Photoshop: Is there a way to free up memory used by Photoshop?

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When Im working with large files photoshop eats up my memory and even if I clear the history and close the file I do not get my memory back, I have to quit photoshop and restart it?

Im using Mac snow leopard with latest updates.
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Jesper Hammarbäck

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Posted 8 years ago

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PECourtejoie, Champion

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Tough topic. Photoshop keeps the memory for future uses to avoid memory fragmentation.

See: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/786514... for explanations by one of its engineers.

Look also at: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404439... or search for 'memory and performance" in the help files.
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Marcus Johnson

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What use is keeping old unused data in RAM? You couldn't get it back even if you wanted to.
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Chris Cox

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Official Response
Not a bug - Photoshop reuses memory constantly. There is no need to quit and restart unless you've been running a third party plugin that leaks memory.
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Sebastián Camilo Barón Barbosa

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Doesn's seems like, takes 6GB of ram, "I had settle to used until 4,4GB" and it doesn't care and uses 6, I close all the documents and open a new one and now is in 7GB, im totally lost with your meaning of "re use memory"
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Adam Jerugim, Employee

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Official Response
This is less of a fragmentation issue and more of an application performance issue.

There is a significant performance benefit to allocating and re-using memory instead of de-allocating and re-allocating it each time we need it.

If you want more RAM available to other applications and the OS, lower the PS RAM % in Photoshop Preferences > Performance.
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Joe Gagyi

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how is that re-using it ? if after each panorama i get 2 more GB of RAM used up, after 3 panos my 8GB of RAM are full (with all files closed)
I see no benefit whatsoever, only huge problems, and getting more RAM doesn't help.
Can we at least have an option to clear the memory ?
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Chris Cox

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After closing a document, the memory from that document gets reused by the next document. The total memory usage will not increase unless you load documents that need more memory (including history states).
The benefit is that it runs MUCH faster than trying to free and reallocate memory. There is no problem, and no need to clear memory.
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Joe Gagyi

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I tested your theory and it seems to be true, i tested 2 sets of HDR, each using about 1.6-1.7GB and PS did reuse the allocated cache (only 0.14GB more where used)

Together with lowering the % of memory PS uses to 71% (5146MB) i'm pretty sure i won't have any issues no more.
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Jesper Hammarbäck

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ok, I use buy more ram :)
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Josh Gordon

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Say I open a 250mb file in Photoshop. We'll say this is a 300dpi image at around 5000x5000 pixels. This takes up quite a bit of memory and modifying this file consumes even more. I can see in the task manager that memory in Photoshop shoots up to anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000 KB -- particularly after several operations.

When I'm done using this image and close it, this memory should be RETURNED to the system -- instead of just sitting there with Photoshop.exe at over a gigabyte. I've heard programmers use the term "garbage collection" and I think this is what Photoshop needs to do better.

I find myself continuously RESTARTING Photoshop due to this poor release of memory. Otherwise, the application becomes entirely unusable --- even on a modern quad core system with 8GB of RAM.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Why doesn't Photoshop release memory after a file is closed?.
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edward.caruso

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my experience has been to have alot of ram - i have 16GB - which isn't alot for PS but not bad and - set PS to use 70% - any more than this I find causes big slowdowns. 70% not any more, seriously. And dont have any flash websites running in the background, use a flash blocker and run only what's necessary. This makes a big difference on my MAc Pro's
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Josh Gordon

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Just to follow up on my previous post, my frustration would not be present if Photoshop didn't seriously slow down after I closed a large/high-res document that caused the memory usage to increase.

The issue again is that after I work with large files and PS's memory has ballooned up to 1GB or more, everything in Photoshop slows to a crawl and becomes unresponsive. As I indicated, the only way to solve this is to restart PS, which is why -- despite was said above about a "performance benefit to allocating and re-using memory" -- the inability to use PS becomes a serious problem. If there was a way to clear memory (maybe a command in a menu?) or better yet, PS did this automatically, that would help this situation considerably.
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Chris Cox

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That sounds more like you have a driver bug or third party plugin leaking memory.
Under normal use and behavior, Photoshop reuses memory and doesn't slow down like you describe.

