Run out of application memory

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how do I solve this problem:
You have run out of application memory
 
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how do I solve this problem:
You have run out of application memory

First, welcome to the forum!: )

Second, to answer your question - by providing much more information (my crystal ball has been misplaced - ;)): 1) What Mac computer are you using (model/year); 2) What OS X is installed; 3) How much RAM do you have; 4) What is the capacity of your hard drive and how much free space is available; 5) When does this message appear, i.e. what are you doing; and 6) What have you done to correct the situation? Dave
 
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late 2008 Macbook Pro 5,1 OX 10.9.5: 1TB WDC WD10jPVT-22 Hard Drive (684.16GB avail), 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 8GB 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM - 2 slots w/ 4GB DDR3 each. Message appears after a brief 10 minutes or so without much activity. I've cleared the history on the browsers - Safari and Firefox. Now with only one browser open doesn't matter if I'm in mail or in Facebook or just in the finder, the error will always occur fairly quickly.
 
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Problem will still occur with safe boot

Then the problem isn't just from some third-party software, but you still might want to try setting up a new "tester" user, and login using the new user account.

If you don't have another bootable device or volume you could try, try downloading the OS again, and/or, maybe install it in a small partition volume which you can get from here:
https://support.apple.com/kb/dl1760?locale=en_CA

Then do some testing to find out if and what does work properly and you may want to try using a new good condition external drive to do the testing with. It can always be used for a backup device. ;)
 
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I have 5 external drives. I'm pretty sure at least the 250GB one that was the original HD for the mac (that I replaced because it was full) has it's operating system. I have a Macally 1TB HD that I'm using for Time Machine. I don't know if that has OS. Can you please remind me how to boot from the other drive - it's icon shows on my desktop as HD09-12. I have USB and power to all these 5 external drives. I don't know how to set up partitions but I'm going to check out the link you gave me now. Thank you for your help.
 
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If any connected drive or volume is bootable, it should show in the System Preferences "Startup Disk" when connected.

Otherwise, just hold down the option key when booting and any compatible volume should show that can be selected and used to boot from.

The partitioning and formatting will and can make a difference for what you might expect to show.

And BTW: The problem may have just been a strange one-time quirk, so maybe just try shutting down, wait 30-60 seconds, then boot up and try using your Mac as it is.
 
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BTW I've been working on this problem for a week. My Mac crashes every time and I have to restart just to reply to each posting. I tried to restart via system preferences - start up disk - select HD09-12 OSX 10.75 - select - restart. Then I got a floating icon on my screen (circle with dashes on 3 sides wi-fi?) but after a while I just restarted normally. I'm going to try again to restart with HD09-12. I still don't understand your suggestion regarding partitioning and formatting. Can you be more specific as to what steps to take to achieve what?
 

Rod


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You might want to check out the "Real Memory" usage in Activity Monitor in Utilities.
Below is what I see when i do this. If you cant see Real Memory go to the View menu > columns > Real Memory (click on the column title to arrange in highest to lowest)
Interestingly you will see my most memory hungry process is Chrome Helper. Bear in mind it might not always be a third party or even native app it could be as innocent as "kernel_task". Some browser extensions also have the ability to suck up increasing amounts of memory. What you are looking for is an activity that is using increasing amounts of memory. You can quite each process by double clicking.

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 12.57.44.png
 
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In my Activity Monitor there is one thing that seems odd to me - highlighted in red type it says installer not responding ( with the icon of the open box/ package) Otherwise I don't see any activity that is using increasing amounts of memory but maybe I just don't know how to read this Activity Monitor
 
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I was able to restart using HD09-12 as the boot drive. Then I opened Firefox and used sync to enable my Gmail. I couldn't open Safari because the version was too outdated.I was able to update Adobe Flash Player. Not sure what this does for solving my problem of running out of application memory but I'm not having the symptom with this older HD and OSX.
 
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I still would like help with partitioning. Wouldn't it be helpful for me to have several choices of operating systems? Could I partition off some virtual memory to use? What and how can I use partitioning to help solve my crashing issue?
 

Slydude

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M1 MacMini 16 GB - Ventura, iPhone 14 Pro Max, 2015 iMac 16 GB Monterey
late 2008 Macbook Pro 5,1 OX 10.9.5: 1TB WDC WD10jPVT-22 Hard Drive (684.16GB avail)

Is this the drive that you are booting from when the crashing happens? If so, I would suggest doing the following if you haven't already:

1. While booted from another drive or the recovery partition run Disk Utility and check the problem drive. Repair any problems identified.
2. If I'm understanding your post correctly 16 GB is probably too little available free space. We generally recommend 15 - 20% free (available) space on the boot drive. Try moving some things to another drive and delete them from the boot drive.

Although it wouldn't hurt to have an alternate version of OS X around, that doesn't solve the problem of not being able to run properly with this drive. Let's see if we can solve this then address partitioning.
 
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+1.

And an OT note to Rod Sprague, are you sure you have enough versions of "Google Chrome Helper" running according to your screen shot…??? ;) :D
 
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Assuming that's the boot drive I don't think space is the problem...684.16 gigs.


Well, some were suggesting having at least 20% available space, so I guess that should qualify for those who want to be really sure. ;) ;) :D
 
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I am now booted up and running from my old drive - HD09-12. None of the memory symptoms are occurring. So I'm thinking my problem may be solved by reinstalling the OS on my main HD. If you agree then can you give me the procedure to follow to accomplish this task.
Also for the record I did run repair permissions successfully on my main HD but that did not solve the "you have run out of application memory" crashing problem.
 
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To create an exact bootable clone, I've always used and would recommend using Carbon Copy Cleaner (CCC)

Straight forward and clear to use, but follow and be aware of any warnings, as it will usually wipe out anything that's not needed or stated to keep. So it's always best to have a backup, especially for personal data, photos, music etc.

Carbon Copy Cleaner
https://bombich.com

or an optional old free version if you qualify via:
Carbon Copy Cloner for Mac | MacUpdate
 

Slydude

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Assuming that's the boot drive I don't think space is the problem...684.16 gigs.

I misread that entirely and thought it was 16 GB free.

@Silas Dean I see from your most recent post that you checked permissions. Did you do the other check that tests the general health of the drive?
 

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