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Maximize free memory for better application performance.   Shareware ($16.25)
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iFreeMem... Free system memory for better application performance. A quick and easy alternative to either a reboot or RAM upgrade to get defragmented free memory.

If you are in the middle of using an application and the system becomes unresponsive for several seconds it could be the memory manager organising free memory for your application to use. IFreeMem clears Inactive memory to help your applications avoid the performance hit you get when running low on Free memory. You could think of it like a RAM upgrade.

Especially useful for users of memory hungry
What's New
Version 3.5a (reports as 1.0 in the Finder): Release notes were unavailable when this listing was updated.
Intel/PPC, Mac OS X 10.3 or later

MacUpdate - iFreeMem

  • Boost&Memory

  • atMonitor

  • Disk Doctor

  • SmartRam

  • Purge
iFreeMem User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 1.x:
Your rating: Now say why...

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bbw7 commented on 15 Feb 2013
There are plenty of free "apps" (if you could call something that just does the terminal command equivalent of "purge) that do the same thing. And you can just type "purge [Return]" in a terminal to get the same affect.

And then there is apparently some issue of some tracker that is installed with this software. It's the MacKeeper of RAM purger apps.
[Version 1.0]



Nontroppo reviewed on 21 Sep 2011
Do people still fall for this hoax software!?! Please save yourselves money and read why memory optimisation is a hoax.


This was written by the very well respected sysinternals and microsoft engineer for the windows VM manager and broadly applies as much to the darwin kernel VM.
[Version 1.0]

1 Reply


Rufty Tufty replied on 22 Jan 2012
While I haven't used this specific software, and thus can't comment on its effectiveness, the problem it is addressing, and the specific technique it is using are both real.

The problem - in Snow Leopard (possibly other versions), when Free Memory gets very low, the system becomes very unresponsive, even though there is lots of Inactive memory which should be able to made available very easily/quickly.

Many knowledgeable users (e.g. people with advanced degrees in computer science, like me) have observed this behavior, and suffered long-lasting beachballs.

A properly written VM "should" handle this better, but in this case there's clearly some problem, though there's some debate about what the VM is doing wrong.

But, freeing inactive memory (via purge or other means) does help the situation, at least temporarily.

Some people report better behavior in Lion, while some don't.

So, while your article is theoretically correct - using a third-party tool to manage memory should not be necessary or even helpful - in Snow Leopard, there's clearly some problem that other tools can help mitigate.

GeoProf commented on 20 Sep 2011
Thanks Tommy_b, I was just about to plunk down $16.25 for iFreeMem when I read your post warning that it sabotages purchasers’ privacy by installing the much loathed, privacy-challenged eSellerate purchaser identification framework without disclosing or announcing itself or asking permission. Well Activata, you just lost another sale for being too sneaky, chums. I hope you’ll take that lesson to heart and excoriate it from your wares.
[Version 1.0]


Zo219 commented on 04 Aug 2011
Freezing my MBPro in Lion. Too bad.
[Version 1.0]

1 Reply


Nontroppo replied on 21 Sep 2011
That is because it is flushing inactive RAM to disk, and therefore you lose the cache the kernel carefully built up of recently used data. This software is junk, all it does is make more memory GREEN in activity monitor, at the expense of the kernel's carefully cached data.
gatovadio commented on 07 Jun 2011
here's some software from a japanese developer to free inactive memory on your mac. it's completely free and seems to work very well (no need to install developer tools). the webpage and readme files are in japanese but the apps are localized in english, italian and japanese.


--libera memory

for manual operation. just launch it and click on 'release'.

there's also a 'quit visible processes' option in the 'file' menu to quit all windowed processes. save your work if you plan to use it.

i translated a part of the readme and i figured out that if you rename the app from 'libera memory.app' to 'libera memory auto[1-9].app' (a number between 1 and 9 after 'auto'), when you launch it it will do a release the amount of times specified by that number and automatically quit, providing an automatic operation as long as it's launched.

