about a month of use, I don't see a need to install a third-party memory optimizer.  I'm sure that some might disagree, but I won't be using them nor will I be testing them on my Windows 7 system.  My recommendation, if you have Windows 7, is to leave well enough alone.  So far, I am quite impressed with all the tools within Windows 7 including disk defragmenter, backup, search, and even memory management.  I'm finding myself using less and less third-party tools with Windows 7.

 

Related Products and Links

MZ Ram Booster (http://mztweak.bravehost.com/) Please be advised that MZ Ram Booster requires .Net Framework 2.0 or higher. Recently upgraded to version 3.5.2 and is currently in development.  Reportedly works in all versions of Windows.

RAMBooster 2 (http://www.sci.fi/~borg/rambooster/).  There are actually 2 videos on CNET TV (http://www.cnettv.com/) featuring RAMBooster 2 that speak highly of the program.  If you are interested, just follow the link and do a search for RAMBooster.  Version 2.0.  Please note that the most recent version was released in 2005.  It appears to be no longer in development.

MiniMem (http://main.kerkia.com/tools/Minimem/description.aspx)  Minimem is a memory optimization tools that allows you running modern applications on not-so-modern computers that are RAM-limited. You just choose which programs to optimize and how to do so, and Minimem takes care of the rest, running silently in your tray bar.  "Initially developed for Firefox only, Minimem now can reduce the memory footprint of any application. It runs in the background and can be set up to optimize as many proceses as you'd like, using a very intuitive graphical interface. Unlike other memory optimization tools, it gives you full control over what applications you want to optimize, when and how often, as well as the possibility to only optimize memory when required and relevant."  (Minimem appears to be closely related to or similar to CleanMem.)
 

Quick Selection Guide

CleanMem
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Set it and forget it! Schedule to clean memory at user-specified time intervals. Seems to actually work. Doesn't work like other memory optimizers! It is also available in a portable format for those thumbdrive junkies (which is a determining factor for some).
With all memory optimizers, benefits are hard to measure. You'll forget you have it installed.
http://www.pcwintech.com/cleanmem
2.4.0
2.64 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Works on Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, & Win7 (32bit & 64bit)
FreeRAM XP Pro
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Seems to actually work
Freezes computer for 10-30 seconds while freeing RAM. If you have over 1 GB RAM, effects are minimal.
1.52
606kb
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, 2003 Server, XP (NT4.x is unsupported)

On a small minority of systems, installing Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP will result in the FreeRAM XP Pro tray icon not showing up properly when starting with Windows. The number of Windows XP SP2 systems affected appears to be a relatively small percentage, and it is not known what system factors cause this issue on affected computers.

Have Your Say

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Editor

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Kendall Alexander.

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Comments

by William2 on 5. February 2014 - 19:19  (114269)

CLEANMEM also increases overall system performance.

Read this:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/windows-7-memory-usage-whats-the-best-way...

by texastechy on 5. February 2014 - 18:38  (114268)

CleanMem - very useful. I waited too long to install this since reading the "Special Note" near the top of this article... about windows 7 optimizing memory well, and third party Ram managers not being needed. (not true)

I'm happy to report that my Ram use after installing CleanMem on my Win7 64bit PC has shown a marked improvement. Now that I have 8 gb of ram it's not the issue it used to be. But it's always irritated me that certain programs use so much ram and don't seem to release it. Before installing CleanMem my free ram would remain in the 3-4 gb range. Now it's staying in the 5+ gb range even with many apps running. Apparently CleanMem DOES make a difference. I'm not going to tell you it's needed. You'll need to decide that. But it does work if you're looking to free up Ram use.

by wsalew on 26. November 2013 - 8:25  (112543)

Does anyone tried this clean memory app?
http://www.koshyjohn.com
Using it for about a year and im satisfied with it, so i would be glad for some "professional opinion" about this software.

by kendall.a on 27. November 2013 - 7:29  (112562)

The site has a green WOT rating and he has 3 software programs that all appear to be free. In fact, at least 2 of them, for me, appear interesting. Both the memory cleaner and desktop search program look to be possibly worth testing.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now to test either of them. Maybe, someone else can or will?!

by parjanya on 10. August 2013 - 9:40  (110040)

i use giant matrix Memory washer... its nice
do check it out

by kendall.a on 10. August 2013 - 16:25  (110049)

This product does appear to be free and the site is green (WOT). However, if you check out their FAQ, it states that for support you need to go to their forum. When you go to their forum, you will find 0 posts. Yes, there are absolutely no posts in their forum. I assume that this means that this is a brand new company and we know very little about them. And, I doubt you're going to get much support from a blank forum. So, just beware if you decide to download this software.

I would strongly suggest running this installer through Jotti or Virustotal.

by parjanya on 11. August 2013 - 6:49  (110056)

@ kendall.a

what you say is right but i am using this product for a long time... i have old pc 512 ram and i do programming,and Photoshop so i need to clean ram constantly....

what you say about forum is fine... how care weather they give support or not. you can never ask much from freeware..the main thing is they are giving it for free..

worst come to worst scenario i terminate the program if it gives me trouble or simply uninstall it and find better alternative...

