Is Your Virtual Memory Too Low? Here’s How to Fix It!
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We all know that Windows is prone to slowing down over time. It’s a curse of using the best operating system around, but one we live with and work around. We can assure you that it’s not your fault; it happens to the best of us. Often, low memory is to blame. Here is one more way to virtually unburden your RAM Need A Memory Upgrade? Outsource RAM & Speed Up Your Computer With ReadyBoost Need A Memory Upgrade? Outsource RAM & Speed Up Your Computer With ReadyBoost If you're looking to give your computer a quick & free speed boost, try ReadyBoost. The Windows feature adds additional memory to your system. All you need is a compatible flash drive. Read More .

What Is Virtual Memory?

Your computer has two types of memory: the hard drive or solid state drive, used for your operating system, photos, music and documents, and RAM, used for storing program specific data. The hard drive is perfect for long-term storage, whilst RAM is much faster What Is the Difference Between DDR2 & DDR3 RAM What Is the Difference Between DDR2 & DDR3 RAM Read More and more volatile, acting as a working area for the programs and files you have open.


Virtual memory is extremely useful. If you use all of the RAM available to your system How Much RAM Do You Really Need? How Much RAM Do You Really Need? RAM is like short term memory. The more you multitask, the more you need. Find out how much your computer has, how to get the most out of it, or how to get more. Read More , it will utilise virtual memory – also known as a swap file – to provide a temporary expansion. It does this by using part of the hard-drive memory to effectively expand your RAM. This allows your system to handle more programs than previously available, but the hard-drive memory is much slower than RAM, so performance can suffer.

When the memory runs low, the swap file comes into play. Some of the data stored in the RAM will be moved to the swap file, providing additional space for high-speed memory functions RAM For Gamers: What Do The Specs Mean And How Do They Alter Performance RAM For Gamers: What Do The Specs Mean And How Do They Alter Performance If you want to experience great performance while playing games, it's important that you use the right hardware that can do the job. Read More .

Running Low on Virtual Memory

If you are reading this, you may have encountered the error message Why Does Windows Crash? The Top 10 Reasons Why Does Windows Crash? The Top 10 Reasons Oh, great. Another blue screen, boot issue or frozen screen in Windows. Now you have to restart and lose most or all of the work you’d been trying to accomplish. It’s frustrating both because of... Read More :

Your system is low on virtual memory. Windows is increasing the size of your virtual memory paging file. During this process, memory requests for some applications may be denied. For more information, see help.

You can alleviate this message by manually increasing the size of your paging file, as mentioned in the error message. By default, Windows sets the initial virtual memory paging file as equal to the amount of RAM you have installed, like so:

Operating System Spec

My laptop has 3GB of RAM, so my paging file, or swap file, is limited to 3GB.

Paging File Size

You can give your system a boost by increasing the size of the paging file. Windows limits this increase to three times the amount of RAM installed on your device. In my case, I can increase the paging file to 12GB, though the system recommends no more than 4.5GB. This is to keep the system stable.

Increasing Your Virtual Memory

Let’s increase the size of the paging file to alleviate the virtual memory error message.

Open the Start menu, then type System. Under Control Panel, select System. This will open the System Information window.

Start Menu

For Windows 8 and 8.1 users, from the Start screen, access the Search bar, on the right-hand side of your screen. Type System. Select Settings from the available options. System should appear as one of the first options on the corresponding screen.

PC Settings Windows 8.

In the left-hand panel, click Advanced System Settings. Switch to the Advanced tab. Under Performance, click Settings. Again, click the Advanced tab. Here you’ll see the Windows default virtual memory size, as seen in our earlier image. Click Change.

Performance Settings

The default setting is for your system to “Automatically manage paging file size for all drivers.” Uncheck this to enable the currently greyed out section below. Select the drive you want to change the paging size file for. I’ve selected C:

Advanced Performance Options

Select Custom Size. Set the Maximum Size you want for the paging file. I’ve followed the recommended size for my system, capped at 4.5GB (4548MB), but you can set what is appropriate for your system. Remember, Windows restricts paging file size to three times the size of your installed RAM to ensure system stability. Set the Initial Size to the currently allocated paging file size.

Virtual Memory

Click Set, followed by OK. You’ve successfully increased the virtual memory size of your computer. +1 knowledge for the day!

Protip: Paging size increases aren’t usually met with a system restart message, but decreases are. Be sure to save your work before clicking OK.