--libera memory resident

for full automatic operation. after launching it, specify the time interval and the threshold value in mb, to check for inactive memory. after saving, and from what i understand from the readme file, it writes to ~/Library/Application Support/Libera Memory Resident/LiberaMemory.php for the saved settings and ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.tama-san.LiberaMemoryLaunchd.plist to execute the settings without having the app open, through launchd.

you can also view a log in the 'file' menu.
[Version 1.0]

4 Replies


Lvdoc replied on 09 Jul 2011
Be sure to scroll down that page and download version 1.6.1 to get the features you just described. The earlier versions of the program are at the top of the page and lack these features.
gatovadio replied on 09 Jul 2011
if you watch the link i provided closely, libera memory resident is different from libera memory.

libera memory

libera memory resident
OSX 10.4 & 10.5 >> 1.1.1
OSX 10.6 >> 1.2.0

Rufty Tufty replied on 22 Jan 2012
I've been using both libera memory and resident. They have a pretty light touch - sometimes freeing up to 50MB (maybe more), sometime hardly any, even when inactive memory is very high, and free memory is very low. Not using a lot of resources. Not sure what they're doing, but clearly not just running purge. Not clear yet whether they're doing enough to make enough of a difference to be useful, or whether I should just run purge when things get bad.

If anyone else has experience with them, please post.
gatovadio replied on 01 Feb 2012
@rufty tufty

despite i have no knowledge on how these things work, my guess is that libera memory does it the right way or, at least, in a non-aggressive way. from my experience it will only release inactive memory when the computer is idle and honor the system's own management but just execute it "sooner". if it doesn't release much or anything at all, it may be because it works in a safe way.

while nontroppo makes a good point about hoaxes and that os x already has a good memory management, there's also the third party application factor, which means not every app is perfectly coded and might allocate memory in a poor way, consume cpu cycles even when the computer is idle, etc, so os x might not cope in a timely manner to release inactive memory until the last minute and then you get beachballs, like you mentioned in your reply.

i might be wrong about it so, anyone, please feel free to correct me.

Brilormac commented on 01 Jun 2011
If Developer tools are installed, go to a Terminal window and type purge. The cost: FREE. There are free wrappers for the purge command ( I wrote one ).
[Version 1.0]


Tommy-Montag tipped on 15 Jun 2010
I like this app - it uses a measly 7mb RAM when not in use, when activated to reclaim memory that is unused but otherwise captured as "inactive," etc., things slow down for no more than a minute, oftentimes less, and this isn't a big deal for me. It's a good investment for those who are cash strapped for more RAM.*

What IS a big deal to me is this:
the undisclosed (keyword!), unannounced (keyword!), and uninvited (keyword!) eSellerate licensing mechanism it installs.

In your home directory, while scratching your head puzzled, navigate to

~/Application Support/eSellerate

and therein lies what we shall call politely "privacy invasive."

I'm quite respectful of terms of use, copyright licensing scheme, etc. that any developer chooses to apply to their software because, when I know what those terms are, I can just choose to not to use it if I don't agree with them.

I don't agree with an application installing frameworks that I don't explicitly consent to.

But nowhere along the way, from the Activata website to the point of download (I didn't buy the app outright, I used the TrialPay option which, as far as I know, has no affiliation with eSellerate) to the actual drag n drop install to finally, initial launch of the app is there any disclosure that anything other than the app in the Applications folder (or wherever it is you install it) will be installed as a result of using it.

I was not happy (Flip4Mac suffers the same syndrome, only it's a bit more of a security risk there as one has to enter an admin password to install as it installs system-wide plug-ins. see


at least they got smart and removed all traces of an eSellerate connection by calling it TSLicense, but it's the same thing)

But, if you've purchased the app or went the TrialPay route, AND ONLY IF YOU'VE DONE ONE OF THOSE TWO THINGS (please don't steal software), there is a way to effectively deal with this problem in iFreeMem, nuke the eSellerate framework without breaking the app (because simply deleting the directory it installs in your home folder isn't enough, it regenerates with every app launch), and use this app that you've paid for, unencumbered by the nastiness of eSellerate licensing apparatus, which who knows could be doing more than ensuring copies in use are properly licensed

1. Make a duplicate of this file which holds your registration number (referred to as Serial No. in this file) and your User Name (this is not your Mac user name... presumably one must be picked at the traditional point of purchase? as mine was just listed as trialpayuser1234 and if you need to reinstall or something, reg number alone is not sufficient, you must have your user name as well):

~Library/Preferences/uk.co.activata.iFreeMem2.plist (on SnoLeo its iFreeMem3)

3. Check for and trash (empty securely, for greater satisfaction) these directories:

/Library/Frameworks/EWSMac.framework (I found this on my system but it may have been related to some other eSellerate app so you may or may not see this)
~/Library/Frameworks/EWSMac.framework (ditto above)
~/Library/Application Support/eSellerate (this should definitely be there)

4. Navigate to the Resources folder of the app; if you're not sure how to do this, just switch to Finder, under the Go menu choose Go To Folder and enter this path (assuming install was to Applications folder):


and delete this file: EWSMacCompress.tar.gz, again securely emptying for maximum satisfaction!

