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Windows 7: Skype Uses Too Much Memory

11 Sep 2010   #21

Operating System : Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 6.01.7600 SP1 (x64)


Establishing a Performance Baseline
Before you begin trying to improve performance, it’s crucial to make sure that all the major subsystems that affect performance are working properly and that you have a proper baseline for comparing the results of any changes you make. Only after you’re certain that nothing is broken or improperly configured can you begin trying to make those subsystems work more efficiently.
What causes a PC to perform poorly? In our experience, the most common causes (listed in no particular order) are these:
●●Defective hardware Memory and disk errors are most obvious when they cause system crashes, but hardware-related problems can also cause performance to drag. Before you do any serious benchmarking or performance investigation, we recommend you run a memory test (such as the one available as part of the Windows Recovery Environment) and a thorough disk diagnostic program. The latter is often available as a free download from disk drive makers. Seagate’s SeaTools utility (, for example, was designed for use with Seagate and Maxtor drives. Western Digital offers several utilities under the Data Lifeguard label for its drives ( Check with the manufacturer of your hard drive to see what options are available for your hardware.
For more details on using the built-in repair tools in Windows 7, see “Making Repairs with the Windows Recovery Environment” on page 846.
●●Outdated or flawed device drivers Writing device drivers is an art, not just a science. If one or more crucial system components are using drivers that were originally written for Windows Vista, you might benefit from an upgrade. (The same holds true if a component such as a storage controller is using a generic, Windows-supplied driver instead of one written specifically for that device.) We have seen performance problems vanish immediately after a simple driver upgrade. Always be certain you’re using the best possible drivers for all system devices. (Don’t assume that a newer driver is automatically better than an older one, however; any driver update has the potential to cause new problems.)
●●Inadequate hardware resources Are the individual hardware components of your system up to the work you’re trying to do? Windows 7 should perform basic tasks well on even low-end hardware that was designed and built in 2008 or later. But more demanding tasks such as high-definition media playback or media encoding can push some systems to the breaking point. If your system is older (or if it’s a budget model that incorporates older technology), make sure your hardware is within the specifications of the software you’re trying to run.

●Active background tasks Every system includes some programs designed to run as a background task, including antivirus software and some Windows maintenance tasks. If your system is configured to run some programs automatically, you might need to adjust their schedules or operating parameters to make certain they don’t steal resources you need for work (or play). Later in this chapter, we discuss how to pinpoint processes and services that are temporarily using resources and having an impact on system performance.
For instructions on how to identify programs that run automatically at startup or when you log on, see “Managing Startup Programs” on page 172.
●●Out-of-control processes or services Sometimes, a program or background task that normally runs just fine will spin out of control, consuming up to 100 percent of CPU time or grabbing increasing amounts of memory or other system resources. In the process, of course, performance of all other tasks slows down or grinds to a halt. Knowing how to identify and kill this sort of process or service and prevent it from recurring is a valuable troubleshooting skill.
●●Malware Viruses, Trojan horse programs, spyware, and other forms of unwanted software can wreak havoc on system performance. Be sure to check for the possibility that malware is lurking on a system that is exhibiting other unexplained performance problems

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2010   #22

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tricky1 View Post
Not sure I should start my own thread or add to this one.

I have Skype on my desktop Win 7 32 and it consumes an ever increasing amount of memory as time goes on. for example I captured a screen shot at 3 different times
one using 28.6K when on a fresh boot 1 hour later 102.7K I left the machine running all night and the next morning it was 660.3K.

My laptop runs Skype and the memory is constant at 34.2K

My friend also runs Skype same windows version on Asus p5 Q and the memory is constant.

I am beginning to look into it being a hardware conflict somehow, but then I think hmmm its working OK on XP

I have freshly loaded the OS several times leaving various drivers out or loading them, downloading windows updates or leaving them off nothing I do seems to make any difference. I upgraded to the beta versions same thing happens.

I am back to running XP on the same machine Asus P5q Pro Turbo, Skype memory usage is constant @53.7K

I have suspected via sound drivers to cause the problem... why I wouldnt know. But I just unloaded the via HD drivers low and behold skype memory usage has stopped using excessively increasing memory.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #23

Win 7
Solution.. at least for me!

Hi all, second time I can actually contribute.. so proud of myself right now! :)

-> I had exactly the same problem. Did you, by any chance configure Skype in compatibility mode? That's what caused my Skype to eat memory like crazy over time.

I've experienced this situation on 2 different installations of Skype on 2 different sets of hardware.

Some people (myself included, but no more because of the apparent memory leak) put Skype in compatibility mode so it goes to the system tray when minimized instead of staying in the task bar.
I find really dumb that Microsoft be trying to abandon the system tray, but hey.. that's a topic for an other thread!

Hope this solved your memory leak issue!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Sep 2010   #24

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

What I found was that when I loaded the VIA sound drivers was when Skype memory usage started to climb, unload the drivers then Skype was OK. I found a very recent version of the VIA drivers (V8700) loaded them and it solved the problem.
Skype Version running fine in Win7 mode.

Driver I used available here: hxxp://
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Skype Uses Too Much Memory

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