wordpress seems to be using over a gb of ram

Hey Everyone!,

One of my wordpress websites is suddenly using a huge amount of ram,

in the order of 1gb + virtual ram.

ive tried disabling the plugins and switching the theme over.

when i switch them all back on one at a time nothing goes wrong it takes time before the problem flares up.

theres been no signifigant changes recently,

i am on a good host, and the sister site of this one is in a different account but same host and doesnt have a problem.

I am wondering what tools or procedures other people use to narrow down problems like these,

any help would be appreciated,


  • Luke
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Hey Predrag,

    sorry its taken me so long to get back to you on this one, i did install p3 plugin profiler but i couldnt get it to run because the site keeps running out of ram.

    at this stage i have some good and bad news…

    the good news is, ive found the plugin thats causing the problem!.

    the bad news .. . its defender.

    ive taken defender out and been monitoring the ram usage through cpanel and theres been less than 200 mb total usage, today i downloaded a new copy of defender and put it back in.

    and within 5 minutes ram usage started to go up, in ten minutes it had used the whole gb of ram

    within 15 minutes virtual ram was at 1gb as well.

    when the defender option page loads i can see it is trying to do a background scan.

    audit logging is switched off.

    domain checking is switched on.

    this site has a sister site which is more or less identical, last week on friday i noticed it was having the same problem. i uninstalled defender there and the ram usage dropped immediately. having put defender back there today, i can tell you that its ram usage has basically not changed since defender went back in, which i personally think is very strange.

    are we in a private area here? if so ill sort out usernames and passwords for you,

    regards Luke H

  • Predrag Dubajic
    • Support

    Hi Luke,

    Thanks for the detailed report, it’s strange that the Defender is causing this for you, I have it installed on my sites as well and don’t see high memory usage like this.

    You mentioned that on one of your sites it doesn’t cause this, can you check if perhaps there are different modules active on sites with issues, and perhaps try disabling audit logging and automated scans so we can see if those could be causing this on your end?

    These forums are public by default, staff members can mark threads as private but even then we don’t suggest posting login details here.

    WPMU DEV Dashboard comes with option to grant support access to our staff, you can see here how to enable it:


    Best regards,


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