System is out of memory

Jan 17, 2014

Hi Heroes!

I'm working currently on a module developped with SL.

The size is of the module is about 160 MB (is there a limitation of the size?) including branchings to 30 scenes, including some videos with no sound.

My source file is located on my PC (Windows 7, 32 MB, last update of SL installed).

I couldn't save my last modifications because of a message saying something like "This file can't be saved, your system is out of memory, close any program and try again...". That's what I did but noway.

I've checked help in the forum and as advised, I tried to publish my course but the publication has stopped....

My questions are:

-Is the problem due to my PC or to SL

-Is my storyfile corrupted? Can I still  work with it?

-Is my SL file too big?

What are your advices?

Thanks a lot for your help.


22 Replies
Christine Hendrickson

Hi there Michele,

Sorry for the delay! Not quite sure how we missed your post.

First, the file size is pretty large. While there is no official maximum size, the larger the project file the more memory you're going to use. If your machine doesn't have a lot of memory that can result in some issues. That's not to say that it's only an issue with the machine - it very well could be the file.

If the file is corrupt, the best way to fix it is to import the portion of the project that has been saved into a new project file. 

Here's how:

Importing from Another Storyline Project - E-Learning Heroes

You may also want to make sure that your project file is on your primary hard drive, not on a partition and that there are only alphanumeric characters in the file names (no spaces, underscores, etc.).

  • Work on your local drive (your C: drive). Working on a network drive or a USB drive can cause erratic behavior, including file corruption, loss of audio, and other unexpected behavior. 
  • You should also make sure the directory path to your project files and your published output is less than 260 characters (for example C:\Articulate).
  • Avoid using special characters, accents or symbols in your file names (this includes spaces and underscores).

Additional information regarding "Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces" in Windows operating systems can be found in the following Microsoft article.

If that doesn't help, try breaking the project down. Try importing a couple scenes using the import method I suggested. Remove those scenes and try to save. Keep trying this until the file size is smaller - if you reach a point where you can save the file, make sure you back it up. If you try to add on to it and you see that error again, it may simply be that your machine doesn't have the resources to work with such a large file.

Let me know how it goes.


Michele Zemour

Thanks Christine,

I tried to create a new file from scratch importing some scenes (4 with freeform activities).

The new file is 24 MB so small and I saved it with a small path lengh from my c.

Though the problem is still there i can't work further....

I really don't know what to do.

I'm currently downloading the new update of SL (5).

Do you think I should reinstall completly or is the update should be enough.

Thnks for your help.

Brent deMoville


Have you checked the amount of free space on your C: drive?  I was having similar issues and I found that I only had a couple of gig of free space on the hard drive so it was running out of space for the virtual memory to work correctly. I cleaned up files I no longer needed and the issue seems to have gone away.


Michele Zemour

I have run the repair programm: The problem still remains...

I worked first on the smaller file (about 33 MB) where I have created Activities slides.

I tried to import those activities slides into the mother presentation that I have reduced to 120 MB .

Impossible to insert one more slide...

I feel disappointed...that mean I can't use SL?

Help again.


Christine Hendrickson

Hi Michèle,

I'm glad to hear that it's not a space issue - at least that's confirmed :)

How much memory do you have on the machine? The requirement is 512 MB minimum. However, the larger the files are, the more RAM or memory you're going to need. A 120MB file is obviously going to use a lot more than a very small file. 

My concern is that you mentioned earlier that you were having trouble with a much smaller file of 24 MB. 

I don't think it's an actual issue of the size - but maybe the memory. Especially if you've been able to save the 120 MB file in the first place.

You've made sure no other programs are running in the background, correct? If not, try closing everything you can and try again. You may want to check your task bar and see if there are any services there that you can close. 

You could also check Task Manager to see if there are any programs using up a lot of your available memory. To do this, press CTRL+ALT+DEL or CTRL+SHIFT+ESC on your keyboard. 

Let us know how it goes! :)

Michele Zemour


1) Here are the specifications of my PC:

-Windows 7 Pro service Pack 1

-Intel(R) Core(TM)

-RAM memory: 4 GB (3,17 GB Usable)

-32 Bits

2) I have closed all the programs (except SL)

3) I have verified all the process workinq at the background: the process using the bigger space of the memory  is SL.

4) I have  closed IE

5) I tried again to import a slide: I got one slide inserted but not further....the "system out of memory" message appeared again....:-(

What else can I do?


Brent deMoville


Have you tried to adjust your virtual memory?  Here are the instructions:

Change the size of virtual memory


If you receive warnings that your virtual memory is low, you'll need to increase the minimum size of your paging file. Windows sets the initial minimum size of the paging file equal to the amount of random access memory (RAM) installed on your computer plus 300 megabytes (MB), and the maximum size equal to three times the amount of RAM installed on your computer. If you see warnings at these recommended levels, then increase the minimum and maximum sizes.

  1. Click to open System.

  2. In the left pane, click Advanced system settings.If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.

  4. Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, click Change.

  5. Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box.

  6. Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.

  7. Click Custom size, type a new size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, click Set, and then click OK.


  • Increases in size usually don't require a restart for the changes to take effect, but if you decrease the size, you'll need to restart your computer. We recommend that you don't disable or delete the paging file.

Bill Harnage

Christopher Goodsell said:

Change to 64 bit windows. Since we did that we have not had a single memory error.

Yes, the "out of memory" warning seems to occur with users running Win x32 and 4gb of ram.  32bit windows doesn't even utilize all 4gb.  The optimal way to run Storyline is a 64bit windows w/ at least 8gb of ram.

Upping the virtual memory might work, but more like a band-aid to the bigger issue.

I routinely build 200mb+ files (video) and never get that with 8gb of ram. There have been numerous threads similar to this and one thing they seem to have in common is 32bit windows and 4gb of ram.

Michele Zemour

I have tested Brent advice but the problem remains the same....changing the virtual memory size didn't help me.

It's a real problem, because I can't upgrade my PC now (I have lot of modules developped with studio 9....and it doesn't run with windows 64MB.....)

For the moment I have no time importing those studio's file into SL and really it's not my priority....

Is Articulate planning something for customers in my case....update 6 for example?

Crystal Horn

Hi there, Nicole. It sounds like you're having issues using Storyline 360. These are the minimal system requirements for Storyline 360 for reference. Let me grab some details from you so we can help better!

  • What kind of error message are you seeing?
  • Is this happening with a particular file, or with all files?
  • What version of Windows are you using?

If you'd prefer, you can open a priority support case with my team since you have Articulate 360 for Teams. We'll be happy to help!

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.