What does my tablet mean by "insufficient RAM"?

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Android Central Question

So, I'm on Samsung Galaxy tab A and I downloaded Mobizen to record my screen. When I hit 'record' the bottom of the screen said "insufficient RAM stored.". I didn't know what it meant so I looked it up. Then I saw all these forums about 'Memory error' and stuff, That made me wonder but then I saw this. I don't want to do any of the things that are listed and I have a good amount of storage. Maybe not a lot but it's better. Anyways, (im rambling) I thought maybe I could delete some stuff to help it, But I'm not sure. What made my RAM run out? Why hasn't this happened before? All I have on my device is video essentials and games. I don't have a lot of photos but my RAM is 'insufficient'?

Please explain.


Q&A Team
Jul 7, 2013
Think of your tablet like an office - the RAM is your desk, storage is the filing cabinet.

The "desk" of your tablet isn't very big so you can't have too many in-progress items going at a time.

The cleanup you did (deleting stuff) was a purge of the filing cabinet.

You don't say what Tab A you have, but if I have to guess it only has 1-2 GB of RAM. The screen recorder needs available RAM to act as a buffer for the recording since RAM is so much faster than storage.

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Retired Moderator
Feb 12, 2012
Apps don't run in storage, they get loaded to RAM (random access memory, which is transient, to run - when you turn the phone off or restart it, RAM is in an unknown state except for those apps that are running, like the launcher or lock screen). The tablet has 1.5, 2 or 3GB of RAM, depending on which particular Tab A it is. Mobizen is a large app, and if you're running another large app, you may just not have sufficient RAM to run the app and Mobizen at the same time. (That's how all computers work - software is stored in one place, but it runs in a different place. When the printer is out of paper, it doesn't do you any good that you have a closet full of paper.)

(Storage isn't RAM - think of storage like "the hard drive in the phone", although it's a lot more like an SSD. RAM is the working "memory", storage is where the apps are stored between uses. If you had nothing but what the phone came with on a phone with 512GB of storage, but it has only 1GB of RAM, you probably couldn't run much - most apps take 1GB or more - and Android itself is running in RAM. So maybe 300GB of free storage and not enough RAM. It's like having a full tank of gas but a blown engine. The car isn't going anywhere. "But I have a full tank!" Yep, you do. You may have lots of free storage, you just don't have enough RAM. [And there's nothing you can do about that - you can't add RAM to a tablet.])