JPG as background in Activity produces memory leak

my little App always crashed after the 5th or 6th screen-rotation. Two main layouts are defined, one for landscape one for portrait. After spending the whole day looking for the memory leak I found the problem: I had a JPG defined as background for the Main-Activity. After changing the JPG to a PNG the memory problem was solved.

The background was defined as drawable and was defined in main.xml.

The problem did not come when I tested the App under 2.2 (emulator) but with 2.3.1 (also emulator) the app crashed.

Can someone reproduce this problem?

Now I reduced my app to the following code:

package at.memtest;

import android.os.Bundle;
import android.widget.LinearLayout;

public class MemTestActivity extends Activity {
/** Called when the activity is first created. */
public void onCreate(final Bundle savedInstanceState) {

protected void onDestroy() {


protected void onPause() {

private void recycleImages() {
    final LinearLayout theView = (LinearLayout) findViewById(;
    if (theView != null) {
        final BitmapDrawable background = (BitmapDrawable) theView.getBackground();
        if (background != null) {

Now the memory stays constant... Can you imaging that this is necessary to avoid memory leaks? As I said above - the image I use as a background is a PNG with about 220K.


I experienced the same problem. Instead of .jpg I used .png, that solved the problem.

Are you sure that it's the file format that's the problem? Try this out:

It might be that you're just not running out of memory as fast with the PNGs.

I had problems with a jpg background image making my app extremely slow on certain devices, too. Using a png didn't solve it for me though. I think it might have something to do with the high compression I chose for the image to save space which might have resulted in more effort for decompression at runtime.

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