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'CEF Helper' ate all my RAM and abused my GPU - what is it doing?

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I was running a simple plotting program on my mac (see below), when suddenly my GPU went from working at 2% to 70%, and my RAM filled up to 90%. I checked my system and saw that 'CEF helper' was causing this, so I force quit it in activity manager to try to fix the issue. It's a 2020 iMac with an intel processor and AMD GPU.
Once it was quit, I found that this was caused by something in MATLAB (see system log), but I can't work out what it's there for or why it used so much of my RAM. I didn't get a chance to screenshot the RAM before it went back down, but CEF helper was using about 4GB (whereas MATLAB, a separate task, was only using 1GB). I've attached copies of the system log and diagnostic reports, but I don't really know what they mean. I've also included a screenshot of 'info.plist' which is in the 'cefhelper' folder in MATLAB. Now that MATLAB is running again, the cefhelper task is back, but using much less RAM.
I've reopened MATLAB and tried running the program again, in exactly the same way, but cannot repeat the issue. My computer is running fine now, but I don't understand what happened, or if it will happen again. A search of the internet and MATLAB forums didn't reveal anything about what CEFhelper does, or any issues with it, except that cefhelper.exe can be a virus on windows comptuers.
So my question is - what is cefhelper doing, and how can I prevent this from happening again?
I can't share all the code because its a coursework project, but the issue occurred at the section below. I had finished running the code, and was trying to zoom in on a graph in the live script editor when the issue occurred.
% f and g are symbolic functions defined elsewhere in the script
% x_0 = 0 with negative g(x)
A = fpm(f, -g, 0.0, 1*10^(-6));
disp(['x ~ ', num2str(A)])
% ------
% Fixed point method
function x2 = fpm(f, g, x1, tol)
hold on
fplot(@(x) x)
a = animatedline(x1, 0);
% Let x2 = f(x1)
x2 = double(g(x1));
% Update plot
addpoints(a, x1, x2);
addpoints(a, x2, x2);
% Repeat until tolerance is reached
while abs(x2-x1) > tol
x1 = x2;
x2 = double(g(x1));
addpoints(a, x1, x2);
addpoints(a, x2, x2);
set(gca, 'XAxisLocation', 'origin')
hold off
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 9 Mar 2021
I am not positive, but it looks like cef in this context might be for use with libcefqt which appears to have to do with interfacing the Qt library with Google's Chromium browser (which is used more for App Designer)
Simon on 19 Nov 2022
The solution posted for a similar problem I have might work for this one.
"I would cross-check in System Preferences to be sure that MATLAB has been given full access to disks."

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Answers (11)

Tatiana Ivanova
Tatiana Ivanova on 3 Sep 2022
Did anyone found a solution to this problem? I am so frustrated, till yesterday everything was fine and now I can't even work, everything is slow

Tianzong Wang
Tianzong Wang on 29 Oct 2022
Same for 2022a and 2022b. Please provide a solution to this issue, or parfor is not working at all.

Jean-Serge Cardinal
Jean-Serge Cardinal on 13 Dec 2021
I also have a problem with cef_helper on version 2021b. The computer hangs a few seconds once a while, and I can hear the fan spinning a lot more.
I don't have this problem with 2021a.

André Jensen
André Jensen on 17 Feb 2022
I have the same issue and haven't found a solution

Kianoush Banaie Boroujeni
Kianoush Banaie Boroujeni on 27 Apr 2022
I have the same issue on v 2022a and 2021b. It gets super slow, doesn’t show my scripts content and throws an error about java toolbox.

Kenneth Byrne
Kenneth Byrne on 23 Jun 2022
Issue on R2022a with CEF "helper" -Java Chromium, abolutely eats my RAM and multiple "service" versions started without even running a script. Completely eats RAM when live editor in operation, getting to the stage where Matlab about to be deleted from my system,along with Google chrome

Tim on 14 Jul 2022
I am having the same problem, long hang times while plotting simple figures and multiple instances of the Java Chromium Embeded Frameqork

Simon on 17 Jul 2022
I have a 'cefhelper (Renderer)' problem in a different situation. In 'Help Center' window, when I click 'Examples' button, an icon for 'cefhelper (Renderer)') unpredictably appears and bounces nonstopping in Mac's Dock area. It eats up lots of memory and CPU time, and I have to kill it with force quit.

Jean-Serge Cardinal
Jean-Serge Cardinal on 23 Jun 2022
I fix this problem by upgrading from Kubuntu from 18 to 21.

Markus Lindblom
Markus Lindblom on 15 Dec 2022
Hi, I had the same problem in 2021b. I would have 6 or more instances of JCEF running and consuming both RAM and CPU.
Here is how I solved it (NOT RECOMMENDED!): I went to "C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2020b\bin\win64" and deleted the "cef_helper.exe" file (after creating a backup ofc!). The problem has now dissapeared, however I have lost some functionallity such as the "overhead menu" in Simulink. I can still find blocks etc by simply left-clicking and typing though. This is not how I would have liked to solve it, and as stated is not a recommended solution.... but it works. I can now actually use Matlab and Simulink without the program lagging and/or crashing all the time.
If you find a better solution please let me know!
Regards, Markus

james on 23 Jan 2024
try clearing
C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\MathWorks




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