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ON1 Memory Usage



  • Rick Sammartino Community moderator

    The only options for memory are the cache settings in the system tab in Preferences. There are no secret commands hidden from you. Everything is handled automatically.

    If you feel there is a memory leak or that it's not being released as it should, you need to contact ON1 support about it and give them all the examples that you can to support the claim. A video showing the memory usage as you open and close files would be useful.


  • Jim Kimpel

    Thanks Rick. I submitted the files and a link to a capture video. (the upload kept timing out so I uploaded to youtube and sent a link)  Here is the Text and youtube link if interested:

    ON1 Apparently does not have a feature to close files when done.  As a result the system memory continues to fill until overflowing into the swap file and slowing the system.  The lower amount of base memory installed, the worse the problem.  This may be why some report the program running slow.  Steps are as follows: (youtube video link at the end. File was too large to upload)

    1. open task manager

    2. Start the program The in use memory in task manager is at 9.4 Commit at 14.1Gig

    3. Open first file. In Use 11.2 Commit 14.1

    4. Open Second  In Use 13.2  Commit 19.2

    5.  Open Third File 13.9   20.1

    6.  4th File  14.7   21.2

    7.  5th File  15.4  21.8

    8,. 6th File 16.2  22.7

    9. Re-open the 5th file.  Numbers remain the same (Showing file was still open in the  background)

    10. Open 7th file 17 23.8.

    This keeps growing as you continue to do work. At one point I was at 37 gig.  I have since upgraded to 64 gig to give more room to compensate.

    Here is a youtube video of it

  • Rick Sammartino Community moderator

    That's good. Let us know if you get a resolution.

  • Jim Kimpel

    Is there someone at ON1 that I can escalate this to?

    I received an email from them basically ignoring everything I was explaining, including the video and logs sent.

    They are treating it as a simple performance problem have me checking for latest drivers and Nvidia control panel settings.  Both of which was already done.  That stuff has nothing to do with the software not releasing memory.  

    I even found a post from 2016 where someone was suggesting this is happening.  

    Thank You

  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    I have reported memory leaks in the past too. I believe my report was addressed but that doesn't mean it was fixed completely (if at all) or that new bugs haven't been introduced. I'm also on a Mac so that could be a factor as well.

    Keep pressing support. They are our only contact with the company for dealing with program issues. Be polite but insistent. Document your claims; provide support with the evidence to back them up. If you want to push things to an extreme, pull some RAM (16GB?) from your system then keep repeating your test until the program crashes for being out of memory. Crashes get their attention.

  • Rick Sammartino Community moderator

    Those are the first thing that they tell everyone to check. Click on your name at the top of this page and select My Activities. You'll find your ticket there. Add to it and explain that the suggestions didn't help and the problem remains.

  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    You can also reply to their emails to keep with the same tech.

  • Jim Kimpel

    I did reply to the email before posting here.  Haven't heard back yet.



  • Jim Kimpel

    FYI, here is the response from Support after some more feedback:

    Our dev team has indicated the following:

    To an extent this is how the app is as designed.  The program will cache out previews/settings/AI masks for each image you open in a session to make the next use of them that session faster.  If you go through a lot of files or have images with a lot of edits ram usage can continue to climb and continue to hold it.  However, it should stop when it hits the default 80% system ram setting in preferences > system.  Once it hits the limit it should start to drop files out of the cache.  By default, we'll use up 80% of the users 64gb of ram.  It may spike over that initially but should come back down.  
    As a quick test to see if this preference is working, try lowering that preference to something like 10% and watch ram usage for the program in task manager's processes view (not just overall memory usage for the system).  It should rise to a point, then not really go over that except for brief spikes.  
    If it's going over that set limit and continuing to climb then we'll need further details about the system:
    Where are files stored, external or internal drives or NAS drives, cataloged folders or albums, or regular folders etc.

    Let us know if you need further assistance. Thanks for choosing and using ON1 Software! 

    Stevie | Tech Support & QA Engineer


    I then followed up with the following and am waiting for a response:

    Hi Stevie.

    I experimented with the settings, and placed the memory at 25%.  The system did as you say and in my case stopped at about 34 gig usage.
    My personal preference would be to release the image through closing it when done, and free the actual ram.  If the settings result in a user having their workspace reside in Cache, that would explain complaints of the app slowing down over time.  Leaving images in the cache and ram that are no longer being worked on doesn't make much sense, considering that there is no where to tell which images are still there.  
    To get around this, If a user sets the memory slider to a low number as you suggested (10%) Does that better ensure that actual ram will be available for the edits, and not cache?

