RAM saving for old mac


I have a 2012 Macbook air that is always running out of memory. I have 4 GB ram in the computer and cannot add more without buying a new computer. Mainly, I am running out of RAM.

I think DTOP is among the RAM hogs. I need it for a few programs that I have to be able to use on the go. They are all RAM hogs. I am not upgrading to Mojave and intend to just stay behind the times with this computer because my needs on it are so limited. Will this help my problem? I have Devonthink 3 and Devonthink 2. Both DTOP. Thanks to Jim Neuman, it looks like I will be able to replace Evernote with DT on the go. Is there any reason to upgrade the RAM short 2012 Macbook air that I use for limited purposes?

Is there any way to limit the RAM use of DTOP? I see that I should keep as few databases open as possible. My big databases have about 1 GB. But the ones in constant use have 2 GB and 5 GB. Is there anything else I could do?


1 Like

You could also try to optimize (see File menu) databases every then and now. Opening only necessary databases reduces of course memory usage too. What’s the item/word count (see File > Database Properties) of your databases?

Is there any reason to upgrade the RAM short 2012 Macbook air that I use for limited purposes?

If you can add more RAM to a machine, do it.
Just like a savings account, more is always better. :slight_smile:

Hello Bluefrog,
I agree totally with you, more RAM will solve many problems, but what to do when you reach the limits of installed RAM ?
Since I have installed the DT3.0 some strange things happens, they did not occur with the beta versions and also with DTPO 2 before.

I have a similar problem, my Mac mini shows me a memory requirement of DT3 as 63 GB with 2 open databases (one 2 GB, the other 500 MB). This of course stops the computer. What is happening?

How many items/words (see File > Database Properties) do the databases contain? Does this happen right after launching DEVONthink 3 and opening these databases or only after performing certain actions?

Perhaps try using the trial versions of these memory cleanup apps (mentioned in point #9 of the article). I don’t have memory issue but I use parallel desktop tools to clean up memory regularly. I only use PD tools, and there is no need to quit any app during the process. Just a possible suggestion. This is not only for DT and I have no idea how it uses RAM, but it seems most apps are using more and more memory these days…?

The bigger database contains nearly 4 Million Words. When starting DT3 everything seems ok. After a while, when the computer is not used, it seems to me the memory increases slowly. e.g. when I wrote the first message after I have started DT3, the memory used was at 283 MB. I went away and leave DT3 in the background for two hours, when I returned the memory of DT3 increases to 880 MB.
Do you have an explanation ?

Does DEVONthink perform any scheduled operations, e.g. sync or refresh feeds or reminders or scheduled smart rules? Do you use iCloud for synchronizing?

It’s only iCloud synchronizing, no other scheduled operations. And for your information, since I mentioned the 880 MB now it is 1 GB

Does this still happen after disabling the iCloud sync location (see Preferences > Sync) and restarting DEVONthink?

I did as you advised, now starting the database with approx. 123 MB, we will see what is developing

I have to confess that I have overlooked there was a smart rule “automatic saving” running. Could this be the reason?

(Re: upgrading RAM — alas the OP’s MacBook Air can’t be upgraded — the RAM is soldered in place.)

What exactly does the smart rule do? And does the memory usage still increase in the background after disabling the iCloud sync location?

There was a preinstalled smart rule, it was not my work. It checked the database and closed all files which are more than 30 days open, or in that way. I made no screen shot and can not exactly remember that. Now I removed it. I started DT3 again and it seems there is a better performance now. The memory increase is from 123 MB to 150 MB within 2 hours, even with re-enabling the iCloud Sync.

These are the default smart rules…


Are you referring to Automatic Locking?

Oh yes, Automatic locking, sorry I’m a fool :thinking:

my impression is now, that was the reason for the memory consuming. After 6 hours the memory of DT 3 remains at 153 MB .

No worries!

How many files are reported in the History global smart group?

Also trying to save RAM here…

My History reads 3280 is that a lot?

I tried to edit and created a compound predicate under “kind is any document” for Last Month but it didn’t do anything after I saved it, instead it opened the “Smart Rules” pane as I had it hidden, wonder what happened there.

And in Automatic locking I have 3100. Wonder of that’s a lot

There were about 6600 files. I guess this smart rule was the reason for the odd memory consumption

No, that’s not a highly unusual number.

I have 14360 in mine :slight_smile:

1 Like