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I'm using Windows 2008 Server 64 bit, I've uploaded the snap shot of my task manager when minimum processes running.

It shows

  • Total memory 8190 MB
  • Cached memory 4315 MB
  • Free 3402 MB

So effectively I get only 3402 MB of total RAM usage.

My question here is, as more than half is used for cached memory is there any means by which I can decrease this cached memory and in turn increase my free memory?

I need to do this because my application requires at least 5GB RAM and it crashed when run in this system.

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Windows 2007 Server? Really? – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jun 30 '11 at 4:25
Sorry, typos.. edited it... – Greenhorn Jun 30 '11 at 8:49


I can't speak for Windows directly since you tagged it with the generic operating-system here's the general answer you'd receive from the Linux world:

Cache is a good thing. The more RAM you use (with caches) the better. The OS is usually smart enough to free cache and give it to applications (personally I've never seen a case where that wasn't the case).

That is whenever applications need it, I'm pretty sure that Windows isn't a dumbass, so I'd expect similiar behaviour. In fact I'd bugged about the 3400MB of free RAM:

WTF... I oversized the server so that it doesn't even use the complete RAM as cache?

This would be the first thing that comes to my mind when seeing numbers like these.

Yes, go downvote me for answering with the Linux Point of View :)
Apart from that Windows 2007 Server does not exist do you mean Windows Server 2008?

share|improve this answer
When my application crashed Cached memory was around 4 GB and free memory was ZERO – Greenhorn Jun 30 '11 at 13:46
Then there is probably a bug in your application. Windows would have happily reassigned some of the memory used for the cache to your application. In fact, you could keep asking for more memory, and it would keep granting it, even if you wanted more than the system has in physical RAM! I suggest you read the Wikipedia article on "Virtual Memory". – Anthony Giorgio Sep 19 '11 at 18:38

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