CleanMem: RAM/memory cleaner that actually works

I have never really been a fan of memory optimization programs. The reason for this is most of the memory optimization programs I have come across actually make your computer slower(as opposed to faster) because of the way they are designed to work and the lack of effectiveness. Up until now whenever asked to recommend a memory cleaner, I have always pointed people towards AnVir Task Manager. AnVir Task Manager has a really nice memory cleaning tool that works differently than the average memory cleaner. In layman’s terms, instead of the industry standard of “overloading” the memory to force Windows to clean up memory usage (this is the reason why you will notice many memory cleaning programs almost freeze your computer while cleaning up your memory) AnVir Task Manager sort of “resets” the memory usage of a program as if the program was just turned on. This approach to memory cleaning is about the best memory cleaning approach you will find because it is quick and effective for memory leaking software.  Now that does not mean a AnVir Task Manager will solve your RAM woes (only buying more physical RAM will do that), but it is a nice supplement to have.

While I have been recommending AnVir Task Manager, many dotTechies have been telling me “Ashraf, Ashraf, be cool like us and get CleanMem – it actually works!” Today I thought my self “Enough is enough… I want to be cool too!” So I decided to give CleanMem a go; and I must say the buzz around CleanMem is well deserved because it actually works.

You see CleanMem works a lot like AnVir Task Manager in terms of cleaning memory. For the more technical people the developer has a more technical explanation of how CleanMem works (calls API, blah, blah) on his website so read that if you are interested. I will rather explain it for us simple people this way: instead of the typical lets-overload-the-memory-to-force-memory-cleanup approach, CleanMem sort of “resets” the memory usage of a program just like AnVir Task Manager. To make the cake taste even better, CleanMem does not stay on in the background like other programs. Instead when you install CleanMem it sets itself (via Windows Task Scheduler) to run every 30 minutes (you may change this… just go to Windows Task Scheduler). So every 30 minutes CleanMem runs automatically and instantly “resets” the memory usage of all running processes. It does it very quickly (it comes and goes in literally half a second) and without putting any load on your computer (uses ~1 MB RAM and little to no CPU) so you may even forget it is running. Please note that there is no interface to CleanMem. It does its thing and goes away so you never see it. While CleanMem is set to automatically run, you may manually launch CleanMem at any time but you will still never see an interface to it.

To convince the skeptics, I did a real-life test of CleanMem. Here is my memory usage of some running processes before I run CleanMem:


Here is after I run CleanMem:


Amazing isnt it? Especially note the drop in RAM usage of the most notorious memory leaking program out there: Firefox. Keep in mind this memory cleaning was done instantly and without any load on my computer by CleanMem. As I already mentioned, CleanMem does this memory cleaning every 30 minutes automatically so even when the programs go back to leaking memory, they will be dealt with on a regular basis.

As I already mentioned, if you have a RAM shortage problem, the best way to solve that is to purchase more RAM. Memory cleaners are just supplement programs – they are not replacements for the actual hardware. In terms of supplement memory cleaners, CleanMem is one of the best ones out there. I highly recommend it.

You may download CleanMem from the following link:

Supported OS: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/ 2008/7

Version Reviewed: v1.4.2

CleanMem homepage

[Direct link download page – installer version]

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  • Pablo Molina

    [@Pablo Molina]

    Please correct: 2 0tabs for 20 tabs

  • Pablo Molina

    CleanMem works excellent for me in a 4GB DDR3 RAM 32 bits, 12 Mb L2 cache Q9550, WIN7 ULTIMATE Desktop PC.

    As I have 450+ programs installed on it, I wont go to 64 bits; so 4GB is the memory limit with 3.3GB actual usage.

    I noticed the system was lagging. So I installed the program. Not measured the results, but noticed an inmmediate improvement opening and closing 2 0tabs on Chrome, MS Excel (with 5 addons) that was particularly slow, and PS and INDESIGN.

    I was happy enough to purchase the PRO version.

  • redmaledeer

    It might also be worth looking at Memory Booster ( This works like CleanMem in that it uses APIs for gaining memory. Works well for me. Reduces crashes greatly.

  • anonysubscribe

    avast and or immunet identified this v 2.2. as a virus!
    I am worried.

  • Dave Willins

    @ r0lZ

    He is right folks, I used this CleanMem for several days and noticed a few of my programs were locking up. I uninstalled CleanMem and things are working normally again. I for one am leaving it up to Vista to control my memory usage. I would never “bad mouth” a software program unless I noticed a change in the my computer, either good or bad.

