Let’s get one thing straight from the start and there is nothing better than physical memory when your PC is running short. These days having 4GB of memory in a PC is barely sufficient and although Windows will install with half this amount, it will not run very well.
If you are buying a new PC then it is recommended that you get one with a minimum of 8GB of RAM. If you have an old PC with 4GB or less then a memory upgrade is recommended.
This is not always possible and some PCs and laptops are hard to upgrade, particularly if you are not a DIY expert. Very old computers may have a 4GB maximum limit anyway, and of course, there are the financial costs of buying the memory. You may not want to spend any money.
For these reasons you might want to look at a memory optimiser. These utilities monitor the amount of free memory in Windows and when it is low, they clean up the memory and free up space. Typically they do this by moving existing memory into the Windows swap file on the disk drive.
This makes more memory available for running a new program and so it will be faster, but if you try to switch to a program that has been swapped out, it will be slower to access. So there are gains and losses, and memory optimisers are not perfect. However, they can sometimes help and they are worth trying if the PC is low on memory.
How can you tell if the PC is short of memory?
One way is by noticing that the performance is getting worse every time you open a new program. As the memory fills up, it takes longer to start new programs. Switching from one program to another is also slow.
Another way is to use Task Manager. Right click an empty part of the taskbar and select Task Manager. Select the Performance tab and look at the memory. Windows 10 Task Manager has a very nice display of memory usage. Click Memory on the left and the details are shown on the right with a live scrolling chart. You can easily see the amount used and free.
Windows 7, which a lot of people are still using, has a more complicated display. It has a Free figure in the Physical Memory section, but this should be ignored. Look at the Available figure just above it, and the Memory bar on the left.
If the amount available is very low, then a memory upgrade should be considered. The second best option is a memory cleaner.
Wise Memory Optimizer is a free utility that can do the job. It is very easy to use and it shows the amount of memory used and the amount free, both graphically with the doughnut image and in figures below. An Optimize button at the bottom is used to free up memory and you can click this whenever you need more memory.
Click the gear icon in the top right corner and the window expands to show the settings. There is an Auto Optimization feature and a slider that lets you set the amount of free memory. When the system falls below this level, it triggers memory optimization and this saves you having to check the utility and manually click the Optimize button.
The level is set automatically, but it can be adjusted with the slider. It runs only when the computer is idle and so it won’t affect your use of the computer.
Wise Memory Optimizer is simple, it is effective, and it is free. Use it while you save up for some new memory modules for your computer.