IPhone Memory Leakage- Using Instrument Tool

Instruments is a tool to track memory leaks. You can start Instruments directly and then navigate to your project build, however, it’s much quicker and simpler to start Instruments from XCdoe. To do so , open the demo project or a project of your own in XCode and select Run | Start With Performance Tool | Leaks.

While working on this project, Marcus and I discovered a few things that you should keep in mind while you are using Instruments.

  • Breakpoints Do Not Break. Instruments utilizes debug information from your debug build, however, it does not stop at break points you set. This is because while you are loading your application into Instruments from the menu in XCode, Instruments simply uses the path of the current executable as its start path and loads it externally from XCode. The menu in XCode is really there as a convenience mechanism. This is not a big deal as you can always run again in Debug mode after your instruments session should you want your application to break. It’s just something to make a note of.
  • NSLog Statements Do Not Show In The Debugger Console. If you want to see your NSLog statements, you will need to load the system Console application (/Applications/Utilities/Console).

Detecting Leaks

When instruments loads your application, you will see the ObjectAlloc track start to fill in. To detect the leaks in your project, click on the Leaks track and then watch the Leak Status category which will detect leaks after the current timeout value. Alternatively, you can just click the Check For Leaks Now button under the Check Manually category.

Once the leak detection process has occurred you will see a list of objects that are currently leaking. To get details for any leaks in the list, click the object in the list and then click the Extended Detail button at the bottom of the Instruments screen.

Once you have clicked the Extended Detail button, you will see the stack trace list on the right side of the Instruments window. Look through the stack and locate any code highlighted with the color #CCFFFF which looks like this.

Note: This is actually inaccurate. The color may be different on your machine than on mine. Instead of looking for a color, look for your applications name and path and double-click that instead.

Once you find the leak in your application, simply double click it and Instruments will return you to the exact line in XCode where the leak is happening.

To fix the leak, you need to make sure that you release the object.


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