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Before you put up your hands in despair at the sight of another so-called “memory optimizer”, I would advise you to read ahead.

So here’s the deal: CleanMem runs and clean the memory out of all processes that it can, without any user input. This might seem like a lot of other similar apps that you might have heard about but believe me – IT’S NOT.

For one, CleanMem doesn’t always keep running in the background. In fact it runs every 30 minutes and only frees the memory that it can.

According to the author:

CleanMem works in a matter of about 5 seconds. It uses a Windows API call that is in Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista & 2008 that tells Windows to clean up the workspace of a process thus freeing up any memory the process no longer needs. Other memory cleaners end up forcing the memory into the page file slowing down your system.

This tool does not. The API call frees up unused memory from programs. When a program needs the memory again, it can simply take it back instead of forcing the memory out of ram and into the page file. This is the same API used by Microsoft in its empty.exe in the Windows 2003 Resource kit. This is also the same API that all .NET programs use by default when you minimize them and their memory lowers. So now instead of being just for .NET, Cleanmem lets you use it on all your programs.

All in all, the claims and explanation had me intrigued, so I decided to give it a shot. Here are my test results:

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Of course this doesn’t mean that you can continue to use Photoshop in under 20K. As and when Photoshop requires more memory (which it would, once you get back to it) it gets it back. It just doesn’t keep it to itself while you are surfing the web for the stock images as it would have done without CleanMem.

The Bottom Line

    It doesn’t force processes to free up memory and recovers only the amount that it can (that explains the first graph? Maybe)

    I didn’t see a performance dip as I had seen with other memory cleaners when you switch back to applications after the memory had been freed.

    I noticed that it can’t recover memory from certain processes like antivirus programs. I am betting on the protection that those programs have in place.

    There is even a portable version available that is about 10.7 KB

    You can add some process to the ignore list so that they are not effected by CleanMem (requires editing configuration files present in installation directory).

Frankly speaking, this seemed too good to be true. I am still finding it hard to believe because its not only in the statistics but working on my machine actually feels snappier. Heck whatever it does, it is working for me (and a number of other people on the various forums all over the internet).

Give it a try and let us know how it went for you. Do you notice a boost in performance? Share with everyone in the comments either way!

  1. Pablo Santiago
    January 18, 2015 at 5:37 am

    Snake oil sales men made money on their product. How much does this product cost?
    I am no computer scientist and use my computer like most of people do to go online, pay bills ,browse the web for everything and anything and also video. So my old computer has been giving my some problems in watching some HD video in 1080 resolution and its not the internet speed because I pay for very high speed internet and wired it into the back of this particular computer. So I kept having a problem with what seemed like my computer not being able to process the video fast enough. So I think for the computer scientist who has already optimized his or her system then I believe this product would not do much but for the rest of us who don't really want to go through trouble of optimizing a bunch of stuff that might start up and we don't know it then this product absolutely works because all of the stutter went out of the videos I was trying to watch and the load bar at the bottom raced across the screen like I had not seen before. So that is my real measurement that this product does work.

  2. Larry Miller
    February 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Snake oil.
    Unlike most memory optimizers, this one can't really do much harm. But it won't do any good either. Memory management in XP and later is actually very good and there is no need or benefit in this kind of program. It is just that memory management in modern systems does not work according to the thoroughly outmoded concepts that are so much a part of the popular perception of how it should work. Free memory is wasted memory.

  3. christopher
    December 9, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Avira started flagging cleanmem.exe as a trojan. Is this true? (I believe it's a false positive) What can I do? It's telling me it's the 'TR/Dropper.Gen" Any ideas would be appreciated!!

  4. artfulldodger33
    August 16, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    MESSAGE TO SAM ABOUT MALWARE ON SOFTPEDIA
    i assume this "hooks" the kernel, this may cause anti-malware products to show warnings [eg. kaspersky always warns about hidden drivers being installed, being possible malware,happens with installing any virtual drive]

    if you use an app then stop, it continues using a large percentage of the memory it used while running [even when the app is shut, this only gets re-allocated whem RAM use reaches 100% or the system re-boots, when reaching 100% there is "lag" while the memory is freed] i assume that this "free's" the memory, therefore preventing system hangs and "not responding" messages.

    SURELY THEN,.. IT IS USEFULL ??? even vista can use 3 gig while encoding video files whilst say browsing 10 open browser tabs and maybe 3 folders open [security products running realtime protection use huge amounts of RAM also EVEN ON VISTA]

    RAM IS PRECIOUS........... MY PRECIOUS !!

  5. Sam
    October 23, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Heya,

    I tried running the setup executable file that i downloaded thru softpedia's us server...my anti-malware software detected a trojan file......so i didn't install it....would softpedia allow files to be downloaded with malware?

  6. phil
    October 20, 2008 at 7:59 am

    No, thanks. I *want* all my memory in use. That's what it's there for -- so applications can use it. As you point out with your photoshop example, the application is just going to grab the memory back as soon as you start using it again anyway. If a particular app needs more memory than is easily available, it's going to cause the operating system to invoke that same API call anyway, so there's no actual benefit to doing it ahead of time.

    No matter how you cut it, memory cleaners are a waste of time with modern operating systems.

  7. Womble
    October 19, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    The days of scrounging for memory have long gone for most of us, whilst doing desktop work I almost always have over a gig remaining of my installed two gig, so why bother freeing anymore?

    If I spend my hard earned cash on memory for my computer Windows better damn well use it! This is the key point some people just don't get. What some people refer to as hogging memory is in actual fact "using it"

    Applications like this will always be redundant as Windows already frees up memory when required, this is a key feature of any modern operating system.

    Sorry to come over harsh but I detest naive applications like this.

    • Varun Kashyap
      October 20, 2008 at 12:40 pm

      Fair enough, Nothing can match an actual memory upgrade but not everyone has the resources to upgrade memory or their systems to get better performance

      • Peter
        October 20, 2008 at 8:27 pm

        Oh come on, I got 2 Gigs of RAM for my system for $40.

        • Jaakko
          July 15, 2009 at 2:55 am

          ... if I could only install that other GB on my netbook ...

          CleamMem's great!

  8. syxxnyne69
    October 19, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    very nice app watched the optimization of firefox when cleanmem did its "thing" initially firefox went from 109,000 down to 25,000 then after a few seconds stabilized at 75,000 which is still pretty nice, i have however noticed that all of the other processes that i continuously run, do seem to be optimized by this app, overall this is a nice find in my opinion

  9. tim
    October 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    woot! Tried it, awesome! Wow, firefox memory rape is obsolete!

  10. Aibek
    October 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Seems cool, though I wish there would be a GUI menu to quickly add/remove processes to only/ignore lists.

  11. Varun Kashyap
    October 18, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Yep exactly. I also went looking for it at first. It just runs momentarily may be 5 sec or so (after every 30 minutes) and then goes away. you won't see any process unless you happen to look at that very time. If you really do want to see it to believe it check out the portable version http://www.pcwintech.com/files/setups/cleanmem_v.1.3.0.zip
    Have the task manager open before hand and then fire up portable version. You would see cleanmem.exe come and go and the memory usage of applications come down.

  12. housetier
    October 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Snake Oil ftw! Now with enhanced genuine Placebo Booster!

  13. Howard Pearce
    October 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    does nothing ... no display...no icon...no process

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