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Runtimebroker.exe taking a lot of memory

    Question

  • Hey all,

    The RuntimeBroker.exe process is new for Windows 8 that is a "middleman" type process for new Win8 type apps.  I read somewhere that it should be a very small footprint.  Looking at my Win8 Pro system (RTM code) my RuntimeBroker.exe is taking > 500MB of Memory, and I have seen it larger than this.

    Is this a problem?  What are you all seeing?

    Thanks!

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 2:44 PM

Answers

  • There seems to be a perception that the Runtime Broker leak is inextricably tied to The Time at the moment, so I want to provide some additional information here since I imagine many people experiencing the leak will find there way to this thread via their favorite search engine.

    Users:

    There's a bug in the Windows Runtime, the new platform that Windows Store (aka Metro) applications are written on, that causes the "Runtime Broker" process to take on additional memory but never release it, resulting in a memory leak. If you find that the Runtime Broker process on your computer is taking an unreasonable amount of memory, consider the Windows Store applications you've installed recently that utilize Live Tiles. Try uninstalling them, one by one, until the Runtime Broker takes less memory. Note that the reduction in memory may not be immediate and you may need to log out and back in to make it reset. (You may be able to kill the Runtime Broker process safely, but I would advise against it.)

    Developers:

    The bug manifests itself when calling TileUpdater.GetScheduledTileNotifications. The leak may not be obvious unless you have many tiles scheduled. In my experience it happens regardless of the number of scheduled tiles, it's just more apparent when you have more.

    For example, consider the following scenario:

    1. Schedule 4,000 tile updates via TileUpdater.AddToSchedule. Note that the Runtime Broker's memory increases a bit. This is to be expected.
    2. Call TileUpdater.GetScheduledTileNotifications. Notice that the Runtime Broker's memory increases by a good amount. This is typically 30-40 MB on my machine.
    3. Now remove each notification via TileUpdater.RemoveFromSchedule. The Runtime Broker's memory stays the same.
    4. Schedule another 4,000 updates.
    5. Call TileUpdater.GetScheduledTileNotifications. Observe an increase in Runtime Broker memory use, similar to that in step 2.
    6. Keep repeating step 5, each time with the same amount of memory increase.

    It appears that every call to TileUpdater.GetScheduledTileNotificaitons is resulting in the Runtime Broker allocating memory it never frees. Considering the Windows Runtime is partially based on COM I thought that perhaps it was up to the developer to free up references to the tile notifications returned from the method. But the documentation says nothing about it and none of the classes implement IDisposable. The only option I'm aware of at this time is to avoid the method completely.

    Thursday, November 08, 2012 4:07 PM
  • As luck would have it, I just got the email saying that it's in the store now. 

    Thanks again for everyone's patience. This has certainly been an interesting experience!

    Thursday, November 08, 2012 6:15 PM

All replies

  • I'm having this issue too. Right now it's taking over 4gig of ram. I have to keep ending it's process because it slowly takes all system memory.
    • Proposed as answer by greatfx Thursday, November 01, 2012 7:05 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by greatfx Thursday, November 01, 2012 7:05 AM
    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 6:00 PM
  • Same here, I close the process and it restarts itself, consuming vast amounts of my 8 Gig memory until I eventually close it again. I can't pin down what is causing it though, even using the new task manager app's extensive features. I am running the Win 8 Pro retail version of the OS too not RTM. Microsoft really need to patch this asap as it could be a real issue before long.
    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 7:05 PM
  • I'm also having this experience.

    Right now I have no desktop programs running, and no Modern UI apps running (other than background processes).

    Yet Runtime Broker is using up 1963MB of my system RAM and I haven't been able to find much help on this.

    This is a new Acer laptop that originally shipped with Win7, upgraded to Win8 Pro. I updated all my drivers before making the switch, and this has been the first major problem I've encountered since.
    • Edited by jmelwin8 Tuesday, October 30, 2012 7:11 PM
    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 7:07 PM
  • Some other forums have also mentioned this issue and looking at antivirus or downloaded web apps causing the issue, nothing to report back as yet. Without any of the Win8 web apps running at all my Runtimebroker still slowly consumes memory.

    I have created a dump file from task manager, right click on the process, but not sure what to do with it just yet and if it will help...

    Performance Monitor and Resource monitor does not shed an light on it either.

    I think Microsoft really need to investigate this asap as this could be a showstopper for Win8.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012 11:09 AM
  • Hey everyone, please check if you have a time app called "The Time". I think that the constant updating of that app is what is causing the leak. I have since uninstalled it and so far so good. 
    • Proposed as answer by Yan Andreev Tuesday, November 06, 2012 7:44 PM
    Thursday, November 01, 2012 7:07 AM
  • Hi everyone,

    My RuntimeBroker.exe process only consume around 1,900 bytes of Memory. So I assume this issue may be caused by 3rd party application. If you start computer in Clean Boot, does this issue persists?


    Juke Chou

    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, November 01, 2012 9:33 AM
    Moderator
  • Mine is taking approx. 1.5 Gigs of memory and yes, I did have "The Time" installed. Uninstalled and haven't rebooted yet due to waiting for external drive being encrypted by bitLocker. Will let you know...
    Friday, November 02, 2012 4:58 AM
  • Restarted after uninstalling "The Time", back down to 1.4 Mb...seems to be working fine now. Will wait to see if it builds.
    • Proposed as answer by madKcatt Friday, November 02, 2012 4:31 PM
    Friday, November 02, 2012 7:58 AM
  • Hey man,

    Me too, RuntimeBroker.exe is consuming 6 GB of my RAM and I cannot kill it!

