How to Configure Virtual Memory Usage On Windows 7?


As you may already know, RAM memory (Random-access memory) is the fastest memory device where your CPU can write and read data. All programs use RAM memory and depending on the complexity of their tasks, they may be more or less RAM demanding. 

RAM memory is managed by a running software and operation system, so it can’t be accessed directly like other storage devices such as SSD/HDD, Flash memory or DVD.


No matter if you are playing a video-game, surfing internet, watching movie or using programs such as Photoshop or Microsoft Office, your RAM memory is constantly being exploited.


What happens when you run out of RAM memory?

Well this is the moment when virtual memory takes place. Virtual memory is the amount of memory which will be “borrowed” from a hard disk, to make it possible to continue working even if RAM memory is full. This is usually the moment when your computer slows down drastically, since writing/reading to the HDD is significantly slower. To avoid this kind of behavior, software is usually designed to preserve RAM memory as much as possible, using virtual memory for less prioritized processes.

When using virtual memory, Windows is designed to put all the data in pagefile.sys file. So if you stumble upon this file in the root level of your HDD partition (usually C:), do not try to delete or move it since this file is protected and locked by Windows OS.


Follow next steps to configure virtual memory usage for optimal working performances

1  Go to  your start menu and type “advanced system settings” into the search field. Click on the search result saying View advanced system settings.

2  Select Advanced tab under System Properties window and click Settings button under Performance area. Performance Options window will appear.

3  Select Advanced tab and click on Change button under Virtual memory area. 

4  Now you finally reached Virtual Memory window. All HDD and/or SSD partitions will be listed for you to choose where paging file (pagefile.sys) will be created. If selected partition belongs to SSD drive, it will perform much faster then HDD, but keep in mind that you should never drop below, at least 10gb of available space on selected drive. If the size of pagefile.sys exceeds the available disk space, running programs will probably hang or crash, sometimes even reporting memory related errors. If this happens, check the selected drive and try to free some space there. 

Once you selected where paging file will be created, select System managed size and hit the Set button. After this, go through all other drives and choose No paging file, hitting Set button each time. This way you’ll have only one pagefile.sys file at selected location, which is the best option for optimal performance.

5  Clicking OK button at the bottom of Virtual Memory window, and all other windows. Restart dialog will prompt saying “You must restart your computer to apply these changes”, select Restart Now and wait for your system to reboot.