Friday, March 31st, 2006

Screencast on Diagnosing Memory Leaks in IE

Category: IE, JavaScript, Screencast, Toolkit

Patrick Fitzgerald posted a nice screencast explaining how he diagnosed and fixed an IE memory leak in his tabifier library. He walks through using the free tool Process Explorer to watch IE’s memory grow with each page refresh. He writes:

This screencast discusses how I diagnosed and fixed a memory leak in a JavaScript library. It’s a very simplified example, and the same techniques probably can’t be used for more complex web applications, but it might shed some light on how these memory leaks occur.

The Microsoft Developer Network has an indepth article on what causes these leaks, and you may also want to see articles by Douglas Crockford, James McParlane,, and Matthias Miller (who now hosts the leak detector Drip).

memory leak screencast

Posted by Rob Sanheim at 11:01 am

3.8 rating from 36 votes


Comments feed TrackBack URI

What I do usually is just watch the iexplore.exe process in Task Manager, as you can see IE using increasing amounts of memory there after reloading as well. (A “fresh” window might start at 16 MB and can fluctuate slightly, but will increase if leaks are present.) Event handlers creating circular references are typically the most common cause, but not the only source, of leaks.

Comment by Scott Schiller — March 31, 2006

@Scott: I don’t trust windows task manager because it shows viritual memory used – for example, try collapsing your IE window and watch the amount of memory drop. Process explorer is free and has a lot more features, plus it shows the amount of private memory used.

Comment by Patrick Fitzgerald — March 31, 2006

Patrick: This is true, you get a much more accurate measurement with PE. I’ve noticed the effect of minimizing the active IE window also in regards to memory. Either way, you can tell that memory usage is going consistently up with refreshes under either method when leaks are present.

Comment by Scott Schiller — March 31, 2006

[…] Screencast on Diagnosing Memory Leaks in IE […]

Pingback by Scriptorama » Javascript memory-leaks in MSIE — April 1, 2006

Interesting Finds

Trackback by Jason Haley — April 1, 2006

Memory Loss

Some useful stuff if you find yourself losing memory in IE.

On about diagnosing…

Trackback by Dave Massy's WebLog — April 4, 2006

[…] On about diagnosing leaks on IE. […]

Pingback by Useful sites to diagnose memory leaks in IE7 » MSBLOG — April 4, 2006

IE has memory leak since 2003.
If you use IE to visit webiste :,, for several times, it will eat more than 30M to 80M Virtual memory.

Comment by Knowlesys — April 12, 2007

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.