If your Windows PC mysteriously feels sluggish or refuses to load any more programs, it may be out of memory. In this case, PCs often use virtual memory, which can be much slower. Here you can find out which programs devour all of your memory.
It should be made clear that it is only memory like in RAM which is a temporary work space for your programs, not memory space. The best tool to determine which Windows programs are potentially using too much RAM is a utility called Task Manager.
CONNECTED: Tech Term Confusion: “Memory”
First, let’s open the Task Manager. Right-click the system tray and choose Task Manager from the menu that appears. (You can also press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task Manager on the screen that appears.)
When you see the simple Task Manager interface, click the More Details button.
In the full Task Manager window, navigate to the Processes tab. You will see a list of all the applications and background tasks that are running on your computer. Collectively, these programs are referred to as “processes”.
Click the Memory column heading to sort the processes that are using the most memory. The process with the largest percentage of RAM is moved to the top of the list.
Use this window to check for programs that may be consuming a suspiciously large amount of memory. What is “suspicious” depends on how you normally use your computer. If you frequently render 4K video projects or run complex computer games, it might not come as a surprise if one of these processes uses a large amount of memory (possibly even several gigabytes).
However, if a process that you don’t recognize is running out of memory, or if a memory-intensive application has stopped responding and you cannot exit the program in the normal way, consider killing the process. To do this, select the process from the list in the Task Manager and click on “End Task”.
After that, the faulty program is closed (sometimes it takes a few moments). If it doesn’t, restart your computer. This can temporarily solve a number of problems, including a runaway application that may be using more memory than intended.
If you’re having problems running out of memory on a regular basis, it may be time to add more RAM to your PC if possible. Good luck!
CONNECTED: How to update or replace your PC’s RAM