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High memory usage is possible with McAfee Agent process mfemactl.exe
Technical Articles ID:   KB90531
Last Modified:  11/5/2018


McAfee Agent (MA) 5.5.0, 5.0.6, 5.0.5 


Mfemactl.exe, the process responsible for the McAfee Agent Self-Protection feature, might cause system performance degradation.

System Change

You upgraded to or installed MA 5.0.5, 5.0.6, or 5.5.0.


A defect was identified in McAfee Agent code where SysCore reference objects are not released, which results in a memory leak.

Eventually, mfemactl.exe consumes the maximum amount of memory available to a 32-bit process (1.8 GB), which causes resource issues. Performance degrades because of the large amount of memory required by other system processes.


This issue is resolved in McAfee Agent 5.5.1, which is available from the Product Downloads site at: http://mcafee.com/us/downloads/downloads.aspx

NOTE: You need a valid Grant Number for access. KB56057 provides additional information about the Product Downloads site, and alternate locations for some products.

Updates are cumulative; Technical Support recommends that you install the latest one.


It is possible to observe a much smaller, more manageable memory leak with newer versions of SysCore, though only when combined with the impacted McAfee Agent versions listed above. 

If upgrading the McAfee Agent to 5.5.1 or later is not an option, consider testing with newer managed product installations that contain later versions of SysCore, such as VirusScan Enterprise 8.8 Patch 9 or later.

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