Aug 31, 2005 'Adam' wrote in message news:[email protected] I am tring to open two spreadsheets about 30Mb each, but it keeps on. Check to make sure Excel is not in use by another process. If Excel is in use by another process, this information will be displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the Excel window. If you try to perform other actions while Excel is in use, Excel may not respond. Let the task in process finish its job before attempting other actions.
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- Excel Not Enough Memory Mac
“No matter what I do, my Mac is still slow”, an average tech-consultant hears this phrase multiple times a day. Give a person even the most powerful computer, and pretty soon it will be cluttered with apps, extensions, and things that are too much for it to handle. To reverse it, one has to go back and сlean up the mess, removing memory agents one by one. Prepare for a fight — every byte of memory is at stake. So let’s put your Mac on a diet and get it more free RAM to breathe freely.
First, remove desktop clutter. Get a combination of Setapp apps that clear away unneeded desktop files.Download Declutter Free
“Your system has run out of application memory”
How do you know your Mac is low on memory? Floating “rainbow wheels” aside, you may notice your Mac now takes ages to load. You’ll also see many browser applications crashing. You’ll be also thrown warning messages as “Your system has run out of application memory”. To help it, you should first visit the Activity monitor to see memory usage on Mac.
How to check RAM usage on Mac
Go to Applications and type in Activity Monitor in the search bar. This invokes a good old Activity Monitor that should tell how much free memory you’ve got left.
A shortcut to open Activity Monitor:
Press F4 and start typing Activity Monitor in the search bar.
I’ve attached a screenshot from my Mac and as you can see my memory usage almost reached full capacity. Here’s what it all means:
App memory: taken by apps and processes
Wired memory: reserved by apps, can’t be freed up
Compressed: inactive, can be used by other apps
Swap used: memory used by macOS
Cached files: memory you can really use
Notice the colored graph under Memory Pressure. If your graph is all but red and yellow, your Mac is really gasping for fresh memory. It seems counter-intuitive, but “available memory” your Activity Monitor is not that important after all. In fact, it’s a system intended behavior to use all memory resources when available. On the contrary, the Memory Pressure graph is much more telling, so grow a habit to check this graph in the Activity Monitor every now and then.
How to check CPU usage on Mac
Open the CPU tab in Activity Monitor to keep in check CPU-heavy processes. Normally an app would be using 0-4% of CPU. If it takes abnormally more than that, go inside that particular item in the list and press the Quit button.
How to free up memory on Mac
Tip # 1. Remove Login Items to lower Mac memory usage
Login items are programs that load automatically upon Mac startup. Some of them covertly add themselves to the list and this is no good. If you’re looking to free up RAM, they are the first candidates for deletion. Don’t worry, you’re not deleting the app itself, you just stop it from auto-launching every time.
So, to remove Login Items and at the same time reduce your memory usage of your Mac, you need to:
- Open System Preferences and select Users & Groups.
- Click your nickname on the left.
- Select the Login Items tab.
- Check programs you don’t want to load as your Mac starts.
- Press the “–” sign below.
Now, you won’t see these apps pop up the moment you turn on your Mac. Although this method doesn’t require some superpowers of yours, some special Mac optimization and memory cleaner tools may do the job faster and ensure the smooth performance of your Mac. CleanMyMac X is an excellent example of such software. Here’s how to disable Login Items with CleanMyMac X:
- Download it for free and go to the Optimization tab.
- Check Login Items to see the list of apps that get opened when you start your Mac.
- Click Remove.
As you’ve already come to the Optimization module of CleanMyMac, you can also fix hung apps and heavy memory consumers there. In this way, you’ll free up the solid amount of RAM on Mac — 100% free of charge.
Tip # 2. Free up disk space if Mac is low on memory
The available space on your Mac’s drive translates into virtual memory. This comes to save you when you’ve run out of physical RAM. So now your computer relies on your hard drive space to keep your apps going.
The classic geek rule of thumb holds it that you should keep at least 20% of disk space on your startup drive. Not only this potentially reduces your future spending on iCloud storage but it also keeps your Mac speedier.
What to delete to free up space:
- Large unused files, like movies
- Old downloads
- Rarely used applications
- System junk
But here’s a simpler solution to save your time — clean up your drive with CleanMyMac X— the app I’ve mentioned above. Many users recommend it as an excellent way to free up more space because it searches for large & old files, useless system files, Photo junk, mail attachments and shows everything you can safely delete. Interestingly, it finds about 74 GB of junk on an average computer.