Photoshop doesn't need to "clear" it's own memory, and can't do anything about leaks from third party sources.
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Scott Mahn

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Chris, are there popular third party plugins known to leak memory? Is there a list of them available somewhere? Is there communication between Adobe and third party vendors about such issues?
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Chris Cox

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Yes, there is communication with third party vendors when we discover such issues. But there are leaks even in the OSes. But we try to get them fixed and don't publicly document them all. Nor do we test every single third party plugin..
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Josh Gordon

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Chris, FYI my Photoshop has zero third party plugins and yet this slowdown persists. I've tried resetting preferences, reinstalling, etc. Nothing works. I've seen this issue on multiple computers. The more memory that Photoshop uses, the quicker this occurs. The only workaround is a restart.
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Chris Cox

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Then you need to look into the drivers on your system (display, printer, scanner, even mouse and custom utilities). This doesn't happen for most other users, doesn't happen on our systems, goes against the design of Photoshop, and basically should not be happening. But it happens on your system. So what is different about your system that might cause a memory leak?
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Photoshop FAQ, Official Rep

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Dear Adobe Gripe #13922

"Please look at the TaskManager and observe how memory is never released until you quit Photoshop - not even when you close a file. This is very very wrong."
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Marcus Johnson

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I was making a high res image in Photoshop CS5.5 x64 on Windows 7 x64 SP1 with all the patches, and I closed the documents, went back to Photoshop adn it seemed snappy but when I went to Task Manager, it revealed that Photoshop was using ~2GB of RAM.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop doesn't release memory after closing all open documents..
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Bruce Jamieson

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I often work on multiple images or very large images, so I have 16GB of RAM in my Mac for Photoshop to eat up. However, I've noticed that even when I've saved and closed all my images, Photoshop seems to hang onto whatever is in its RAM. If I open new images and continue to work, I often run into the "bonk" when Photoshop slows way down as it dumps less active data into the scratch disk and spinning beach balls of death dance in front of me. Rebooting Photoshop will clear up this problem. This is something I noticed with the Beta, and it seems to still be happening with the official release. I believe they call this problem a memory leak.

I had also figured this might be a product of the auto-save feature that Photoshop now has, which is awesome, but still it's annoying.

-Bruce!

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
PS CS6: Memory leak?.
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Marcus Johnson

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It's pretty simple, memory has to be reallocated to the system. it's sloppy, and you can try to justify it all you want, but it's ridiculous, nothing anyone says can change that.
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Bruce Jamieson

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Is there a difference in the way Photoshop handles memory between CS5 and CS6? Everyone I work with who has upgraded to CS6 has had to include regular Photoshop restarts in their workflows and often complain about Photoshop becoming extremely slow and nearly unresponsive after a while, even after closing all Photoshop documents. I would expect that if all my multi-gig documents were open at the same time, but not after the point I close them!
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Bruce Jamieson

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I just read PECourtejoie's comment and links above and it seems to make some sense for us. My CS6 users have ratcheted down our RAM usage and we'll see how it works out.
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Chris Cox

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No, there is no significant change in memory management. The only big problems we've seen are from some third party plugins that leak memory.

The only time CS5 was that slow or unresponsive was after many screen mode changes ('F' key) due to a window resource leak. And that issue is fixed in CS6.
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Ruth Williams

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Using PS Elements 10 on a Mac Book Pro. No plug ins. No hardware apart from what's in the Mac. PS leaks memory like a sieve. I have 8GB and watch memory use using MemoryFreer (mac utility). Inactive memory climbs as PS runs. Free memory continues to decrease until it is gone as PS runs. Then a reboot is needed. Despite what Chris has to say, there is a serious glitch in PS memory management that causes all of us to frequently reboot.
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Chris Cox

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First, get rid of that utility - it does more damage than good.

Second - read the responses above: Photoshop is reusing memory. It's supposed to allocate up to the limit you set in preferences, and reuse that memory.

No, there is no known glitch. The Photoshop team is pretty aggressive about tracking down and fixing memory leaks (and filing bugs with OS vendors for their leaks that we can't fix).

