Lightroom 5 memory leak on Windows?

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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So, just wondering. The memory leak that Lightroom has been suffering from since day 1 (for me). Is it finally going to be sorted in 5.7? I think I speak for all users who are experiencing this: it's been long enough until a fix.

Lightroom 5.6 x64, on Windows 7 x64. After "some" amount of normal work - could be anything at all - one notices Lightroom in the task manager has eaten up almost ALL memory. Well over 6GB. Lightroom doesn't need THAT much memory, surely. On top of that, and probably because of it, Lightroom is slowing down like it's 1999 again, becoming more and more unbearable over time, eating the CPU alive, and my battery along with it.

Yeah, that's a fun ride, when my laptop already doesn't have great battery life. Oh, and if I don't keep an eye on the task manager, other programs will start to crash. Yay.

So come on guys and gals @Adobe, would you PLEASE fix this memory leak once and for all? Don't you dare releasing LR 5.7 without having fixed this. Crashes and memory leaks should get the utmost priority, instead of jamming more features into it.

Okay Adobe? Fix the problem and we're friends again ;)
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martijn Saly

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Posted 4 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I don't see this sort of issue on my Win 8.1u1 during my "normal" processing. Of course we could be doing entirely different things.

I would imagine LR caches quite a bit in memory to speed up processing of recently touched photographs.

I tried exporting 1600 photos, twice, and after the memory grew to 1.9GB on a 16GB computer after the first several dozen of the first batch, no more memory was used for the remaining 1000s.

Do you have any plug-ins installed for LR beyond the ones it ships with that might not be playing nice with memory?

If LR is continuing to use CPU when you're not doing anything then something in the background must be running, perhaps a public service or preview checker or metadata checker that runs for a while then stops. Are you actually looking at the LR CPU or total CPU on the computer?
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martijn Saly

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I know what I'm talking about when I claim memory leak. Don't worry about my competence with computers ;)

Just browsing through photos in grid view, tagging them, rating them, flagging them, going in and out of loupe view. Just that by itself can cause memory usage to explode. Other things, too.

And when I claim high CPU usage, I mean not just a background process that's gathering thumbnails or something. I mean that any one action, like flagging a photo, becomes slower and slower, while doing nothing consumes 0%. This proves to me that something is grinding down LR while it's doing nothing in the background.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I am having a hard time getting LR 5.6 to use more then 2GB on my 16GB system. I am arrowing through a few hundred photos, randomly adding and removing a rating, in Loup view in Library between several folders of over 1000 each, and going to Develop and printing and while LR will use more and more memory for a time, then it drops back down to maybe 1.5GB. This suggests that there is a cache of previews being saved in memory until that gets too big then memory is released.

I am just saying that LR doesn't necessarily have a memory leak on every Windows system so there is something specific to your system or perhaps your photos that causes issues, but there may not be anything obvious for Adobe to fix "once and for all". I wonder if Windows 8.1 memory management is different and LR is optimized for that, now, and somehow it doesn't work well on Windows 7, anymore.

The only time I see my CPU go up very high without my doing anything is when I go to a new folder or scroll a new page of thumbnails and LR is checking and perhaps computing previews again until the three-dots disappear from all the visible thumbnails then the CPU drops down to zero, again.

The computer slowing down over time usually has to do with RAM being exhausted and most of the memory going to virtual memory in the pagefile so anything that happens has to swap things to and from disk. That will bring a system to it's knees, yes.

When you say LR has 6GB and high CPU usage, is that just the LR process or the entire system? You might add some more memory-related colors, including PF Delta, to your task manager information and see if LR is indeed causing a lot of paging to occur, or if some other process might be helping cause things to be slow.

Presumably if you shut down LR and restart it, things are ok, again, for a while, right?
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martijn Saly

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The 6GB I mentioned ir LR only.

When I say things are slowing down, it's got very little to do with the pagefile. It's way too tiny to make things noticably slow. It's so tiny that it essentially forces almost everything, except the kernel, to use physical memory. On top of that, I have a fast SSD that keeps it fast even IF swapping was the cause, which it isn't.

Of course, LR would work brilliantly on Windows 7. Why wouldn't it. Windows 8 isn't really so different from Windows 8 or 8.1. Windows 10 is going to be the real new one in a few months from now.

When I restart Lightroom, yes, things are okay again until I notice the cpu fan sucking in lots of air for no good reason - again, LR will be the cause.

Again, I know my way around stuff like this. I know very well how to see what a process is doing. I understand you cannot know my competence with computers, but please try not to underestimate me.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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A challenge, then: find 10 images and import them into their own catalog and document a sequence of operations that use more memory than you expect, and that is 100% repeatable, then zip up that LR database, the images, and documentation of the steps you took along with how much memory you saw disappear along the way, and upload that entire zip to www.dropbox.com and post a link, here, and I'll try it, on both my Win7sp1 and Win8.1u1 and see if I can see the same thing happen. Adobe would probably also need such details to find out what the problem might be.