Extra trick: How to free up RAM on Mac with CleanMyMac X
If you have downloaded CleanMyMac, you may also take advantage of its amazing feature — the ability to free up RAM in a few seconds. Try this next time you see “Your system has run out of application memory” message.
- Go to the Maintenance tab on the left.
- Click Free Up RAM.
- Click Run.
As simple as that!
And you can do it even if you download a free version of the app.
Tip # 3. Clean up your Desktop
This tip always comes at the bottom of instructions and unfairly so as it is quite effective. Without even looking at your Desktop I would assume it’s cluttered with mountains of icons. Thing is, your macOS was designed in a way that it treats every Desktop icon as a little active window. The more icons, the heavier memory usage on Mac. So in order to release available memory resources, it’s recommended to keep your Desktop clean.
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. With apps like Declutter and Spotless, every desktop cleaning session will be scheduled in advance and executed automatically. Your only job is to define the rules on how your files should be organized.
Tip #4. Clear cache files
Another way to free up RAM on Mac is to clear it of cache files. Of course, it won’t save you gigabytes of space, but deleting cache regularly, you can help your Mac run faster and avoid system issues.
So, to remove cache files on your Mac, you need to:
- Open Finder.
- From the Go menu, select Go to Folder.
- Type ~/Library/Caches in the field and press Go.
- In the window that appears, you will see all your cache files.
- Press Command+A to select all files or delete files one by one.
- Enter your user name and password to confirm.
If you find some files still in the folder after you emptied it, maybe you have some windows open on your Mac. Just like that, you can save up some space on your Mac. Don’t forget to empty the bin afterward.
Tip # 5. Tune up Chrome’s Task Manager
Although Google Chrome is not the one to blame for massive memory usage, it can indeed affect your Mac's performance. If you use Chrome as your primary browser, you probably have many windows opened there. Chrome runs a lot of processes to ensure a fast browsing experience for you. So, it uses your RAM for storing your tabs, plugins, and extensions. Look at how many entries Google Chrome has in Activity Monitor:
The question then arises, 'Why does Chrome use so much RAM?' The thing is that each process is responsible for a separate plugin or extension of your browser. For example, when a tab unexpectedly falls, you need to refresh it to continue your work there. If one process were responsible for all tabs and extensions, you would need to restart the whole browser instead. Can you imagine how many times would you do that? That’s the proper answer to why Chrome uses so much RAM.
I’ve been using Chrome for some years only to discover (recently) that Chrome had a task manager of its own. You can use it to force quit memory-heavy processes in the browser. It’s a handy tool because it lets you see how a page weighs on CPU usage on a Mac.
- Go to Chrome settings (dotted icon in the top right corner)
- Click More tools -> Task Manager
To free up even more RAM, close the GPU process. The GPU Process, though helpful in theory to accelerate pages, eats up a considerable amount of memory. Click to end it to free up RAM on your Mac.
Tip # 6. Manage RAM usage with CleanMyMac X menu
CleanMyMac X has another useful and convenient feature for managing your Mac’s performance and memory usage. As you install CleanMyMac X and start it for the first time, it’s icon will appear in your menu bar. Click the icon to open the CleanMyMac X menu. Here you can find updates on the current condition of your Mac and perform quick tweaks to increase your Mac's speed. Whenever you feel like your Mac underperforms, open the CleanMyMac X menu to check how much RAM is available and free it up as well.
Tip # 7. Close Finder windows
Okay, suppose you’re still asking yourself, how do I clear RAM on my MacBook Pro/MacBook Air. The next trick is as magical (you’ll see for yourself) as it is time-saving. It’s no secret that each window in the Finder eats up RAM. But how many open windows are there? Some of them are collapsed or stacked in some blind spot on your screen. This Finder command merges all your windows into one. See how to do it:
Click on Finder > Window > Merge All Windows
Now you can manage Finder windows more effectively and free up memory on MacBook.
What else you can do to minimize memory usage on Mac
I’ve saved the easiest tips for the end, as long as these ones are self-explanatory.
- Replace AdBlock (very memory-demanding) with a lighter extension
- Keep fewer opened tabs in the browser
- Restart your Mac more often to free up RAM
- Close all hung-up print queues
That was my take on how to make your Mac a bit speedier to use. If you’re looking for more guidance, check simple ways to speed up your Mac.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to check application memory on Mac?