Try this: get rid of that utility, then use Elements without worrying about the memory usage. If you have performance problems or errors after a while - then something else is going wrong, and we'll need details about your system to figure out what is wrong on your system.
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Joe Gagyi

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Why doesn't Photoshop CS6 clear the cache (RAM) it's using after i close the file ? it's not like any of the undo history or anything else is needed anymore.

The only way i can get Photoshop to do that is by closing it completely, then i have to re-open photoshop for the next file i wanna work on.

If i don't close it after each file the ram memory usage just keeps piling up, so that after 3 panoramas or HDRs my 8GBs are full and my PC slows right down.

This is a rather stupid problem to have, (i haven't seen any option in the preferences to fix this) i need an update to fix this asap.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
PS6 not clearing the RAM it's using after closing a file.
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yukihirog

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Photoshop CS6で、ファイルを閉じてもメモリが解放されない。その状態で同じファイルを開くと使用メモリが増える。繰り返すと、メモリを最大値まで使い切り、Photoshopがフリーズする。
Windows7で64ビット版のPhotoshop CS6を利用している。

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop CS6: memory is not released when you close a file.
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Joe Gagyi

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After reading all of the comments it seems that my settings are the problem, i have PS set to use 96% of my 8GB of RAM, but with the OS, Mozilla and all the rest 2 - 2.5GB are already used up, so after all of the free memory is used up by PS some of the older memory starts to be transferred to the HDD (scratch disk/virtual memory) and that's why stuff slows down.

A far better choice would be for PS to use 90% of my FREE memory, that way the slowing down part could be avoided, but i guess that's too complicated to program.

Anyway my only solution seems to be to set PS to use ~60% of my total memory, just enough to use my free memory but leave the existing used memory alone.

But i will still have this problem if i also happen to have something else open (which together with the OS and the rest uses more than the 40% PS is not set to use)
And on the flip side if i close mozilla for example and get 500-1000MB of free RAM Photoshop won't be able to use it.

I suspect some of you if not all of you have the same problem and the solution should be similar i'd still like a better solution though

I think a better explanation of that feature would help some of us to better understand how to use it properly. "Amount of memory assigned to PS" isn't enough.

My PS for example says "Available RAM: 7248 MB" even though i have 8GB, but of which 2.11GB is in use right now, which means i have ~5890MB free, so where does the 7248MB come from ?
And since i have it set to use 96% (6958MB in my case) of the "Available RAM" it ends up using more than is actually available.
This is where the problem lies and probably the solution.



I guess Chris Cox was right it's not a memory leak or glitch, but he also failed to see why some of us have these issues even though we don't use any third party plugins (that might leak memory), maybe now a better solution can be found, like using a dynamic memory manager, maybe in CS7 we will have something like that.
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Chris Cox

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The percentage you set for Photoshop is for free memory (as visible to Photoshop), after accounting for the OS and application binary size plus OS overhead.

But Photoshop cannot really account for instantaneous usage of all applications (that information is protected by the OS for security reasons). Also, attempting to account for instantaneous usage between applications would lead to excessive paging by all applications that attempt such a thing.

Photoshop does already reduce it's memory usage if other applications are seeing a lot of OS paging. (but carefully so as not to cause double paging or other slowdowns)

Overall it sounds like you're overanalyzing the situation. Set the Photoshop percentage back to 70-80%, then reduce it only if you see a lot of system paging while using other applications.
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Joe Gagyi

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Maybe i am, but if PS used all of the 96% i originally allocated it, it would have eaten into the 2 -2.5GB my PC uses normally, and that's where the slowing down issues came from.

I set it to 71% or 5140MB, this way the use of virtual memory is avoided for the most part.
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Bruce Girrell

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Chris Cox wrote: Not a bug - Photoshop reuses memory constantly. There is no need to quit and restart unless you've been running a third party plugin that leaks memory.

Not true!
When I open an image in ACR and perform manipulations, particularly noise reduction, then close that image, Photoshop does NOT release the memory and the next image I open cannot be processed because Photoshop is OUT OF MEMORY. I must close Photoshop and reopen the application in order to process more images.

