Hello there, in this post, we are going to look at the causes of poor RAM management. Now, RAM is very important to a phone’s performance and user experience. This is especially true when it comes to loading apps, app switching and multitasking. So, if it does not perform as expected…it can be frustrating.

Have you ever had a phone that was poor at multitasking? A device struggling to load or keep apps in memory? A phone that force-closes apps in use (or in memory) or a device that RAM fills up too quickly? I have. These are classic symptoms of poor RAM management.

RAM management simply refers to the different ways that a smartphone manages it’s memory (RAM). Poor RAM management is simply when the smartphone (Operating System) fails in its task of managing the RAM.

Read: What is RAM?

Causes of Poor RAM management

There are several reasons why a smartphone could have poor memory management. These include:

  • Memory leaks
  • Space leaks
  • Poor garbage collection
  • Fragmentation
  • Low memory

Memory leaks

This is when a smartphone’s operating system incorrectly manages memory.


Memory leaks occur when memory needed for the system functions, is not available even though it is free. It may also occur when data stored in RAM cannot be accessed. Thus, the said data will keep occupying space that is needed for other tasks.

A classic example of this is the adware, on HiOS, that is always running regardless of the user’s efforts to close them

Space leaks

A space leak happens when the operating system assigns itself, or another app, more memory than is necessary. As a result, memory will be used up quickly and the phone will run into a memory bottleneck.

Thankfully, space leaks can be resolved with a simple force-restart or reboot. Memory leaks on the other hand can only be fixed with a full OTA update.

Poor garbage collection

Garbage collection is an automatic way for the OS to clear redundant apps out of memory. It does this to free space for newer apps or background processes. When an OS fails to carry out garbage collection, redundant cache will build up in the RAM leading to loss of memory.


Fragmentation is a phenomenon where RAM storage is being used inefficiently. In this case, the memory is being allocated incorrectly.

For example, A phone has a RAM of 16KB with four page frames. Each page frame has a size of 4KB. The OS then assigns entire page frames to app A (2KB), app B (1KB) and app C (2.5KB). The OS itself occupies the last page frame (3KB). All page frames have now being used up and there is no longer any space.

If you add up all the apps in memory (including the OS), they only total 8.5KB. This means that there is 7.5KB free but there is “no space” as all page frames have been used.

The space has been so badly fragmented among the page frames that it is useless.

Low memory

Low memory devices usually struggle with multitasking and RAM management because there simply is not enough memory to be managed. As a result, the OS will be forced to close apps, multitask poorly or issue low memory warnings.


This usually happens to phones with 1, 2 or even 3GBs of RAM. Unless you are a basic user, do not buy a phone with such a low (<2GB) RAM spec irrespective of your budget.

Virtual Memory may mitigate the low space issues but it can not do much.

Please leave a comment if you have any difficulty and remember to:


2 thoughts on “Causes of Poor RAM management”
  1. I suffer low memory a lot, so take my time to clear cache from every app one by one.

    Without a doubt, you really took your time with this post. The information is heavy yet you delivered it in a clear and simple manner. Great post👏🏾.

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