A little background on RAM usage - in many cases on modern OSes ALL RAM is nearly always being used even if your active processes don't require it. Based on the pretty reliable theory that people tend to do repetitive things, the OS will keep things in RAM that it no longer actually requires in case you happen to request the same information again in the relatively near future. It's far faster, even if you have a high end SSD drive, to get the data directly from RAM than to load it from hard drive again. The amount that gets reported as 'used' doesn't include this cached data; so it doesn't directly address your issue, but it will help explain what I am going to suggest you look at next.
The Windows Resource Monitor will show you how your memory is being utilized, broken down by category, and might shed some light on what's going on with your RAM usage. The picture I posted is a ss of a windows 10 machine that I have with 16 GB of RAM - you can see it is using basically all of it, although only 43% is counted as being in use.
Open Resource Monitor (takes admin rights) - either from task manager by selecting the 'Performance' tab and selecting 'Open Resource Monitor' at the bottom', or
winkey-r and type
Once that opens, go to the memory tab. Expand the Processes section if it isn't already. Here you will see the full list of processes using memory on the windows machine (the list from task manager is a more of a top level view, this contains the specifics).
There are 4 columns of RAM usage listed (units of KBs), which are defined as follows:
- Commit - Amount of virtual memory used (more specifically written to
the page file from RAM).
- Working Set - This is the most meaningful number - it is the current
amount of RAM that each process is using.
- Shareable - Amount of RAM that could be shared with another process
(not very relevant here).
- Private - Amount of RAM that is not shareable with other processes
(also not very relevant).
The specific answer to the question you asked is in the 'working set' column. If you want to really dig into it, select anywhere in the process list, hit -a to select all then -c to copy; open excel or equivalent, and paste it into excel. You can sum up the columns and you'll find that the sum of the working set is equal (instantaneously) to the amount of RAM that is counted as being in use. Divide the column totals by 1024 to go from KBs to MBs for direct comparisons.
Take a look at what is actually using your RAM (and I wouldn't be surprised if it is simply another 30-ish chrome processes that were made visible by task manager), and see if anything seems out of place. There is no quick answer to this; its kind of an open ended question with an open ended answer.
If your system is sluggish and/or the hard drive is churning a lot, one thing that jumped out at me from your info was the page file usage. With 59% of your RAM unused, I was a bit surprised to see your virtual memory usage at nearly 4 GB. If you don't get slowdowns that you can attribute to waiting for hard drive data, this is a non issue - it's a well managed page file. But in some cases the page file gets overused by windows - instead of RAM - and that can slow everything down. Your page file size was set to the same size as installed RAM. I typically set mine very low - 1GB on the system I took the screen shot on, and I disable it on systems with more than 16GB of RAM. But it's a bit of an art not a science, and I don't know if you even have a performance related issue there.
To adjust the page file (aka virtual memory), hit
winkey-r and enter
Or, follow the directions here with a little background on the pros/cons of page file size adjustment Windows 10 Virt Mem
As a general rule of thumb, if you are not having performance issues don't worry about memory utilization. If you are getting disk related slowdowns (virtual memory) or other performance hits that only get worse as memory utilization goes up, than it should be a concern (make sure the bottleneck is not the CPU as well).