_You have a memory leak_ ! A bad one. Sometimes I can process up to three images before running out of memory, but I assure you that Photoshop is not releasing memory when an image is closed. This has nothing to do with my settings or operating system. If I can open one image an d process it, I should be able to close it and then open a new image to process. I understand if I can't open more than one image, but there is no excuse for not releasing memory when an image is closed.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, true! Photoshop does reuse memory.

There may be some sort of leak or bug in the version of ACR you are using. Please make sure you have the latest version of ACR, and if the problem persists please let the ACR team know about this so they can fix the bug.
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Bruce Girrell

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So ACR releases are not concurrent with Photoshop versions? I am using CS6

Who should I contact or how do I contact the ACR team? The problem is highly correlated to using the Luminosity noise reduction in ACR, particularly if Preview is clicked off and on.
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Chris Cox

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ACR releases several updates a year, separate from the Photoshop releases.

First, you should be using ACR 7.3. If you don't have that version, go download and install it.

You can post ACR problems here (under a new or related topic), or in the user forums at http://forums.adobe.com/community/cam... -- both are read by the ACR team.
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Bruce Girrell

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I was unaware that ACR is released separately from Photoshop. I have 7.2.0.46. I'll give the new version a shot. If that doesn't get it, I'll go bug them over there.
Thanks
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Jason Yang

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Photoshop reuses memory?
I open a file, do some things to it, then close the file.

PS is now using 2.5Gb of RAM. Ok fine, I open another file (remember I have close the previous file), and now the memory usage is 2.8Gb, and keeps rising as I do things to the PSD.

Reuse memory? I think not.

And before you say that the new file is bigger...etc., it's actually the same file. So if I open and close the file over and over again, PS just keeps using more and more RAM. With this 94Mb PSD file, RAM usage increases by 300Mb everytime I close/reopen the file.

I do not have a single plugin installed either.

GG
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Chris Cox

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Yes, Photoshop reuses the memory, and has done so for many years, without problems.

What we do see from time to time are memory leaks in drivers or third party plugins (plus lots of small leaks in the OS that we can't work around).

Photoshop should allocate up to the limit you set in preferences, then stop. And yes, Photoshop will be reusing the memory allocated for images now closed.
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pse.pse

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Chris,
1) If it's the fault of OS and others, say browser Chrome.
Why am I not seeing Chrome use up RAM after a whole day playing FLASH at youtube? I also tested FireFox w/ lots of plug-ins and add-ons. Never seen the problem.
2) If browsers are not sophisticated as PS, I also tested using all these simultaneously for a week:
- MS SQL Server, query returned large amount of records containing BLOB data.
- MS Visual Studio w/ 3rd party controls running debug mode w/ FireFox
- MS Visio
- MS Powerpoint
and yet no such problem.
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Chris Cox

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1) That makes no sense. Please read the previous posts.

2) None of those come even close to the memory usage of Photoshop, and thus don't need the same sort of memory management. Again, please read the previous posts -- there is no problem here, and Photoshop is doing exactly what it should. The only time we've seen serious problems were when third party software had a leak.
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Michael Gilbert

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I can buy that PS is allocating memory and then hanging on to it, but, I think it has a problem with reusing the memory it has already allocated. It seems that each time you close an image and then open the next one more memory is allocated rather than PS looking at what it has already allocated and is not using. I agree that CS6 has a memory problem. I encountered this problem using the beta version and have the same problem using version 13.1.2 x32 extended on windows 7 pro. Quad core processor. Never a problem like this in CS5. I've sent data to Adobe including screen shots showing performance metrics. Also every once is a while one of the processor will go to 80% or more busy and will never come down until PS is stopped. Leads me to believe there is some sort of looping going on, maybe has to do with trying to manage memory?
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Chris Cox

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We have yet to see any problems with Photoshop reusing memory.
The busy processor could be background saving, or a driver, or font previews, or half a dozen other things that happen in the background.

