Change Virtual Memory Size in Windows 7

Windows 7 is an efficient Operating System and requires very little tweaking to make it run faster out of the box. One tweak, however, might help speed up your system during normal operation. Windows uses allocated space on your hard drive called virtual memory as if it were RAM. By making the size of your virtual memory static, you can prevent any automatic expanding and contracting that can slow your system down.

How To Change Your Paging File Size

Virtual memory is often also referred to as the paging file. By default, Windows has the size of this set to automatic. To set it to a static size, you will go into the Control Panel and then click System and Security.

System

Next, click System, and then on the following screen click “Advanced system settings” in the left-hand pane.

changing virtual memory size

Under the Advanced tab, look in the Performance section and then click Settings.

change page file size

Select the Advanced tab again, and in the Virtual memory section click the Change button.

custom virtual memory size

You will need to uncheck the box that says “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.”

Next, click the radio button that says “Custom size.”

It is very important not to put in the wrong paging file size. Doing so can cause your computer to slow to a crawl. Therefore, look toward the bottom of the window where is says “Total paging file size for all drives.” You will see a recommended size based on the amount of RAM you have installed in your computer. Use that number as your custom size.
Most people will not need to take control of their virtual memory. This tweak is for those who are experiencing slow-downs or want to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of their system.

Virtual Memory Tips

You may be tempted to make the paging file size a lot larger than the recommended size. Do not. The hard drive is considerably slower than your RAM, and having it use the extra space will cause unnecessary wear and tear on the hard drive. Some may also opt to not use a paging file if they have a lot of RAM. This is also not recommended as it can cause system instability.

One Response

  1. Jim Stradling May 9, 2012