macOS Notes App Using a Ridiculous Amount of Memory

I recently started using Apple’s Notes app for taking notes and storing temporary bits of text and URLs. I use Evernote for long-term storage of this sort of thing, but Notes is an easy to use tool for me to jot something down – or dictate it – on my iPhone, and have it available almost instantly on my Mac.

However, I’ve noticed that Notes is using a huge amount of RAM. Here’s what it is currently using on my Mac:

Notes ram
That’s 7.38 GB on a Mac with 16 GB RAM. You can also see that there is 7 GB of swap memory (virtual memory) being used.

This has something to do with networking. If I look in Activity Monitor, there are about 100 processes called Notes Networking, each of which is using between 8 and 9 MB RAM.

Notes networking memory

I have no idea why this is happening; this isn’t just a memory leak, but these are processes being spawned for some reason. And my Mac has not been running long; the last time I restarted it was less than two days ago.

I’m not going to waste my time calling Apple, because their support is broken. Nor will I waste my time filing a bug report.

The only solution is to quit Notes regularly and relaunch it.

15 thoughts on “macOS Notes App Using a Ridiculous Amount of Memory

  1. Guess this is why people switch to alternatives like Evernote or Google Keep, or Trello, etc.

    One would expect Apple to be more…keen on streamlining its own Apps. Oh well…

    • As I say, I use Evernote for long term storage, but I’ve been using Notes as a sort of inbox lately, because it’s simple and flexible. Evernote is not simple. And I won’t use Google anything for storing important stuff.

  2. It is frightening how much memory is used. An eBay page in Safari can be 300MB. Just one page in a browser. WTF?

    However, I have no such Notes threads running. I have Notes running 24/7. It’s one of the apps that is always open. I am connected to the Internet and to local server(s) and I have 4 iCloud accounts, all of which are there in Notes.

    It annoys me intensely that the ‘New Notes’ to which I inadvertently upgraded in one account now disallows sharing if it’s not the primary iCloud account (I cannot fathom why Apple imposed such a ludicrous restriction), but it has always behaved itself for me and Activity Monitor shows just one single Notes thread that is the app.

    Looks like you might have a problem with your system Kirk.

  3. ..I’m not a tech-savy, but I do know that MacOS dynamically manages memory, always watching how much is left and using as much as needed if there’s a benefit.
    If you open an app and it needs a piece of memory, MacOs will purge memory used by Notes (perhaps system thinks it’s a good idea having your notes at hand, while it can).
    A thing to worry would be if Notes is also taking a lot of process effort. Take a look with Activity Monitor.
    And think this way, like OS does: why not to use free memory to speed user experience and just purge if more is needed? It seems an optimal approach.

  4. I had a similar problem and tracked it down to a single rogue note which had to be deleted and removed from trash. Don’t remember exactly how I tracked it down, but I think I started by disabling iCloud for Notes, waiting for the cache to purge, then re-enabling iCloud sync.

    I’ve since migrated all my notes over to Bear.

    • I looked at Bear, and while I write articles in Markdown, I wouldn’t want all my notes like that with the visible formatting characters. If you could switch to a preview mode, I make the change.

    • And I was thinking there might be a problem with a note that contains a URL, but it would be annoying to have to delete everything or move them someplace else to figure it out.

  5. I agree, an option to hide the markdown would be great. Even with the markdown visible I find Bear more readable than Notes as my eyes benefit from the adjustable line spacing and line length.

    I do miss the “rich” previews that appear when a link is shared from Safari to Notes, although it may have been these that caused an issue in my case.

    • By the way, I remember when I had a problem with Notes, there was a permanent spinner in the sidebar next to the iCloud account. Once I’d removed the offending note, the spinner returned to its normal behaviour.

    • I agree that Bear has a lot of strong points. I’m just not sure I want to view notes in Markdown. This said, I don’t use Notes a lot. My “file cabinet” is Evernote, and Notes is just a buffer for me, so switching to Bear wouldn’t be that big a change (unless I decided to give up Evernote, which could be in the cards…).

  6. My Notes app is using 76.1MB. There is a usernoted at 15.6MB and 6 x disnoted at 2.4 to 5.4 MB each. System has only been up 7 days, so notes hasn’t been running for more than that. My notes are all in iCloud and are straight txt on this machine. Just a data point for you.

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