Should I change the size of the Windows page file?

Shaurya G October 7, 2013

I have a Windows 8 laptop. Many a times, the task manager shows a disk usage of 100%. I searched on the internet and found that I need to change the size of my paging file. The virtual memory is currently automatically controlled by windows. Currently windows has allocated 766 MB of memory but windows recommends 3514 MB. Please help!

My laptop’s technical specs are:

Operating System: Windows 8 Single Language 64-bit (6.2, Build 9200)
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-3120M CPU @ 2.50GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.5GHz
Memory: 4096MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 3956MB RAM

  1. Jan F
    October 7, 2013 at 11:33 am

    If your current pagefile is only 766MB of the allocated max. (3514MB) then it shouldn't really be the reason for your high disk usage ~ that number seems rather normal in that regard.

    As Hovsep suggested you should take a look into the Disk Activity within the Resource Monitor. It will tell you exactly what is causing the disk activity.

    If it turns out to actually be the pagefile you might want to run check disk on your drive. There is a chance that it is trying to swap into a bad block on your drive.

    • Shaurya G
      October 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      My allocated max is 766 MB, 3514MB is what windows recommends me, although it does not do it itself since it needs to manage it itself.

  2. Oron J
    October 7, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Both Dalsa and Hovsep give good advice. Windows 8's virtual management is excellent, so I suspect the problem is not there. You can check this by opening the task manager and seeing what the total amount of memory in use is. If it's lower than 4GB, then you are not using virtual memory and that's not where the problem lies. If you ARE using more than 4GB, then it could be the VM, but again, Windows' own management (where the size of the page file is set automatically) is usually sufficient, and the question is really why you are using so much memory rather than the size of the page file.
    It could be that you have a runaway process (or a virus) which is accessing your hard disc constantly. It's also possible that the cache size on your browser has been set to a ridiculously high figure and that accessing your HDD is now slow, or it could be that the HDD itself is faulty, causing cycles or attempts to read (or write) the disc, retries and timeouts. In any event, the first step to establishing the cause is to use the Resource Monitor, as Hovsep suggests, and to find out which process(es) are causing the problem.

  3. Hovsep A
    October 7, 2013 at 7:00 am

    open "Resource Monitor" and go to the Disk tab, and click on the "Disk Activity" section. It will show you what process is using the disk , which files are being read/written and how long each request is taking (search for slow ones).
    boot to safe mode open resource monitor and try to launch applications each one by one starting with chrome then check disk activity. You can also check SysInternals ProcMon

    it can be this related to network interaction if your security tools has a firewall then disable windows firewall...

  4. Dalsan M
    October 7, 2013 at 6:39 am

    High disk usage can be from many different things, but I would suggest increasing the paging file to the size memory installed on your laptop (4096MB) + 300MB (4396MB) to start and see if it helps any. The maximum and minimum size should be set the same, as well. Another thing to check would be the indexing service, and change the settings to reduce what is being indexed. Although rare, there have been times when a bad or failing optical drive (DVD/CD) or card reader can cause this issue. Update all drivers and check to see if there are any firmware updates to your drives. Any USB device or drive connected can cause this issue as well. Another thing to try is defragging the drive and clean the disk of junk files and unused software. If you want an easy way to see if the indexing service is the problem, try IOBit Game Booster If none of these work, check back with us.

    • Shaurya G
      October 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      So, i must change the paging file size since I have tried the others methods already.

    • Dalsan M
      October 10, 2013 at 3:28 am

      If the other suggestions did not work, then I would suggest changing the paging file size. I would like to note that even if the network adapter (wireless or wired) does work, sometimes the driver or a Windows update can cause the issue you are seeing. Try disabling the network adapters to see if the disk activity lowers. Also, use msconfig (click Start and type in msconfig. exe) to disable all but necessary devices and services. Possibly one or more service or background application is causing your symptoms.

    • Shaurya G
      October 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Hi dale,
      The max allocated page file size is 768MB.
      The task manager shows 98 % disk usage currently:
      1. service host :local system(network restricted)(7) - disk 16.9MB/s
      2. System:disk 2.6MB/s
      3. Google Chrome:disk 0.1MB/s
      4. Avg online shield service: disk 0.1MB/s

    • Dalsan M
      October 11, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Try this program to see if it helps pinpoint what is causing your issues:

    • Shaurya G
      October 11, 2013 at 11:21 am

      I have been keeping an eye on the task manager and I have found out that the major culprit is:
      svchost.exe Service Host: Local System (Network Restricted)

      I think now you should be able to help!

    • Dalsan M
      October 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Although it is pointing to the svchost.exe, it does not truly pinpoint what exact processes or services is using the svchost.exe. This could be from networked devices trying to access files from your computer (game system, networked DVD player, etc., having access to your videos, pictures, and music on your computer, or Windows Defender/Windows Update/Antivirus programs updating, or other programs that are accessing you computer or transferring information from your computer over the network or Internet. It is still difficult to pinpoint the specific service or process that is using the svchost.exe.

    • Dalsan M
      October 11, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      This is for Vista, but may be similar for 8: SuperFetch or Windows Defender could be the cause, so disabling the two would be suggested to see if it helps. How to turn off Windows Defender: To turn off SuperFetch:

    • Shaurya G
      October 13, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Windows defender is already disabled and I dont think i must disable superfetch since i am using a hdd.
      I used 'whatismycomputerdoing' and found out that svchost.exe and csrss.exe could be at fault.

    • Shaurya G
      October 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

      here is a list of programs that neuber security task manager shows, although i dont know whether this relevant:

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