To check RAM usage on your Mac, go to Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities). In the Memory tab, you will see all the active processes that are using your Mac’s RAM. At the end of the window, there is a Memory Used graph, which indicates how much application memory is used.
How to find out whether your Mac needs more RAM?
Your Mac may be using almost all its RAM, but you don’t need more if it’s using it efficiently. Open Activity Monitor and go to the Memory tab. The Memory Pressure graph shows the current condition of your RAM: green color means your Mac’s using RAM effectively, while yellow is a sign that some application or process is using too much of application memory. The red memory pressure signals that your Mac needs more RAM.
How to quickly free up RAM on your MacBook?
To free up RAM on your Mac, firstly, you should find out what app uses so much of your memory. The memory-heavy programs are listed in Activity Monitor, Memory tab. If there is an app you aren’t using at the moment, click it and press the “X” sign to quit it. This will, in turn, free some of the application memory
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How to fix macOS 10.15 Catalina problems
Hello, thrill seekers. Looks like you’ve installed macOS Catalina knowing it’s not perfect and despite all warnings ended up here. You are not alone. We’ve rummaged through the internet and collected all macOS Catalina issues known to date. And boy, there’s a lot of wrongs to fix.
1. Can’t install macOS Catalina
You’ve unpacked the installer and now macOS Catalina install stuck on the initial reboot. All you can see is a black screen and even a hard reboot doesn’t help it. Though it’s perfectly normal for an installation to take some time (sometimes up to 10 hours), you can try a few workarounds.
- Install Catalina in the Safe Mode
- Press and hold down the Power key to shut down your computer.
- Now, hold down Shift while it’s booting up.
You will see the Apple logo on a grayish background with a progress bar. After you entered the Safe mode, run the Catalina installer again. Hopefully, it reaches completion this time.
Tip: Press Command + L in the middle of the macOS installation. You will see if it’s still active and the remaining time before completion.
- Do a PRAM and SMC Reset
It’s one of those last-ditch solutions that restore deep system settings including kernel information. It isn’t something you should be doing regularly but in our case, it’s worth trying.
How to reset PRAM
1.Shut down your computer
2. Press the Power key
3. Immediately press Command + Option + P + R keys
4. Hold down the keys until your Mac reboots
5. Let go of the keys
To reset SMC
1. Turn off your Mac
2. Hold down Control + Shift + Option and press power
3. Hold the buttons for 10-15 sec
4. Release the keys and restart your Mac
After you’re done, repeat macOS Catalina installation from scratch.
- Free up space on your drive
macOS Catalina takes up about 30 GB on your drive. That’s unprecedented in macOS history. When you see the 'macOS Catalina cannot be installed on Macintosh HD' message, this sometimes means that there is not enough disk space for the new macOS. Therefore, you need to free up some space on your Mac.
How to free up space? Move your largest files onto an external drive — will take you about 20 minutes. Or if it looks like too much fuss, free up your storage with CleanMyMac X. It’s a tool that is actually notarized by Apple (shouldn’t be confused with MacKeeper).
You’ll easily remove 7-10 GBs of system garbage. Then you can install macOS Catalina on a drive that’s clean and refreshed.
Here I’ve found a link to a free version of this app — enjoy.
Catalina installation stuck on “Setting up your Mac” screen
So your installation has started but seems to be stuck on the initial screen. What can you do? If your patience has finally run out, it’s time for a mission abort.
- Press the power button and wait till your Mac reboots.
- Start the installation all over again — this time it should go fine.
“macOS Catalina could not be verified”
This error usually appears when the download has finished. Apparently, it has something to do with cached content associated with your user account.
- Open System Preferences > Sharing > Content caching
- Switch to “All content`’ in the dropdown menu
The first attempt to download Catalina would often return the same error. But don’t give up just yet! Try downloading Catalina once again — this time it will download it from the cached copy on your Mac which will take about 10-15 seconds. Now it should be ok.
If it doesn’t help you can also:
- Simply restart your Mac
- Download Catalina under different “user” on your Mac
- Try to delete system cache with CleanMyMac
2. macOS Catalina freezing upon reboot
The situation looks like this: macOS Catalina has completed the install, and after you restart your Mac it is stuck on login screen. You see the progress bar but it isn’t going anywhere. What to do?
As one user pointed out, the problem may be caused by 3d party kernel extensions or kexts. They act as drivers — if you like a Windows analogy — and give access to your Mac’s hardware.