Also, when Photoshop is idle, currently used VM tiles can be written to the disk - to speed up later usage.
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Robert Weber

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At risk of being rude Chris, but certainly not meaning to be... you can say all you want that we're not having memory issues with PhotoShop but we obviously are. When I open PS Task Manager says PS consistently grabs a little less than 200megs ram. As I open and close docs the memory that PS uses quickly climbs to almost 2gigs... causing my machine to screech to a grinding halt. This problem is only alleviated when I restart PS. And just for the record, I too am using no 3rd party plugins. Something is quacking here and it sure isn't a dog.
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Chris Cox

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It can only cause a problem if you have the percentage in preferences set too high, or if you have third party plugin or a driver with memory leaks.

Again, Photoshop allocates up to the limit that you set, then reuses that memory. That is not a problem in any way.
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Stuart Vinter

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Hi I am running PS CS6 on a Windows 8 with 8Gb RAM and I am experiencing exactly this problem. I am not using third party plugins and have exactly this build up of RAM usage. When monitoring in Task Manager you can see the build up of usage, which can only be removed by restarting the program.
It is a frustrating thing to have to deal with, and it seems that it is not being recognised or accepted by the Adobe folks who should really take it more seriously than they appear to be.
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Chris Cox

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Please read the previous posts in this topic. Unless one of your third party plugins is leaking - what you are describing is perfectly normal behavior.
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Stuart Vinter

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Hello Chris, Thanks for your response, however I have already explained that I am not using any third party plugins. If this is perfectly normal as the RAM usage builds PS becomes almost unworkably slow. Even with files closed RAM usage levels can be at 2-3 gb levels. I am not convinced that you have grasped what is going on. The other posters who have described this, are clearly not convinced, as I am, that this is not normal behaviour. Continually having to close an application to make it usable, should not be considered normal or best practice!! Lets address this issue with the seriousness it deserves.
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Josh Gordon

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I agree with Stuart. With a clean install of Windows and clean install of Photoshop (no plugins), this behavior occurs quite frequently and doesn't seem right. Photoshop starts with a modest amount of RAM usage and then as you use it, that RAM usage grows and grows and grows (and yes we know you can set limits so PS uses only, say, 50% of RAM) but it gets horribly slow and unusable. The only way to solve this is to restart the application.

I guess what we're all wondering is why Photoshop can't somehow purge its RAM usage to get us back to a state where everything is snappy and responsive again.
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Chris Cox

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We haven't seen any such slowdown. What may be happening is that other apps on your system need more RAM, and the Photoshop usage is set so high that it doesn't leave them much, and the OS starts swapping. You can test that by reducing the amount of RAM you give to Photoshop in preferences.

There should be NO need to restart Photoshop like that -- it doesn't normally slowdown like that. The only time we've seen such slowdowns are when third party code (plugins or drivers) have memory leaks or other software bugs that cause slowdowns.

And please make sure your Photoshop version is up to date.
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Stuart Vinter

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Thanks for your comment. Again no third party plug code to take the blame. By using Task Manager it is very easy to monitor what is happening with memory usage and other apps, and adjusting RAM allocation within Photoshop does not appear to make any difference to this issue. Using Purge doesn't sort matters, I have tried many approaches to try and circumvent this, and PS continues on its greedy course. Any further positive helpful feedback greatly appreciated.
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Chris Cox

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That sounds more like you've got a leak in a driver (video card is most likely).
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Bruce Girrell

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Chris -
What you don't seem to be understanding about this problem is that Photoshop does not release memory _even to itself_. It just keeps allocating more and more.

Regardless of the many tricks that PS must play in order to achieve its performance, when an image is closed, the memory used by that image should be returned to its internal heap so that when a new image is then opened the memory can be reused. That is NOT what we are observing. What we see is that closing an image has no effect. Upon opening a new image (after closing an equally large one), PS just allocates new memory.

