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While tinkering with a notebook that loads a large chunk of data in memory, I noticed that if I run it multiple times, the past chunks reside in memory. I understand that the reason (or one of) for which this happens is that the past output mechanism (%) keeps a reference to them, so they cannot be garbage collected.

Is there a way to explicitly make Mathematica forget some data?

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Use

 $HistoryLength = k

to keep the last k lines of input and output.

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