Other Ways to Increase Virtual Memory

There are other ways of increasing your virtual memory. If you find that your system is still running slowly following a paging file size adjustment, you should consider upgrading your physical RAM How To Upgrade A Laptop's RAM, Step By Step How To Upgrade A Laptop's RAM, Step By Step Is your laptop old, slow, and has the hardware never been upgraded? Working on a slow computer can be a real drag. Before you buy a completely new one, however, you should consider ways to... Read More . In recent years the price of RAM has fallen dramatically and installing new modules is an easy task.

There are countless tutorials to help you through this task, both text and video, and many can be found specifically for your device.

Windows on Hand to Help

If you don’t like the idea of meddling around with custom system settings, don’t worry. As ever, Windows is on hand to help with a “Microsoft Fix It” module. This handy application automatically sets the virtual memory paging file size to be between 1.5 and 3 times the value of your installed RAM, just as we did in the tutorial.

MS Fix It

Download the file, locate the installer and double-click. Microsoft will take care of the rest. How good of them!


Your system should now be moving a bit quicker 8 Ways to Clear Memory and Increase RAM on Your Windows Computer 8 Ways to Clear Memory and Increase RAM on Your Windows Computer Is your computer low on memory? We'll show you how to increase RAM and utilize your current RAM more efficiently. Read More , and the virtual memory error message should have disappeared. As we mentioned, if you keep hitting the paging file memory cap even after increasing the file-size, you should consider upgrading your RAM. It can work wonders on older systems 5 Ways To Give An Old Laptop A New Life 5 Ways To Give An Old Laptop A New Life Computers seem to become slower as they age. Operating systems tend to become more resource-hungry over time, hardware ages, and the exuberance felt during the first months of laptop ownership fades. This is why some... Read More , and is quite handy in many newer ones, too.

Best of luck!

Did this tutorial help you? How much RAM do you have installed, and what do you use it all for? Let us know in the comments below!

Explore more about: Computer Maintenance, Computer Memory.

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  1. Chamesh Perera
    November 3, 2017 at 2:35 am

    Ever best site....

  2. Chamesh Perera
    November 3, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Thanks lot for your very clear information...

  3. Zach
    October 15, 2017 at 12:31 am

    okay I have to ask now I have 4 gigs of ram in my computer I set the max at 4016 for both I was told to do and it seems to go much faster. How know if you have noticed but if I got this correct you say you can set it three times the amount you have installed but when I do that the option to restart the computer after changing it does not come up only at the max at the max number of 4016 anytime I change Ram under 4016 and hit apply or okay it gives me the option to restart but if I do anything over 4016 it does not so I'm guessing it does not allow you to by default even if you change it sorry I hope that made sense

  4. Oden
    February 19, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Good info - Stuff have been using for years, but here's the rub for me. I have 20gb of ram and my system still runs slow even with a clean install. So what I need is a way to assign more of the ram to the tasks being used. My VRAM is stable, and I have looked thru the usual imps for problems. Do you have any other ideas for giving this rig a swift kick in the PC pants?

  5. walter carroll
    November 7, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    The Mac versions are single-threaded and 32-bit only, whereas Windows users can choose 32-bit or 64-bit versions. Both of these make a big difference with Excel's speed of calculation. It also helps with having multiple Office programs open at once.

  6. Anonymous
    July 18, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    How does 3 x 3 = 12?

  7. Anonymous
    June 9, 2016 at 8:33 am

    The ram on my HP Core i3 Laptop is 2 Gigabytes , I Increased the Virtual Memory from recommended of 1935 mb to 6148 mb , while this allowed some Improvement from a 10 Second Crash to 10-15 Minute Crash , It hasn't Solved the Problem , Will Increase in Ram from 2 gb to say 4 gb or 6 gb solve this problem

    Also these Problems started Cropping since I did a System Refresh in Windows 8 !!!!

  8. dae
    June 6, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    ... As ever, Windows is on hand to help with a “Microsoft Fix It” module.

    CLICK ---> This page doesn’t exist.

  9. John
    May 28, 2016 at 4:12 am

    So you put the fact that Windows slows down over time, down to it being a curse of being the best operating system around? Haha. That's some flawless logic you have there mate. I have a MacBook that I bought 8 years ago that runs just as fast as the day I bought it. Must be a curse of being the worst operating system around.