  • Windows, even Win 7 does not do a very good job of plugging memory leaks. So memory optimization tools do help. The difference, unless you have been running a lot of programs without quitting (not minimizing) them, the difference usually isn’t that great.

    Memory calls are conducted and handled at bus speeds so it is doubtful that most people could notice anything that takes considerably less than one second. If many memory calls are being made and some not being answered successfully (out of memory) the system may slow down by using virtual memory.

    Really, the best solution is to max out your memory. Quit any unused programs and use the memory optimizer as a last resort. The resources used by a running optimizer can exceed any gains from it unless you already have a major memory mess.

  • r0lZ

    Just wondering why one should use a memory cleaning program. All modern OSses do that automatically when a program requires more memory than what is currently available. And until such a program forces the OS to reclaim memory, it is BETTER to leave the running programs use the memory they want, even if they consume more memory than the amount they really need, as if they need to use a new chunk of memory for new data, that chunk will be immediately available. On the other hand, after having used a memory cleaning app, they will have to request the memory to the OS, and that operation takes longer.

    So, IMO, all memory cleaning tools actually slow down your computer, and that’s not related to the way they operate, the APIs they use, etc. Just leave Windows clean the memory when it knows it has to do it, and your system will be perfectly optimized.

    Someone may argue that Windows does not reclaim the memory “lost” by bugs of a memory leaking program. That’s probably true, but all other memory optimizers programs do exactly the same thing, because a chunk of memory that has been allocated and then lost stays allocated until the process that has allocated it is terminated. So, there is no way to reclaim those lost chunks, except by closing the application. And if you close the application, you don’t need a program to reclaim the memory, as it is not lost nor allocated any more.

    Speeding the computer up by optimizing the memory is a myth, unfortunately very persistent.

  • @Asrahs:

    I used RAM Booster when I still had one PC left to care for. I was very happy with its performance. Windows itself is not as pleased with too many add-ons, though. It seems that, when you have several, they cause conflicts and system crashes. I learned to disable the ones I didn’t need at the moment and only have a couple of them running at any time. I’m not sure the Mac OSX doesn’t have the same problem, but I don’t need more than two or three add-ons anyway.

  • RAM booster software is very good, can release large amounts of memory without interrupting our work.

  • ilikefree

    How does using this compare with using Process Lasso

  • Steve


    Some form of Gizmo still exists. There is also a daily email.

  • aku

    Hi Ashraf,
    Thank you for the cleanmem!It works nicely on my vista 32 home premium and I can see performance improvement!I like this-it is silent and does its job beautifully!

  • Jyo

    @D.H: It’s probably a false positive. Avira detected it as a virus some time ago, but it’s all fixed now.

  • D.H

    Tried to download from MajorGeeks — virus, then a trojan detected. How nice.

  • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil

    What is so funny to me is that Macintosh computer have always been far better at memory management that Windows systems.  I have used both side-by side since the mid-80s and have noted this from the start.
    To make it doubly interesting, Mac systems have always been capable of handling more memory than Windows.  I had a Mac SE with 4 MB of ram (sound pitiful now) when Windows was 640 KB.
    I have often wondered why, when Microsoft copied so many other features from the Mac OS, they have never improved their memory management but left it to 3rd party vendors co correct their oversight.

  • jfjb

    the current CleanMem v1.50 memorably crashes Win XP SP3  with 3GB RAM.
    — the portable brings a blue screen like in the good old days of DOS
    — the installed app freezes everything, period.
    No memory dump, no crash log, no message. Therefore, crap to me.

  • Joe D.

    Ram Booster is good but MemTurbo is awesome. Windows does what the software everyones talking about here. It just starts windows ram cleaner. Junk if you ask me.

  • Tran

    It doesnt work on my vista.. I think the UAC prevent it to run automaticly from schedule task.. there is a vista shield on the
    EXE icon of it… How to get raid of it without turning off the UAC.

  • Taz

    CleanMem upgrade available. Details here.

  • Emrys

    I installed Cleanmem but can’t see that it is running. Doesn’t seem to be there on task manager or CCleaner’s start menu viewer.

