Activity monitor shows finder using ~24 gb of RAM (screenshot below), when my machine only has 16 gb installed. I figure this has to be a bug because "Memory Used" only shows 9.62 gb, and I'm not experiencing any slowdowns. However, it's a little alarming and if there's an easy fix I'd like to take care of it. I'm using the most up-to-date Apple OS software as of writing (3/22/16). Thanks for your help!


  • Pro tip: If you use Cmd/Shift/4 for screen capture... then hit spacebar, you can then click the window & get a neat shot of just that window, complete with drop shadow.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 23 '16 at 6:55

I would say that this is a bug in the display. If you were to use top -o mem in Terminal.app, you would likely see something like this:

top output

As you can see, in this view, no single app is using more than 720M (because we're sorting by RAM usage, we only see the top RAM-hogging processes).

It's also possible that your Activity Monitor display is removing a decimal point, because 2.4G would be slightly more reasonable for Finder to occupy.

Possibly relevant links:


You're showing that you do have 16Gb installed - that's the Physical Memory number shown at the bottom.

That 24Gb number is for compressed memory. Because it's compressed, and might not be being physically used, you can go over the physical limit.

This explains it: http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/06/12/compressed-memory-in-os-x-109-mavericks-aims-to-free-ram-extend-battery-life

24Gb RAM used for Finder is still a little excessive though.

If you look, you're using 12Gb of swap, which is where your extra memory that's being used is coming from. You're swapping it all out to disk.

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