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Archived - Mac OS: Troubleshooting Out of Memory Errors

How can I resolve out of memory errors?
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
An " Out of Memory" or" Not Enough Memory to Perform Operation" while you are working in an application, doesn't mean you don't have enough computer memory. When you launch a Macintosh application, it requests the amount of memory set in it's Get Info window. There may be times when you are working with a very large data file and there is not enough memory allocated to the application to work properly.

To increase an application's memory allocation:


    1. Quit the Application and return to the Finder.

    2. Go to the actual application program icon (not a document created in the application or an alias to the application) and click once to select it.

    3. From the File menu, select Get Info.

    4. In the Get Info window, again verify that Application is listed after Kind:

    5. Increase the memory in the Application Memory Size box at the bottom of the Get Info window. If you are using System 7.0, increase the Current Size. If you are using System 7.1 or greater, increase the Preferred Size. Later versions of the Mac OS have a pop up menu in the Get Info box where you select Memory. Increasing memory by 500K to 1000K should be enough in most cases.


If the program still will not open, try restarting the computer. Additional memory may be the only option of the application or file you are trying to open is fairly large. You can try using virtual memory as a temporary workaround. If you find that to solve the problem, additional memory should be installed.

Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
  • Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
  • Article: TA25701
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