Microsoft Edge Process Memory Consumption

While working on a family member's PC, which is running Microsoft Windows 10 Professional edition, I found performance was slow while I was trying to look up some information in a tab in the Microsoft Edge browser. When I hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and brought up the Windows Task Manager, clicked on the Performance tab, then clicked on Memory to view the memory utilization, I saw that most of the system's memory was being consumed, which would contribute to poor performance, if information needs to be swapped in and out of memory to disk while I'm switching between open applications. CPU utilization was also, high.

Task Manager - memory utilization

When I clicked on Details and then clicked on the "Memory (private working set)" column header to order the processes by memory consumption, I saw that the 7 topmost consumers of memory were MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe processes, i.e., Microsoft Edge web browser processes.

Task Manager - Details for Microsoft Edge

When I opened a command prompt window and used the tasklist command to view information on the MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe processes running on the system, I saw the following:

C:\>tasklist /fi "imagename eq MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe"

Image Name                     PID Session Name        Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ======== ================ =========== ============
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe           3440 Console                    2     18,952 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe           3232 Console                    2  1,393,036 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe           7276 Console                    2     34,356 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe           9716 Console                    2    735,084 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe          13724 Console                    2     27,832 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe           4128 Console                    2  1,614,524 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe          13576 Console                    2      5,780 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe           5776 Console                    2    129,156 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe          11928 Console                    2    386,600 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe          11304 Console                    2      2,596 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe           6592 Console                    2    124,668 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe           9800 Console                    2      7,144 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe          14956 Console                    2    377,904 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe          11772 Console                    2     21,716 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe           6880 Console                    2    385,308 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe           8408 Console                    2      8,012 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe          15092 Console                    2    123,716 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe           8536 Console                    2      2,540 K
MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe          11676 Console                    2     55,160 K

C:\>

To have just the amount of memory displayed for each process, I used a FOR /F loop - see Checking on process memory consumption on a Windows system for details on using the loop to view just processes memory consumption.

C:\>for /f "tokens=5" %g in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe" ^| find "MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe"') do @echo %g
9,812
1,405,424
23,728
689,756
49,420
1,668,052
7,064
157,392
389,412
2,492
47,892
7,092
385,388
18,236
387,592
8,044
107,520
2,932
24,720
57,816

C:\>

Checking the total memory usage for all Microsoft Edge MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe processes with the showmemusage.bat batch file, I saw the following. Note, memory usage by processes may fluctuate over time, so you may get different figures when you check at different times.

C:\>"\users\public\documents\showmemusage.bat" MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe
5420752 K

C:\>

So Microsoft Edge was using over 5 GB of the system's 8 GB of memory at the moment I ran the batch script. But the main question I had was which Microsoft Edge tabs were responsible for the highest memory utilization. I.e., how could I associate a process ID with the web page open in a particular tab.

The Windows Task Manager doesn't provide that capability, but another tool available from Microsoft, Process Explorer, can provide information to match a process ID with a system at the other end of a network connection. The utility can be downloaded from Microsoft at Process Explorer. When I ran that program, I saw the following information:

Sysinternals Process Explorer

When I double-clicked on the Microsoft Edge process using the most memory, PID 4128, to see details, and then clicked on the TCP/IP tab for that process, Process Explorer didn't show any network connections for that process, though.

Process explorer process details for 
PID 4128

However, when I double-clicked on the process with PID 3232 to see details for that process and then clicked on the TCP/IP tab and unchecked "Resolve Addresses" to see the IP address for the remote system, i.e., the IP address for the web server to which the process connected, rather than the fully qualified domain name (FQDN), I saw it was connected to 72.45.50.168 on port 80, the port commonly used for unencrypted web server connections.

Process explorer process details for 
PID 3232

But checking the FQDN associated with that IP address with nslookup, I couldn't immediately identify the web server at the other end of the connection with an open tab in Micrsofot Edge.

C:\>nslookup  72.45.50.168 8.8.8.8
Server:  google-public-dns-a.google.com
Address:  8.8.8.8

Name:    72-45-50-168-static.gsv.md.atlanticbb.net
Address:  72.45.50.168


C:\>

While trying to identify the culprit tabs associated with the highest memory usage, I closed a couple of tabs and then when I was about to check on another one, Microsoft Edge crashed. All of the Microsoft Edge processes disappeared and the memory and CPU usage plummeted.

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Task Manager - memory usage 
plummted

Like the author of the article Microsoft Edge is a system hog and cannot be called 'power efficient', I haven't found Microsoft Edge to be better at handling memory than other browsers nor reliably stable. E.g., Microsoft Edge High Memory and CPU Utilization.

When I reopened Microsoft Edge, the previously opened tabs opened automatically, but I saw no increase in CPU usage and only a very modest increase in memory usage.

Task Manager - memory usage Edge 
reopened

When I used the netstat command afterwards to check on whether connections to the 72.45.50.168 IP address were still listed, I saw the following:

C:\>netstat -an | find "72.45.50.168"
  TCP    192.168.0.20:56449     72.45.50.168:80        TIME_WAIT
  TCP    192.168.0.20:56450     72.45.50.168:80        TIME_WAIT
  TCP    192.168.0.20:56484     72.45.50.168:443       ESTABLISHED
  TCP    192.168.0.20:56488     72.45.50.168:443       ESTABLISHED
  TCP    192.168.0.20:56489     72.45.50.168:443       ESTABLISHED
  TCP    192.168.0.20:56490     72.45.50.168:443       CLOSE_WAIT
  TCP    192.168.0.20:56491     72.45.50.168:443       ESTABLISHED

 C:\>

But I still couldn't link any open tab in the Microsoft Edge browser to a webpage open at that IP address. Since I had previously installed Wireshark on the system for troubleshooting a network problem, I decided to use it to try to link a Microsoft Edge tab to a connection to that IP address. When I opened Wireshark, I found a newer version was available, so I installed the latest version of it. If Wireshark hadn't already been present on the system, I would have used HTTPSniffer from NirSoft, since, for this particular issue, it could provide a comparatively simiple way for me to look for a URL associated with an IP address.

When I opened Wireshark, I set the capture filter to be host 72.45.50.168 for the "Local Area Connection", since that was the network interface for the traffic.

Wireshark host capture filter

I then clicked on Capture and selected Start to start capturing network traffic to/from the specified IP address.

Wireshark start capture

But I didn't see any traffic.

Wireshark capture in
progress

And when I then checked for connectivity to the IP address again using netstat, netstat wasn't showing any connectivity at that time.

C:\>netstat -an | find "72.45.50.168"

C:\>

The Task Manager wasn't showing any process consuming an excessive amount of memory, either.

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Task Manager Details - no
memory issue

So, in this instance, I was not able to pinpoint a website linked to a Microsoft Edge process consuming excessive memory, but I'm noting steps that can be taken to try to make such identifications and to calculate the total amount of memory being used by Microsoft Edge processes.

Related articles:

Microsoft Edge High Memory and CPU Utilization
Date: Sunday May 29, 2016

 

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