How Can I Fix a Computer Memory Leak Problem?

By Larry Amon

A memory leak is where one or more computer programs, even possibly the operating system, can stop from releasing unnecessary memory and thus start to drain your computer of all available memory over time. Sometimes a memory leak is not noticeable and goes away before it causes a problem; other times it will bring your computer to a crawl or blue screen.

Step 1

Close the program that is causing the leak. If you use the "ctrl-alt-del" combination to bring up the task menu, select the "Processes" tab and sort by "Mem Usage." The culprit will be the one that is probably using the most. You will also see the memory use continue to climb.

Step 2

Restart the computer. Sometimes stopping the program and restarting it will help, but usually a reboot of the system will help remove smaller memory leak issues.

Step 3

Upgrade the software to a later version or get patches and updates. Often a software program has a link within the program to download updates. If there is no link, go to the manufacturer's website and look for fixes or updates. Sometimes the updates are free, but major updates often require an additional purchase.

Step 4

Reinstall the program. Go to the "Control Panel" and go to the "Uninstall a program" or "Add or Remove a Program" option and uninstall the program. Restart the computer and install the program again.