5. Restart the app. It will throw an error about not being able to install the eSellerate engine (oh now you tell us), just press ok. (And it will throw the error every time the app is started - I particularly don't care because I have set it as an item to launch on log in and it doesn't seem to keep boot from finishing until you press ok so no biggie for me).

This should do it. You can check to ensure you're properly registered by choosing the iFreeMem menu in the app... the Activate and Purchase items should be greyed out and the app shouldn't behave as if you need to register (ie: nag). If for some reason, you have to reinstall the app, since you've already purchased it, just install it and immediately do Step 4. If you're installing onto another Mac, do Step 4 and drop a copy of the preferences file you backed up in Step 1 into your Preferences folder.

And that's it. Again, this will only work for users who have properly obtained a legitimate license. If you don't want to pay, sign up for the ridiculously easy TrialPay option for which I didn't shell out one penny for any of the offers and actually got like 20 free downloads from emusic.com of some good stuff.

* I first started using this app two years ago with Leopard on a MB 3,1 which came with 1 gig RAM default. At that time (and currently, as of 06.14.10, for SnoLeo as well), this is what Apple recommended for memory:

- Word processing, email, simple graphics: 1GB
- Advanced graphics and gaming, photo editing: 2GB
- Multimedia editing, 3-D modeling: 2GB+

(source: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/mac_accessories/memory )

The first set on that list describes my everyday, ordinary use of my MacBook. (And one can only logically assume that the default amount of memory included is enough to power at least Apple's default applications. And, granted, I do use the Hummer of browsers Fx instead of the more Prius-like Safari.) Still, on a typical day my 1 gig system after a couple hours - some web browsing (with no Flash, I would disable the plugin entirely), doing some writing with Bean (specifically because its footprint is so small), reading some PDF's in Preview, running my schedule in iCal, watching a local QT movie, with no more than 3 apps open at once and always closing windows and quitting apps not in use - would still slow noticeably; I could quit any open apps, restart Finder, and still, memory was all stuck in inactive and only a reboot would remedy the situation. Draw your own conclusions and form your own opinion as to why these recommendations are as low as they are, but I'm not willing to even try putting SnoLeo on my now 2gig MacBook, let alone 1gig.
[Version 3.5a]


Svf commented on 15 Dec 2009
Thank you Wayland Chin!
So they are getting $18 to put a GUI on the purge command?
Nice racket if you can get it.

There's a sucker born every minute!
[Version 3.5a]



Lemerlot reviewed on 26 Nov 2009
I used iFreeMem for many years successfully but 3.5 is also not working for me under 10.6. Snow Leo. Pity!
[Version 3.5]

2 Replies


Kobalt replied on 13 Dec 2009
And yet v3.0.0 is working fine for me under SnowLeopard. Don't know if I'll update.

Kobalt replied on 13 Dec 2009
Well, I did update and v3.5a works fine under Snow Leopard. :-)


Zx reviewed on 02 Nov 2009
3.5 not working under 10.6
[Version 3.5]

There are currently no troubleshooting comments. If you are experiencing a problem with this app, please post a comment.


Sonee rated on 08 Mar 2013

[Version 1.0]

gta iv rated on 18 Aug 2012

[Version 1.0]


Negritude rated on 30 Jan 2012

[Version 1.0]

twobirds rated on 29 Nov 2011

[Version 1.0]

Majme rated on 24 Sep 2011

[Version 1.0]

Version Downloads:43,961
Type:Utilities : System
Date:12 Dec 2009
Platform:PPC 32 / Intel 32 / OS X
Price: $16.25
Overall (Version 1.x):
Ease of Use:
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iFreeMem... Free system memory for better application performance. A quick and easy alternative to either a reboot or RAM upgrade to get defragmented free memory.

If you are in the middle of using an application and the system becomes unresponsive for several seconds it could be the memory manager organising free memory for your application to use. IFreeMem clears Inactive memory to help your applications avoid the performance hit you get when running low on Free memory. You could think of it like a RAM upgrade.

Especially useful for users of memory hungry applications, i.e.:
  • Musicians
  • DJ's
  • Graphic Designers
  • Final Cut Pro users
  • Photographers
  • Scientists
  • Parallels Desktop users
Rejuvenates old Machines and optimizes new machines.

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