Have you noticed your Mac slowing down after you upgraded to macOS 12 Monterey? You aren’t alone. Plenty of people have reported seemingly random slowdowns and extraordinarily high RAM usage across various apps — even ones that don’t otherwise require much RAM, such as Tweetbot, have been consuming a lot of memory. If this bug is reducing your productivity, the culprit might be your non-standard mouse pointer.
The memory leak bug appears to affect both Apple Silicon and Intel-based Macs. Some people have reported that innocuous processes such as WindowServer have been using as much as 24 GB RAM, which indicates the severity of the issue. The memory leak has been reported with other processes and apps too, such as Control Centre, Mail, Firefox, etc. This is often followed by an ominous message: “Your system has run out of application memory.”
With Monterey, you can change the mouse pointer’s fill colour, outline colour, and size. While that feature is great, it does appear linked to this memory leak bug. For whatever reason, resetting mouse pointer settings to default has fixed the issue for some people, as noted by Mozilla.
To revert your mouse pointer settings to the default in macOS Monterey, follow these steps:
On your Mac, click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen.
Go to System Preferences.
Navigate to Accessibility.
Select the Pointer tab in the right pane.
Use the slider to reduce the pointer size to Normal.
Click the Reset button next to the Pointer Colour box.
Restart your Mac and keep using it as you would normally for a while and see if the issue persists. This fix has reduced memory issues for some people who use macOS Monterey, but not everyone. While the mouse pointer fix is a good temporary solution, there’s a strong possibility the memory leaks have more than one source. And even if you got one of those shiny new MacBook Pros with the maximum 32 GB of RAM, the bug probably isn’t going to spare your machine.
If this solution doesn’t work, there’s no option but to sit tight and hope that an upcoming macOS update fixes the problem.