I run too many addons.  I have issues.  So I’m uh… minimalizing?  Is that a word?


AFTER (you gotta admit, that is a really cute piglet)

Find Out Which Ones Hog

Step one for me is finding out which ones are hoggy.  To do this, I use Addon Control Panel.  You can see usage by hovering over addons.  Maybe there’s a better way?  But this works for me.

Now, don’t be tempted to just toss your hoggiest addons and be done with it.  Remember, 4 addons that you don’t use much can easily add up to the memory usage of one hog.  So at this point you want to simply look at which ones are hoggy and look at these with a more critical eye – but don’t give the non-hoggy ones a free pass.

For me, Grid takes up a lot of memory with all the plugins I use.  However, healing is what I do, and Grid is QUITE important to that.  So, despite the hog factor, it stays.  But if Outfitter takes up just as much space, it goes. I can manage my outfits with the default interface, kthx.

Stuff You Can Live Without

If you’re thinking you can live without it, and it won’t be a hardship, toss it.  Remember, even the little ones add up.

When I say toss it, I don’t mean you have to uninstall.  Just disable it.  That way, if you decide you really DO need it, it’s still there with your settings intact.

Stuff You Use Situationally

When I’m picking flowers, I love Gatherer.  When I’m in a raid, it has no business running.  There are a lot of addons that you don’t want to ditch permanently, but can be turned off when you are in a situation of high lag.

This is where Addon Control Panel comes in.  You can create different sets for different activities.  I have a gathering and crafting setup, and auction house setup, an instance setup, and a raiding setup.  I tend to lock up in raids, so I turn off all unnecessary junk, including any bag addons, mailbox addons, wow instant messenger (surprisingly hoggy), and damage meters. (Just don’t ask me to find anything in my bags during a raid – I’m hopeless with the default setup.)

Trading In For The Smaller Model

Sometimes, I find that I have an addon that has a TON of features, and I don’t use half of them.  In that case, it makes sense to downsize to a less hoggy alternative.

For example: Ark Inventory.  I love that addon.  But it eats memory like nobody’s business.  At Rhii’s suggestion, I am using Combuctor, which uses far less memory, and does most of what I needed.

Another example: Ice HUD.  Incredibly hoggy, and rightly so, because it has a plethora of options.  However, due to bar overload, I ended up turning off a lot of the features.  Why should I pay the memory tax for features I don’t use?  Thanks to Grimm’s guide, I was able to find an alternative that had all the options I use and omitted the options that I never turn on anyway.  (Arc HUD, for those interested. It’s still a bit hoggier than I’d like, but I’m not willing to hack the lua instead of having a control panel for options.)

Invest in Multi-Function Addons

You may be able to use one addon to do the job currently done by two or more, thereby saving space, even if the one multi-function addon is a bit of a hog.  For example, Raven, as recently introduced to me by Leafie, can show dots on multiple targets, buffs and debuffs on yourself, your cooldowns, and procs – in either icon or bar form, as you prefer (for me, this replaced 3 addons).  Fortexorcist not only tracks spells (dots) and cooldowns but also has added functionality for warlocks.  And let’s not even freakin discuss power auras that can do, like, everything.

Can It Be Macroed Instead?

There are lots of (admittedly non-hoggy) addons for selling your grays.  But there’s also a macro that you can use to do the same thing.  Check out the Wowwiki page.  There’s even a macro to swap outfits with your spec (which is what I’m going to be using as an Outfitter substitute).

Further Reading: Our Addon Page for all classes (even stinky DPS) with Links To Guides


The Biggest Loser (of Addons) — 8 Comments

  1. I’m somewhat surprised you didn’t have a look at MetaHUD since it clocks in slightly smaller than ArcHUD. Was it missing some vital feature?

    I didn’t realized that Addon Control Panel gave the memory footprint of an addon. One problem I had before was that I couldn’t see but the top 50 footprints with the addon that I was using. So this is good news! I don’t think I’ll go back and remeasure all the under 35K HUDs, but it’s nice knowing I can.

    I’m glad that the guide helped you out. It’s amusing you mention memory consumption as a motivation – that is the reason I started doing these comparisons myself. I figured, what the heck, might as well share what I found.

      • Ah yes, there was a bug that only showed during raids. It didn’t actually seem to *clobber* anything, but I did see that an alert that a software exception had been thrown.

        These things tend to be largely situational. If you want to push your footprint down further, it might be worthwhile to test it out on your system, including a raid (farm night for example) or instance (might or might not trigger the exception). If all it does is cause an exception (and I assume you have a thingy that suppresses them like I do) then it might work out for you.

  2. When I saw the title of this post I thought that it was going to be about an addon called “The Biggest Loser”, which would be a sort of antithesis to Recount…

  3. Just a note: WoWWiki is dead and has been inactive for several months. The authors and hosts moved servers to WoWpedia.org instead. The latter has better updated information and fewer defunct/broken macros.

    Nice post!

  4. I adore Addon Control Panel. I really should setup different configs for when I’m just out in the world and instancing and such because I’m so bad with my mods, I love them too much! I used to only use my auction mods on my bank alt to save space and time but recently I’ve been using Auctionator and Trade Skill Master on a lot of my characters, especially if they can craft something that’s good for the selling. I should really sort that.