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I'm using Windows 8.1 64-bit, have 16gb of physical memory, and I understand why Windows wants to do this, but my specific case is really odd and annoying.

For some reason, on occasion, when I open a several GB file once - even if it's only once in the lifetime of the file and only for a few minutes, even if it's just a video file - it puts that file into "Standby (Physical) memory", putting my physical memory usage over 80% - sometimes over 90%. The worst part is, is that the file never gets removed automatically - I have to either restart, or use RAMMap to clear it out.

I understand why Windows manages memory the way it does, and that memory is meant to be used - however this is a bit of a problem for me since it never seems to clear these files out of standby on its own - and my performance suffers a significant amount as a result. I have an adequate page file on my SSD, my ram doesn't have any errors - my issue is just that Windows is predicting the wrong files I need to keep in physical memory, and not removing them after I close the file.

Edit / Update:

  1. Superfetch is disabled and has been for months.
  2. The pagefile is on an SSD.
  3. Process Explorer, RamMap, and HWiNFO all point towards these one time short use meaningless files being in StandBy, not in active memory (As shown in RamMap).
  4. When these files are removed from Standby - the physical memory usage goes down according to the tools listed above.
  5. My system doesn't 'think' it needs ram, and that's the exact issue at hand - it does need ram, and it's not clearing out the files using Standby memory unless I do it manually. As I said above, my memory usage can get to over 90% and sluggish, and not remove files Windows only needed once in the entire life of the file - instead preferring to remove files still needed in memory.

In summary: Windows is keeping files it doesn't need in memory, and removing files it does need when it asks for more ram. Why is this happening, and how do I fix it?

I'm not sure who marked this as a duplicate question, but the linked "duplicate" has nothing to do with my issue.

  • What makes you think something's is wrong. You should be able to replace that memory once you close the file, it yes, Windows will keep it around until that happens – Ramhound Jun 25 '17 at 2:27
  • Superfetch is disabled, checked in multiple areas. So either you're wrong, or there's another issue here. – Jon Jun 25 '17 at 6:54
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    The linked Q&A does not answer this question. It should not be marked as a duplicate. – Jamie Hanrahan Jun 26 '17 at 16:56
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it puts that file into "Standby (Physical) memory", putting my physical memory usage over 80% - sometimes over 90%

Er but.. Standby does not count toward physical memory usage, whether it's used for the SuperFetch cache or not. Of course it counts toward memory present. But standby is not part of the "% used". Even though that file is cached into it that memory it is instantly discardable, remaining just as "Available" for something else as it was if it had never been used for anything.

The worst part is, is that the file never gets removed automatically - I have to either restart, or use RAMMap to clear it out.

Then your system thinks it doesn't need the RAM.

I have an adequate page file on my SSD

Something's odd here. The caching of files into the standby list is done by SuperFetch. But SuperFetch is normally disabled on a system with an SSD for the OS disk. Did you re-enable it?

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  • "Er but.. Standby does not count toward physical memory usage," - Process Explorer, HWiNFO, and RAMMap disagree with you - or something is really bugged on my end, because the files are in standby and are counting towards my physical memory. My system DOES need ram, and it's removing stuff other than the massive file(s), causing the slow down - which is the problem and causing performance issues. Superfetch is disabled too - I made sure of that before posting here and again just now. – Jon Jun 25 '17 at 5:04
  • I don't know what you're looking at specifically, but you must be misinterpreting something. What Windows considers "Available" , i.e. not "In use", is the sum of Standby, Free, and Zeroed. Sure, Standby is counted as part of the total RAM on the system in e.g. RAMmap but that doesn't mean it's part of "in use". Rather, it is part of "available", just as Free and Zeroed are, because it does not contain anything that must be saved to disk before use. Cached file contents can always be dumped immediately because if needed they can be read again from the same file at any time later. – Jamie Hanrahan Jun 26 '17 at 7:32
  • p.s. - after a reboot, do the same "problem" files show up in the cache? or do they not appear in the cache until you use them? What program are you using to access these files, e.g. what media player? finally, can you post a screenshot of something that specifically shows one of these massive cached files in Standby RAM? And of something that shows signs that your system is short on RAM, like a high hard pagefault rate? – Jamie Hanrahan Jun 26 '17 at 13:32

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