Solved Internet Explorer 8.0 memory RAM leak

Dell / Dimension 4550
September 29, 2012 at 19:12:56
Specs: Windows XP, 2.665 GHz / 1535 MB
Does anyone know why Internet Explorer 8.0 doesn't release used memory until the browser is closed?

If you consistently browse the web for 10 minutes or any length of time without closing the browser, IE continually uses up more and more memory. Also, when opening a tab and then closing it, the memory used by the tab is not released back to the operating system. I suppose the browser would eventually crash once it's used up all 2GB or 4GB of RAM.

It must be a bug on Microsoft's end, and a horrible one at that. On all the workstations I've used, IE8 doesn't release the memory until the browser is completely closed. Even on the Google home page, memory usage doesn't decrease: http://sdfox7.com/ie8hog.bmp

Upgrading isn't an option for people on XP, or those who have standardized on IE8 because they are a corporation or because it's the default browser that came with Windows 7. I hope to see it resolved some day, but I won't hold my breath.

My only solution/recommendation for people in the meantime has been to use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera.

http://sdfox7.com


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#1
September 29, 2012 at 19:49:39
✔ Best Answer
I suppose the browser would eventually crash once it's used up all 2GB or 4GB of RAM.

No it wont. Once the memory gets full Windows will either start releasing memory or paging stuff off to virtual memory. You are seeing demons where no demons exist.

That is the way Windows memory works. It uses as much of real memory it can as it is lot faster than loading stuff from disk or virtual memory. Best to keep it in memory in case it is needed again. It takes a few millisecond to release a block of memory if it s needed.

Oh and one other thing, Windows XP being a 32 bit OS, it will never get anywhere near using 4 Gbs of memory. The most it will use is around 3,4 Gbs and often less, depending on the hardware and what is required for memory mapped i/o.

Stuart


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#2
September 29, 2012 at 20:25:07
Thanks for your info.

I guess I just don't understand why the other browsers don't seem to exhibit such greedy behavior. They all are much faster performing tasks than Internet Explorer; even launching from a cold start Chrome is the first one up.

At any given time in Task Manager I can find multiple processes of IE running even after other tabs have been closed and there is one window open. I haven't observed this with the other browsers: once the tabs are closed the processes drop off the list one by one.

http://sdfox7.com


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#3
September 30, 2012 at 13:03:39
To follow up, here's a snapshot of IE leaving just 30MB of RAM free on a system with 1.5GB RAM:

http://sdfox7.com/ie8hog2.bmp
http://sdfox7.com/ie8hog3.bmp

There are reasons Microsoft is losing the browser wars, and excessive usage of system memory is likely one of them.

http://sdfox7.com


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#4
September 30, 2012 at 14:14:32
There are reasons Microsoft is losing the browser wars, and excessive usage of system memory is likely one of them.


There is no such thing as excessive use of system memory, it is a false concept to even think there is. Memory is there to be used and memory that is not being used is just a waste of space.

Too little use of system memory, or real memory to give it its correct term to differentiate it from virtual memory, is where you are likely to get problems with application struggling to load stuff form hard disk and virtual memory all the time.

As I said earlier, Windows will attempt to use as much memory as it can. When an application requests a block of memory, Windows will give it, freeing up some memory that has not been accessed for a time.. It is only when the entire memory available, both real and virtual, is in current use that you will get an out of memory error. This is a very very rare occurrence and even more rare is you have you virtual memory configured for system managed.

What you are experiencing is a good thing, it speeds up the computer no end. As I said, earlier. You are seeing demons where no demons exist.

One other thing, in a 32 bit system like Windows, no application will ever use more than 2 Gbs of memory, Windows wont allow it. On a 64 bit system that max memory allocation goes up to ridiculous numbers which I cant remember of the top of my head.

I quick read of Windows memory management will give you an idea of how it all works and it really is quite clever.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/lib...

Stuart


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