    Serious issue

    Microsoft needs to investigate this ASAP

    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 7:58 PM
  • I confirm that issue is form app - "The Time".
    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 9:46 PM
  • I confirm that issue is form app - "The Time".

    I conforming too, that issue is form app - "The Time". Before uninstalling that app, RuntimeBroker.exe  consume all free memory.

    Now 2,5 Mb

    Wednesday, November 07, 2012 9:05 AM
  • I had that application too by the way.. Uninstalled. I'll keep you informed if it builds up again.
    Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:49 AM
  • Hi everyone. I wrote "The Time". 

    I was made aware of this problem late last week, found it was a bug in the Windows Runtime and re-wrote The Time to avoid using the functionality that caused the leak. I submitted the new version over the weekend and am waiting for it to show up in the Store.

    Unfortunately it takes about 7 days for apps to show up in the Store and there's no way for me to modify the existing app description to explain what's going on, workarounds, etc. Nor am I able to respond to ratings, either directly or indirectly. The only thing I can do is submit my own rating and hope people see it and read it. Someone from MSFT wrote me to tell me that they'd been notified of the leak and I wrote them back telling them that it was already fixed and submitted and asked if there was a way to expedite the process. No response. All the while my little app is getting slammed day after day with bad ratings because of a bug in Windows and there's nothing I can do about it. Pretty frustrating.

    The update should be in the Store in the next 2-3 days. Thanks for your patience!


    • Edited by JeffreyKey Thursday, November 08, 2012 12:56 PM
    • Proposed as answer by jeffkey Thursday, November 08, 2012 5:06 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by jeffkey Thursday, November 08, 2012 5:07 PM
    • Proposed as answer by JeffreyKey Thursday, November 08, 2012 5:08 PM
    Thursday, November 08, 2012 12:55 PM
  • There seems to be a perception that the Runtime Broker leak is inextricably tied to The Time at the moment, so I want to provide some additional information here since I imagine many people experiencing the leak will find there way to this thread via their favorite search engine.

    Users:

    There's a bug in the Windows Runtime, the new platform that Windows Store (aka Metro) applications are written on, that causes the "Runtime Broker" process to take on additional memory but never release it, resulting in a memory leak. If you find that the Runtime Broker process on your computer is taking an unreasonable amount of memory, consider the Windows Store applications you've installed recently that utilize Live Tiles. Try uninstalling them, one by one, until the Runtime Broker takes less memory. Note that the reduction in memory may not be immediate and you may need to log out and back in to make it reset. (You may be able to kill the Runtime Broker process safely, but I would advise against it.)

    Developers:

    The bug manifests itself when calling TileUpdater.GetScheduledTileNotifications. The leak may not be obvious unless you have many tiles scheduled. In my experience it happens regardless of the number of scheduled tiles, it's just more apparent when you have more.

    For example, consider the following scenario:

    1. Schedule 4,000 tile updates via TileUpdater.AddToSchedule. Note that the Runtime Broker's memory increases a bit. This is to be expected.
    2. Call TileUpdater.GetScheduledTileNotifications. Notice that the Runtime Broker's memory increases by a good amount. This is typically 30-40 MB on my machine.
    3. Now remove each notification via TileUpdater.RemoveFromSchedule. The Runtime Broker's memory stays the same.
    4. Schedule another 4,000 updates.
    5. Call TileUpdater.GetScheduledTileNotifications. Observe an increase in Runtime Broker memory use, similar to that in step 2.
    6. Keep repeating step 5, each time with the same amount of memory increase.

    It appears that every call to TileUpdater.GetScheduledTileNotificaitons is resulting in the Runtime Broker allocating memory it never frees. Considering the Windows Runtime is partially based on COM I thought that perhaps it was up to the developer to free up references to the tile notifications returned from the method. But the documentation says nothing about it and none of the classes implement IDisposable. The only option I'm aware of at this time is to avoid the method completely.

    Thursday, November 08, 2012 4:07 PM
  • Hi Jeff, thank you for the great summary. Would you please post a notice here when the updated app is finally published in the Windows Store? I were forced to temporarily uninstall it on all machines and Windows Store does not offer any notification for not-currently-installed apps. Thank you.

    Thursday, November 08, 2012 5:00 PM
  • Thank you!  This solved my problem. "The Time" almost killed my system with frequent memory related errors and crashes. Do Not Install "The Time" app
    Thursday, November 08, 2012 6:13 PM
  • As luck would have it, I just got the email saying that it's in the store now. 

    Thanks again for everyone's patience. This has certainly been an interesting experience!

    Thursday, November 08, 2012 6:15 PM
  • I have never had The Time installed, and runtime broker is currently using over 9 gigs on my machine.
    Friday, November 09, 2012 3:10 PM
  • The new version of The Time fixed my issue about Runtime Broker leak.

    Thanks Jeff

    Saturday, November 10, 2012 3:41 AM
  • I have 16gb of ram and i was having same problem it was using all my ram up the problem for me was with the time and a weather app after i removed both it now uses around 2 mb
    Monday, December 24, 2012 7:55 AM
  • I have 16gb of ram and i was having same problem it was using all my ram up the problem for me was with the time and a weather app after i removed both it now uses around 2 mb

    I'm having the same memory problems with RuntimeBroker.exe; however I do not have The Time installed. Which weather app were you using? Any other suspect apps?

    Thanks,

     Bill


    Bill Cohagan

    Tuesday, January 08, 2013 5:53 PM