  10. Anonymous
    February 2, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Another way to reduce fragmentation of the paging file is to set the initial and maximum sizes to the same number. What this does is ensure that the file does not grow or shrink and therefore will not fragment. However, you should defragment the hard drive before doing this to ensure the paging file is altogether on the hard drive.

  11. aimal
    February 2, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Another way to reduce fragmentation of the paging file is to set the initial and maximum sizes to the same number. What this does is ensure that the file does not grow or shrink and therefore will not fragment. However, you should defragment the hard drive before doing this to ensure the paging file is altogether on the hard drive.

  12. Anonymous
    October 6, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    I have an easier fix for low on memory and black screen of blindness (death) and making virtual memory larger doesn't really work.

    Turn off Cortana, that b*tch is high maintenance and a resource hog. It took 85% of resources and thats why increasing VM doesn't work

    in the search windows box next to windows icon type in turn off cortana, then turn off everything in the box. My computer runs perfect like before the upgrade

    • Gavin Phillips
      October 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks, Lisa. This article was written pre-Cortana, but your point is true. She does use valuable memory resources, especially on lower end devices. Interestingly, it varies by device. The laptop I wrote this article on shows Cortana using minimal resources, yet my desktop seems to take much more of a hit from her constant intrusions.

    • Anonymous
      October 7, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Hey Gavin,

      The only reason I figured out it was Cortana was because of your article. So thanks and nope my computer is not low end or end high end thanks for asking.

    • Summers C.
      January 19, 2016 at 6:15 am

      Thanks for this tip, Lisa Blomquist. I, too, didn't like Cortana running in the background taking up more RAM memory with my computer being as slow as it is right now.

  13. Anonymous
    October 3, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Where to Start? Well I'm not a computer geek, but I know my Computer sucks to the point that I want o cry every time I try to use it, I even want to toss it in the river or run it over. I have a brand new computer an HP all-in one 5110 came with win 8.1 /Bing ( yuck I hate it) I have since up-graded to Windows 10 , which is an improvement, however my refurbished hp with win. 7 is much faster than this over priced piece of crap. I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO GET ANYONE TO HELP ME, MAYBE I SET IT UP WRONG, ALL THO I DID SET UP THE REFURBISHED ONE AND HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS. I ONLY KNOW I WANT TO CRY!!!!! The hp help crap is a joke , they want money even after they go on your computer remotely to allegedly help, then say oops sorry I can't fix it, blah, blah blah call this number, and then they ask for $ and for you to buy more warranty. OMG, REALLY??? WTF, again I want to cry, I'm supprised this computer is even letting me type right now, LOL. THANKS FOR LETTING ME VENT ANYWAY, BUT I THINK I NEED LIVE HELP, AS I'M NOT GOOD AT THIS KIND OF THING, I AM UNABLE TO GET LOCAL HELP WHERE I LIVE BECAUSE I LIVE OUT IN THE BOONIES WITH BIGGER DUMMIES THAN I.

  14. Marvin B
    February 18, 2015 at 7:43 am


    Meaning, to be clear, the largest free space on partition may not suffice to hold extended pagefile. Offline defragmenter is recommended, most simple being i.e. free PageDefrag from MS Sysinternals.


  15. Marvin B
    February 18, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Hi Gavin,

    Perhaps it should be pointed clearly how important it is to keep pagefile in single fragment. I had access to systems with over 10 fragments of page file. Use of any defragmenter with offline defragment mode for system files improved speed drastically. When added manually after a period of normal system use, Windows will suffer so-called "free space fragmentation", so the large extension to end of pagefile will most probably be fragmented too.

    Hope this helps.


  16. A41202813GMAIL
    February 12, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Nice One.

    Sorry, My PC Is Not THAT Slow.

    We Are In The Same Timezone ( A Bit SOUTH From You ), But I Am Fatherless - The World Has Already Enough Screwed Kids As It Is.

    I Hate Anything Not Wired - Again, Things Are Already Enough Slow And Unreliable As It Is.

    Thank You For Responding.

  17. A41202813GMAIL
    February 11, 2015 at 8:10 am

    On A 32 Bit PC I Have 4GB Of RAM.

    I Am Not Using Any Swap Files At All - The PC Is Already Slow As It Is.

    If The Cruise Speed Takes A Little More Time To Take Off, So Be It.


