Using purge to free inactive memory on Mac OS X

by bram

A note on MacOSX Memory:

Briefly, free memory is available to be used right now; wired memory is basically system memory for the kernel and other stuff; active memory is memory being used right now; and inactive memory stores info from recently quit applications. The idea with inactive memory is that if you quit and app and start it up again it’s going to launch nice and quick because the info is still in RAM.
Inactive memory can be slow to free up

There is a command called “purge” which can be used to free up memory. You should really use it sparingly (if at all) but it does actually free up all the inactive memory without having to reboot.

The purge command comes with the developer tools so you need these installed in order to use the command.

Simply open up a terminal and run this:

$ purge