How is that normal?
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Chris Cox

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Please read the previous posts in this topic.
Photoshop does release memory to itself, and reuses the memory constantly. It only allocates more when it needs more, and only up to the limit you set in preferences.
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Jonatan Littke

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Chris, can we get some of your colleagues in here to look at this? Preferably those that work with customer support or product management rather than engineers. Thanks.
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Stuart Vinter

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"Try opening and closing the same image several times and check the memory usage after each open -- if the memory was not reused, the application memory usage would go up a fixed amount each time. But it will stay the same (in my quick test it went down after the third time and stayed the same for the next 20 cycles, though it could go up a tiny amount due to OS allocations for drawing and event handling). That shows that the memory allocated the first time the image was opened is being reused on each subsequent open."
Having found this advice on another thread referring to this same subject, I thought I would give it a try. As I opened and closed the same image, nothing more, the RAM usage increased by around 30mb per action, it did not recover. In the simple process of opening and closing an image 5 times, the usage increase by over 160mb.
As this piece of advice came from Chris Cox, could he possibly explain hows this 'is not a problem in any way'. Dismissing an issue doesn't deal with it. Its time to treat 'Photoshop family' members issues with greater seriousness and civility.
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Chris Cox

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Again, that probably indicates a leak with a driver or third party plugin. We do test Photoshop's memory behavior every release - and have not seen any such problem. But we don't have your system, so we don't know what third party bits you have that might contain bugs. And we have seen video drivers and third party plugins with memory leaks.

Again, please read the previous posts that already address these issues.
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Stuart Vinter

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I am just trying to get to the bottom of an issue which affects work flow and efficiency. As I am not using third party plugins in PS, that must rule that out!! I have also been monitoring drivers, especially video, during hours of using PS today using Resource monitor but there is nothing indicative of a leak, but unfortunately the RAM usage growth in PS still continues in the manner I outlined earlier. I have read all the previous posts, been very careful with RAM allocation, updates etc etc. and read around other posts covering this subject. I am sure and would hope that your testing is extensive but it doesn't rule the possibility that this seems to be an issue effecting people, who like me would be pleased to find a good solution to it. Thanks.
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Josh Gordon

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Agreed with Stuart. There are several people on here with this issue. It seems rather easy to just blame video drivers, third party plugins, etc. but not try to do more with considering this as a Photoshop issue.

Maybe we could be offered a special debug version of Photoshop that will allow Adobe to gather more information. I don't think anyone appreciates the assumption that the issues we've seen are something wrong with our computers and not something with Photoshop.

Chris Cox, so you haven't seen these slowdown issues in your testing environment internally? That's fine but it doesn't mean this doesn't exist. This thread is getting frustrating when you keep telling us to look back at previous posts and blame these issues on drivers and third party plugins.
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Chris Cox

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Most of the discussion here is just people misunderstanding the normal operation of Photoshop. Yes, our code and our testing does rule out the possibility of this being a bug in Photoshop itself. Every time someone claims to have a memory leak, it turns out to be one of a few things: a third party plugin, a driver, a misunderstanding, and every once in a great while a bug in the OS itself (which usually gets fixed relatively quickly).

Stop trying to blame Photoshop, and look elsewhere for the cause of the slowdowns that you see on your system, but that millions of other users are not seeing.
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Josh Gordon

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Chris, in all of your years (yes YEARS now) on these forums of people posting the exact same issue of slowdowns, have you ever had someone come back and say, "I just updated my GPU driver and all the Photoshop slowdowns disappeared!"? Looking back at some of these posts that go back to 2010 or 2011, I didn't see any mention of this or other solutions. Just people acknowledging the same slowdown issue on Windows and you telling people that it's not Photoshop's fault. And plenty of these people have zero third party plugins, the latest Photoshop (at the time), and up-to-date anti virus and GPU drivers. But still, the issue persists. And still Photoshop is infallible.

You must have internal debugging tools -- so why not provide some kind of debug build to us that can collect memory usage data and other related information and send it back to you for analysis -- maybe that would help to expose the problem? That could help you and others at Adobe see what's going on with our systems. If this slowdown issue is really and truly not Photoshop that's causing the problem, you can show us. And I think that will make a lot of people feel a lot better about this issue.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, we have - far more times than we've had people trying to blame memory management. And when they removed font managers, or corrupt fonts, or corrupt OS font caches, or reinstalled their OS (sometimes fixing the OS, and sometimes removing malware). But most of the time people solve their problem, and simply don't come back to tell us how they solved it.

Also, this is only one of the forums that we monitor.