    • Gavin
      February 11, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      Are you my father-in-law in disguise? Sounds exactly like him when using his mobile broadband USB. Takes an age to load, so he makes a cup of tea. Next page he moves to make dinner. By the end of the night he's checked his emails and is happy. I guess we could all take a little more time in life.

  18. bob
    February 10, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Terrible article! First, don't use screenshots showing a 32-bit machine, because RAM is limited at 4GB. Second, discuss WHY and HOW to increase your RAM - not your paging file. Third, use a 64-bit machine in screenshots. These days, almost every computer on the market sold is (at least for the past 4 years) is 64-bit. Discuss the different between 32-bit and 64-bit (for those 32-bit users still out there). At least 64-bit can go well above 4GB. We don't want 32-bit users thinking they can go up to 12GB of RAM, because they can't. Naturally, they would need a 64-bit OS.

    • Gavin
      February 11, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Hi Bob.

      Thanks for reading. You're right - Win32 users cannot use more than 4GB of installed RAM. The article was aimed at a temporary paging file fix for those experiencing the low memory issue. We weren't installing RAM, we were using the swap file to provide a stop gap. As commentor Matthew mentioned, the swap file isn't always in use, only when needed. It isnt constantly reading and writing to your HDD.

      Could you elaborate on why I shouldn't use my laptop for tutorials? Even if most computers in the past four years have been sold with 64bit systems, as you claim, there are still millions of users who don't have access to RAM upgrades, either through choice or necessity.

      If I'd have used a machine with more RAM installed, on a 64bit machine, the article wouldn't even exist. What a world, eh?

      Sorry I'd the article came across the wrong way. It doesn't quite read that way to me.

      I love my 32bit 3GB RAM Integrated Graphics laptop. What beast of a machine are you computing on?

      • Zarun
        September 17, 2017 at 6:52 pm

        Hay Gavin,

        So what on earth a person with 4GB of RAM with 32-bit machine can do to increase the speed of machine? It says you have 4095MB and recommended is 4593MB.

  19. Matthew
    February 10, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    A few points... increasing pagefile - it will only be used if needed, so increasing it will not hurt the performance.

    Moving the pagefile - to another actual disk is good, but to another partition on the same disk is not good - it will save a bit of space in a less used partition, but accessing pagefile will require a larger seek of the disk heads.

    >4GB RAM ramdisk in 32 bit? - needs special software that can make use of memory by PAE above the 4GB limit. - which can be found free

    • Gavin
      February 11, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks Matthew. I should have made that clearer in the article. Hope you enjoyed the read!

  20. Jay
    February 10, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Even for 32-bit system, the best way is to buy more RAM. The trick is to create RAM Disk for the RAM above 4 GB, and move your virtual memory/page file or TEMP directory to it.

    • Gavin
      February 10, 2015 at 11:55 am

      I've never actually done that tbh, Jay. Is it an easy process for Windows?

    • Jay
      February 10, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Yes, it actually an easy process using 3rd party software (just Google free RAM Disk, or you can use the list in Wikipedia: After you setup the RAM Disk, it available as regular drive for Windows (i.e. drive F). You just need to move the virtual memory/page file there (or using symbolic link).

  21. Anonymous
    February 10, 2015 at 4:56 am

    Upgrading to 64 bit Windows Home Premium or better, and being able to actually use more than 3GB of RAM, should be mentioned.

    • Gavin
      February 10, 2015 at 11:48 am

      What if it isn't financially viable for the user?

  22. Jason
    February 10, 2015 at 4:19 am

    My other thought on this is to move the paging file to D: (if it is an internally stored extra drive) It will speed up the C: drive and free around 6 gigs of space. (usually) I usually do 1.5 times the amount of ram you have for the Minimum and 2 x the amount of ram you have for the maximum. (however that only works on a 64 bit machine, so with this article it is a moot)

    • Jason
      February 10, 2015 at 4:22 am

      To add to my post, the moving to another drive is still a good idea. However the sizes I mentioned are for a 64 gig system since a 32 gig system with that amount of ram is max 4 gigs ram.

  23. Lisation
    February 9, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Good advice! BUT your hard drives swap-file (virtual Memory) is much slower than your RAM, thus will give negative performance increases when used.

    This however is the fastest way of solving the problem. The best way would be to buy more physical RAM, however this poses several problems:

    1. Do your computer support more RAM? Google your computer name (if store bought) and check what maximum installed memory it can handle, and shop accordingly. If you bought the parts on your own, google the name of your Motherboard (the numbers and letters part, not the maker of the motherboard, althou that can help narrowing it down) and do the same as part one.

