Manage memory leak?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by iOrbit, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. iOrbit macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2012
    i'v been kind of frustrated with lion's memory. i have 8GB but i still run out of memory... i use the 'purge' app which frees up the memory, but honestly, this is unacceptable way to experience the use of a computer. im tired of having to go and use these feautre and have my system lock up for a moment, its a clunky operation to do.

    so im hoping someone can help me -

    is this really my apps that i'v installed causing this problem? or is it lion? iv read differing arguments about this. i don't know what to conclude?

    if it isn't lion, then what apps are known for causing this?

    i regularly use the following apps:

    App Store
    Address Book

    i want to figure out what could be causing this memory leak?

    i use photoshop often as well working with some veyr large files, but is photoshop known for leaking memory?

    is there any app out there which can help me figure out and tell me whats causing my memory leaks?
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You can use the Activity Monitor app from the /Applications/Utilities folder to see a list of apps and how much memory each is using.
  3. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin, TX
    So, what do you mean by you run out of memory? What changes when you run the purge command?

    Just asking because I find that a lot of times, folks find Activity Monitor, start looking at the memory page, have no idea how to interpret it and come away with the perception that they have a problem when they really may have no problem at all.

    Personally, I have an MBP with 8GB ram - I run a lot of apps which use lots of ram. I have never ever had the need to run the purge command.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You don't need to "purge" memory. What do you mean you "run out of memory?" Mac OS X manages memory quite well, without user interference.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor

    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the whole Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
  5. iOrbit thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2012
    as soon as swapps start being used, its noticeable, things like launch pad, when i click it, the icons load with a lag and initially are iconless. things just become laggy the whole system.

    i have to purge my system regularly to avoid it getting to swapps.

    i notice for example if im using alot of tabs in safari and i close them all, safari will still be hogging up to 6 or 700 mb of memory

    same with photoshop, if photoshop peaks to 2gb of memory use for example, and i close some of the files that ranked it up to that high of usage, it will still be hogging the same amount of memory. meanwhile my 'inactive memory' will build up, but os x doesnt reclaim the memory. it will only reclaim it sometimes like when i quit photoshop or safari and start it again.

    some apps i think when i'v quit them, the memory is still stored as 'inactive' and swapps continue to build.

    i alot of varied applications so i wonder if i have installed something that makes my experience like this as opposed to others who say they run loads of apps that use up alot of memory but they never get lagg or slow downs?

    when i run the purge command my free memory is back. if i dont use purge, and the swapps start up, things get laggy. and wont become unlaggy unless i reboot.

    so far then you guys have successfully made me feel that there is nothing wrong with os x, and i'm the problem.

    but if thats the case, then what was all the users on google, this forum and various other places, talking about? how does my system and all their systems get this way? can you explain my experience? bare in mind i use computers for more than enough years, and i didnt resort to this on windows before.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Inactive memory is the same as free memory, but with an added advantage. Purging removes that advantage.

    Can you post your screen shots?
  7. iOrbit thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2012
    so why does my system resort to the swapps with the hdd when there is plenty free inactive memory, and as a result, making my system slow and an unpleasant experience? would i rather a pleasant experience, or my apps loading at the same times they do when i first opened them?
  8. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    maybe you have faulty RAM? even if you system info reads 8GM of Ram if you never see in activity monitor more than 4GB being used that the other 4 might be defective
  9. backbeat macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2012
    Rapid memory leak - 6.5GB to 40MB in under 30 minutes!

    iOrbit - I see your post is a bit old, but thought it would be worth responding. I have a MacBook Pro, also with 8GB of memory. It gets used quite a bit and usually I don't turn it off for many days. The memory will usually leak down at times to 2GB, and sometimes even less. I've had Dropbox for a few months but barely had more than two files uploaded, until recently. I just connected with some people and we're sharing about 30GB (shows up as about 50GB) of files. Now my usable/available disk space went from 80GB to 30GB. As for memory, when I do a fresh reboot I start with about 6.5GB or more. After less than 30 minutes, it leaks down to an unmanageable 40MB or so. I've never seen it go that low; ever, and surely not that quickly. What I don't understand when looking at the Activity Monitor, is it doesn't show a massive block of Real or Virtual memory being used. Usually I can see that Safari after many hours starts hogging a lot of memory, and I quit the app and restart. That gives me back a sizable block. Not so with what seems to be - an issue with Dropbox. If anyone has any ideas - I'm all ears. This is more than an annoyance - it renders the computer, useless. Thanks.

  10. tualatinweb macrumors newbie


    Aug 1, 2011
    memory leak

    I've owned both a 2009 MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM and now a 2011 MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM. Both laptops have the identical memory leak that you describe and the only work-around is to open the Terminal app and type "purge".

    I run apps like:
    • Mail
    • Safari
    • Dreamweaver
    • Photoshop
    • Word
    • Excel
    • iTunes
    • Parallels (Windows 8)
    • Quicken (Windows 8)
    • Internet Explorer (Windows 8)

    Throughout the day I may have to type "purge" 3 to 6 times depending on what type of work that I am doing.

    I never had this memory leak issue on a PC, so am disappointed with Mac OS X.
  11. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    What version of OS X are you running?If you're running Lion, make sure you're updated to 10.7.5 plus the latest security patch. This fixes some OS memory management issues.

    If you're running Mountain Lion, I don't think 10.8.3 has the issue, I know 10.8.4 doesn't, so update if you need to.
  12. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    As previously stated, you don't have to run purge. There is no point.

    If you're running a VM, and Creative Suite apps, you're going to use lots of memory.

    I've run a 2009 MacBook with 6Gb of RAM, and never seen any problems. Mind you, I haven't gone looking for them. :p
  13. tualatinweb macrumors newbie


    Aug 1, 2011

    I've used every Mac OS X for the past 3 years, all of them exhibit the same memory leak, where I must run the "purge" command to free up RAM each day. Today I'm using OS X version 10.9 and it still runs out of RAM with a 16GB MacBook Pro.
  14. cwik macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2008
    city of Angels...
    have EXACTLY same problem with lion 10.7.5

    i have 4g ram, and it gets used up all the time very, very quickly. too quickly...too many tabs open on browswer, or only with 2 or 3 apps just slowly shrinks down to nothing and it purged itself cuz no memory left.



  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    What version of OS X are you running? It is quite normal for all of your memory to be in use by OS X. It does not mean that you are running out of memory or that it is maxed out. OS X will manage all available memory, making it available to apps on an as-needed basis. Refer to the following Apple support article for more information on how to understand your Activity Monitor readings.

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14 July 11, 2012