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I am using macOS Mojave 10.14.5. Books.app shows 650 MB memory being used in Activity monitor even when it is not opened. I have books of around 110 MB but I haven't used the app very much recently.

  • I tried opening and quitting the app. And quit the process from activity monitor too. It didn't stop. Then, I had force quit the process from Activity Monitor. It fixed it for some days and now it is back in the same state.

  • In the "Open Files and Ports" of Activity Monitor, ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.iBooksX/Data/Documents/BKLibrary/BKLibrary-1-091020131601.sqlite is an entry along with .sqlite-wal and .sqlite-shm with the same file name.

  • I booted into Safe mode and worked for about 30 minutes during which the app didn't appear in Activity Monitor. It came back in normal mode after around 2 days.

  • New find is that, when I open iBooks, another PID of the same app is created with around 50 MB. All the further actions like, opening a book, closing it, networking processes etc affect only the newly created PID. Quitting the app kills the newer PID, not the older one.

What is triggering books.app to start and use that much memory?

  • How many books are registered within the app and what size is the .sqlite file? – LаngLаngС Aug 12 '19 at 11:25
  • @LangLangC 40 books. .sqlite is 213 KB, .sqlite-shm is 33 KB, .sqlite-wal is 1.9 MB. – anki Aug 12 '19 at 12:54
  • Same here. Any news on this? Is Catalina the answer? Trouble is: as an MBA user, it's nearly impossible to find the 8GB requested every time there is a major OS upgrade! – André Levy Oct 17 '19 at 1:24
  • Nothing on my end.. I just tolerate it. Not updated to Catalina. @AndréLevy – anki Oct 17 '19 at 2:05
  • Just checked, and it has been on all the time, @ankii. iBooks is now taking 219MB of memory, by far the single largest process on Activity Monitor (browser tabs take more when combined, though). What's it doing? Indexing?? I've only got a handful of PDFs and ePubs listed in there! – André Levy Nov 5 '19 at 22:30
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+50

I note that Books is using a similarly small amount of memory on my Mac, too, despite not being launched. So, I'd categorise this as 'normal'.

My general approach to memory issues is "Is this an actual problem?"

If memory pressure is low; and you're not seeing high levels of swap and associated performance issues: then I'd be tempted to let MacOS do the system management.

You could try launching the app, and letting it 'work' for a bit, then quit it, and see if that improves things. There do seem to be a couple of other reports on ASC about Books running wild with memory - the DiskSpaceEfficiency plugin seems to be the culprit. But no solutions given. FWIW, I don't see the behaviour in Catalina. It's likely to be a bug.

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  • It is so embarrassing to deny the above comment and saying that it is back with 662 MB. New find is that, when I open iBooks, another PID of the same app is created. All the further actions like, opening a book, closing it, networking processes etc affect only the newly created PID. Quitting the app kills the newer PID, not the older one. – anki Aug 13 '19 at 19:37
  • I am not disregarding your answer, but as André said, it can become highest memory consumer for my poor battery at times. And there can be a potential solution IF it is related to iCloud sync of the books. – anki Nov 5 '19 at 23:07
  • As the answer currently is, I am hesitant to give it the bounty. \\ If you don't get another + vote, you might not receive it automatically either, by the system. What happens if I feel my question is still unanswered? / What is automatic awarding? – anki Nov 10 '19 at 18:33
  • @ankii If your question is "Why", then the easy answer is "It's probably a bug". If you're looking for a way of stopping it, then that's something else altogether! – benwiggy Nov 10 '19 at 18:45
  • apple.stackexchange.com/revisions/361222/1 the title was never revised since I wrote the two liner. It seems I wrote it(and the concluding question) along the lines of "Why on earth is it happening" while wanting "How on earth do I stop this" – anki Nov 10 '19 at 18:47
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It seems similar to the questions where processes like accountsd eat up a lot of memory and people change their account settings.

I had my iCloud for books turned off at the time of the issue. I turned it on in System Preferences → iCloud → iCloud Drive Options.

Now whether it stays off, or on, there is no stray iBooks process eating up the memory.

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  • What do I do to the bounty ? – anki Nov 6 '19 at 13:03
  • The bounty you should give to Ben or the best other answer and then select this answer if it’s the best. – bmike Nov 6 '19 at 13:29

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