Curious to know what levels of memory usage others see for VoiceOver on their Mac

macOS and Mac Apps

I would be curious to hear the memory usage that others see for VoiceOver on their Mac.

My own monitoring of this over the past couple days has shown a usage ranging from 77mb right now shortly after restarting VoiceOver, all the way up to 1.6gb.

That range and peak strikes me as incredibly large, particularly when there are few other processes/applications on my Mac which get over 200mb. For me, the increase in VoiceOver's memory usage appears to be a gradual one over time, with me doing nothing more demanding on my Mac when the usage was at 1.6gb than right now.

This has me wondering whether the times when VoiceOver will go in to its “busy, busy, busy” state (now “Safari not responding” as of Monterey) coincides with when VoiceOver is eating up loads of memory.

From my own limited testing, toggling VoiceOver off and back on again brings memory usage down, and also seems to make the “busy” go away for a while.

This is on a M1 MacBook Air with 8gb of memory.

To check your own system, open Activity Monitor; select memory from “Segmented Control radio group” in the toolbar; and then locate VoiceOver in the table of processes/applications.

In just the short time writing this post, VoiceOver's memory usage has already increased from 77mb to 180mb.



Submitted by Jason White on Saturday, November 6, 2021

It's definitely increasing over time. However, I have a Microsoft OneDrive process which is reported as using 3.24GB, so VoiceOver isn't the only interesting case here.

I don't know how Mac OS reports memory usage, so it isn't clear whether there's a memory leak or not. I haven't been experiencing significant VoiceOver performance issues (as in "not responding" messages associated with unresponsive applications). On the other hand, this is a 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip and 32GB of memory.

Submitted by Kilroy on Thursday, November 11, 2021

VoiceOver is currently using 3.2GB of memory on my MacBook Air.

Does anybody know why there might be such differences, and input articular why memory usage increases? And, I guess even more fundamentally, whether memory usage actually translates in to a hit on performance?

Submitted by Ekaj on Thursday, November 11, 2021

I've been noticing this too as of late, particularly on crowded websites that don't appear to be formatted correctly. But in addition, my MacBook Air is from mid-2013 and I think is soon to be retired. A tutor and I have been talking with my parents about replacing it, and they are very receptive. I, too, have noticed that the "Safari Busy" messages seem to go away when toggling VO off and then back on.

Submitted by dog on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

1.6 GB seems fine. I'd look into other apps that might be eating your RAM, since getting slowdowns in a new M1 Macbook sounds odd.

What other apps do you use?
Do you have a browser running with many tabs?
Chrome and Slack are two RAM hogs, specially Chrome.

Submitted by mr grieves on Monday, November 29, 2021

I am beginning to doubt myself, but I am swear I saw it at 77gb the other day. I just went into Activity Monitoring and it started at about 104mb but I can see it slowly creeping up. It's not 109mb and all I've done is flip between this window and activity monitor. It does feel like there is a memory leak in there somewhere.

This is on an Intel iMac.