Software & Apps Windows How to Fix A Windows Memory Leak Learn how to find a memory leak and fix it in Windows 7, 8, and 10 by Jason Bennett Writer Jay Bennett is a former Lifewire writer and digital marketing consultant with 8 years' experience. His writing has appeared on the VisiHow website. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Jason Bennett Updated on October 08, 2020 Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email In Windows, a memory leak takes place when an application or system process doesn't correctly release a block of RAM to the operating system's memory manager once it's no longer needed. In some cases, a program may return only a portion of the used memory block, in others, nothing is released. Because physical RAM is a finite resource, it's critical to ensure you have enough available to handle your workload. Although there are a few types of memory leaks in Windows, the most common by far is the problem with standby memory. Going back as far as Windows 7, the standby memory issue is still prevalent in Windows 10. Once your standby memory completely eats up your free memory, your system may begin to lag, and might even crash. Because a memory leak is typically the result of a software bug or glitch, it's important to keep all your drivers up to date. Getty Images Find a Memory Leak With Windows' Resource Monitor Resource Monitor is a great built-in tool that will give you a much clearer picture of how Windows is managing your computer's resources (RAM, CPU, hard drives, etc.). If you suspect an application or process isn't releasing your standby memory, Resource Monitor is a great place to start observing. The steps below show how to view your system's memory usage in Windows 10, 8, and 7. Press Windows key+R, enter "resmon," then select OK. Select the Memory tab, then select Commit to reorder the list. Monitor the Standby (blue bar) with the applications with the applications you usually use running. You may have to leave the Resource Monitor running for a while to spot any leaks. Take a screenshot, or make a note when you first open the tool for easy comparison. Diagnose a Memory Leak With Windows' RaMMap RaMMap is a free tool from Microsoft that will show real-time data on how Windows manages and allocates your RAM. Similar to the Resource Monitor, RaMMap will display standby memory usage, and it runs on Windows 10, 8, and 7. The steps below illustrate how to download and run RaMMap. Go to RaMMap's Sysinternals page, then select Download RaMMap. Go to your Downloads folder, copy the RaMMap archive to the folder of your choice, then extract it. Right-click the RaMMap application file, then select Run as administrator. Select Yes. Review the SYSINTERNALS SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS, then select Agree. Select the Use Counts tab, then monitor your standby memory, to see if it increases. If your system is losing free memory more gradually, you may need to leave RaMMap running for a while. Make a note of your standby memory before and after, to see if you have a RAM leak. You can also take a closer look at each process that is using your physical memory on the Processes tab. Check RAM With Windows' Memory Diagnostics Tool Running Windows' Memory Diagnostics is an excellent way to check your computer's physical memory thoroughly for any errors. Press Windows key+R, enter "mdsched.exe," then select OK.Select Restart now and check for problems (recommended).The test will begin and may take several hours to complete. Follow any on-screen instructions once the test is complete. Empty Standby Memory in Windows With RaMMap In addition to monitoring your memory usage, RaMMap can also be used to manually empty your standby list. Right-click the RaMMap application file, then select Run as administrator.Select Empty, then Empty Standby List.Your standby memory should now be significantly lower. Clear Standby Memory With Intelligent Standby List Cleaner Intelligent Standby List Cleaner (ISLC) is a free tool offered by Wagnardsoft that will automatically empty your computer's standby memory, based on a few editable conditions. Open a web browser, go to the app's official forum page, select Official Download Here, then select Save File. Do to your Downloads folder, right-click the ISLC 7z archive, then select Run as administrator. Select Yes when the User Account Control window appears. Browse to a folder, select OK, then Extract. Once extracted, right-click Intelligent Standby List Cleaner ISLC, then select Run as administrator. Select Yes, when the UAC dialog appears. Select Purge Standby list to manually empty your system's standby memory. Change the values for; List size is at least and Free memory is lower than, to suit your requirements. Select Start minimized to run ISLC in the background every time your system boots up. Fix Windows 10 Memory Leak With FreeStandbyMemory.bat The freestandbymemory.bat script is another useful tool to help mitigate the Windows' 10 standby memory issues. It runs every 3 minutes automatically in the background and will clear standby memory if your computer's physical memory drops below 1500 MB. The script is free to download and is designed for Windows 10. Go to the script's Pastebin page, select download, then Save File. Go to your Downloads folder, right-click freestandbymemory (batch file), then select Run as administrator. Select More info. Select Run anyway. Select Yes. Once the script is added, select any key to continue.FreeStandbyMemory will now run in the background on your system. To delete the script, navigate to This PC > Windows (C:) > Windows, right-click FreeStandbyMemory, then select Delete. Fix a Memory Leak by Updating Your Drivers Although there are several tools for checking for outdated drivers, it's best to go through them one at a time, individually, to ensure everything is up-to-date. Enter device manager into Windows' search, then select Open once the results populate.Expand a hardware section.Right-click on a device, then select Update driver.