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8GB 17" MacBook Pro OS X 10.7.5 In Activity Monitor, what

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8GB 17" MacBook Pro
OS X 10.7.5
In Activity Monitor, what is the difference between "Free" and "Inactive?"
Hello! My name isXXXXX will work diligently to provide accurate advice and information.

In Activity Monitor, memory that is marked as "Free" is not being currently used.

Inactive memory is where app information is being stored, that was recently used but is not currently active. Inactive memory is available for use by another application, just like Free memory though.

However, if you have been using Safari, for example, and then quit the app it will temporarily remain in inactive memory. If you restart Safari a brief time later it will open more quickly as the inactive memory is converted to active memory and OS X doesn't have to reload everything from the hard drive.

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