    2. Can your Operative System (OS) handle more RAM? An operative system is what you see when you turn your computer on (Windows, "Mac"(Apple OS(x+)) etc etc). They come in two flavours: 32bit and 64bit. What the bit-part is is quite confusing so lets just stay with the information that a 32-bit OS only can handle 3040-ish MB of RAM (3.04GB) and the 64-bit can handle much much more than that (More than 128GB). SO you need to run a 64-bit OS to be able to get more than 3Gb or RAM.

    How do you check it? Right Click "Computer" in your Start-menu and click "Properties" (windows Only). It will show you what OS you have and how much current RAM your computer sees and can use.

    3. Buy the Correct kind of RAM. Ram comes in many diferent shapes and versions, as well as Sizes.
    SSO-DIMM Ram is for Laptops only (or very very compact systems), so dont buy that for your big computer.
    DDR to DDR4 Is the versions of the RAM sticks you can buy. They are different and cant be placed in the same slot (Again, your Motherboard dictates what DDR version you can use), so if your uncertain, check it up first!
    RAM comes in different sizes and you can buy and use a 3GB stick of RAM if you have a 2 GB stick of ram in your pc, as long as the other points have been cleared (OS, Motherboard compatibility etc). But there are some performance issues if you use RAMS of different sizes, thou that will only be relevant if you plan on do a lot of Gaming or work with heavy files (600MB or more) and if you do, you probably already know this.

    //Tip: DDR3 Is the most commonly used RAM for todays computers. If you bought a PC 4-8 years ago, DDR2 would be the safest bet, but again, check it up! //

    //Tip#2: ECC memory is not something you need to have since the rest of your pc needs to support ECC to be able to use it. Its mostly used for servers and very high-end systems.//

    AND, last but not least, Memory is really the wrong terminology for Hard Drive space, and is mostly used to tell someone how many MB or GB of RAM you have. Storage space is what is used to tell some one how big of a Harddrive you have. Its a bit confusing because of the use of Memory-Sticks, but that is still only storage, not RAM-memory (Althou it can be used as a slow RAM-booster).

    To Article writer, didnt mean to be condescending towards you. I felt that this information could as well be used as a guiding supplement to your article, constructive criticism and all!

    • Gavin
      February 10, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Sure, thanks for the input. You're right on the memory call, I perhaps should've elaborated on that further.

    • Lisation
      February 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Since i cant reply to you directly...
      Dont worry! Its impossible to make a guide that covers every little scrap of detail and the pro's and con's of them.
      You did a good job, just wanted to use the commenting system for something goood rather than to troll or hate ;)

      Btw, giving tech tips is very difficult due to the many many grumpy nerds out there, haha.

    • Gavin
      February 10, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Haha, thank you. I think Cunninghams Law is right :D

  24. Laurie
    February 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Er, I thought win 32 will take a max of 4 gb. Only 64 os can manage more than 4gb. Isn't that right? If it is, then surely this article is good advice.

    • Gavin
      February 9, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      The amount of installed RAM usable by 32bit Windows is indeed 4GB. We're not installing any physical RAM. Commenter "V" above this is right in that you can't use this as a full time substitute for installed RAM. You won't suddenly be able to play Skyrim on full. It is more a stop-gap that can give your system a little boost.

    • DalSan M
      February 9, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      Although 32-bit operating systems can recognize up to 4GB RAM, only 3.5 would be usable, and after the graphics card, whether integrated or discrete, takes a portion of the RAM, 3.2GB is generally usable to Windows. One thing to note is that anyone that wants to keep performance as best as possible, one would set the minimum and the maximum paging file size the same amount. This way, the paging file becomes less fragmented over time, and should the system require more paging file size than initially allocated, performance does not suffer when the system increases the size on the disk.

      You are right that this is good advice, not best, for 32-bit operating system users. Otherwise, the user would have to format the hard drive and install a 64-bit operating system before installing more than 4GB of RAM. This is, however, after purchasing a 64-bit operating system license (Windows) before it can legally be activated. This would cost minimum $80USD for Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, plus the extra RAM (depending on type and amount, $24+ minimum), plus lost time reinstalling everything and setting everything up. Hardly cost effective nor best advice for anyone that wishes to keep using older computers on a tight budget.

