The Task Manager and the Resource Monitor say that the memory is 95% used, but the sum of the memory used by the listed processes don't sum up to 20%. Where this 75% of usage is coming from? How to free it?

Edit: It was probably a memory leak, solved with a reboot. Is this the only solution to a memory leak?

  • In Task Manager, are you viewing processes from all users? – Wesley Jan 13 '10 at 18:45
  • Yes, I'm sure..... – Jader Dias Jan 13 '10 at 18:46
  • You can update the offending application/driver to a newer version to (hopefully) solve the memory leak. – Bigbio2002 Feb 17 '12 at 15:52

This may be a memory leak from an application. What happens after a reboot? A slow return to 95%?

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  • The reboot corrected the problem, is this the only solution? – Jader Dias Jan 13 '10 at 18:53
  • It depends on the app. As you have noted, you cannot easily see what has used the memory. There are ways to monotor and a quick Google search should find some. Perhaps start here help.lockergnome.com/windows2/… – Dave M Jan 13 '10 at 19:04

Is this disk cache? The operating system knows how to handle memory, and it usually does it good.

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  • I am only talking about RAM in this thread, not about virtual memory. What do you mean by disk cache? That the OS is using 75% of the RAM to cache disk? – Jader Dias Jan 13 '10 at 18:49
  • The OS will do a fair bit of caching in RAM. Unless you are having problems with slowdowns or out of memory errors, just let the OS do its job. – phoebus Jan 13 '10 at 21:18
  • Disk cache is not visible as "used" in "Resource Monitor" it has its own counter, Regular Task Manager shows it as free. What you're describing is Linux behaviour. – Hubert Kario Nov 27 '12 at 11:30

Install process explorer (from the MS site) and look at the file cache working set.

If nothing else is using memory, Windows will use it for caching. Because it's unused.

If you're worrying about performance, look at the page hits as a much better indicator of memory overcommit.

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Windows 2008 has different memory handling than other Windows systems, if an application sets FILE_FLAG_RANDOM_ACCESS then whole file will be kept in RAM, sometimes at expense of other applications.

You can verify that using RamMap, from Sysinternals. Look for "Mapped File" in "Active" state. You should be able to free it using "Empty→Empty System Working Set" option in menu.

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