Allocated memory space from programs that are no longer open can cause problems. Over time, this unused memory space can build up, causing Windows to slow down and use the hard drive more. These memory leaks are causing the system to slow down if the computer runs well when first turned on, but performs noticeably slower after several programs are opened and closed.
Memory leaks can happen when software is closed before it has fully opened. Always allow programs time to fully open before closing them. As a rule, wait five seconds after a software program opens before closing it again, even if the program was opened unintentionally.
On rare occasions, an incompatible software program might continue to allocate memory while it is running, causing the system to slow down and eventually lock up.
To immediately fix memory leaks, restart the computer. For a permanent fix, isolate software programs that might be causing the leaks by using the following steps:
Start with a fresh session of Windows by shutting down and then turning on the computer.
, and then select Start Task Manager
to open the Task Manager window.
Click the Performance
tab to view the amount of available physical memory.
Figure 18: Performance tab in Task Manager
Click the Resource Monitor
button to view how your computer is using the memory.
If you are prompted for an Administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Click the arrow to expand the Memory section, and then scroll down to view which programs are using memory.
Figure 19: Resource Monitor
Open a program suspected of causing the computer to run more slowly.
Check the percentage of Used Physical Memory and write it down.
Close and reopen the suspected program repeatedly, noting the Used Physical Memory and comparing the new percentage to the one recorded. Each time, wait about 10 seconds before opening the program again.
If the Used Physical Memory percentage continues to increase, a memory leak is occurring. Contact the program's vendor for available patches or fixes.
If the Used Physical Memory returns to the same number or similar each time, the suspected program is probably not creating a memory leak.