Browser memory usage OUT OF CONROL - How to remedy!

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.

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Dave BaldwinConnect With a Mentor Fixer of ProblemsCommented:
In my testing, IE8 always had the lowest memory usage (about 50MB) but it is a dog on Windows XP.
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
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
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
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.
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brothertruffle880Author Commented:
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?
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
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.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
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.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
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.
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.
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:

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
John HurstConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
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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