C Specification

To free a memory object, call:

// Provided by VK_VERSION_1_0
void vkFreeMemory(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkDeviceMemory                              memory,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator);


  • device is the logical device that owns the memory.

  • memory is the VkDeviceMemory object to be freed.

  • pAllocator controls host memory allocation as described in the Memory Allocation chapter.


Before freeing a memory object, an application must ensure the memory object is no longer in use by the device — for example by command buffers in the pending state. Memory can be freed whilst still bound to resources, but those resources must not be used afterwards. Freeing a memory object releases the reference it held, if any, to its payload. If there are still any bound images or buffers, the memory object’s payload may not be immediately released by the implementation, but must be released by the time all bound images and buffers have been destroyed. Once all references to a payload are released, it is returned to the heap from which it was allocated.

How memory objects are bound to Images and Buffers is described in detail in the Resource Memory Association section.

If a memory object is mapped at the time it is freed, it is implicitly unmapped.


As described below, host writes are not implicitly flushed when the memory object is unmapped, but the implementation must guarantee that writes that have not been flushed do not affect any other memory.

Valid Usage
  • VUID-vkFreeMemory-memory-00677
    All submitted commands that refer to memory (via images or buffers) must have completed execution

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • VUID-vkFreeMemory-device-parameter
    device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • VUID-vkFreeMemory-memory-parameter
    If memory is not VK_NULL_HANDLE, memory must be a valid VkDeviceMemory handle

  • VUID-vkFreeMemory-pAllocator-parameter
    If pAllocator is not NULL, pAllocator must be a valid pointer to a valid VkAllocationCallbacks structure

  • VUID-vkFreeMemory-memory-parent
    If memory is a valid handle, it must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from device

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to memory must be externally synchronized

See Also

Document Notes

For more information, see the Vulkan Specification

This page is extracted from the Vulkan Specification. Fixes and changes should be made to the Specification, not directly.

Copyright 2014-2023 The Khronos Group Inc.

SPDX-License-Identifier: CC-BY-4.0