If the memory cache is occupying too much space or slowing down the system, follow these steps to clear memory cache in Windows 10.
Whenever you open software or a file, Windows automatically stores part or all of it in the system memory. Of course, how the application data is stored in the memory (RAM) is completely managed by Windows itself. Since the system memory is significantly faster and more accessible than the regular hard drive or the SSD, the applications or files will be snappier, and switching between them will be a breeze. Generally, this type of storing in memory is called Memory Cache.
However, under certain conditions, the memory cache can get clogged and fill up the entire system memory. This is especially true if your system has less memory to start with (less then 8GB). In those cases, the system will show "Low Memory" warning, performance will be sluggish and apps won't work as they should. In the worst-case scenario, the system might crash with possible data loss.
If you think the memory is filling up or if the system is showing low memory error, follow the steps below to fully clear the memory cache in Windows 10.
Restart the Windows 10 System
The best way to clear the Windows memory cache is just to turn off the system and turn it on again. When trying to restart the system, Windows will either complete all the pending tasks or abandons them as needed. Unlike the regular hard drive, the system memory is volatile. i.e, without active power, the data in RAM is lost. Since all the memory is lost, Windows will start afresh solving the memory cache problem.
To restart the system, right-click on the start menu and select "Shut down or sign out → Restart". After restarting, the memory cache should be cleared. You can see that from the task manager (CTRL + SHIFT + ESC).
Clear Memory Cache by Processing Idle Tasks
If you don't want to restart the system to flush memory cache, you can do one more thing. i.e, force Windows to process any and all idle tasks. Generally, when the idle tasks are not completed, they sit in the memory waiting for Windows instructions to complete the process task. So, when the memory cache is full, forcing Windows to process idle tasks may clear it. Here's how you can do it.
- First, right-click on the desktop.
- Select the "New → Shortcut" option.
- Now, copy and paste "%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks" in the "Location of the item" field.
- Click "Next" to continue.
- Type "Complete idle processes" as the name. You can name it anything you want.
- Click "Finish".
- Now, double-click on the newly created shortcut to execute it.
As soon as you double-click on the shortcut, the command will be executed and Windows is forced to process all the idle tasks. You will not see any progress or confirmation window. Once that is done, the memory cache should hopefully be cleared.
Do keep in mind that this is not a guaranteed way because if the idle processes are not responsible for the memory clogging, you will not see any improvement. In those cases, your next best option is to restart the system.
I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, check out how to change pagefile size in Windows 10.