to commonly asked questions.

iMovie memory leak

Hi Scotty,
I’m trying to put together some video clips for college coaches. I get a lot of beachballs and “Out of application memory” messages. Im not sure why.


The problem looks like iMovie has what I call hanging ram. In other words, it's asking for memory but forgetting it has any and keeps asking. Therefore your entire computer runs out of memory because it keep unnessasarily giving it to iMovie. This can also be referred to as a "memory leak".

First, shut down and restart your computer. Not restart. Actually shut it all the way down. If that doesn't solve it, next reset the NVRam. To do so, hold down command+option+p+r and let the computer chime 3 times before letting go during start up. If you don't hear the receptive chimes then you would be better served using a wired keyboard. Sometimes wireless keyboards don't trigger the NVRam startup command.

If that doesn't work, we would need to go to the next level. To check system memory usage you can use Activity Montior to monitor memory pressure. (Available in the applications folder, sometimes inside Utilities folder).
This image is a theme.plist hack