We have gone to customer sites to investigate these reports, and found bad drivers, bad third party plugins, bad utility software, malware, a bad batch of CPUs (that was fun), etc. The one thing we haven't found is an actual problem with Photoshop's memory management. In internal testing, we've found several OS leaks that we've worked around, and notified the OS vendor so they could fix them. And we've found third party leaks during internal testing and reported those to the folks responsible for the plugins, AV software, font utilities, etc. that had the problem.

Again, you're blaming the wrong party, and need to look at the rest of the software on your system to find what is causing Photoshop to slow down like that. And if you're trying to find a slowdown, doing it on a thread about freeing memory that doesn't need to be freed... is counterproductive.
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Stuart Vinter

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Thanks again for your responses Chris. Speaking personally I am not trying to blame anyone or Photoshop for the memory difficulty that I and others appear to have, I am just trying to understand and resolve it. It may also be that if others sort out their problems they may just slip off the radar, rather than returning with the magic bullet to share. It clearly can be quite a complex issue to resolve, beyond the obvious. Would it be possible for you or your colleagues to suggest a 'route map' to work through to try and resolve the issue for us non-techy types who are clearly struggling with this. Thanks.
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Adam Jerugim, Employee

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What would be helpful for me is for someone to create an action that slows down in Photoshop when run over and over without quitting the application for a long period of time. If your workflow is triggering the slowdown, please try to create an action that mimics that specific workflow (if it involves using brushes or brush-based tools, make sure to ensure Tool Recording in the Actions fly-out menu before recording).

While I check often for them pretty often, it is possible there's a Windows resource leak that we have yet to identify and fix.

Thanks,
Adam
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Stuart Vinter

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Hi Adam, this may not be particularly helpful but there is no specific area of activity for me that creates this accumulation of memory usage, it is just generally the processing of images that brings about the increase and build up of memory use. PS does reuse some of the memory, but it does continue to allocate more and more.During the last hour I have been working on half of dozen images from opening in Raw, making adjustments, sharpening, comparing those images etc. From starting with around 300mb usage it has gradually built to 3200mb being used. When I closed these images usage dropped back to 2540mb but as I continue now to work on more images, the usage will build and build until the percentage of RAM used is so high things will inevitably start to slow. It is only by restarting PS that I can get back to a workable level of memory.
I hope this may help to create an idea of what is happening. Thanks.
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Chris Cox

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Again, that sounds like normal behavior, but you may have the Photoshop memory limit set too high. If other applications are also using a large amount of RAM, you may need to lower the percentage allowed to Photoshop.
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Stuart Vinter

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Thanks for your reply. My percentage is set and has been at 70%. I am careful about running other applications at the same time, that may cause problems. Perhaps I can let PS run itself as far as it will go and feed you back some figures, if that will be of any help. I am still trying to understand clearly what I should expect to be normal behaviour. Thanks again.
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Brent Rambo

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Significant memory leak in Photoshop CC and Photoshop CC 2014 for Windows.

In Photoshop CC, and CC 2014 for Windows, there is a large memory leak. If you open multiple files of significant size, for example 1-2GB Bitmap files, and notice the memory usage. It climbs and climbs, however when you close the files, the memory is never freed. Working on several large size files constantly, you have to work on 1-2 at a time, then close Photoshop completely, and re-open it to free the memory then work on the next 1-2 files because Photoshop isn't releasing the memory after the files are closed. This is trivial to reproduce.
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Chris Cox

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The memory is not leaking, it is just being reused.
Again, there is no need to quit and relaunch the app -- the memory just gets reused.
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Bruce Girrell

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No. The memory is not properly reused. You soon get an out of memory error and have to close the program. It takes longer to happen on Win 7 64-bit, but it still happens.
The module that appears to do this the worst for me is Adobe Camera Raw, notably when applying noise (luminance) filtering
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Chris Cox

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Yes, it is being reused in Photoshop. Photoshop rarely gives out of memory errors. You might have a driver or third party plugin with a leak, or ACR might have a bug. But Photoshop itself is pretty heavily tested, and working correctly as far as everyone can tell.
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Brent Rambo

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I agree, it definitely doesn't use it properly. Not only does the machine come to a complete crawl (because it's overflowing into swap/virtual memory), but like Bruce said, it tosses an out of memory error and eventually forces you to close the program. If I close and reload the app, the performance returns to normal and life is good again. If I don't, it's almost unusable. once the memory is exhausted.
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Chris Cox

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OK, that sounds like you've allocated too much RAM to Photoshop, or you have some other code with a leak. Again, Photoshop rarely gives out of memory errors - because it only allocates up to the limit you set in preferences then reuses the memory.

