Why is your Android phone’s RAM full, and should you clear it?

RAM is an integral part of your Android phone hardware. So it’s normal to feel anxious about being full almost every time you check on her condition. But do you have to?

RAM management has evolved significantly over the years. As Google continues to improve Android, your phone is now well-equipped to largely automate RAM management. So, let’s answer some common questions you might have about Android phone RAM and the best ways to deal with it.

How to check what is consuming your RAM

Before discussing the advanced stuff about RAM management, let’s learn how to check memory consumption by each application. You can do this from within your settings menu, or you can go to a third-party app.

Here’s how to check RAM consumption from the settings menu. You may need to enable developer options first.

  1. go to the Settings.
  2. In the search bar, type “Memory”.
  3. There may be two search results: memory and storage. Tap on either of them, and it will take you to the RAM menu.

In this menu, you can view the total memory consumption and you can also check how much memory each application consumes. You also have the option to set the duration for stats such as the last three hours, six hours, 12 hours, or the day.

Alternatively, you can also check RAM consumption using a third-party app like Memory Info or Simple System Monitor. However, the information you get from the settings menu should be sufficient.

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How does Android manage RAM?

Android RAM management has greatly improved over the years. The system now intelligently decides which app to close and which app to run.

The algorithm the Android operating system uses identifies the apps you use most frequently and keeps those apps in memory for faster performance – they’ll load faster the next time you need them. The system then removes the rest from memory whenever it requires more RAM for some other task.

Does it matter if your RAM is full?

So, this leads us to the question: does it even matter if the RAM is full. The short answer is no. The RAM is there to be used by the system. It is not supposed to remain empty all the time.

As mentioned above, your Android phone has automatic RAM management. It keeps your apps in memory so those apps open faster, making the whole Android experience better. If you open an app and it is low on RAM to run, your system will clear some RAM for it automatically without prompting you to take any action.

The only time full RAM is likely to be the problem is if you don’t have enough of it, which can be an issue on older or budget devices, or if you play very high-end games. In these cases, the system will do its best to match what’s available, but if your phone doesn’t have enough RAM for the task at hand, you’ll see a performance hit.

Should you remove all your apps from memory?

Closing down apps will technically remove these apps from memory, but the question is whether you need to free up your RAM. As we discussed in our previous article, closing apps all the time is not a good idea.

Removing apps from RAM is counterproductive for the system. You hardly get any benefits from it. It does not increase battery life, and foreground applications do not run faster by closing background applications.

How much RAM do you need?

The answer to this question depends mostly on the purpose you are using your phone for. If you play heavier games that need resources, you need more RAM. As of this writing, flagship phones from companies like Samsung and OnePlus offer up to 12GB of RAM. However, anything 8GB should suffice if your phone has a solid CPU, with 4GB being the absolute base.

Don’t worry about RAM management

As we discussed, your Android phone is now smart enough to manage RAM for you. There is no need to do this manually. In case you are faced with such a situation, closing a couple of unnecessary apps will do the trick.

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