Best Free Memory Optimizer

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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.


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!


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 ( 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 (  There are actually 2 videos on CNET TV ( 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 (  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


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.
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

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.
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
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.
Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, 2003 Server, XP (NT4.x is unsupported)
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This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Kendall Alexander.

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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.

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

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?!

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

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.

@ 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 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