How to navigate the memory manager in Android Nougat

If some apps are being naughty and sucking up too many resources, here's how the tools in Android can lend you a hand.

nougat ram usage
Credit: Derek Walter

Android offers a convenient place for you to find out just exactly which apps have gone rogue and may be draining too many system resources.

If you’re running Android Nougat (the following examples come from a Pixel) then here’s what you need to do. 

First, go to Settings > Memory. Use the handy, slide-out menu in Nougat’s settings to get there.

nougat memory

Head over to Memory to check in on your phone’s RAM usage.

Then you’ll see the Memory section. Toggle the time to choose between 3, 6, 12 hours or one day for a better perspective on the data.

nougat memory hours

You can toggle different options for past memory usage.

Next, select memory used by apps. You’ll see a list of apps, the OS, and system services along with their reported RAM usage. You can use the toggle at the top right to sort these by average or max use.

app usage

Sort apps and system resources to get a better picture of which one may be draining your memory.

Touch an app or resource to get more details. 

app details

Get more details about how much memory a specific app is using.

The overflow button at the top right can be used to disable the app if it’s become too much of a drain on system resources.

force stop

If it’s become too much of a drain, then you can force stop it.

If you’ve been having problems with your phone, it could be that a single app is messing everything up. This can help you identify the culprit. Otherwise, it may be worth uninstalling the app entirely or investigating other methods to speed up your phone.

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