  • samer

    Hi Ashraf, I wanted to try this after reading ur review, it says that it supports windows 7 … but after I install it on windows 7 nothing happens .. no icon in taskbar and the program doesn’t seem to launch .. only an empty ms-dos window opens and closes… is this normal ? any possible fix if it’s not :) ? thank u for everything u do

  • Herbie

    This is great.  I installed and memory usage went from 1.09gb to 566mb and no loss of speed.  Never had memory usage that low, EVER.  I am running Windows 7 on a Toshiba Laptop Dual Core.  Not exactly the top of the line model.
    I am one of those guys that likes to keep memory usage to a minimum.  Why?  Guess  I’m just anal about it is all.  If a program uses lots of ram, then how can it be efficient, is my credo.  I wrote a program in C#, sort of a Control Panel program, and I worked hard at keeping memory usage to about 400k while running.
    Anyway, I digress.   Thanks  for the tip on Clean Mem

  • Yet another great find on your site! So good I had to review it myself and will now be logging into all of the computers I administrate remotely and installing it!

  • I downloaded CleanMem and installed it (several times. Both the icons for 32 and 64 bit have a red x on them and when I try to find a way to run the program (clicking on the 32 bit icon) it tells me there is no program associated with the link. Does this just automatically run in the back ground or is there a way to launch an interface? I am using XP SP3.


  • future hacker

    the numbers conviced me…DOWNLOADING IMMEDIATELY =P

  • @Bob: Thanks for finding and posting this. Shane (the developer) has already submitted this to Avira as well and I assure you it isn’t to worry about and that the code hasn’t changed. Avira just updated their detection algorithm and CleanMem got “caught” in the net. If you find anything out of the ordinary or have any questions feel free to post a question for myself or Shane over at PcWinTech’s Forums.

    PcWinTech Admin (Home of CleanMem)

  • @Bob: I just updated, and I’m having the same problem as you.

  • Bob

    I’ve been using this program without problems until today. All of a sudden with the 12/7/09 virus definition update Avira thinks it is a trojan, TR/dropper.gen. VirusTotal says it’s not except for Avira and one other scanner. Just thought others may be encountering the same thing today if using both CleanMem and Avira. I reported it to Avira as a suspected false positive.

  • A hidden advantage is that CleanMem can also aid installs. If you get a “cannot register xxxxxx.dll”, then running CleanMem may release the old version from memory so the new version installs.


  • PTLdom


    Hi. How much ram takes the superfetch feature?

  • PTLdom

    Hi. How does it perform against the also free Iobit’s smart ram?

  • uno

    because it makes the clever Superfetch mechanism useless and the loading of applications will be slow again.

  • Have just scheduled it to run every once every min and I find out of 2gig of ram, I have 1795mb whilst writing this! Excellent!
    My op system is XP Pro.

  • I have installed on my comp: XP Free Ram Pro. which has a display in the task bar?

    On installing cleanmem I noticed a big difference, whilst my XP would idle at around 1500meg (I have 2 gig of Ram) when clean mem cuts in I find my available Ram increases by as much as 10/12%.

    This prog. is a winner for me!

  • Ashraf —

    Did you check the VM Size in Task Manager? Some memory cleaning programs just transfer the memory to the other column.

  • drbooth

    I have to agree 100 percent with your positive comments on the cleanmem software. I also never cared for memory cleaners (optimizers) and you can believe I have tried many. Many years ago, I ran across a program called bmx which was a sysinfo/memory cleaner program. This software was developed years ago and has not been updated for at least eight years as
    the sight no longer exists. I would try out a memory “cleaner” program only to fall back to bmx. I recently ran across cleanmem and thought I would give it a try. It definitely works and works well. I installed it and more or less forgot it. Every once in a while at random times, I would run bmx to check out my memory status and it was always clean. (out of 1gb, I have always had 820 or more available. This used to go down to
    600m and I would manually clean up the memory with bmx. Although it is apparent that I do not really have a memory problem (600m left) but part of keeping my system running smoothly is getting rid of excess baggage. I have found that cleanmem is a small and effective software that contributes to this goal and has been a real asset to friends that I know that have low memory on their systems. Outstanding software.

  • A. S.

    @Evan: Thanks for the reply.

    My mistake was to look in the Windows Task Manager and not the Task Scheduler.

  • Mike

    @Ashraf: Thanks for your impression–was getting afraid it was me. ;)

  • Ashraf

    @Mike: Ya I agree with you. Less actually modifying the code of a specific program, you can never truly deal with memory leakers – only mitigate.

  • Mike

    Have been using CleanMem for a week now, and it works fine. Having said that, I find that Firefix still leaks memory with it, albeit at a slower pace. There seems to be nothing like a restart of a system to handle that with Firefox.

  • @A. S.: Sorry to get back to you so late on this but you should come over to our (PcWinTech’s) forums and look at the CleanMem thread located here.

    If you can’t find the answers you are looking for there then just ask in the thread and the developer will be more than happy to answer for you.

