Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for my weekly newsletter, "Confident Computing", for more solutions you can use to make your life easier. Click here.

Why Is AVG Telling Me IE Has High Memory Usage?

//
I have the free version of AVG anti-virus 2013. And I keep getting this error: “AVG has detected high memory usage by Internet Explorer 8”. When that comes up, my computer slows way down. I do not have any add-ons and I’ve taken just about everything I don’t need off of my computer, but I am still getting this error. I have Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 3.

High-memory usage can be related to a couple of things. I’ll discuss four things that might be causing this, but first, I want to talk about an assumption that I think you’re making here.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

Hard drive versus RAM

You indicated that you took just about everything that you don’t need off your computer. When a high memory usage warning appears, it’s usually talking about RAM – the actual memory that’s used while programs are running – and not your hard drive.

Because it’s a RAM issue, taking things off your computer probably won’t help. It will free disk space, but high-memory usage is a problem that is more specific to IE itself and what IE is doing.

AJAX progress indicator
With that out of the way, let’s look at what might be causing this.

Remove all add-ons… for real

You indicated that you removed most add-ons. You might want to check that again, because the number one cause of what you’re describing here is in fact add-on related.

To do this, go into IE’s Add-on Manager and disable them all. AVG itself might have an add-on. I’d disable that one, too.

If you have any toolbars installed in IE, uninstall them (or at least disable them) and see if the problem goes away.

Internet ExplorerMonitor your sites

Next, look at the sites that you’re visiting. Is this problem happening consistently when you visit certain sites? Typically, that means those sites are doing something, probably in JavaScript or with other tools, that are using up memory when you visit that page.

If this is the case then there’s little to be done, other than perhaps not visiting the site, or ignoring the error.

Close unused tabs

Another thing to look at it is your tabs. How may tabs do you have open? If you love to leave multiple tabs open while browsing, IE reserves a certain amount of RAM for each tab to keep it active. When you have multiple tabs open, it can add up to using quite a bit of RAM.

If you do this, try running only one or two tabs for a while and see if that makes your problem go away.

Look at your RAM

If your computer is already RAM limited, then IE may just need more RAM than you have. To your system, it may seem like IE may be using a lot, but in reality, Internet Explorer may be using exactly the amount of RAM that it needs for it to do what you want.

If the issue is the overall amount of RAM in your computer, and your machine is upgradable, you can add RAM to the machine. But check these other items first – add-ons, toolbars, the sites that you visit, and tabs.

4 comments on “Why Is AVG Telling Me IE Has High Memory Usage?”

  1. Leo mentions disabling add-ons and toolbars. Some toolbars can’t be removed using the Add-On manager in IE but must be uninstalled using the Programs and Features (or Add/Remove Programs) option in the Control Panel).

  2. Very clear explanation and suggestions, nice work Leo, I have followed your advice and I understand I have probably done all I can to address this pr4oblem of hi8gh IE usage. Well see if AVG continues to kick up these messages. Also, I notice that gov websites are use a lot of memory. Thanks, Ken

  3. Hi,
    AVG is telling me IE has high memory usage and, also, whenever I analize the computer with AVG, the percentage counting bar stops at 60% even if the analized objects keep shuffling and growing in number. Obviously the computer goles so slow no mater how many or which tabs are open.

    Thanks

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Typically that's off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.