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Understanding Memory Leaks in Angular

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Understanding Memory Leaks in Angular


Memory leaks can be a common issue in Angular applications if not managed properly. They occur when the application’s memory usage gradually increases over time, causing performance degradation and potentially leading to crashes. In this blog, we will delve into memory leaks in Angular, understand their causes, and explore strategies to prevent and mitigate them.

What is a Memory Leak?

A memory leak is a situation where a computer program fails to release the memory it has allocated, even though that memory is no longer needed. In the context of Angular, memory leaks typically occur when components, services, or other objects continue to hold references to resources that are no longer in use, preventing the JavaScript garbage collector from reclaiming that memory.

Common Causes of Memory Leaks in Angular

1. Subscription Management

One of the most common causes of memory leaks in Angular is improperly managed subscriptions. When you subscribe to an Observable, it’s crucial to unsubscribe when the component or service is destroyed. Failing to do so will keep references alive even after the component is no longer needed.

import { Component, OnDestroy } from '@angular/core';
import { Subscription } from 'rxjs';

  selector: 'app-example',
  template: '<div>Example Component</div>',
export class ExampleComponent implements OnDestroy {
  private subscription: Subscription;

  constructor() {
    this.subscription = someObservable.subscribe(() => {
      // Do something

  ngOnDestroy() {
    this.subscription.unsubscribe(); // Unsubscribe to prevent memory leak

2. Cyclic References

Be cautious of cyclic references where objects reference each other. Angular’s change detection mechanism can inadvertently keep these references alive, causing memory leaks.

3. DOM Event Handlers

Attaching event handlers directly to the DOM elements within Angular components can cause memory leaks. When the component is destroyed, the event handlers may still reference the component, preventing it from being garbage collected.

Strategies to Detect and Prevent Memory Leaks

1. Use Angular’s OnDestroy Lifecycle Hook

Implement the ngOnDestroy lifecycle hook in your components to ensure that subscriptions and other resources are properly cleaned up when the component is destroyed.

2. Linters and Static Analysis

Use tools like TSLint or ESLint with relevant plugins to catch common memory leak patterns in your codebase.

3. Testing and Code Reviews

Conduct code reviews to catch potential memory leaks early. Create unit and integration tests to ensure proper cleanup of resources.

4. Use async Pipe

When working with Observables, consider using the async pipe in your templates. It automatically handles subscribing and unsubscribing for you.

5. Avoid Cyclic References

Be mindful of object references and strive to eliminate cyclic dependencies between components and services.

6. Use BehaviorSubject for Shared Data

When sharing data between components, consider using a BehaviorSubject or other subject types from RxJS, which automatically manage subscriptions.


Memory leaks can be challenging to debug and resolve, but with a thorough understanding of their causes and the right strategies in place, you can minimize their occurrence in your Angular applications. Proper subscription management is a key step to prevent memory leaks and ensure your Angular application remains performant and reliable.

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Aanchal Agarwal is a Software Consultant at NashTech. Her practice area is web development. She is recognized as a multi-talented, multitasker, and adaptive to the different work environments. Her hobbies include watching movies, listening to music, and traveling. She likes to read books and explore new things.

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