Memory Problem

Aug 28, 2018

Upon tryng to save my Storyline 3 Project I get an error msg. "The project file could not be saved"  Your system appears to be low in memory. Please close any other programs and try again.


My system is defnitely not low in memory it has 32G of memory and I have nothing else open, help?  Does this mean my projec which is 3.2mb is too big? 

34 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi John,

Do you know what update of Storyline 3 you're using? You can check by going to the "Help" Tab -> "About Articulate Storyline".

I'm curious as there was a fix in a recent update to resolve some memory leaks and errors. 

If you're still seeing this error message, I'd also look into these best practices for saving locally, closing Storyline when not in use, and more. 

If you want to share a copy of your .story file I'm also happy to take a look. 

John Glasgow

Thanks Ashley, for your input, I took a look at your best practice article and I am happy to report that I am already adhearing to all of this 100%, so nothing I can do better on that front.

Is there some restriction to how much ram Articulate uses?

Perhaps sharing my project is not a bad Idea, how do I go about doing that? 

John Glasgow

Hi Ashley, I've all but given up trying to get any sense out of the software regarding memory usage, latest error displayed upon trying to save the file is......."The project file cannot be saved Cannot access a closed stream".   I do wish those writing the 'helpful' prompts would stop to consider the audience once in a while as this means absolutely nothing to me!

I've taken the drastic step of making 5 seperate copies of the file and stripping all but a handful of lessons from each in the hope that Articulate will be able to handle the smaller file size.  It does not bode well for my attempts to get my company to purchase a company wide version of 360 .  

Antonio A. Carneiro

My project is interrupted all the time. it just freezes. Sometimes its low memory, other times it just shows me a long list with unhandled stuff.. Its really frustrating. My computer is very good. i got plenty of memory, i7 multicore... neverthelees, it is a mess... and everything started or got worse after the latest update. 

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Alexandre,

Thanks for reaching out and sharing that you're running into similar issues.

I'm curious if the issue happens in any course you are working on or just this particular one?

  • If you cannot re-create the issue in a new course, I would advise you to import the file into a new one and proceed.
  • If it's happening in any/all files, you should conduct a repair of your software.
Antonio A. Carneiro

The article (on the repair link) is for storyline 360. Mine is storyline 3.
Besides the low memory issue., it constantly freezes when im copying or
duplicating a slide. As I said, my computer is brand new and very fast. So,
i dont believe its hardware troubleshooting.
Looking forward to guidelines on how to solve this problem;

Alexandre Moura

Gerda Fourie

I am having the same problem as described with Storyline 360.

I have a top of the range desktop with plenty of hard disk space and 32 GB RAM. 

The file is large, 2.5GB. 

I've also noticed freezing when pasting, and now I can't save my project as it says low memory, which is impossible. 

Phil Mayor

Storyline is 32bit still so the amount of memory you have is not going to help. Storyline can only use 4gb or less.

Some tips I have found for working with large files. First switch off autosave (not ideal but it helps). Switch it off before you open the large file.

Save as soon as the file opens it seems to release more memory. Monitor the task manager as if memory usage spikes to 3bg during save it will more than likely fail. If it fails a last resort is to do a save as which works about 50% of the time.

Save little and often, memory usage will slowly creep up, when it is over 2gb save (if you can) and close and redo the above steps.

Chris Pim

I agree with everything Phil said about managing memory issues...I am having terrible trouble with saving. It also affects certain tasks....where I copy a slide with say 10 layers and loads of interactions it either crashes or fails to duplicate/copy and paste. 'Save as' helps...with saving. Main worry is it may eventually refuse to Publish...last time I published (I have a very high spec PC)  memory resources topped out at 2.8 Gb which is worryingly close to reaching a point where it will refuse to publish (I guess) due to low memory. Game over then...

Anyone got anything that might help when publishing?

These problems have plagued Storyline incarnations forever and I can't understand why they have not been resolved after years and years and thousands of complaints (seemingly from the number of chatlines created here)

Needless to say I am incandescent with frustration...I have a project I have been working on for 2 years , through various iterations and the problems have got worse as the project has expanded. I am in danger of having 2 years work wasted.

Support requests have been logged...I am also stuck on an older version of the software ultimately (still using most recent version to develop) for Publishing because of other outstanding bugs that mean I can't publish on very recent versions of the software as this causes unusable behaviour in the output...

John Glasgow

Hi Chris, you have my sympathies, went through exactly the same problem myself, I am however on the latest version Storyline 3, but I don't believe that in itself will fix the problem.

See my earlier posts for some suggestions, one thing I would say is that if your Project file is getting close to 3g, its time to split it into smaller projects and link these together.

Alternatively strip out any latent memory usage (if you can find any).

Tip!  If like me, you made the mistake of importing PowerPoint slides from multiple files, there is a risk that the project file size has been adversely affected, due to multiple slide masters in the source .ppt files.

e.g. if the source .ppt files have two sets of slide masters, each with 10-15 layouts, and your project has 500 slides, that equates to 20-30 possible layouts for each and every slide in your project, (that's 10,000 - 15,000 possible layouts) i.e. when you load a slide in Storyline it has to consider which one of these to apply, which puts a big strain on memory usage.      

Hope this helps.

Chris Pim

Actually my project file is very small. It's because of the number of variables and triggers I think. There's not even many slides. What I can't work out is what to change to help the situation...there's plenty of things to try...It's not due to slide masters I don't think.

Since this is not something Articulate really raises as an issue to beware of there seems to be little clear guidance about what to avoid or how to control design to avoid these issues. Which to me leaves the customer vulnerable. I have seen customers talking about being unable to save or compile or even make quick edits when trying to meet critical deadlines...this could lose a company customers and possibly even bring a small company down. It is simply not good enough for the company to fudge this issue.

Thanks for you suggestions.

John Glasgow

Cant disagree with those sentiments, ...

..btw  what do you consider to be a small project file?

as in my experience the No. of triggers & variables make no difference whatsoever. 

i.e. the Current Project I am working on is 276 MB, has 657 triggers, 2 variables, 319 layers, 207 slides, 253 audio files, & 15 videos.   And I have not hit the out of memory yet, which is just as well as I am nowhere near finished. 

Chris Pim

The files size is less than 30mb. I am not sure about triggers and variables but I suspect I have 10000s of triggers...hundreds of variables...probably only 30 slides...some slides have 12 layers on each...

Interestingly if I try to duplicate or copy/paste one slide with 12 layers and prob. 100+ triggers and perhaps 40 v small pngs containing 20 states each then Storyline crashes or manages to copy the slide but then I can see the memory retained to do this does not get released after the duplication is complete and it is impossible to 'save' or 'save as' the file. I can see the memory goes up and up as it tries to save and then crashes as the memory goes over 3's  a 32 bit app.

Could it be because Storyline tracks changes and can undo it , it is keeping everything in memory and not releasing it - either deliberate or a memory leak?