dwm.exe (Desktop-Window Manager) uses high memory with Intel Intel HD Graphics 630. This problem has been reported before:
Here's a screenshot of my dwm ram usage after 2 hours (1.6 GB):
Please, this bug is already known for 3-4 months, and I do not want to reinstall a 2019 driver...
I have this issue too on my NUC8i7bek (Iris Plus 655 graphics) with fully up-to-date Windows 10 and currently the latest beta driver 184.108.40.20677, though every driver version I have tried has been affected. My system also has a 4K monitor (Dell U2720q, specifically). The hardware is important here, because I cannot reproduce the issue on a NUC6i5syk (Iris 540) with a 1080p TV and the same driver and OS version.
I do have a method of reproducing this issue 100% of the time. My system, for the record, has fast startup and hibernation both disabled, and I never use sleep. It is configured to turn the monitor off (and lock the screen) after 5 minutes of inactivity. If I press Win+L to lock the screen manually, the monitor shuts off within a minute or so.
To reproduce the issue, I reboot my system and log in. Then I lock the screen and wait for it to shut off the monitor automatically. Once it does, I press a key to turn the screen back on, log in again, and repeat the process. The second time the monitor comes back on, if I perform almost any action, DWM starts leaking memory very rapidly. This includes opening/closing windows, moving windows, scrolling within windows (browsers, both Firefox and Chrome, seem to make it leak the fastest), and watching videos within a browser all cause leakage. Then, if I lock the screen again, wait for it to shut off, and wake it up a third time, it stops leaking RAM (though what was previously leaked is not freed). The leakage will occur again after some number of additional monitor sleep cycles, but whenever it is leaking, a sleep cycle will temporarily stop the leak.
I have also found that if I use SysInternals RAMMap to "Empty Working Sets" followed by "Empty Modified Page List", the leaked RAM is freed. This does not stop the leaking, however, if it was actively occurring.
After one week with Windows 10 build 21292 and still the driver v220.127.116.1116 I don't saw this problem. It could be luck, but I have a little bit hope that it is fixed by Microsoft. Today I expect the next Win10 Dev build and I will keep an eye on it.
A friend had this problem, and my previous workaround didn't work for him.
After studying the problem for some time, I noticed that it only occurred when the Username shown in Task Manager > details > dwm.exe was DWM-2 or higher (I saw up to DWM-7). If the Username was DWM-1 the problem did not occur. DWM-1 is the account "Console Logon", and I eventually found a way of ensuring that dwm.exe always runs with this account. The solution was to disable Windows "Fast Startup", and multiple cold boots always resulted in DWM-1 being used. With "Fast Startup" enabled it would switch to DWM-2 etc after a couple of reboots.
When using Windows Manager accounts DWM-2 or DWM-3 etc, the memory leak started to show within minutes, but I couldn't reproduce the leak using DWM-1.
I tried searching Online for a screenshot of a Task Manager screen showing the "Details" tab with high memory usage of dwm.exe, to check the account being used, but I couldn't find one. As a result, I can't say if this will work for others?
I currently use driver 18.104.22.16876 since the problem occurs on my computer when updating to next public release 22.214.171.12487. I'm not sure whether Intel can provide intermediate versions so I can help to find out the buggy update version.
If I make a fast-startup I see that I use DWM-15 (with 8476 and no memory leak), on cold reboot it is DWM-1. I cannot tell whether having constantly DWM-1 would fix the problem since the 8476 driver doesn't seem to have this problem with other accounts than DWM-1.
Look like the "x" in DWM-x means sessions id, so look like is intel drive doesn't handle it smoothly or something, and cause memory leak.
But I still have no idea for reproducing constantly, and is the only way for fixing it.
Disabling "Fast Startup" worked for me, but my workaround is only one of many possible alternative "solutions" out there. Many people may choose not to disable this setting as they find it improves boot & shutdown time? They may also find it doesn't fix the memory leak for them?
I see that 126.96.36.19968 has just been released, so perhaps that will be an improvement, and no dwm.exe memory leak workarounds will be required?
I still see sometimes abnormal spikes >500MB, but it seems that since Win10 build 21292 the dwm.exe process will be better flushed after I close the apps. My desktop computer with nVidia GTX 1060 never reaches over 100MB.
Currently I use Win10 build 21301 and driver 188.8.131.5263 and had 3 IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL GSOD (AV_nt!MiGetPfnPidSafe). I don't know if this has something to do with this bug. With my desktop computer I don't have these GSOD.
Bonjour à toutes et à tous
Tous d’abord bonne et heureuse année 2021 ainsi qu’une bonne santé
Excusé de mon langage je suis Français.
Je suis tombé sur cette discussion suite au même problème avec un notebook
le cpu est un celeron j4115 avec intel UHD 600 en support vidéo
j’ai le notebook depuis une semaine quand je l’ai reçu il était sous Windows 10 pro 1903
Tous allez bien, passez en 1909 avec Windows Update
Tous allez bien, passez en 20H2 avec Windows Update
Depuis même problème avec dmw.exe
En suivant les guides j’ai donc mis la version 184.108.40.20685 et tous va bien
j’ai désactivé la mise à jour automatique dans :
Paramètres avancés du système > Matériel > Paramètres d’installation des périphériques
Donc il y à bien un problème avec les derniers drivers Intel et Windows 20H2
PS : Mon notebook est un Kuu K2s sous Windows 10 pro
I experienced the dwm.exe memory leak problem with versions 220.127.116.1153 up to 18.104.22.16826 inclusive.
