Windows 11 memory leaks appear to be less severe than reports indicate

Windows 11 Wallpaper
Windows 11 Wallpaper (Image credit: Microsoft via Aggiornamenti Lumia)

What you need to know

  • There are reports that a memory leak issue has been plaguing Windows 11 for months and found its way into the operating system's launch release as well.
  • The leak occurs when the File Explorer is repeatedly opened, resulting in unusually heightened RAM usage.
  • While the idea of a memory leak is unsavory, the amount of users reporting the issue doesn't imply serious danger.

As reported by PCGamer and a handful of other outlets, Windows 11 has a memory leak issue — one that's been haunting it for a while and gone unfixed, right through its October 5 launch. However, based on the lack of reports circulating about the issue, it seems everyday users aren't encountering it at a frequency where there's widespread cause for alarm.

Relatively few Twitter users are reporting firsthand issues with memory leaks in Windows 11. Most are simply circulating the existing reports and asking if the issue will affect them.

Over on Reddit's Windows 11 sub, there is but a single post from the last 24 hours discussing memory leaks, and it's titled "Anyone having the Windows 11 memory leak issue?" It asks if users have experienced the problem themselves yet, to which no one has given an affirmative "yes." However, when one Redditor questioned the scariness of a memory leak that was only discovered by performing a very specific, somewhat irregular task, another (/u/AdvancedFollower) replied "If you leave your PC in sleep mode and rarely restart it, it sounds like you'll eventually run out of RAM and have to restart the computer or at least the Explorer process."

So it's worth remembering that these issues are not anything to scoff at; any memory leak is bad news and should be addressed by Microsoft in a timely fashion. But for those wondering if the bug is absolutely system crippling, it appears that's not the case and that the widespread "it's functional and fine" reviews are indeed accurate, at least for the time being.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to