Evernote for the Mac disappoints

Update: Evernote Support got in touch pretty quickly and I’ve been sending them reports from Activity Monitor and Console. Hopefully they will help.

I updated my Evernote app on my Mac to what I believe is version 1.6 (for reasons which will become apparent in what follows, I haven’t been able to check this within the app). Since that update the Mac app has become a memory sink of note, so much so that I just posted the following to the user forum:

The latest Evernote for Mac update is a shocker! I upgraded when I was prompted to do so and found that the app typically takes a few minutes to load and become usable (before then it is either unresponsive or I get a spinning beachball). It starts up using around 300MB of “Real Memory” (I believe that is the correct metric) and as I type this it is using around 435MB and the app still haven’t become usable yet. I left the app running on my MacBook during the day yesterday or so and found it was using around 700MB. This update seems to have converted Evernote into a memory sink.

I also find that the Mac app is incredibly sluggish for me. I have roughly 4 500+ notes and of those notes, around 3 500 to 4 000 are PDFs (I scan straight to PDF using my ScanSnap). The app is very sluggish when I try accessing notes, navigating to other notebooks and search for notes. I don’t know if the PDF volume impacts on this or not or whether this means the underlying database is bloated/broken but the end result is that Evernote is becoming more of a chore to use than something I want to use every day, all the time. I haven’t been able to load the app and view the version number for the purposes of this post so I have included the file name in the subject line.

Heck, this morning I wanted to type up a shopping list and it was quicker to open TextEdit, type up the note, print it out and give it to my wife than it was to open Evernote and create a new note.

Evernote is supposed to be my constant companion on my Mac. I used to have it open automatically when I booted up my Mac because I use it for everything. One of the reasons I have so many notes and PDFs at that is because I have been dumping all my old documents into Evernote to make it all easier to find and more useful to me.

This sluggish behaviour isn’t new to this version. I just noticed I filed a similar post for version 1.4.9 and I was told that the app would “pause for a bit” when loading large PDFs. This isn’t pausing “for a bit”, it is stalling and crashing. It is also tremendously disappointing. I have been evangelising Evernote here in South Africa and a number of people have started using it because I have been so passionate about the app and the service. Surely this must be something you can fix?

This is what my memory usage looked like shortly before I force quit the application (it was not responding):

Evernote memory usage.png

This screenshot is a reading that was increasing steadily towards 1GB. Not good.

By Paul

Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at Automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.


  1. Just did the 1.6 upgrade and so far so good. Memory usage is up to 54MB in 1.6 from 50MB in 1.5.2 – granted I don't have as many notes as you, and I don't store PDF's within Evernote, so hopefully I won't suffer from the same issues as you have. I'll leave it running all day (as I usually do) and see if the memory spirals up. I have the disk image for 1.5.2 handy if you need it.

  2. Thanks Allan. I wonder if the volume of notes and the proportion of notes in PDF ramps up that memory usage? Based on your experience and other reports it seems that does have a fairly dramatic effect. Evernote is running at the moment and my usage is around 512MB after an hour or two.

  3. 3 hours in and it's still at 54MB. I'm evaluating Leap and Yelp as options for managing my (PDF/Word/PPT) documents, so hopefully won't ever run into the same problems as you're having. Also, I'm running Snow Leopard, which may affect the performance.

  4. I am also running Snow Leopard. I had it running earlier and the memory
    usage went up to about 500MB after about 15 minutes or so. I restarted the
    app twice and while it is working at the moment, it is using roughly 775MB
    of system memory. This really looks like a memory leak of some kind. I
    don't remember the previous version more than 300MB or so. I have put quite
    a lot into Evernote and am very loathe to switch to a new platform. I am
    sure this is a fixable issue.

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