Monday, August 3, 2009

Increase Virtual Memory ( Paging File Size Setting ) in Windows XP – 2000 – Vista

If your computer or laptop is very slow, maybe the problem is about  your virtual memory or the paging file , just what  i experienced a while ago in my laptop running on windows XP.

If you noticed an error message like “Your system is low on virtual memory” then this means that maybe you are running out of space on your hardisk and the paging file setting in your computer is too high for the available space in your hardrive ( freeing space on hardrive will fixed this) or maybe you have enough space in your hardrive but the paging file size setting is too low (to fix this just increase virtual memory setting).


In order to avoid this error “Your system is low on virtual memory” and also for windows to run properly my first suggestion is to upgrade your RAM, Why upgrade RAM ? Why not just increase virtual memory size setting?  Because RAM is the root cause  of this error and to tweak or to increase virtual memory is only your second option.  Are you confuse? lol, let’s talk about what the virtual memory is  and how can we increase or tweak it to  recommended page file size.



What is virtual memory ?


Virtual memory also known swap file or page file is simulated RAM.  When your PC have used up all your RAM, your computer will shift data to an empty space on the hard drive.  Meaning your hardisk will act as if a temporary RAM or memory to store data. When your computer starts to use the virtual memory, this is the time that you may experience a slow in your PC’s performance because you cannot effectively use the hardisk as your RAM because obviously retrieving data from the moving head of your hardisk is much slower than retrieving data in electronic memory (Physical RAM). That’s why i suggest to upgrade your RAM instead of tweaking the virtual memory setting.


Recommended Paging File size Setting


The best setting for paging file is to set the initial and maximum size to the same value.  For example, 650 and 650. The value should be at least 1.5 times more than your physical RAM.  For instance, if your PC has 512 MegaByte of RAM then the paging file size should be…



1.5 x 512 = 768


How to increase Virtual Memory in Windows XP


1. Open System in Control Panel.


2. Click on the Advanced tab


Increase virtual memory windows xp , Windows 2000 , Windows Vista


3. Under Performance tab, Click on  Settings button



4. Look for the Virtual Memory on the Performance Options  box then click Change


5. Click Custom to change the Initial size (MB) and Maximum size.


6.  Click Set and then Ok.

How to Increase Virtual Memory in Windows 2000


If your OS is Windows 2000 then here’s the guide.  I can’t provide you with image because my laptop is running on Windows XP.   Hope this help.


1.  Open System in Control Panel.

2. On the Advanced tab, then click Performance Options,  then go to  Virtual memory and click Change.

3. In the Drive list, click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.

4. Under Paging file size for selected drive, type a new paging file size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB)

How to Increase Virtual Memory in Windows Vista


If your OS is Windows Vista then here’s the guide.  Again,  I can’t provide you with image because my laptop is running on Windows XP.   Hope this help.


1. Open System,  click the Start button ->  click Control Panel -> click System and Maintenance -> clicking System.

2. In the left pane, click Advanced system settings.

3. On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.

4. Click the Advanced tab -> under Virtual memory -> click Change.


5. Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box.

6. Under Drive or Volume Label -> click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.

7. Click Custom size -> Enter the Initial size (MB) and Maximum size (MB) box -> click Set -> Finally, click OK.


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