Jul 27

What is Store.exe? Why does it use almost all my memory?

Exchange 2010 store.exe service


Store.exe is a service that is part of Microsoft Exchange server 2010 and is found on your mailbox server. Many people come across this process as it is known to use a lot of memory from the host machine. If you are running an Exchange server on your machine you are most likely going to see this process.

The behavior described here consists of store.exe using a considerable amount of memory resources. On a low memory server this is usually not an issue as store does not have much memory at it’s disposal to grab. However, say you have 32gb of RAM on your machine, you might see Store.exe using half or more which would be a reason of alarm for you. If I´m not mistaken Exchange is not recommended to run on a virtual machine with Dynamic memory allocation as this could be an issue (maybe SQL as well… don’t remember).

As far as the explanation is concerned, Exchange does this so that the cache it uses is allocated as much as possible on the RAM. This improves considerably the experience of your client users. Now, Store.exe is smart so it releases memory as it sees demand from other applications coming in.

In my scenario I have a Windows Small Business Server 2011 machine and I keep adding more and more RAM to improve it’s performance. As you know as RAM starts running out you start swapping to the Hard drive taking a hit to performance. Increasing the RAM has allowed me to decrease the filepage use but as I keep increasing it I was being blown by how much the server kept using. As you can imagine the one process that was using the most by far was store.exe. After reading how it works and looking at the performance tools I found a good balance. Now my server has enough memory to not cause any serious memory swapping even though 94% of the physical memory is being used thanks to Exchange’s Store.exe

Is it safe?

Yes, this is a legit process that is installed on your system as part of Microsoft’s Exchange Server 2010. If you don’t have Exchange server installed then continue studying the process to determine it’s origin and legitimacy.

Can I remove it?

No, this is a center piece of the Exchange Mailbox services so you would mess up your Exchange installation. If the amount of memory it uses alarms you or causes you problems there is a way to limit it (as there is with SQL server). By default, the msExchESEParamCacheSizeMax key is not set, which means the store can allocate the memory it needs dynamically. ESE (store.exe) will grow the cache to consume almost all available RAM on the server if there is no other memory pressure on the system. It’s not recommended to modify the msExchESEParamCacheSizeMax attribute of the information store object. Lowering this value may degrade performance for the client users and on the host server. In most cases even if it uses all available memory it should release it as required.

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