Why do some programs stay in memory after I close them?

Saikat Basu May 5, 2011
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After I shut down a program, for example Photoshop, it stays on in memory. I have to go into the Task Manager and click End Process from there. Why does this happen and what’s the solution?

  1. Saptashwa
    May 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I'm developing a script after reading the question. Will upload and give the link if I'm successful.

    • Saikat Basu
      May 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks Saptashwa. Sounds interesting.

      • Saptashwa
        May 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

        But it'll take quite some time (maybe a week?) for me. After, I'm just 15, and have to go to school. But 1st, I've got to figure out how the script will know where and if the user has clicked the 'X' button. That's the hardest part.

        Also, I'm thinking of coding in Java or C++ a program that will allow me to control my upcoming working model of solar-system. Any help, can you please provide, on any of the 2 programs? Your specific needs?

        PS - Had a great idea. The program usually gets removed from Task Manager's Applications windows. If we use that to check periodically for 1 minute, store what all applications are running. After 1 minute, the script can again check if it's running. If not, and if it's still in the Processes, then it can end it. Simple. Now for the coding, I'll need to take help from my cousin's husband.

      • Saptashwa
        May 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm

        I'm now sure it'll be complete within a week using the rules I mentioned in my reply earlier.

  2. Tina
    May 6, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Is there a way to make Windows unload all programs by default when the user closes them?

    • Saptashwa
      May 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      How about a script running in the background? Which is set to start up with Windows? Not sure if I could do it or couldn't. Would take some time.

  3. Oron Joffe
    May 5, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    When you quit a program, Windows will keep it in memory whenever possible in order to speed up reloading, should this be required. If memory is short, it will release non-running programs from RAM.

  4. Anonymous
    May 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Photoshop might stay in memory after the program is closed because of instability in the random access memory (RAM) caused by overheating, faulty or worn connections or insufficient memory to run computer processes.most likely soft page faults, which can be resolved without accessing the disk.
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc441804(VS.85).aspx

    • Saikat Basu
      May 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      I think this is the most likely cause.Will it get resolved if I increase the virtual memory? I will try it...let's see.

      • Anonymous
        May 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm

        Not sure if will work on XP and above
        there is unloading dll
        The Shell automatically unloads a DLL when its usage count is zero, but only
        after the DLL has not been used for a period of time. This inactive period might
        be unacceptably long at times, especially when a Shell extension DLL is being
        debugged. For operating systems prior to Windows 2000, you can shorten the
        inactive period by adding the following information to the registry.
        http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb776795(VS.85).aspx#Unloading_the_DLL

        Windows at certain moments will check if DLL files can be unloaded from memory.
        But on a system that has little or just enough RAM memory it pays to have
        Windows unload these DLLs immediately after the application has been
        closed.To do this we dive into the Windows register:Choose
        "Start" > "Run"Give in "regedit" then click "OK"Go to:
        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerGo to
        "edit" > "New" > "DWORD-Value" ot click right in the right hand window and
        choose "new "Give as name "AlwaysUnloadDLL"Right click now on
        AlwaysUnloadDLL in the right hand window and choose "change"Give in as value
        "1" and confirm with "OK"You will need to restart your computer to make the
        change effective.In short for those who do this every day:Use
        Regedit to edit:
        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionexplorer Add the
        DWORD value named: AlwaysUnloadDLL and set it to 1

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