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ESET SS9 Huge memory leak with Outlook 2016

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Currently me ESET Smart Security 9 sits as usual, being quiet. However as soon as Outlook 2016 is opened things go very wrong! Firstly, Outlook usually hangs on opening the client, waiting for the ESET plugin to begin. Once Outlook is open, ekern.exe shoots up using 100% CPU (100% of a core), and the memory goes out of control. Normally it sits around 150MB, but with outlook I've seen it grow to over 800MB of memory!! The ESET GUI does not show any files being scanned at all.


On a plus side, to resolve this I took the following steps:

  • Uninstalled ESET and re-installed
  • Uninstalled Office 2016 and re-installed
  • Clean install of Windows 10 from media (not refresh)


None of these solve my issues at all!


Does ESET have a problem with POP accounts, especially with very large ones? I have a second Windows 10 machine with outlook 2016 which poses no problems with ESET on it, but that only has two Exchange accounts whilst my main machine (one with the problems) has the same Exchange and a POP account. The POP currently is at ~3GB file.


Any help?

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Does temporarily disabling integration with MS Outlook make a difference? When ekrn consumes a lot of RAM, please make a dump of ekrn by running "procdump -ma ekrn". Procdump can be downloaded from https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/dd996900.aspx.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello - I have run into the same issue. Findings:


* Disabling the ESET add-in in Outlook 2016 causes Outlook to behave normal and ESET not to spike.

* Enabling the ESET add-in in causes an average of 15 seconds delay loading Outlook 2016 profiles.

* Closing Outlook 2016 with enabled ESET add-in causes Outlook to hang and not close. ESET services spiking to over 1GB and c. 14% CPU. Hard termination through taskmanager causes ESET to remain at c. 1GB and 14% CPU levels long after Outlook 2016 services have stopped. Memory leak keeps building up.

* Running Outlook 2016 with disabled add-in, and then enabling the add-in causes ESET services to spike temporarily to c. 1.5GB and then drop to 650MB. After that, it steadily climbs to between 850MB and 1GB. Outlook 2016 becomes unresponsive when enabling the add-in while Outlook is running. Procdump runs into errors and stalls.


System: i7 4790K CPU, 16GB RAM, 64 bit Windows 10.


I have (Procdump) dumps available for 3 scenarios:

1) Running Outlook 2016 with ESET add-in disabled. (Dumpsize c. 280 MB)

2) Add-in enabled- with Outlook closing. (c. 950 MB)

3) Outlook closed (through taskmanager) and then reopened with add-in disabled. (c. 1.1 GB)


Additional note: I have been using ESET for years and find that these issues occur now and then with new updates of either the engine or signature database. Running fine for several months and then running into these issues until the next update comes out. That said: Running the same setup on another system does not necessarily correlate same observed issues.


Please advise how/where to provide you with the dumps / info for analysis. This is causing me a lot of issues currently.



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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Add me to the list.

Removing the ESET add-in indeed solves the problems listed above: Slow M$-Outlook 2016 start, huge CPU usage for no reason, and having to close M$-Outlook by killing its process.
On that last point: If M$-Outlook runs for a while (at high CPU usage) and one waits for it to calm down a bit, it becomes possible to close it the normal way without having to kill the process.


The CPU usage spike and the "cannot close M$-Outlook" issue had been bugging me for a while and I have only checked the possible to ESET SS9 (9.0.381.0) this morning, hence the two months since the last post.

Edited by Vacendak
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