Home > Hardware and Software, Microsoft, Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server > Visual Studio 2008 – Can I have my memory back?

Visual Studio 2008 – Can I have my memory back?

January 7, 2008

I’ve had one project up—a web application sandbox that I use for answering MSFT Communities questions and prototyping code for various documentation projects I’m currently working on.  I noticed this afternoon that my workstation has been DRAGGING along with only VS, Word, and Outlook open.  Dropping an icon (128×128 png file) into my Word document was taking upward of 30 seconds.  Ehh, that’s not right.

I usually suspect our anti-virus solution; it tears our system performance asunder (benchmarks before and after installation show that it drags the average system down 23%).  Not this time.

While sitting minimized and idle, Visual Studio apparently decided it was hungry and consumed as much as it could without crashing the system.  The solution that was open was a Web Application project and had 2 files.  Heh, not the heaviest of apps.

The other interesting thing… notice the other devenv.exe running with only 257MB of memory?  I only had one copy of VS running—where’s that one hiding at…

Anyone else notice Visual Studio 2008 running away with itself like this before?


  1. January 9, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Hello David
    Do you have any third-party Visual Studio add-ins installed (JetBrains ReSharper in particular)?

  2. January 9, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Nope; it’s pretty much clean. 😦 I haven’t gotten around to installing ReSharper back onto the installation because I have spent most of my time lately with technologies that ReSharper has a hissy fit about (MVC, LINQ, Volta, etc)–(4.0 EAP!)

    The only thing I have loaded is GhostDoc… and, ehhh… I can’t fathom that being the issue.

  3. Allan Gobin
    January 10, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Having the same problem with VS 2008 and unless I can fix will have to go back to 2005 😐

  4. Jason Wicker
    April 3, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I am having the same problem — I do have Resharper, but I have it turned off, and it doesn’t seem to help. Any help would be awesome!

  5. Kyle Rozendo
    August 1, 2008 at 6:53 am

    Hi There,

    I’ve been having issues as well with this, however mine is a large project. As i see it VS stating that its running on lowish memory (200 +-) is quite untrue, it is in fact caching itself and using it as working memory, unbeknown to the developer. The only way I’ve found to solve this is simply restarting VS, however the working set gradually increases again over time, and a lot of it has to do with compiling.

    Tally ho,


  6. Dan
    August 12, 2008 at 8:32 am

    I have been having the same problem as well. Devenv.exe has 276M of memory. Clean install with a small project (web). There is no way this should be running as slow as it is.


  7. Paul Inglis
    September 17, 2008 at 5:11 am

    I don’t know why it does this as my RAM fills up quickly with some of the size of projects I have.
    A wee tip though – minimise visual studio and the RAM should drop to a respectable size…again – don’t know why this happens, but it’s interesting to say the least

  8. Rob
    November 11, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Great tip Paul, just tried it and mine went from 400mb down to 60mb just from minimising.

    We have quite a few projects in our solution, around 20.

    I’ve found just opening it takes up 400mb. Then strangely, if tabs are already open, and I close them, usage jumps up about 15-30mb per tab, yet they’re closed! Madness.

    Mine creeped up to 800mb earlier and ReSharper started crashing upon every key press. Not sure what it is. I run the same in a virtual machine (Ubuntu as the primary OS) and it runs fine. Having said that the vm is super lean, nlite’d and stripped down.

  9. Rob
    November 11, 2008 at 11:25 am

    * Actually the project count is quite a bit above 20. 47 in fact, I was quite a way out.

  10. AJ
    November 18, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Hi, I’ve got this problem too. Why Microsoft doesn’t do something about this? VS is running very slow after a while and I’m thinking about it to go back to VS2005…
    Somebody knows a workaround or solution?


  11. February 3, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I’m sorry but VS 2008 is a Memory Hog!! I developer on a daily basis and use custom controls such as Devexpress, Telerik, & Infigilists and any project loaded with images and over (6) Web-forms / Win Forms lags very bad. The really bad part is my developing platform is running twin 3.2 and over gigs of RAM and 3 – 4 Gig Virtual Memory. Has anyone figured a way around this issue?

  12. February 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Almost forgot to mention it is running on SCSI 10,000 RPM.

  13. May 21, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Im having the same problem
    devenv.exe appears in the task manager with 300 MB, but once i close it, i frees up up to 500 MB of my memory
    Compiling gets reaaaally slow

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