@Adobe Reader X Memory Leak

Last week I was working and suddenly PC started acting strange. It had lag and the UI of Adobe Reader X was almost totally disposed.

The first thing that I did was checking the number of GDI objects from Adobe Reader X. If the UI is having problems drawing itself and the program is not responding as it should be, that could be a good place to start your search.

Checking the GDI objects in Windows is very simple:

  • Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager
  • Select the [Processes] tab
  • Add the GDI Objects column by clicking [View] > [Select Columns...] and check [GDI Objects]

  • Now find your Adobe Reader X process in the list and check how much GDI Objects it has.

The limit of GDI Objects per process is 10000 in Windows, and that is what I actually saw.

The problem occurs when you open a PDF file and press Ctrl+F and search for some text. You will not notice the leak if you don’t use (= scrolling and searching) the PDF file for a while.
By scrolling the document, everything works fine but if you search the document it will leak GDI handles and if you scroll after you triggered the leak, every scroll will increment the leaked handles.

I just binged if this was a new bug but it seems that this bug was already reported in February 2011 on the Adobe forums.

Shame on you Adobe!

FYI: tested on Windows 7 (x64) and again another reason to start using the freeĀ Foxit Reader.

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2 thoughts on “@Adobe Reader X Memory Leak

  1. I’dd already expected something like that, good job for pointing the out, maybe they’ll fix it..
    I just used Adobe X with a huge PDF (~600 pages), after a few searches my screen began to flash rapidly xD.
    After it stopped flashing by closing the search window (during the flashes), it said: internal error occured!
    I also notice some UI-lags sometimes like u describe..

    Thanks for pointing out Foxit, it looks great, I’ll give it a try!

    • A collegue also recommended Foxit. Works like a charm, and actually renders PDFs more accurate. Also Adobe is coming a bit bloated :s

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