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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Some users who recently upgraded to macOS Monterey are experiencing a bug known as a "memory leak," a scenario in which a specific macOS process or application is bugged out and stays running for prolonged periods in the background, consuming abnormally high amounts of memory or RAM.


It's difficult to pinpoint precisely what models of Mac computers are affected; however, the range is relatively wide, including the newly released 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. Reports on Twitter, Reddit, the MacRumors Forums, and the Apple Support Communities consist of users reporting their Mac warning that the system has "run out of application memory" or that specific applications are consuming ridiculously high amounts of RAM in Activity Monitor.

Some reports call out the macOS Control Center as the main culprit, with YouTuber Gregory McFadden sharing a screenshot of Control Center using up to 20GB of RAM on their 64GB M1 Max 16-inch MacBook Pro. Other users are also sharing similar experiences on the MacRumors Forums and Reddit.

Another cluster of related reports includes Mozilla Firefox. As shown in the tweets below, Firefox for some users is taking up incredibly high amounts of memory, as high as 80GB for one user.

Excluding Firefox and Control Center related reports, more widespread reporting from users across different platforms suggest the more common bug is the pop-up "Your system has run out of application memory."

The pop-up is seemingly being shown to users despite minimal use of their Macs with considerable amounts of memory to spare. In some instances, some users have suggested that restarting the Mac helps, while others say the pop-up reappears shortly after. A user on the Apple Support Communities noted their experience:
Since downloading Monterey I receive repeated messages "your system has run out of application memory". This is only occurred since downloading Monterey. When examining activity monitor pages seems to be the main culprit using up 18 GB and more! Is this evidence of a memory leak for Pages with Monterey os? Restart makes no difference.
Mac users on the MacRumors Forums (1, 2, 3, 4), the Apple Support Communities (1, 2), and Reddit, are noting similar experiences. Just earlier today, we reported on user reports that the macOS Monterey update is bricking some older Mac computers. Given that and issues surrounding memory usage for some users, it may be best for users still on macOS Big Sur to wait until the second version of macOS Monterey before upgrading.

Article Link: Users Reporting 'Memory Leak' Issues After Updating to macOS Monterey
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Reactions: RandomDSdevel


macrumors 68020
Jan 11, 2016
Manchester, United Kingdom
Just for additional information - I started experiencing these issues with a beta version of Monterey, released in August. I was using the 16" MacBook Pro (Intel) back then. I am also experiencing memory leaks on the new 16' MacBook Pro and the 2021 iMac. I know these issues might be hard to find and fix, but it's been happening for the past three months and I really wish Apple focused on that issue as a priority. Releasing Monterey with a critical bug like this was not the best thing to do.
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macrumors 68000
Feb 19, 2016
Has Apple software QA truly become abysmal over the last few years or have social media, blogs, and videos just made it easier to surface problems? For example, would the current Apple have released Copland?

Or maybe Zuckerberg Commandment™ #3, Keep Shipping, has somehow made its way into Apple.

Well, no matter the reason...:mad:
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Mac Hammer Fan

macrumors 65816
Jul 13, 2004
I don't need ever year a new system that is buggy the first months and that gets security updates for only three years.
It would be better if Apple releases a new MacOS only once in three years but that is stable and supported for ten years.
I don't need all these bells and whistles.


macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2007
Has Apple software QA truly become abysmal over the last few years or have social media, blogs, and videos just made it easier to surface problems?
This is an evergreen comment. Go search for posts about 10.4 and you'll see the same things. Software is software, it's always going to go through cycles of bug fixes. It's actually remarkable that macOS has increased so much in complexity without a proportionate increase in the number of bugs.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2008
Has Apple software QA truly become abysmal over the last few years or have social media, blogs, and videos just made it easier to surface problems? For example, would the current Apple have released Copland?

Or maybe Zuckerberg Commandment™ #3, Keep Shipping, has somehow made its way into Apple.

Well, no matter the reason...:mad:

I think QA has declined, but the OS is more complex too. I think System 7.5 was very good, macOS 10.6.8 was good too. So far, Catalina 10.15.7 has been solid for me. I have a new 14" MBP coming so hopefully 12.1 is out soon to fix this issue.

I am not seeing this on my M1 Mac mini running 12.1 Beta.
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macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
(Central) NY State of mind
we know this about apple and lack of QA for OS updates. After 20 years of this, I just run a full version behind. sometimes I lose out on enjoying new features, but avoid problems like this
I used to run a full version behind from 10.6 to 10.14 - stayed at 10.14 an extra year....about a month ago I finally upgraded to 10.15....2 versions behind seems to have worked better lately (and you still get security updates).


macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2011
Haven't seen anything like it so far on macOS Monterey on my Mac mini M1. I did have issues during the BETA with one of Apple's beta logging services hogging 100% CPU all of the time. The logging service was still running in X86 so I managed to fix it by simply re-installing and instead of using the BETA profile which enforces you to enable Rosetta2 I enabled BETA using terminal without having to enable Rosetta2 and thus the logging service could never run as it's a X86 compiled service and I didn't have any issues ever since. These logging services are not a part of GA releases.

When it comes to memleaks one have to wonder if it's really a bug? The screenshot from the article shows no swapping. If there is no swapping, how would we know that Control Center isn't simply using the ample amount of free RAM for caching? Unused RAM is wasted RAM, especially as RAM is volatile so you won't be saving any power/battery by not using it either.

It's quite common for modern operating systems to try utilise all of the memory it has available at all times as RAM is much faster than NVME storage, and unlike NVME storage there is no limitation of the amount of read/writes it can sustain until performance starts degrading. So you want to put as much into RAM as possible.

When facing memory leaks you would normally have situations where applications keep on using more and more memory without ever clearing up which will end up with you starting to swap as a result of these applications having memory leaks is causing you to get memory starved so the NVME storage has to act as a additional memory swap.

But the screenshot in the article doesn't show swapping. I can't really understand why control center would need to use 20GB+ for cache so that is most likely some kind of bug from Apple. But I'm not entirely sure if it's a memory leak. If it's a leak it should mean that control center would never lower it's memory usage even though you are starting to reach 100% memory utilisation causing you to start swapping.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2002
Well I JUST finished upgrading my MBA to Monterey and so far if anything it seems to have fixed some of what I felt was the very excessive memory usage/pressure behavior I've been seeing on Big Sur since day one... Let's hope it lasts... I really don't need apps consuming 50GB+ of ram on my MBA or incoming MBP...
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