Are you using a third party plugin? If you don't use it, do you have fewer problems?

Have you updated your drivers (printer, tablet, video) from the maker's websites (not Microsoft)?
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Brent Rambo

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This machine has only 2 applications on it. Photoshop and Illustrator. It's a fresh Win7 install, with the latest of updates. Running an NVidia video card, also with the latest drivers. There's literally nothing on this machine except the 2 Adobe apps. No plugins installed, 80% of my memory allocated to Photoshop, 24GB of RAM, with an SSD system drive. This machine has one function, process 1-1.8GB Bitmaps and batch print them, that's all it does. It doesn't get any cleaner/basic. Should I lower the amount of memory allocated to Photoshop?
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Chris Cox

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80% should be fine on that system, and shouldn't cause swapping.

Is 1.8 Gig the size in memory, or the size on disk (compressed)?
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Brent Rambo

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The files are 1.5gb to 1.8gb on disk, straight Bitmaps, nothing special. Usually somewhere between 30,000 x 22,000 pixel prints.
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Chris Cox

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Well, that's about 1.8 Gig per RGB layer at 8 bits/channel. Layers and history states could cause it to use a lot more RAM and scratch disk space. But it still doesn't sound like anything that would cause a problem for Photoshop. Camera Raw would have problems with an image that size, though.
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Brent Rambo

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It shouldn't cause a problem for Photoshop, I agree... but it does :) I can open a few files and close them, open a few more and Photoshop goes into the tank performance wise. Memory shows maxed in Task Manager for the Photoshop process (at it's set limit) and then I'll start getting Windows out of memory errors, and Photoshop will throw a low memory error too. So, I just shut Photoshop down, re-open it and all is fine again. So something in the re-use memory code isn't quite right, or memory management in general isn't quite right. I can re-produce this all day long without a problem.
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Chris Cox

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Unless you've got a problem with a third party plugin or driver, that should not be happening. And it isn't happening for other users with large documents, or in our testing (where we aggressively try to break it).

Are you sure it says out of memory and not out of disk, scratch, or swapfile space?
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Bruce Girrell

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Yes. It is an out of memory error.

Chris, I am willing to accept that the problem may be with my graphics card or another piece of software and that Photoshop is getting blamed only because the problem presents itself when the program is run. But how are we to diagnose such a situation? How can we determine what needs to be changed in our systems so that we don't keep making posts to this thread and saying bad things about Photoshop? I wouldn't even know what to tell a computer repair guy: "Try changing some stuff until Photoshop doesn't throw a memory error after opening and closing a bunch of images"? I'm just being facetious, but seriously, what would I need to tell someone to properly diagnose the problem that we are seeing?
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Chris Cox

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Without a memory logging utility and a lot of analysis (or luck), there isn't a good way to track down memory problems like that. Photoshop internally does a lot of tracking of memory usage to avoid such problems - which is why it very rarely says "out of memory" - but that isn't exposed to the user. Checking the system info log can tell you if there is a large difference between what Photoshop is using, and what the system says it is using (the numbers will never match for many reasons, but if the difference is 2 Gig - then you can be sure there is a problem).

The best you can do is probably eliminate factors (plugins, utilities, etc.) and update everything possible then see if the problem goes away.
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Bruce Girrell

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I believe I have seen it only once since moving to 64-bit, so I'm a bit rusty on the exact message. There are two places where it tended to come up: 1) during the transition from ACR to Photoshop and 2) when applying Refine Edge using Edge Detection to a selection. In case 2, I'm pretty sure it says something like "Insufficient memory to perform requested operation". I forget what it said in the first case.
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Chris Cox

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You are more likely to see memory problems in 32 bit addressing, use 64 bit addressing if you can.