2 thing i want from freeware is that:
1) They should be completly FREE...no strings attached
2) should not contain any virus or malicious code

this program is really great and haven't given me any trouble but i agree that there maybe better alternatives

i just felt like sharing with others what i use and i wasn't in your list

please don't feel bad and forgive me if i am offending
parjanya

by William2 (not verified) on 30. September 2012 - 16:38  (100005)

Cleanmem v2.4.3 is out. Try it.

Cleanmem has competition from a program called Minimem from the folks called Kerkia.

http://main.kerkia.com/Tools/Minimem/description.aspx

by Jasslong (not verified) on 16. September 2012 - 4:04  (99317)

I seem to noticed a weird issue while running Windows 7 64bit that I never noticed in Windows XP. The issue is if I continuously download large files sooner or later I will run out of Memory even though I have 10GB of RAM. I have checked the processes none of them are using the missing memory?! Running antirootkits, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes Anti Malware & SuperAntispyware did not detect anything suspicious.

If I don't download anything even throughout the whole day I still have 6-7 gigs of ram available but if I were to download 6-8gb worth of files I might have 1-2 gigs of ram left. I tried Firefox,chrome even different download managers the issue is still the same where have the ram gone to?

Ideas?

by jimmynog (not verified) on 24. September 2012 - 14:25  (99691)

I just installed Win 7 64-bit, then installed FreeRAM XP, and I can say you're having that problem because FreeRAM only sees 4GB of RAM max. I have 8GB installed, and FreeRAM always shows 4096GB of RAM free, so it is not even looking at RAM being used! So once your downloads have used up 4GB, you're done. I used this program mostly to keep an eye on remaining free RAM, and as a quick way to see if a running process was eating up memory (overflow, or just poorly written, even file Explorer does it under certain conditions).

by Jasslong (not verified) on 27. September 2012 - 13:50  (99846)

Actually I am using something else to check my ram. I know about FreeRAM XP issue, at the moment I am using Cleanmem.

by Jasslong (not verified) on 4. October 2012 - 14:52  (100267)

Anybody knows how to read poolmon?

by kendall.a on 4. October 2012 - 19:42  (100286)

Please see this link:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/177415

If you need additional assistance please post in our forums.

by Shane (not verified) on 16. September 2012 - 19:49  (99346)

Ocx and dll files use memory as well. But they dont show up in task manager.

You have something on your system that is eating the memory, the first thing to try is to make sure not to use any download manager to see if it is it, you can also try disabling your AV.

From there start closing any program or service you dont need to see if you can pinpoint which one is causing the memory leak.

You can also use the resource monitor to see if you can trace it down as well.

I have noticed some thing with Windows 7.

I had a setup for an old game that was about 8GB in size. When I installed it on XP it worked fine and my memory never grew.
But on Windows 7 it filled all 8GB of my memory. When I would check the resource monitor I would see the "modified" memory was completely filled, and closing the setup program didnt clear it. Only way to free it was with a reboot.

So it is possible you have a program on your system doing the same thing.

Shane

by Jasslong (not verified) on 23. September 2012 - 20:43  (99660)

I found through googling, there were some comments regarding this issue being faced by others as well. Someone in another thread pointed out the culprit to be Anti Virus programs causing this issue in Windows 7. Some programs will not release the RAM back despite not showing them using it. I was using Kaspersky 2012 and now upgraded to Kaspersky 2013 is still the same.

I can confirm there is nothing wrong with my rams since I use memtest86+ without errors, I also did full scans for viruses/etc nothing is showing up. Issue seems to be with Windows 7, never had this issue with XP.

by Jasslong (not verified) on 27. September 2012 - 13:47  (99845)

Well I can confirm after tediously roughly counting the memory used by processes I am using about 2GB - 2.5GB of RAM (Using sysinternal's process explorer). At moment my system is showing 8.5GB being used, and downloads report shows just downloaded over 5GB in last 2-3 hours since I restart system just for this testing. Each time the RAM spiked after each file downloads finishes.

Emails to Kaspersky did not get any response from them regarding this. This issue was previously discussed in another forum regarding ESET's NOD32 also causing this issue.

I guess I am stuck until my license expires then I will probably look for alternative to Kaspersky unless somebody has some other ideas.

by kendall.a on 27. September 2012 - 15:05  (99851)

I would say that you are not "definitely stuck". Why not consider uninstalling your commercial software and instead go with a freeware solution?

5 years ago or so, I actually began my search for freeware alternatives after having very similar issues with commercial antivirus software. I have not looked back since. There are a many antivirus solutions than can replace your commercial software and in most cases, you'd have better security.

Please check out our editor recommendations for antivirus or antivirus suites.

by William2 (not verified) on 6. August 2012 - 13:07  (97289)

@Kendall.a:
I use Win 7 but I have installed CLEANMEM as well. I have two programs that can occupy A LOT OF memory (Java & Internet Explorer 9 (64 bit)). CLEANMEM curtails the memory usage of those two program to an acceptable level.

