This is similar to my story. It is likely a runaway process that does something causing memory to be grabbed and not released and yet not associated directly with the app. I know it happens because it happened to me.
Have you added anything new in the past few days? Something that runs in the background perhaps? That would be the first thing to check.
If not, do what I did. Turn off all of your login items. Basically remove them from the login items list in Users & Groups. Now restart and see what happens. If you still have the problem, look at any added Preference Panes. Now start adding things back on one by one and observing. I prefer this method to removing one by one because it's possible that there is more than one problem app.
In my case, I found one of the Sophos processes was running away. And as I found that, I also found that DirectorySync was doing the same. What is interesting is that this was my situation but others don't have problems with those apps. I don't know if this is tied into OS X memory management issues or not. What I do know is that I rarely have memory problems any more. Every now and then (like maybe once a week or two) things bog down but freeing memory seems to resolve it.
Here's a new thing, I'd like to share with you.
On the last days my Free RAM started to vanish in a couple of minutes after restarting the system.
And the strangest thing is, when I open the Activity Monitor, the somatory of the Ram used by te apps doesn`t match AT ALL the total used in ACTIVE RAM. What does that mean?
In the figure below, all my apps opened doesn`t reach 1,5Gb total... although the active memory is about 4.5 Gb...
Anyone can help me solving this mistery?
Thaks in advance.
My system is MacBookPro i7 2011, 8Gb Ram, Lion
I know this doesn't solve your problem, but have you considered moving to Mountain Lion? I've seen a tremendous performance increase after making the transition. They've done a serious overhaul to OS X with ML, it feels like they increased effiency and performance two fold. Again, I know this doesn't solve your problem but it might save you the headache of trying to resolve Lion's memory issues. I spent a year trying to correct Lion's memory mismanagement, and got no where.
You have activity monitor up but it's displaying only your processes. You need to see all the processes including the system processes, which is just a pull down menu near the filter button in Activity Monitor's main window.
I must say I am really intrigued since it's clearly not your applications causing all the memory usage!
So check out all the processes, sort by Real Memory, and then send us another screenshot if you feel like it.
Thank you very much Jonathan!
I wasn't aware of this page, and, as you imagined, there was a (hidden) process draining all my RAM... it was a deamon from a parental control program called NetNanny. Funny thing, I had it almost by a year, and the problem just started a couple days ago... something got really strange on that deamon...
It was using, all by himself, 4,6 Gb of RAM. And if I forced to close him, as a deamon, it just started to run again, and in a about 10 minuets, it had about 1Gb of RAM of usage, and still increasing...
Well, no doubt I uninstalled the program (the licensce was about to expire anyway...), and deleted the deamons and agents on the library folder - thanks to another post on this forum that teached me how to do that! - and now, my mac seems to be back to its original eficiency.
Thanks a lot for all your help, guys, and for the other posts.
Hope I can help somebody here as you helped me.
Im very surprised to have not read in these forums, not even one time - hey ***** gonna hit the apple hard unless half of Steve Jobbs adequacy is replaced in the company. What is next year gonna entail? Apple users wont deal with this too often ... I'm personally experiencing "out of memory" quite often while fcp 7 is running the same time as 2 browsers lol firefox and chrome. Then unsupported cards come into play and all my files disconnect for the 3rd time. I'm spending more time reading forums and going through folders (which I have been dreaming about! Haa) than editing. Its sad. Mac Mini 2011 and this Darwin kernel dont play well with fcp. The whole reason I have a mac is to use fcp.. is there another kernel we can replace Darwin with or this process is very difficult?
I remember the coremelt plugins were giving me tons of issues and fcp was having trouble processing colors without the advanced vignette and other filters coremelt carried ... have a feeling thats where the unsupported card error message refers to
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - "No Pants No Shoes No service"
I have had a new MacBook Air with 128 GB of disk space for about 5 months - so Mountain Lion OS. I have only installed two app systems in addition to the OS - MS Office for Mac, and Parallels for Window - with a Windows 7 VM. My system's drive gradually fills up over time, unless I reboot and then the space is released. After about a week of being on without rebooting my system goes from 65 GB of free space to 0 free space. I assume this is happening because of one or more virtual memory leaks which causes page outs which are not released, and which then cause the disk to become full - eventually. I guess I can reboot once a week - not a big deal - but either the OS or one of these highly used apps is having a fairly significant problem. A less likely scenario is that the OS or apps are writing stuff out to disk and not cleaning up after itself - another form of 'leak'. I am a systems and application programmer - used to write in assembler and take care of large operating systems (i.e. 4000 users) - and this is familiar territory - just on a smaller scale. Seems like somone at one of these companys would be working on this - I think many, many others have the same issue from what I've been reading.
You can tell if you are running out of swap space by checking along the way. The Activity Monitor will show you how much swap you are using. I kinda doubt that's it because 65G of disk is more than a system is ever likely to swap under semi-normal usage.
Maybe you are making time machine backups of your parallels disk image? If you are not connected to an external hard drive it might be making them locally. If you want to figure out where your disk space is going, you can try (in a Terminal):
$ du -sh *
which will break it down by directory for you. You might find it's all in your Library folder, in which case you will want to cd into that folder and try again:
$ cd Library
$ du -sh *
I have friends who have a 256G MacBook Air and they were constantly running out of disk space, and the culprit was backups of her iPhone. Literally using 100Gb of disk space. Why? I don't know. But you should be able to tell with the above commands.
Also, if it goes away when you reboot, that does sound either like too much swap space (but I would be boggled by that) or a process which is writing a log file and unlinking it, but not closing it until that process exits, which all processes do at reboot time. Only after the exit does the disk space get reclaimed. Is your Windows VM running the whole time? Maybe it is logging a bunch of stuff?
