Question Absurdly high memory usage, memory in task manager doesn't "add" up correctly


Oct 1, 2015
Modest laptop but used to work very well until a few weeks ago:
Intel core i3-3217U
4 gb ram
intel hd graphics 4000

My issue is that even 4 tabs on google chrome prompts a memory alert. I can't use an IDE while having browser tabs open anymore. At idle the computer is about 40% memory usage. Used to be able to open a whole bunch of tabs no problem.

Things I've tried are: windows memory diagnostic (no errors), malware bytes scan (no problems), CCleaner for all browsers, uninstalled various programs, got rid of a lot of the start up programs, restarted computer, ram is 4gb as it should be in dxdiag.

Its obvious to me there's some sort of memory leak because the amount of processes I have and their relative size dont add up to whats being displayed. Below are pictures of the current amount of processes I have, their size and how much memory they are consuming:


I mean as you can see my total ram usage should be less than 1 gb...but in that image its like almost 3 gb. What's up? I feel I've tried so many things.


Well, as i can read from screenshot, you have at least 21x instances of Google Chrome running. Maybe more down below. Out of the top 5 most memory intensive programs, Chrome is at places 1 to 4. 5th program (msmpeng.exe) is Windows Defender and by the looks of it, you've enabled Real-Time Protection. That would explain why it takes 100 MB of RAM to keep it going. I also see 2x instances of Malwarebytes running (13 MB and 12 MB), which on it's own isn't much but why keep 2x anti-malware programs running? Though, perhaps the most interesting program you have running is the Cold Turkey Blocker (21.5 MB).

So, close your Chrome and look if start manager still shows loads of RAM being used.