      Something to consider is disabling unnecessary background services and processes, which this information can be found at (look under Popular Content for the operating system you are using). Otherwise,'s Simple System Tweaker would help disable features and services that are not used or needed for a decent performance boost, by reducing the amount of RAM being used. Also, disable any unnecessary processes from automatically starting by using either Windows'built-in msconfig, or use the simpler CCleaner Startup tool. Something else to consider is CleanMem by PCWinTech, which sets an automatic task schedule fit every 15 minutes to run Windows API for processes and applications to release unnecessarily used RAM, all without reducing system performance at all. Best wishes.

    • Gavin
      February 10, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Indeed, DalSan. The cost of upgrading just isn't possible for some people. I run W7U 64 on my desktop as it would be silly not too, but on this laptop it just isn't worth it. It's old, and I like it. It's not slow, I get my work done, and I can play OpenTTD. All good for me.

      Disabling certain services can be a boost, and certainly looking at the applications auto-starting can be a massive help. So many times when helping people with their 'slow' computer just turning things off provides a massive boost.

      I haven't used the blackviper tweak tool, will give that a look. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  25. Gene Baker
    February 9, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Would the Readyboost option be better if all criteria are met?

    • DalSan M
      February 10, 2015 at 12:55 am

      Most people mentioned that they barely noticed Readyboost increasing performance, if at all. It works in a similar fashion as Superfetch by caching commonly used processes to increase load times. It can be more noticeable on systems with low memory, but can also help systems with plenty of memory, as well. One thing to note is that you want about 4GB or more of flash/pen drive storage that is rated for high speed. The faster the speed, the more noticeable the performance boost in opening commonly used applications. It will, however, take several times of starting Windows and the applications you use moist often for Readyboost to "learn" what should be cached.

      Note: Readyboost will not help with errors about running out of memory, nor would it reduce the amount of RAM being used or increase the amount of available RAM and virtual memory.

    • Gene Baker
      February 10, 2015 at 8:59 pm

      Thanks DalSan I had heard folks weren't seeing an increase and speed but I had 8GB flash lying around so I tried it out. I definitely had good results with my W7 4GB RAM i3 computer.

  26. Gavin
    February 9, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I don't think its the worst ever. What about the NHS spending £11bn on a computer system the UK might never use?

    However, yes, increasing the actual physical RAM is the best option. There is only 3GB RAM on this laptop as it was bought in 2007, on a tight budget. My desktop has 16, which is probably too much.

    This tutorial is aimed at those that need a quick fix to remove the error message before they can make other suitable arangements.

    • v
      February 9, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      Yes that will make the error message go away but it will make your computer slower. A memory upgrade for that computer would be quite inexpensive.

    • Gavin
      February 9, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      In my experience it doesn't slow the computer down noticeably if you leave the swap file relatively small. As I mentioned in the article Windows restricts the paging file size to 3x installed RAM. I only increased by 1.5GB for exactly this reason. It is slower. If I increased it up to 9GB I might see some performance issues, but only if I was attempting to run enough software to take up my 3GB installed plus the extra. Even though its there, Windows wouldn't stretch that far anyway.

      I know it wouldn't be expensive. It isn't an issue though. Its only used for word processing and a little light gaming. Thanks for your concern.

  27. v
    February 9, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    This is probably the worst computer advice ever. Unless you have an ssd drive, incresing your pagefile size will cause Windows to store more data on your slow hard drive. Causing your computer to run slower not faster. The best thing you can do is invest in more ram, why do you have a computer with only 3gb ram ? Do your homework and get a computer with as much ram as possible. Don't stick with what the manufacturer installed, double or triple that ram and don't mess with the pagefile just let Windows manage it.

    • Bruce E
      February 9, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      Check the screenshot above. It is running a 32-bit version of Windows. It will only support 4GB of RAM in the first place and not all of that will be available to Windows. Playing with the page file is the cheapest and most effective way to alleviate the issue on this particular machine although I would simply look at how the system is currently using the page file and make it static instead. By keeping the initial and max sizes somewhat larger than what the system is typically using and identical, the system won't be wasting a lot of IO by resizing the file when it becomes RAM starved.

  28. Arpit Kharbanad
    February 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Gavin,thanks for the tip!

    • Gavin
      February 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      No problem, Arpit. Worked wonders on my aged laptop. Thanks for reading!