when i press ctrl-alt-del and open Task manager I see that Memory is used at 80% (Performance tab), but if I add all the memory usage values for each program from the Processes tabs there's no way it adds up to 80% ! How can I see the real memory usage for each app?

PS: I found that view... select columns let's me show more data. So I checked all memory columns and the only one that could reach that 80% value is "Peak working set". There the values are much higher and I see a huge 2.5 GB usage from "svchost". But svchost is some kind of library, how can I see what program makes it use so much?

Here's a screenshot to see what I mean:

Task Manager

Total RAM is 8 GB and usage is always at 6 GB +


closing virtualbox freed a lot of RAM, down to 50%, but why doesn't the virtualbox real ram usage show up in task manager?

  • 2
    I use Process Explorer from Microsoft. To measure ACTUAL usage of physical ram, look at the Private Working Set (aka WS Private) metric. you will have to add a column to see it in the main grid. See my comments here for a description of what the different memory statuses measure: superuser.com/questions/618686/… Jan 21, 2016 at 3:21
  • 1
    Peak Working Set is the highest value used during the process lifetime. So it's most likely not what you're looking for.
    – Daniel B
    Jan 21, 2016 at 5:53
  • is your question answered? Do you need more help? Jan 30, 2016 at 8:20
  • Related to the original question: RAM usage % on Task Manager lower than actual RAM
    – Melebius
    Aug 14, 2019 at 9:42

1 Answer 1


The svchost.exe is a container to start Windows services. Windows 7 has a bug, which causes a large memory usage of the WindowsUpdate service. Microsoft fixed it in several Windows Update Client updates. Install the latest one from December 2015 to fix the memory usage.

For a detailed memory usage overview, always use RAMMap.

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