How to increase virtual memory in Windows 7    

Increase Windows 7 virtual memory

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You may get a message that reads: “Your system is low on virtual memory. Windows is increasing the size of your virtual memory paging file”. Your system might be running slowly or freezing when you try to open additional programs. All of these cases can indicate that the Windows virtual memory needs to be increased. By increasing virtual memory page file size, you can increase the memory capacity of the system without having to buy more RAM. Changing both the initial and maximum settings in virtual memory to the optimum level can help with poor performance problems.

Virtual memory stores RAM images on the hard drive in Windows 7 systems to free up space for other uses. Without virtual memory, the computer would freeze or require you to close one program before opening another if you had more than a few programs open at the same time. The virtual memory application looks for parts of the RAM that aren’t used often and copies that information to a page file on the hard drive. 

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In order to read the files that it needs to operate, the operating system will move back and forth between the paging file and the physical RAM. Unfortunately, the hard drive has a slow read/write speed and your computer’s performance may be slower if you rely heavily on virtual memory without the needed RAM. 

In most cases, the best fix for memory problems is to actually buy more physical RAM for your computer. Windows virtual memory will make it seem like you have unlimited memory, but not having enough RAM on board can affect your computer’s overall performance. Once you have installed the right amount of RAM on your computer, you can then adjust the Windows default settings to make it run more smoothly.

Windows 7 Page File

You can improve the computer’s performance by increasing the paging file size in virtual memory. Windows sets the paging file size to 1.5 times the installed RAM as the default. When you increase this number, you can avoid the common virtual memory error messages and performance issues. Many techs say that you can increase this amount to twice the RAM that you have installed on your computer.

To check how much RAM you have installed on the computer, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Start and then choose Control Panel.
  2. Click General on the System tab.
  3. The amount of installed RAM should be on the right hand bottom of the screen.

Now you can adjust your virtual memory page file settings:

1.    Click on Start and choose Control Panel.

2.    Choose System and then Security

3.    Choose System and then click on Advanced.

4.    Click on Change in the Virtual Memory section.

5.    Change the page file size to the size you want. If you want to tweak your settings higher than the recommended 1.5 times the RAM, it is best to do it in small numbers rather than in large jumps.

Restart the computer. You shouldn’t get the virtual memory too low message again.

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