Windows 10: Computer holding onto Standby memory, not releasing it to free memory when needed

Discus and support Computer holding onto Standby memory, not releasing it to free memory when needed in Windows 10 Ask Insider to solve the problem; So I’m having a memory problem which is causing programs to freeze and/or crash. What happens is, when I’m gaming usually, the computer builds up... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Ask Insider' started by /u/Recnid, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. /u/Recnid Win User

    Computer holding onto Standby memory, not releasing it to free memory when needed


    So I’m having a memory problem which is causing programs to freeze and/or crash.

    What happens is, when I’m gaming usually, the computer builds up standby memory (super fast). It occupies half of my RAM (so, around 8/16 gigs) but doesn’t free it up even though it is needed. And since there isn’t enough memory available, the game lags, then freezes then crashes. Sometimes the whole PC loses its shit and freezes (which I’m not sure is entirely related to this since I can’t check the memory before forcing a restart)

    My question is, is this a Windows/software related problem or is my RAM hardware messing up? I haven’t updated Windows in around a year, could this be the reason? Is it normal that my computer always keeps 8 GB of standby memory around?

    What I usually do is open up RAMMap and “Empty Standby Lists”. Even then, the same thing happens after an hour. Then I probably restart, which is inconvenient most of the time as you might guess. Although emptying standby lists solves it (temporarily), I don’t want to constantly check if my memory is full. And when it is full, something crashes anyway so it is kinda too late.

    TIA!

    submitted by /u/Recnid
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    :)
     
    /u/Recnid, Nov 4, 2019
    #1
  2. srrese Win User

    standby memory not releasing

    Windows 10 ver 1903 standby memory not releasing, have to use Rammap all the time. All drivers are up to date, no malware or virus, any thoughts?
     
    srrese, Nov 4, 2019
    #2
  3. Windows 10 not releasing standby memory when required.

    A restart does indeed free the standby memory. It quickly climbs to about 2.5GB (most being mapped files) when I open my standard programs.

    So I did 3 tests..

    1. While running Overwatch, loaded as many programs/webrowser tabs as I could to get Zero + Free close to 0 MBytes. The standby memory stayed very close to the same size (checked this by refreshing RAMMap a number of times during the testing period). Opened
    one more small memory footprint program to see if the standby memory would free but instead had errors with programs not being able to allocate memory. Taskmgr showed that is was only using 9.7GB at the time.

    Restarted.

    2. Ran Overwatch for a bit, closed it down. According to Taskmgr->Details Overwatch was no longer running. RAMMap showed the large overwatch files in standby memory which at the time I would expect it to as I still had over 6GB Free (according to RAMMap). Again
    opened programs to get to close to 0 Free/Zero MBytes, refreshed RAMMap but standby memory stayed. Opened the last program and same error.

    Restarted

    3. Same as other tests but DIDN'T run Overwatch. Standby memory (2.5GB) Same problem again.

    I didn't get to see in the first test but did in the last two was that when windows gives the low/no memory error it then starts to release the standby memory, but it's too slow and memory allocation fails. So it's not that the standby memory won't release,
    just that it's too slow to be useful. This seems like Windows isn't managing the memory properly.
     
    WallyWalrick, Nov 4, 2019
    #3
  4. Computer holding onto Standby memory, not releasing it to free memory when needed

    Windows 10 not releasing standby memory when required.

    Your system is holding on to Standby memory and not releasing it to
    Free memory. You can force release by restarting your computer but often this is not very convenient. Another way to force the release of Standby memory is available using RAM Map (freeware from Microsoft):

    RAMMap - Windows Sysinternals



    Download and install, and create a shortcut on your Desktop to RAMMap and / or pin to your Taskbar. When you sense the system is becoming unresponsive use Ctrl+Shift+Esc to access Task Manager. Click the Performance tab and the
    Resource Monitor button. Click the Memory tab and check whether Free is near to Zero or is Zero. If it is, open RAMMap, click Empty on the Menu bar and Empty Standby list. This action instantly restores Free memory.




    Computer holding onto Standby memory, not releasing it to free memory when needed 7d670230-d67d-408e-ae18-18396007e14c.jpg




    The procedure using RAMMap is an effective workaround but the true solution lies in discovering the source of the problem. Knowing the source you may be able to resolve the problem by contacting the provider of the software and / or updating
    the software.



    The solution lies in identifying the software that is accessing numerous files, either to check for malware or to index to facilitate Windows Search. If you discover which files are being unnecessarily accessed you can exclude them from routine
    scans. The first image below illustrates the problem. The second image identifies the folders/ files. In the example Microsoft Security Essentials has been scanning my G drive, which I have since excluded from future scans.



    Investigating what makes up the Standby figure may not be easy. How I found out what was the cause on this computer was achieved by following the procedure detailed below.



    Open RAMMap when your Standby figure is too high and click the File Summary tab. Click the
    Standby column header to sort the figures as in the image below to determine the
    really large files held in Standby, see the image below. If you click the
    Path header you can sort and see what partitions are being accessed. It is important to remember that these files have been accessed since the computer was booted. You then ask yourself what programme might have accessed the file and did it
    really need to? Programmes having scheduled scans are good potential candidates.
     
    Gerry C J Cornell, Nov 4, 2019
    #4
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Computer holding onto Standby memory, not releasing it to free memory when needed

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