- Solution: Move Library Extensions
As a band-aid solution, you can relocate your /Library/Extensions kexts to a backup folder. As confirmed by many users, this fixes macOS Catalina stuck on reboot problem.
To perform this, you will need Terminal app:
Click Launchpad > Terminal
Now paste in the following command:
mkdir ~/Extensions-Backup && sudo mv /Library/Extensions/* ~/Extensions-Backup/
This command relocates your Library Extensions to the username/Extensions Backup folder. Later you can put the Extensions back where they belong at: /Library/Extensions.
One more solution to macOS Catalina freezing
Generally, Macs freeze when some process is hogging the memory. Some background plugin could be eating up all the available RAM. Here is the method I use to identify my background memory-hoggers.
To get a clear idea what it is, I use CleanMyMac X’s Speed utility.
You need to install CleanMyMac X — it’s available as a free version too.
Open the app, click “Optimization.”
This will give you an idea what Launch Agents are working in the background so you can isolate and disable them.
PS. Heavy consumers — this tab reveals processes that are critically memory-demanding.
3. macOS Catalina apps not working
This is one of the macOS Catalina problems that trails back to macOS Mojave. As you’ve probably heard, app architecture knows 2 types: 32-bit and 64-bit. The 32-bit apps will not be supported on macOS Catalina, period. Sadly, they are not just some lo-fi indie apps, we are talking Photoshop!
Did you know:Apple states that 64-bit apps use memory more effectively and so will work faster on your Mac.
- Check your 32-bit apps
There’s a quick way to count your potentially problematic applications.
- Click the Apple logo > About this Mac > System report
- Now find Applications in the sidebar.
To have a deeper look into your apps, where they come from, and how much space they are taking, run the Uninstaller tool in CleanMyMac X. Download this program here — it’s free to download.
Launch the app and click the Uninstaller tab
Here you can see your 32-bit apps and sort apps by “Last used.”
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For example, I found a 32-bit video editor, which I didn’t realize was there, stealing away 600 MB of my space.
- Reset an app that misbehaves
If a particular app stopped working on macOS Catalina, you can reset it with CleanMyMac. This operation doesn’t delete any user data and only restores it to the default state. In 9 out of 10 cases this helps solve syncing issues and sudden app freeze-ups.
Choose an app from the list in the Uninstaller (see screenshot above)
Now click on the drop-down menu under “Uninstall” button
Click on the Reset button that appears
- Update your applications
In anticipation of various macOS Catalina issues, some developers have already optimized their programs for the new OS. Go to the developer’s site and download the latest available version.
Yes, I’ve already told you about CleanMyMac, but it appears to have just the right tool to handle macOS updates. It automatically updates every single app on your Mac. Though it may take some time, it’s a smart way to debug your macOS Catalina apps.
Once you get CleanMyMac X, click the Updater tab in the sidebar.
Click Select All above the app list.
Now, click Update.
4. macOS Catalina is running slow
Quite expectedly, some of the most reported issues on macOS Catalina are speed-related. Some background processes are hogging the CPU, most notably, the fileproviderd process. Thing is, macOS 10.15 Catalina heavily exchanges data with web-related processes, like cloud storages. There are countless rough edges to this process.
- Disable the fileproviderd process
Go to Launchpad > Activity monitor
- Disable browser extensions
Here you’ll need to figure out what process is eating up the most resources. Watch out for the processes named mds and fileproviderd. If they take up 80-100% of CPU, try closing them using the [X] button above.
Browser extensions may be the culprit of many macOS Catalina issues. Leave the bare minimum of browser extensions and see how your Mac reacts.
5. Problem with Apple ID settings
This happens when Catalina is prompting you to update your Apple ID details. You’ve entered your password but the pop-up keeps coming back after some time.
- Solution: Enable Keychain in iCloud settings
Go to System Preferences > Internet Accounts > iCloud
Log in into your account and check the list of services that use iCloud.
Tick Keychain and enter your credentials.
6. Sidecar problems on macOS Catalina
Sidecar is a feature that doubles your workspace as you can use an iPad as a second monitor. The common issue here is inability to connect your iPad to the computer. First off, make sure you have iPadOS installed on your iPad. Then, find your Mac in the list of Sidecar-supported models:
- Late 2015 27″ iMac
- 2017 iMac Pro
- Mid 2016 MacBook Pro
- Late 2018 Mac mini
- Late 2018 MacBook Air
- Early 2016 MacBook
- 2019 Mac Pro
If your Mac is pre-2015, there’s still a workaround to enable Sidecar.
