I recently updated my 2008 MB Pro (2 GB RAM) to Yosemite from 10.6 and I've found that it's often unusably slow. After keeping an eye on Activity Monitor over a couple weeks, I notice that the Image Capture Extension and software updated processes are often using over 400MB of RAM, 95% of which is compressed.

Quitting the processes seems to make the system more responsive, but I assume that these are supposed to be running in the background.

The only applications I usually have running are Safari/Chrome, Textmate and LibreOffice. I've been closing app's from the bar when I'm not using them.

Are there any settings I can tweak to change this behaviour? Could it be a bug? (I've noticed similar complaints elsewhere online)


  • I have a relatively large iPhoto library, but I don't leave the program running
  • No peripherals (usb keys, cameras, storage, etc) are physically connected


I did a firmware restart several weeks ago and the Image Capture Extension has been behaving so far. softwareupdated continues to have high memory demand, the process regularly ends up with 400+MB of compressed memory. I suspect that at least some of my problems are related to (un)gzip constantly running.

  • 1
    These processes are runnning in the background. They are managed by launchd which will restart them automatically. You can kill them at will.
    – dan
    Feb 14, 2015 at 19:30
  • Is the problem of Image Capture Extension memory abuse appearing after using iPhoto, after making image manipulation within Preview, after making a screen capture or using a scanner?
    – dan
    Feb 14, 2015 at 19:34
  • The fact that killing Image Capture Extension lets you recover a normal behaviour is a hint that this application isn't correctly freeing its memory.
    – dan
    Feb 14, 2015 at 19:36

3 Answers 3


Since I upgrade my late 2009 iMac (4GB memory) to Yosemite, the system had not been performing well. It would be slow at time particularly after it had not been rebooted for a a day or more. In the Activity Monitor I noticed the it Image Capture Extension was steadily growing to become a major user of memory, and the memory pressure was in the yellow as the extension used more memory. I could not determine what program or process was causing this. I then installed two 4GB memory boards increasing my memory to 12GB. Now the Image Capture extension stays at a low value (25-50MB) and does not grow, and the memory pressure stays in the green. Memory is now cheap, your 2GB is likely your problem.

  • I could certainly install more RAM, but I'm not inclined to bother for a 7yro laptop. I'm just hoping to make it usable enough to be a spare computer. Feb 17, 2015 at 14:28

Apple fixed this problem in the Yosemite 10.10.3 update. Image Capture Extension no longer has the memory leak.

  • 1
    Please back up your assertions with some appropriate references in excerpted form with a link to the source.
    – IconDaemon
    Jun 11, 2015 at 22:00

I have a similar problem. iMac mid 2011 with 12Gb Ram, Yosemite.
Image Capture Extension taking up 6.04Gb of my memory.
I do use my computer for days without restarting. iPhoto, Preview, iMovie and Final Cut.
I have to restart every now and then.
Doesn't seem like Yosemite clear memory when you close apps.

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