    Two quick thoughts I have though are to make sure you aren’t using the Zip version (if you are you have to manually add it to Task Scheduler) or there are some other security apps that are blocking it. Just so you know, you can always run CleanMem.exe manually via a shortcut and it will do the same thing.


  • A. S.


    Can anyone tell me how to determine whether my ‘installation’ of CleanMem has been successful?

    When I first tried to install it, Threatfire killed it, saying something along the lines that it was trying to copy itself, I think – I can’t remember, exactly. Threatfire also attacked my installation of e-magazine reader, Zinio – it seemed to take on a life of its own.

    After removing Threatfire (which I don’t want to be a permanent situation), the re-installation seemed to go fine and the P.C. seems to perform noticeably faster, but I can’t find any mention of it in XP‘s Windows Task manager.

    Can anyone offer any advice?


  • Dan

    Ashraf/ Evan,
    Thanks for your speedy response.

    System: Windows 7 – RC
    After close investigation I found that it was not a problem with Cleanmem, but Scheduled Task itself was not working. When I opened “Scheduled Tasks” to create a task, I was getting a “Reading data error” in the preview pane.

    I tried manually installing “Visual Basic Runs” files but nothing would work. How this got corruputed, I have no idea, but luckily I had a previous saved image that I restored. Scheduled Tasks worked on this.
    I can only think that something got erased, DLL’s etc during some sort of system clean.

    I have a habbit of trying various registry and system cleaners that I am sure did this. If you don’t try them, how will one know what all they can do is my take on this.

    Just goes to show that one must always have some sort of Backup!


  • Ashraf

    @Dan: As Evan said yes it works on Win7. I myself run it, and tested it, on Win7.

    @Evan: Will do.

  • @Ashraf: Glad to be here. Let me know if you have any questions about the other tools on the site.

    @Dan: Yes, CleanMem does work on Windows 7. Did you download the portable version? If you did then you have to add it manually to Windows Task Schedular. The portable version is ideal to put on a thumbdrive to use as a tool to quickly show someone the benefits of CleanMem.

    -Evan Admin (Home of CleanMem)

  • Dan

    AShraf or any one else out there, can someone please confirm if this runs on Windows 7 or if really needed on Windows 7?

    I have the RC version presently, and in the scheduled tasks I don’t see it runnning.

    By the way, great site and lots of good info here.

    Thanks All.

  • @Ashraf: You need to give thanks to Shane. He’s the developer, but I’ll let him know. I’m always on the lookout for sites that give mention of PcWinTech so I can try and provide some feedback to the community.

    We have a new section of the site that contains a few tech tools he’s written that you mind find useful. Check it out over at PcWinTech.

    @Bill Gates II: Since CleanMem doesn’t run in the background it doesn’t monitor memory usage. When it runs it just “jump starts” Window’s built in “cleaning mechanics”.

    Thanks guys.


  • Ashraf

    @Bill Gates II: Well CleanMem also clears out file cache now but in terms of memory cleaning, I don’t think so. The only main difference I can think of with AnVir Task Manager you can set it to clear out programs every XX minute that are using XX memory or higher where as CleanMem does it for all of them regardless of how much memory they are using.

    @Mehdi S: Interesting. I may check it out.

    @secret2008: I never said it can’t be set. I said it was not set to run automatically; in other words you have to take more steps to up it up as opposed to the installer version that sets it up when you install.

    @Evan: @Evan: Thanks for coming here and supporting your great software =).

  • @Ashraf

    Thanks for giving CleanMem a try. I’ve been looking forward to you reviewing it.If you have any questions about it feel free to drop me a line.

    Keep up the great reviews and sources for freeware!

    PcWinTech Admin (Home of CleanMem)

  • secret2008


    The portable version CAN be set to run automatically.
    It is a zip file and inside it there are batch files that will “set it up.”

  • Mehdi S

    Check out this one Ashraf…Great piece of software…In fact, I already am using cleanmem and this soft..Link below

  • Gail

    Thanks for the tip! It really helped this non-techie to see your before and after. Those are the kinds of numbers I need! Downloading now–

  • surfriot

    I’ve been using this (clean mem) for a while, works great and easy. Very light resource.

  • Bill Gates II

    I was woundering if there are any other diffrences between CleanMem and AnVir Task Manager besides that CleanMem wonly runs when cleaning system memory?

  • Madhu Kumar

    Hi Ashraf,

    Thanks for your quick reply with suggestions.

    I am using XP2 Professional.
    I right clicked on ‘My Computer”, but couldn’t see “64-bit”.
    Then it may be “32-bit”.
    But who knows the difference of these BITS!