However, I tried the older 22.214.171.12483 version and so far have not had a problem with the dwm.exe memory leak.
Hello! I have the same bug on my Lenovo Carbon Gen8 (intel UHD 620). After hybernation my dwm.exe ate 9,8 GB. OS is Windows 10 20H2. I updated intel drivers (to 126.96.36.19926) and will continue to monitor the issue to collect a report. I didn't have any issues on previous driver version until I activated hybernation (though I might just haven't noticed).
I'm quite disappointed with intel team response "we couldn't reproduce it so it's not our problem". Hope it will be resolved soon.
I'm not sure if it helps, but on 188.8.131.5226 (and every driver > 184.108.40.20653) I encountered strange bugs in some games. The most reproduceable is Rimworld color coded bars (in the schedule menu, pawn's needs menu), all bars are gray, while on all previous drivers including 220.127.116.1153 colors are displayed correctly (blue, red, yellow, green etc.). Official forum link: https://ludeon.com/forums/index.php?topic=53555.0. I downgraded drivers to 18.104.22.16853 to fix this issue, but now dwm.exe leaks memory again (up to 700 Mb in 1h after os start with fast boot, ~5-10 Mb/h after dwm.exe restart).
It seems I don't have any choice but to rollback to 7985 driver until Intel/Microsoft figure this out.
I don't know if it helps, but I encountered strange bugs in some games on 22.214.171.12426 with Intel UHD 620 (and on any driver > 126.96.36.19953), though dwm.exe leak was minimal. For example. in Rimworld color coded bars are all displayed in gray color (in schedule menu, pawn needs menu). I downgraded to 188.8.131.5283 and the problem was fixed. It seems some links aren't allowed here, but you can find the topic on official Rimworld forum by searching "ludeon 53555.0" on google. On 184.108.40.20653 dwm.exe started to leak again (up to 700 Mb in 1h after start with fast boot, 5-10 Mb/h after dwm.exe reset).
It seems I don't have any other choice but to rollback to 220.127.116.1185 until Microsoft/Intel figure this out.
I was able to reproduce the dwm.exe memory leak using version 18.104.22.16826 on an Intel UHD 630.
Once the memory usage started to go above about 300Mb, it didn't come back down, even after all Apps were closed. I tried this workaround, and after a couple of days of regular use I haven't see it use much more than 100Mb. The memory usage also drops regularly, and returns to "normal" values when all Apps are closed. I'm using Windows 20H2 Build 19042.746 on a Desktop PC, so it may not work on a Laptop or other versions of Windows 10?
Go to "Graphics performance preference" here -
Settings -> Display -> Graphic Settings -> click on the Browse" button and select dwe.exe in the System32 folder. Click on the "Options" button and select "Let Windows Decide" (I think this option is marked "System Default" on some versions of Windows?).
I tried both the "Power saving" and "High performance" options, and they did nothing, other than possibly making it worse!
I've been using my PC with this configuration for about 7 hours today, and most of yesterday, and the current dwm.exe memory usage is 100Mb. Of course I can't guarantee that the memory problem won't come back again? I can't guarantee that it'll work for you either?
I found in a thread here:
TurboTacho: We are aware that the Intel graphics driver 22.214.171.12485 is the last known best working set that had no such memory leak issue.
I am also kind of programming stuff, so I do know that bugs, that aren't reproducable are nearly impossible to fix, also I heard that this is a heap problem which belong to the hardest nuts...
However if it is known that 126.96.36.19985 is the last version without this bug, many seem to have (I hope this version is right, since I didn't test it myself), @intel can I recommend to maybe look into the protocolled changes to the next version to maybe figure out which change could have caused this bug?
I would also happily test any experimental fixes
please discard/ignore above message. I systematically tested all previous drivers available at
myself and can tell you exactly the last stable version without the dwm leak:
It is 188.8.131.5276
as soon I update to the next version (184.108.40.20687) the dwm leak happens on my computer... maybe you can check the change log between both versions and hopefully find something obvious that may cause this bug 🙂
Hmm. I think it depends on Intel, I happily test more versions if this helps. Like if they can provide 8520 and this bugs I continue with 8495, if bugfree I can test 8545 or so. This way we could easily find the culprit update.
Possible workaround: I was trying to solve slow performance on an MSI GS66 laptop (same RTX2060 and Intel integrated graphics setup as others with this issue have described.) On a parallel issue, I uninstalled Xbox Game Bar and all other xbox services using O&O AppBuster, since it was hogging system resources. Since uninstalling and restarting the machine, dwm.exe hasn't taken up more than 100MB memory at any point, and typically sits between 30-50 (previously hit 300MB as soon as I opened any app and continued to climb to around 1GB - though admittedly I didn't have the issue with it holding on to used memory as bad as others have reported, and it would often drop after apps closed.)
Haven't rolled back Windows or anything else to older versions, haven't turned down display or desktop appearance settings. Full list of changes made before the restart that showed results:
Obviously not ideal if you use Xbox, and may not work for everyone, but it's much better than it was. I'm NOT experienced; any experts please feel free to point out any unsafe steps I took, & I'll edit post to reflect.