    Thanks Again


  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    Thanks for passing that along Jim. What they told you is explained in the Knowledge Base article Catalogs and Caches - ON1 Photo RAW  although the memory cache workings are better explained in Stevie's reply. FWIW

    If you use Catalogs the cache isn't used as all the previews are stored in the PerfectBrowseCache. The memory cache is only used for the images inside non-Cataloged folders.

  • Jim Kimpel

    Hi Brian.

    Unfortunately, the Cache entered the conversation at some point, when the original concern was, and is, system RAM.  Forgetting the browse Cache, which resides on a drive folder, there are two other sliders in preferences.  System Usage and VRAM usage.  The question now is what are they, and how is the system using them.  Also standing is the fact that they are filling the system cache (not the browse cache).

    1. First question is what is the System Usage?  Does System usage include Physical Ram, and the Page file , which is the operating system cache that many don't know exist.  Say you have 16 gig of ram, and the page file is 8 gig.  The total would be 24 gig.  Would 24 gig be the base of the percentage on the slider, or the 16 installed?  

    2. What does VRAM (video ram) usage actually do, and how do they add in to the overall picture?  These numbers do not show up in the task manager.

    The big issue though and the reason for the original post, comes down to how the memory is being used. I will try to explain without confusing myself LOL.

    Say you come home and have a couple of dozen raw pictures to work on. You have 16 gig of ram in your system.  In the operating system the page file is say 8 gig.   
          Your run several pictures, hitting done after each picture.
    The software (according to support) does not close the picture, but leaves it open in the background. The reason it's left open doesn't matter, but the operator doesn't know it.
            At some point, you hit the limit of the physical memory installed.  When you open the next picture, the system is out of RAM, so moves a chunk of the RAM being used over to the Page file, then moves the new picture into the RAM.  Since physical ram is now filled up, things don't run as smooth.
          This would be potentially avoided if when you hit done, the software did not keep the pic open in the background, but freed the space for the new pic being opened.  

    This may or may not ever change for this software, but hopefully they will give the users the option of actually closing a file when they are done with it. (maybe a close button)
    Probably 90% of the software out there have a close button for a reason, or at least free up resources when a file is done.



  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    Well, let's try this again. My first response didn't get posted for some reason.

    Caches entered the question because one of the 2 caches is stored in RAM. The PerfectBrowseCache is stored on disk and it holds previews only for images which are inside Cataloged folders. Previews for non-cataloged folders are stored in the RAM cache. This is what the size slider is for and why you saw less memory usage when you adjusted it. It is also why the Empty button is there. It clears the RAM cache without touching the PBC. You haven't told us if you are Browsing Cataloged or non-cataloged folders. From what you are saying it appears as though you may not be using Catalogs.

    The System Usage slider tells the program how much of the system RAM it can grab for itself. I keep mine set at 80% as I want Photo RAW to have as much memory as it needs. The same for the VRAM Usage slider only it applies to the amount of VRAM of course. FWIW, I've seen the program's memory usage climb above the amount of physical RAM in my system when working on extremely large image files (>1GB).

    The default location for the PerfectBrowseCache is C:\Users\<user>\App Data\Roaming\ON1\PerfectBrowseCache. It can be moved to a different location with the Move button. However, if you move it to a different drive (why would you move it to a different location on the same drive?) it only gets copied to that new location. The original is left intact. You can delete it with Windows Explorer to reclaim the disk space if desired.

    I have my PBC on a fast external SSD which is dedicated to that and the Scratch space for all of my editing software. This reduces the load on my boot drive (a necessity when I was running a MacBook Pro) as well as providing a performance boost as all the I/O for those 2 activities no longer has to share an I/O channel with other drives and whatever background processes may be using them for.

    1) I cannot answer technical questions of this sort as I don't have access to the code. From what I know from writing programs for Mac is that all of that is handled by the OS in any case. I don't know of any code that allows a program to access the Page file or to move code between the different forms of memory. The OS does all of that behind the scenes as it sees fit.

    2) When graphics data needs to be processed by the GPU it must first be transferred from RAM that the CPU can use to VRAM which only the GPU can use. After the data is processed the results must be transferred back to RAM so the CPU can see it. As an aside, this is why the new Apple Silicon chips are so much faster processing graphics. There is no VRAM. Both CPU and GPU share the same memory so the data does not need to be transferred eliminating the waits for the data transfers to complete.

    I seriously doubt this will be changed. That would require a complete redesign of that part of the code. That  engineering resources and take time to do the coding and debugging of the inevitable bugs that would be introduced. That 90% of other software doesn't work the same way PR does. When you finish with a Word document you probably are not going to be going back to it right away. PRs needs place different constraints on how things get done.


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