  • Ashraf

    @Madhu Kumar: I believe the portable version is not set to work automatically… you will have to do that manually. Otherwise it should work the same as the installer version.

    If you want to change the time interval you want CleanMem to run go to “Control Panel” -> “Performance and Maintenance” -> “Scheduled Tasks” -> right click on “Clean System Memory” -> select “Properties” -> go to “Schedule” -> click on “Advanced” -> under “Repeat Task” change the 30 to 15.

    Are you on XP Home? If so you can only have 32-bit of XP Home so you have 32-bit. Otherwise if you still are not sure you can right click on “My Computer” and if it lists “64-bit” you are using 64-bit. If it doesn’t list “64-bit” you are on 32b-it.

    Hope that helps.

  • Madhu Kumar

    Hi Ashraf,

    I was looking for a ‘memory optimization program’.
    Thanks for suggesting CleanMem. I am going to try it.

    But one doubt.
    You are giving 2 download options. One for installing and one portable.
    But without installation how this will work?
    I am a fan of portable applications, but when I used a portable acrobat reader, it was not really working as an installed one. I have to open the portable acrobat first and then to drop the file in it. Not at all easy to use.
    Will portable CleanMem work automatically?

    You tell that CleanMem run in every 30 minutes.
    But it is a long time. Please tell how setup it for 15 minutes.
    Is it in the Settings->’Idle Time’?

    While installing it asks 32-bit or 64-bit?
    I am using XP2. What is my bit?

    Thanks again, Ashraf.

  • Ashraf

    @giovanni: Sounds like nice softwares. Thanks.

    @David Roper: Lets pretend there is an imaginary thumbs up =).

  • tejas

    I used CleanMem on my old ThinkPad that couldn’t handle more than 512MB of RAM, and it worked great. Never caused a problem, and in fact solved a few.

  • David Roper

    Ahhhh!! A thumbs up. Must get

  • giovanni

    Hi Ashraf!

    FreeRAM XP Pro 1.52 is also not bad and works pretty well too especially in old home PC such as mine.

    Alternatively I suggest you trying this unknown but in my humble view pretty effective application called “MZ RAM BOOSTER” that allows you to improve the performance of your computer by auto-recovering RAM and fine tuning some system settings using minimal resources and almost no CPU time.

    FULL REVIEW here:

    The Good

    Mz RAM Booster is a free application intended for optimizing your system’s performance. The options available lead to an increased speed of the computer and will not affect its stability in any way.

    The Recommended Settings button will greatly ease the work of newbies as the software will scan the system for resources and provide the optimum configuration for your computer.

    The Bad

    Some of the parts in the Help file should have been explained more extensively as not all the users are familiar with some of the terms.

    The Truth

    The application is free and does a pretty good job. System stability will not be affected and you can try and test it for as long as you want.


    User Interface: EXCELLENT
    Features: VERY GOOD
    Ease of use: EXCELLENT
    Pricing/Value: EXCELLENT
    Overall: EXCELLENT

    Please note that, if you want to run this program, you must have .NET FRAMEWORK 2.0 installed in your PC

    Finally, if you want to increase your COMPUTER performance dramatically in each aspect of the HARDWARE (Cpu Tweaks, HDD Tweaks, Memory Tweaks, Graphic Card Tweak, CD/DVD Tweaks, Modem Tweaks, Internet Tweaks, Windows Tweaks, Boot Files Optimization, Registry Optimization etc…) take a peep at this pretty unknown tool that scans your hardware (CPU, RAM, Graphic Card, Hard Disk, CD/DVD, Modem ect.) with a specially designed algorithm applying the best values for over 50 powerful tweaks!


  • Mike

    Thanks for the info. And it’s very timely: if I leave Firefox alone for a couple of days, with 7-10 tabs open, it can use a gig or more of memory. Exiting and re-entering Firefox has been my means of taming this. Until the Firefox crew solves this leak issue, this memory cleaner may be a good key.

  • loonacycle

    good read. this site/format gives me memories of Gizmos now belly-up one. i think you have found your niche, just don’t get money hungry
    or start power tripping. cheers ;)

  • Ashraf
  • yeobaby

    @Ashraf: Glad to see you recommend this cause I remember not too long ago I asked you to have a look at it and was wondering if I was wasting my time using it. There’s another program I’m using called Process Lasso and maybe you can have a look at it too, thnx. I believe this is the site

  • Ashraf

    @Agent 001: It comes and goes in about half a second so it is hard to tell. However I saw it used ~1 MB RAM and little to no CPU when it was running for that half second.

  • How much resource it uses itself?