Redmi Note 7S in hand multitasking menu

Those trying to reduce RAM usage in Android are probably having a hard time figuring out how to do it. There’s no real tutorial on how to do this, and there are reasons for that. The truth is Google doesn’t really want you clearing out RAM memory all the time.

Most of you probably shouldn't even bother with RAM to begin with.Edgar Cervantes

In this post, we aim to show you the best ways to keep the clutter out, as well as inform you on why most of you probably shouldn’t even bother with this, to begin with. Let’s get started.

Also read: How to stop Android apps running in the background


Should you reduce RAM usage in Android?

Google Pixel 5 using phone from the back 2
David Imel / Android Authority

The long-argued debate continues to be one of the biggest topics in the Android community. This is because we are used to the PC mentality, in which having fewer apps running in the background will usually mean improved performance and better-utilized resources. To understand how Android works you need to step back and see the mobile operating system from a different perspective.

What is RAM?

Otherwise known as Random Access Memory, RAM is where files go to be temporarily stored for immediate use. Operating systems will access it to easily and quickly reach temporary files from apps that are currently being used, whether you are using them directly or they are operating in the background.

Also: How much RAM does your smartphone really need?

Why it may actually hurt to reduce RAM usage

The benefit of RAM memory is that it allows for the interface to operate more efficiently. Say you open the Facebook app. The first time it is launched it will take a while to start up, as it has to load a plethora of content to show you. You can then leave the app and return to it. The second time you access it, launching will take much less time, as it will grab all the files from the RAM and utilize what is still relevant.

Now, imagine what happens if you get rid of all data stored in the RAM. As expected, when opening an application again, it will actually make the experience slower than it would if all that information was readily available to the operating system.

LG G8X ThinQ Review multitasking
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Why it may not even make a difference to reduce RAM usage

To most of us, RAM operates in mysterious ways. We can’t break it down to you in a single post, but we can tell you that trying to control RAM may sometimes result in wasted time. Android will ultimately do whatever the heck it wants.

Android will ultimately do whatever the heck it wants to do. Edgar Cervantes

Android is pretty smart. It knows which data it needs, when it needs it, and for how long it needs it. If an app is idle too long, the operating system will know to clear its data. In a similar manner, Android will clear out older files in the RAM when new ones need space.

Furthermore, clearing out the RAM may become an endless war between you and the operating system. If Android keeps pulling data into the RAM, it is because it likely needs it for some reason or another. Kill it and the operating system will be left wondering: “Hey, where did that file go? Let’s put it back in there.” You will then kill the task again and the dance will go on endlessly. You’ll also waste a lot of battery power in the process.

Related: The best phones with 12GB of RAM


How to reduce RAM usage in Android

MIUI 12 multi tasking pane - How to reduce ram usage

Do you still want to clear that RAM space? There are some reasons to do so, though they apply to very few cases and individuals. Apps can go rogue, or the system may be acting abnormally, which would cause lag, errors, and other failures. This is why clearing out the RAM memory may be good every now and then.

Then you have those apps that are simply worthless, otherwise known as bloatware. Carrier and manufacturer pre-installed apps are usually unnecessary. Sadly, you often can’t uninstall them because Google puts them in the system. These include silly games, sports apps, navigators, and other “tools.”

If you still want to clear out that RAM or squash some bugs, here are the best ways to reduce RAM usage in Android.

More: Common Android problems and how to fix them

Reduce RAM usage using the Application Manager

There’s an Application Manager in all Android devices (also known as “Apps”). It is in the Settings app and accessing it is different in most devices, so we can’t exactly go through a step-by-step tutorial. Regardless, you can find it and manage specific applications from there.

If you see that an unwanted app keeps taking up RAM space for no reason, simply find it in the Application Manager and access its options. You can uninstall the app from this menu. If it’s not possible to uninstall it, you can probably disable it.

Reduce RAM usage using the App Switcher

For a less technical and more accessible solution use the App Switcher, which is accessible from the Recent Apps navigation button. It’s one of the three Android navigation buttons. Those with newer devices and Android versions may now be using gestures. To access the Recent Apps simply drag your finger up from the bottom of the screen and hold.

Go in there and swipe unwanted apps away to close them. Some Android manufacturer skins add the ability to close all apps with a single button.

Android 11 Recent Apps Copy and Paste Text

Try to avoid task killers

We would advise that you avoid task killers, as they mostly do more harm than good for the reasons mentioned above. If an app is really bugging you and you need to use one, we have a post of our favorite options. Hit the link below to see your options.

Next: 5 best task managers for Android