But seriously, make sure Time Machine is not logging the Parallels disk image or it will be came over for you.
Sorry this reply is all over the place. I am ... half asleep.
Because people face memory issues so they should go to an Apple Store and ask the guy - hey, fill my RAM mug to the full.
Next time they face the problem they are told by the guy at the bar - buy another mug and if that runs out I'll fill that too!
So, basically people shall keep extra Macs.
To get the sticker price down and meet the needs of less demanding uses
No, to give users what they want and poster has demanded exactly that. Look at what he has opened.
Sad thing is I bought my MBA 13" 2 months back and I was willing to pay for 8GB RAM but they do not sell 8GB versions in India. So?
I've upgraded to Mountain Lion and am still having this problem. I even updated to an SSD drive and am still observing the OS slow down when it's paging in/out wired memory. Coming out of sleep things are particularly bad. Granted with an SSD the time is much less than with spinning rust, it's still inane and leaves me very depressed that such a poor decision would be made.
My only hope is that there is a growing quorum of ticked off kernel engineers at Apple who are fighting the good fight to have this architectural and structural change reversed. There has to be a mountain of data supporting this as a bad decision by now. As an outsider, it feels like Apple has sacrificed performance and usability for some other poorly justified reason that we the users haven't been made aware of.
I have a couple of things to say here:
(1) I am ****** what Apple did to the OS which makes it not work well for HDD since Lion, and I am sad that there are more usage issues with the software than I am used to in Mountain Lion.
(2) However, the overall experience with Mac OS X 10.8, on any computer with 4Gb or more RAM with an SSD is still an oustanding overall experience and nothing else comes even remotely close in my experience.
(3) Your issue with Safari using 5Gb of real memory is not completely horrible because (a) you can always quit and restart Safari, which is to say, it's not down deep in the OS that is causing your problem, just a single app, and (b) you could always try Google Chrome, which uses largely the same rendering engine, but a slightly more aggressive and clever way of releasing memory whenever you close a window without quitting the app entirely.
(4) With 16Gb of RAM and nearly 8Gb completely and utterly free, you should be experiencing zero issues with this scenario you show with your Activity Monitor screenshots anyway.
The thing about Safari and web browsers in general is that it's very easy to build complex websites which use up a lot of RAM in the browser, which cause the browser to grow and grow until you quit the browser or at least close that window. One really REALLY bad website which is very very fancy and uses tons of RAM is - wait for it - icloud.com. So if you are using iCloud in your browser a lot and seeing huge growth of the size of Safari, well, don't use it. If it's another site try to figure out what website it is. Any poorly written site can do this, but very few websites are poorly written AND need/use tons of RAM. But in general, if you close the last Safari window, quit the app. That frees all the memory right then and there.
So, if I were you I would not focus on safari leaking memory because there are options: quit safari when you close the last window OR switch to chrome, which frees memory as you close windows because each window gets its own, separate memory pool to begin with.
To Chitt, I think we should hear some more details from you. Since switching to SSD I have had zero problems, on small MacBook Airs with 4Gb of RAM to my current Retina 13" with 8Gb of RAM. Amazing machines, zero slowdown. So give us more details in case it's something else.
BTW - Apple does care. I have had a problem with Apple Mail and Dreamhost for 2 years since ths release of iOS 4.0. I filed a bug report with Apple just recently and the engineers got back to me and told me how to turn on logging on my iPhone. THen then looked at my 5Mb of logs and got back to me with a serious description of what was wrong with Dreamhost's IMAP servers. I told Dreamhost and they said "This is Apple's problem which started when they released iOS 4.0." I thought about it some more and wrote Apple back and told them that I thought it might still be their problem, why don't they think about what they did back in the iOS 4.0 time frame that changed so we can see what that was? The apple engineers wrote back and said "We know exactly what changed, it was SUCH AND SUCH that changed, which is why I pointed you at SUCH AND SUCH article in the last exchange, and BTW, here's an example of a properly functioning IMAP server." Well, they were right, they gave me the information I needed to find the bug report in the IMAP server Dreamhost was using, and now Dreamhost has committed to fixing the problem (by upgrading their servers). The Apple engineers were very patient and very professional and very polite with me. I am very VERY grateful that they took the time to respond QUICKLY to my bug report and various followups.
Just sayin' ...
I've tried that. Still happens. The problem that I am having is that, this goes on, even when the only thing I have open is Finder. I run out of application memory.
And I had some problems with Mail as well. I don't use it anymore. Any time I have it open, it consumes GB after GB after GB until my HD fills up completely. Now, I either use my iPhone/iPad or I go though the web browser. It did the same thing on my old MacBook Pro as well.
What you are experiecing is not at all normal so maybe we can get to the bottom of it.
Here's my first tip: just because you close all your Safari windows, it does not mean that you have quit the Safari application. So just in case you don't know it, with Macs, applications stay running when you close windows, with Microsoft Windows, when you close the last window, the application quits as well. To quit an application on your Mac you have to type CMD-Q or select Quit form the menu.
In the screenshot you included in your recent posts today, Safari is still running. Not only is it running, but it is using about 180% of your total CPU (which I guess is about 800% because you have 8 cores?). So in the normal course of events Safari should be mostly idle and so should not be using your CPU because you're just looking at a web page. Any process that is using 100% or more of your CPU is seriously busy, going to town, using up a lot of resources, and is worth investigating.
So let's figure that one out first. Did you realize that your screenshot of activity monitor included a running Safari?