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What is going on here? I have almost nothing running.


By almost nothing, I mean Firefox, and some background network applications that are entirely passive and would never use this much memory.

Related services: UxSms, TrkWks, SysMain, PcaSvc, Netman, CscService, AudioEndpointBuilder, TabletInputService

The only thing I can think of is that I was running Virtualbox with Ubuntu for a little while but that is limited to 2GB of memory and it's no longer running.

Edit: I am most interested in the question of why/how? Likely a leak somewhere but given the services listed above, do any stand out as being a potential culprit?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 16 down vote accepted

svchost.exe is the process that runs all your windows services. One of them has gone mad apaprentely. right click on svchost.exe and select "Go to Service(s)". That will tell you which service it is, and you can use services manager to restart or disable it if you dont need it.

For a better description with nice screenshots check out:

Per your update, you can check out a couple of those services:

  1. CscService: Related to the "offline folders" feature of Windows. Do you use that?
  2. UxSms: Related to Desktop Window Manager. Try disabling Aero, see if the problem occurs.
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This might be a little too late, but in my case it's always the wuauserv service, also known as Windows Update. It uses more than 700Mb in my poor 1 Gb RAM PC. I always have to stop that service so I can do something. –  TIMINeutron Dec 10 '14 at 8:14

After splitting suspected services to separate processes I was able to identify Network Store Interface Service (nsi) to be the cause of memory leak in my case (Windows 7).

There is ten-page thread about this issue at http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-system/nsi-memory-leaks-fixed-yet/f3c3e9db-36a7-45df-9dbd-de9455378498.

It mentions couple hotfixes available for download on demand:



There is also a similar fix for Vista and Server 2008:


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I had that hotfix installed and it fixed it for a number of months but recently (I suspect after a windows update) it has started happening again. Reapplying the hotfix doesn't seem to have any effect. Anyone else in a similar situation? Any solution? –  Sam Hasler Sep 18 '14 at 10:38
Brilliant, thanks very much! In my case, 2847346 seems to have fixed it--back to 4KB usage on that task. That service isolation trick will be handy for other troubleshooting as well. –  Mark Berry Jan 31 at 18:45

Another option: Use Process Explorer.
It can be downloaded via Microsoft TechNet.

It displays all running processes, you can easily see which svchost.exe is using CPU or RAM resources, to track down which service is runnning wild.

When hovering the mouse cursor over the 'svchost.exe' entries, all services associated with this process are listed in an infotip window.
Alternatively, select the process, click "Properties" and choose the "Services" tab.

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Both of those things are possible with task manager also btw. –  Enigma Apr 17 '13 at 14:32
True, but I think Process Explorer is making this a bit easier. You can also view all threads, stack, network connections and security settings etc. of the svchost.exe process in question, as well as detailed performance data and graphs for a single process only. –  Awa Apr 18 '13 at 18:06
Can it tell which of the many services running under each svchost process is consuming all the memory? Because if not, then its useless. –  Havenard Apr 18 '13 at 18:14
Basically, yes. You can view the CPU usage / cycles per thread and also settings like memory priority. The service that belongs to a given thread is also listed. It's not a debugging or profiling tool, though. –  Awa Apr 18 '13 at 18:37

Thanks Colin for your useful hint.

I found that the Windows Time Service W32Time caused the memory leak. (Windows 7/64 Home Premium, IE11, up-to-date Windows Updates).

Other forum's entries indicate that some Internet Explorer update brought the problem. But I did't try to verify this.

Solution: open the Services panel and disable the W32Time service. Drawback: your clock is no longer synchronised with an Internet time service.

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Try to turn off your service for :

Offline files 

Most of the cases for why svchost is using too much RAM is because the Superfetch service is running.

Superfetch is loading most of applications the you're using into RAM to make it "instantly" to load. But some times it can drain your RAM.

Offline files can also consume lot of RAM.

Last word, maybe if you're having the same case, try to open it using Process Explorer : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

Then right-click and Properties and select Services, for find out what kind of service is running and what could possibly goes wild... :)

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Keep in mind that if none of your other programs are using RAM (as in this question), then it's a good idea for SuperFetch to use the remaining RAM. Unused RAM is wasted RAM. –  MSalters Jul 31 '14 at 14:39

Deep scanning by zone Alarm.

Don't stop svchost.exe that may cause some problems in your internet connection or sounds and voices.

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I had to kill it but Windows recovered. It wasn't a virus but seems to be a leak issue related to the network driver. –  Enigma Nov 13 '13 at 18:13

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