One internet website (when a number of webpages are opened) can push memory usage to over 50%, 60%. Same story for one application that heavily depends on JAVA software. In both cases the programs use A LOT OF memory. Both programs have a lousy memory management.
CLEANMEM then cuts back that memory usage to more acceptable levels. The memory manager in Win 7 doesn't seem to have a grip on this excessive memory usage.

by William2 (not verified) on 5. August 2012 - 19:50  (97247)

CLEANMEM v2.4.2 is out. And I hope v2.4.3 will be out in a not too distant future.

by Jimbo (not verified) on 6. August 2012 - 2:01  (97260)

How do we update? Reinstall and then install the new version?

by William2 (not verified) on 6. August 2012 - 12:29  (97286)

Install CLEANMEM v2.4.2 and in the "Monitor Settings" window an "Update" button is provided. When connected to the internet you can click on that button and the program will tell you whether or not a new version is available.

by imanerd11 on 1. August 2012 - 18:50  (97043)

CleanMEM is a good program, which I use actually, but I also dually suggest Iobit's smartram which is part of ASC.

by MidnightCowboy on 2. August 2012 - 2:46  (97077)

Second comment about IObit deleted. Please read the site rules before posting:

"Posts containing references to any products or services where the originating website has a poor WOT rating are likely to be edited or removed, even if a link is not included".

by kendall.a on 1. August 2012 - 19:42  (97054)

I'm sorry but I do not recommend Iobit products. If you want to know why, please see our forums for a lengthy discussion,

by Shane (not verified) on 3. April 2012 - 6:23  (91603)

CleanMem v2.4.0 released :-)

v2.4.0
Added a new remote feature. This feature is for pro versions. You can now view the memory and stats from the mini monitor remotely. You can also run CleanMem from the remote viewer. Of course the mini monitor must be running on the remote machine to pull the stats. This works both on local networks and over the internet. You will need to setup a port forwarding rule in your router to view over the internet. Port forwarding guides and help are on PcWinTech.com
Added a new screen saver that will pull the data from the mini monitor and display it on the screen saver. This is for both free and pro versions. The mini monitor will allow pulling of stats from both the free and pro versions on the local host 127.0.0.1. The free version will only pull the stats available in the free version.
Added a remote viewer program as well. You can use this to view the mini monitor remotely.
I have included the source code for both the screen saver and the remote viewer, both in visual basic 6. This way others can build more and better screen savers and remote viewers for the mini monitor. Please let me know if you build one and I will link to it on my site.
Per user request I have added a global hotkey to reapply the on top setting. This is for when another program calls the windows api to take the top most order (Puts the window on top of all others) Now a person can use a hot key to put the mini monitor back on top without having to go back into the settings and turn it off and back on.

by Beeber on 7. December 2011 - 21:36  (84596)

Hi,
I have been using v.1.4.2 since it came out, with no problems. Today, I installed v.2.3.1, and I have a couple questions. What is lua5.1.dll? I'm not a noob, and I have never heard of it. I googled it, and, apparently, not alot of people have. Couldn't find a reference to it anywhere...beyond it being a language.
Also, what is the file cmm.dat that is in my C:\Windows? I know it has something to do with rules, but that isn't much of an explanation.
When I click on the settings wizard to edit the scheduler, nothing happens.
I will uninstall this and try the portable...I didn't see any spare language files in that one. And if that prog is funky, I'll re-install 1.4.2. That one is good. OS: XP SP3

by Shane (not verified) on 8. December 2011 - 1:22  (84616)

lua5.1.dll is part of the setup factory program I use to make cleanmem's setup. Cleanmem doesn't need it, its for the setup itself. I believe it is their language file.

cmm.dat is used my the cleanmem mini monitor.

"When I click on the settings wizard to edit the scheduler, nothing happens"
That should be opening your task scheduler as that is where cleanmem runs.

Cleanmem itself is still the same and still cleans the same way since v1.4.2 so feel free to keep using that one. The new versions are more updates and control with the mini monitor ;-)

Shane

by AnonApinargh (not verified) on 19. October 2011 - 21:38  (81752)

This program worked painlessly and brilliantly for me for years in XP, but I have been unable to install it on Win 7, which is slow and pedestrian in comparison to Win XP on my machine.

Every attempt to install it to the default folders yields the same message: "Unable to write to C:\Windows\Cleanmem". I get this while it is creating the uninstall utility. The default folder for the program is C:\Program files\Cleanmem.

Has anyone had this problem and solved it, please? And if so, how?

Many thanks

Apinargh

by Shane (not verified) on 20. October 2011 - 2:03  (81756)

The setup program puts the uninstaller there.
C:\Windows\CleanMem\uninstall.exe

If you are getting that error it is normally because of permissions. Make sure to right click and choose run as administrator on the setup :-)

Shane

by Kai (not verified) on 16. October 2011 - 13:11  (81515)

what's different from memory cleaner and memory optimizer,or it's same?
There's any memory optimizer can speed up PC?
I heard about memory defragmentation can speed up PC,it's true?
Please, tell me if there any memory tweaker can improve speed.
Thanks.

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