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Open Terminal and paste in the following command:
defaults write com.apple.sidecar.display allowAllDevices -bool YES
Did it make the trick? Unfortunately, this combination is not guaranteed to work.
7. iCloud issues on macOS Catalina
Cannot download folders from iCloud
iCloud integration is one of those weak spots that produce tons of bugs. Fixes for such macOS Catalina problems are already on the way.
- Download each file individually
If you cannot download folders from iCloud, download each file individually. Unfortunately, this is the only available workaround at this point.
Did you know: Some part of your iCloud data is stored on both Google and Amazon data centers.
Cannot accept iCloud terms and conditions on Catalina
As of October 2019, this problem has too been widely reported. No matter how many times you’ve accepted the conditions, the legal disclaimer keeps coming up. It appears, that the problem occurs because you have more than just one device connected to iCloud.
- Go to System Preferences > Internet Accounts.
- Now, click the iCloud icon
You should see the Terms & Conditions pop-ups that is now in a pending state. Press Accept.
Repeat the procedure for all iCloud accounts and your devices you’ll see in the list.
8. Music Library freezing
The iTunes had been the centerpiece of music on macOS. With its removal things quickly went sideways. Since the arrival of the iTunes successor, Music app, many folks noticed their album artworks missing, Music Library freezing etc.
The typical case is your Mac says its “updating the Music Library”, spinning endlessly, without any progress. The issue is likely caused by obsolete Mojave caches and the remains your previous iTunes ecosystem.
- Empty your Music folder
And all music-related Library caches.
- Back up your music and move it out of Music folder
- Open ~/Library and delete any items titled “Music” or “iTunes”
- Repeat for ~/Library/Caches
- Restart your Mac and see if it worked
Don’t forget to put your music albums back where they had been before.
9. Wi-Fi issues on macOS Catalina
Wi-Fi not working after macOS Catalina update is pretty common. While your macOS is brand new, your Wi-Fi is still relying on some old protocols.
First, try to turn the Wi-Fi off and on again. If that doesn’t help you go to System Preferences > Network
Click on the dropdown menu that shows your Network.
Now, try choosing a different network — just to reset and shaken up the old settings
- Connect to your default network
- Check to “Automatically join this network”
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Alternative fix with CleanMyMac XSwitchresx coupon.
To fix Wi-Fi problems on Catalina, we’ll use some of the tools from the free version of CleanMyMac X.
- Download the app and open the Privacy tab
- Find the Wi-Fi Networks option
Check all the networks in the list and click Remove.
This will make your Mac forget your old Wi-Fi stations and you’ll be able to reconnect again.
10. Bluetooth not available on macOS Catalina
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If your Bluetooth is not working on macOS Catalina, there’s one easy trick you can do. You should try deleting your Bluetooth.plist files. Don’t worry, it will auto-create a new copy of itself.
- Click Finder > Go > Go to Folder…
- Type in:
Now, look for a file com.apple.Bluetooth.plist
3. Delete it and restart your Mac.
11. Safari Extensions stopped working
There is a certain kind of Safari extensions, namely, .safariextz files that have been excluded from support in macOS Catalina. They no longer can be installed on Extensions page and are now considered “Legacy.”
RES, Ublock, and Bitwarden are some of the notable extensions that Safari users will miss on Catalina. What’s happening is Apple gradually moving away from the accepted web extensions format (WebExtensions) to the iOS-compatible extensions.
- Accept this fact (or wait patiently)
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If you are missing your favorite ad blockers or other extensions, the easiest is to switch to a different browser. There is also a possibility that the developers will overhaul their extensions to support Safari 13 but we all will have to wait until that happens.
12. Storage filling up for no reason
So you’ve upgraded to macOS Catalina only to discover that a big chunk of free space is missing. Some identified folder is eating up your storage but how can you find it? The issue could be related to Time Machine backups and clones of APFS snapshots stored in different locations.
- Slim down your Time Machine snapshots
You can perform this operation safely in CleanMyMac X.
Download the app (a link to free edition) and launch it.
In CleanMyMac X:
Click the Maintenance tab
Choose “Time Machine snapshots thinning
As a manual solution, paste in the following commands in Terminal:
tmutil listlocalsnapshots / tmutil listlocalsnapshots /System/Volumes/Data
This lists the local snapshots created by your Time Machine. If you’re ready to delete those, type in this:
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deletelocalsnapshots <snapshot_date> </snapshot_date>
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