Browser memory usage OUT OF CONROL - How to remedy!

Posted on 2013-01-27
Last Modified: 2013-11-22
I'm not watching videos, playing video games.  I'm reading blogs or checking my hotmail account.  Why is my browser memory usage CONSTANTLY climbing?
If I didn't reboot regularly, it would reach over 500K  (See graphic)
BTW, I already switched away from I.E. because it was slowing my PC down to a crawl.  Now Firefox too?   Come on people.  There's gotta be a solution.

Question by:brothertruffle880
LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38824545
Browsers do not do this (including IE) on a properly running machine.

1. Start your browser in Safe Mode (iexplore -extoff for IE) and see it this occurs in Safe mode.
2. Remove add-ins. Disable all of them and add back one at a time to see if an add-in is causing the issue.
3. For IE, Tools, Internet Options, Advanced and Reset. Reset clears temp files, cookies, and forms and returns to out of the box condition.
4. Scan for Viruses. This is a very likely cause of the above.

.... Thinkpads_User
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 38824618
Firefox is a memory hog.  It appears to keep as much as it can in memory to speed up your browsing.  You're probably on Windows 7.   The current version of Firefox (18.0.1) on my XP computer typically uses between 140MB and 200MB of RAM.  With only this EE window open, memory is at 140MB.  If I open a second window and go to Youtube, it jumps up to 160MB.  How many windows or tabs do you have open?

PS:  I still have about 2GB of free RAM available at that point.

Author Comment

ID: 38824695
Hi Dave:
I've got Windows XP sp3 and firefox 18.0.1.
I've got two tabs open (hotmail and slashdot news right now).
I'm thinking maybe I have malware and/or viruses.  
I'm running Norton Internet Security.
Should I be using something in addition to this?
or something instead of this?
Time to run some cleanup programs. No?
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LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 38824863
I've got Windows XP sp3 and firefox 18.0.1 also but I don't think that much memory usage is necessarily a sign of malware.  How much free memory do you have?  Also, what add-ons do you have?

I suggest you reboot and open only Experts-Exchange and see what your usage is before you take more extreme and time consuming measures.
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 38824903
On this computer, Chrome with only my simple home page open, creates 3 processes of about 50MB each (150MB total).  On my right hand computer, it opens 4 processes of 50MB each for about 200MB total.  Firefox on that computer opened to the same page only use 97MB.  IE8 uses 2 processes for about 50MB total but I suspect that's misleading because I think it may use other processes I can't identify.

So while Firefox is using more memory on your computer than mine, it is not terribly high.
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 38825195
Some more tests on another XP computer.  While viewing news articles and videos on Yahoo, Chrome's memory usage got up to 330MB while Firefox was less than 200MB even with the 'plugincontainer' loaded.

Expert Comment

ID: 38825240
That's just the way things are, I don't really have a solution of suggestion, other than closing out the browser every now and then to reset it's memory consumption.

I've had my Firefox (18.0.1) open on my Win7 64-bit OS for about 5 days now.  It's currently using 502MB, not counting the plugin containers, with 104 tabs opens.

It was FAR worse up until, I believe, version 14.  If I leave Firefox up and running for a number of weeks, it slowly steals more and more RAM.  I've had it snag upwards of 2Gigs before, but that was back before version 14.

I just make a habit of close the browser out at least once a week, and don't have any issues with it.  I've got it set to reopen all my tabs upon restart, so I never loose any of the pages I have up.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38825272

Try my suggestions with respect to IE. I use IE exclusively and a lot. I seem to keep below 50Mbytes of memory. Like any app, I close it when I am not using it. I close Excel when I am not using, Word, Adobe, and so on. The only application that is always running is Outlook. My system does not crawl.

... Thinkpads_User
LVL 83

Accepted Solution

Dave Baldwin earned 250 total points
ID: 38825363
In my testing, IE8 always had the lowest memory usage (about 50MB) but it is a dog on Windows XP.
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 38825368
I have an older XP machine at a client and once fully started, IE works fine. I have a couple of XP virtual machines and (again once fully started) IE works fine. I just do not try to start IE until everything is fully running. Otherwise it does bog down.

.... Thinkpads_User

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