Aperture Memory Leaks

by admin on February 16, 2010

Yes, it’s true. Aperture 3 isn’t perfect for everyone:

Yes. Huge memory leak in Aperture 3. It’s amazing this got passed internal and beta testing. Surely one of the beta testers had to have experienced this if they were migrating over their legacy libraries. What’s frustrating is the background processes are slowing this app down, which the average user doesn’t realize is happening unless they choose window>show activity. Forcing Aperture to run in 32-bit mode seems to alleviate some the problem for me but I’ve read that some users are still experiencing memory leak in 32-bit mode. Once the background processes are completed though, the system returns resources back to the user. Aperture 3 is a significant upgrade and IMHO an awesome one that was well worth the wait. Unfortunately first impressions are everything and users migrating over from Aperture 2 with huge libraries may have reason to migrate over to Adobe LR. I have to admit that I had thoughts of doing just that run through my head but I’m glad I stuck it out.

Apple needs to address this issue sooner than later and I’m sure they are working on it.

The fear of bugs is one reason I’m going to wait a little while before upgrading. The memory leak problem likely isn’t a factor for everyone, but Aperture 2.14 runs like a Swiss watch for me, and I don’t want to upgrade until Apple squashes some of the initial problems, and I get 4 gigs of RAM in my Macbook

Again – problems like this can happen with any new piece of software, or an upgrade, and they usually don’t affect all users across the board. I just hope that Apple becomes more active with and more responsive to the growing Aperture user community.

Interestingly enough, Apple has already put out an update to Aperture 3 to address an issue affecting the playback of video clips used in Aperture 3 slideshows.

Other complaints:

I just thought I’d weight in and say I too had this problem. I left Aperture ‘upgrading’ my library and went away all excited and when I came back my computer was at a crawl (I mean, it took several seconds just to check my password coming out of screensaver lol) and I had an autodialogue saying OSX had no more memory to run applications and suggested I quit several apps, nothing big, just Textedit and Safari etc. I clicked Finder and saw that my available disk space was…0Kb!

I agree with the previous poster, first impressions are important and this is a REALLY poor first impression. Fortunately I love Aperture so I’ll forget about it in time I’m sure but it’s poor that this was missed in the testing, it’s clearly a non-local enough problem it should have been spotted.

I have to add that I typed the last paragraph about 10 minutes ago, my computer slowed to a virtual stop as I typed as Aperture again killed me.

After an absolute dearth of information about the very existence of Aperture 3 leaving the community of loyal users in the dark to an almost embarrassing degree for a year, this is hardly as auspicious start. When I have to force quit an application the very first time I use it, I’m not impressed. Rather an excitedly flicking through the new features, I’m trying to figure out how to stop my computer falling over every time I start it!


I had this problem when my aperture 2 “thumbnails” got imported into aperture 3, everything would lag and aperture would fail to respond.

It seemed like a permissions related issue with the library trying to load the old file, so on a test library I wiped out the AP.minies and thumbs/etc Files and all previews, and the problem went away.

I just completed an overnight run of rebuilding all the thumbnails on my main library and it worked! Took quite a while but if you are having any issues with scrolling speed in the browser, or just general loading of albums and beachballing this may be a good thing to try.

Disable faces, and auto preview generation, and if you still have the problem, select all your images in the library and click photos->generate thumbnails


There’s definitely a gaping leak or several going on in A3. There was in A2 as well, but not nearly as bad.

This program when opened, just ***** up RAM as much as possible and then starts paging out.

This should never have gotten through alpha, let along beta and certainly not a release version such as this.


Just installed Aperture today and left for the evening while my Library was being converted. Got back and the installation process was frozen with 3% done. A message stated my start-up drive was full. However, my Aperture 2 library and new Aperture 3 Library are on a separate drive. That drive has about 800gb free. I had to force quit. Restarted the computer and my start-up drive has 56gb free space. Something crazy going on.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Terry Hammond March 2, 2010 at 4:16 am

I can only echo other comments. I loaded Aperture 3, three days ago on my imac and I am still waiting to be able to use it. I switched off the face recognition when ‘show activities’ read that it had detected 45 faces of 10,000! As semi professional photographer I am outraged that Apple should inflict this, clearly faulty soft ware, on its customers.
Toyota was forced to recall its faulty products, what are Apple doing? I was so glad I switched to Apple 18 months ago, but over time have begun to question what seems a smugness and arrogance exuding from Apple. This problems has confirmed my fears. When I first rang Apple support they gave me no indication at all that this was a wider problem, just confirming that it can take time to load. Apple if you are ‘listening’, your reputation is going to be badly tarnished, so please rescue your customers from this problem.
Now into forth day and still can not use Aperture, and now having to email a customer to apologise for not getting some proofs to them, that I promised.

Terry Hammond March 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm

My local Apple store advised me to down load recent upgrade which I have done and now seems to be working ok, although I have not used all the editing tools yet. Wish some one had told me about the down load before!!! Seconds thoughts about further Apple purchases

Hemaka September 14, 2010 at 11:20 am

Thanks for the review ,, I just installed Aperture 3 and every time I open it the Mac just slows down ,, checked the activity monitor which shows its taking up 3.5GB of the 4GB space available. Its always processing, I think its trying to load my pics from iPhoto (i have a lot there) , what can i do to stop this! I am sure Aperture is great it is what I need and I trust in Apple , but this is frustrating and the first time that i’m having this experience.

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