How to Clear Computer RAM Memory

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You must shut down your computer to totally clear RAM.

You may occasionally need to clear computer RAM memory because a program is frozen and has stopped responding. RAM (Random Access Memory) holds data for currently running programs and the operating system. RAM is much faster than a hard drive. But unlike a hard drive, the data in RAM is lost when you turn off your computer. Shutting down the computer is the only effective way of totally clearing computer RAM memory.


Step 1

Close some programs that are currently running to partially clear computer RAM memory. Right-click on any program in the task bar and select the "Close" option. That will free up the memory used by the program. Even if you close every program running on the task bar, a big chunk of memory is taken up by the operating system. The RAM used by the operating system cannot be cleared without shutting down the system.


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Step 2

You must shut down the system to clear computer RAM memory totally. Navigate to the "Start" menu and click the "Shut Down" option. When this process is complete, all RAM will be cleared.

Step 3

Turn off the computer by pressing the power button on the computer if you're somewhat impatient. Although this method is slightly quicker than using the "Shut Down" option, performing such a method on systems older than Windows XP may cause hard drive corruption.




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