Virtual memory, also known as the paging file, stands as a cornerstone of the Windows 11/10 operating system. Though obscured from the average user’s view by default, its importance cannot be understated. Functioning as a safety net, virtual memory operates by temporarily relocating less frequently accessed or modified files from the RAM to the hard drive. This strategic move, orchestrated by Windows, ensures that the swifter physical memory is reserved for crucial processes and applications. The result? Enhanced system performance and a safeguard against potential system lock-ups due to RAM shortages. With time, if you observe a dip in your system’s speed or encounter messages such as “Your system is low on virtual memory,” it might be an indication to reconsider the size of your virtual memory. Thankfully, Windows 11/10 provides flexibility in adjusting the virtual memory size. Whether through the user-friendly Settings app or the powerful Command Prompt, users can increase their system’s virtual memory, paving the way for optimized performance. In this guide, we will delve into the methods to adjust the virtual memory size on Windows 11/10, ensuring a seamless computing experience.
How to Increase Virtual Memory on Windows 11 using the Settings app?
You need to follow the below-given steps to grow the virtual memory on Windows 11 using the Settings app:-
Step 1. Press Windows + I keys from the keyboard to open the Settings app.
Step 2. Click on the System category from the left sidebar of the Windows Settings.
Step 3. From the right-side pane of the System, click on About.
Step 4. After that, click on the link labeled Advanced system settings.
Step 5. Then, navigate to the Advanced tab when the System Properties pop-up window appears.
Step 6. Click on the System button under the Performance section.
Step 7. Next, switch to the Advanced tab.
Step 8. Under the “Virtual memory” section, click on the Change button.
Step 9. It would help if you unchecked Automatically manage the paging file size for all drives.
Step 10. After that, select the Custom size option.
Step 11. Here, you must enter the initial and maximum size for the paging file in megabytes (MB).
Step 12. Click on the Set button.
Step 13. After that, click on OK.
Step 14. Now click the OK button again.
Step 15. Finally, reboot your computer or laptop to apply the changes.
Windows OS will use the custom virtual memory (page file) that you have specified and should increase the overall performance.
It is recommended to use one and a half times the total available memory (RAM) for the “Initial size” and three times of available memory for the “Maximum size,” if possible. One should note that the virtual memory size is unique for each device.
How to Increase Virtual Memory Using Settings on Windows 10?
Follow these steps to increase Virtual Memory using Settings on Windows 10:-
Step 1. You need to open the Settings app.
Step 2. Click on the System under the Windows Settings application.
Step 3. Then, click on the About in the left sidebar.
Step 4. After that, click on the Advanced system settings from the right of About.
Step 5. Next, you need to click on the Advanced tab from the System Properties pop-up window that appears.
Step 6. Check the Settings button from the Performance section.
Step 7. Then, navigate to the Advanced tab from the new pop-up window.
Step 8. After that, click on the Change button under the Virtual memory section.
Step 9. Next, from the new pop-up window, uncheck the option “Automatically manage paging file size for all drivers” and then click on the Custom size radio button.
Step 10. You need to enter the initial and maximum sizes in MB. Usually, it’s recommended to set one and a half times the total available memory for the “Initial size” and three times of available memory for the “Maximum size” when possible.
Step 11. Now, click on the Set button.
Step 12. After that, click on the OK button.
Step 13. Finally, click the OK button again to complete the process.
How to Increase Virtual Memory on Windows 11/10 using Command Prompt?
You need to follow the below-given steps to increase virtual memory on Windows 11/10 using Command Prompt:-
Step 1. It would be best if you opened the Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
Step 2. Next, type the following command line in the elevated command prompt, and press Enter from the keyboard to view the current status of virtual memory:-
wmic pagefile list /format:list
Step 3. Now, type the following command line to switch from manage to custom virtual memory, and hit Enter from the keyboard.
wmic computersystem where name="%computername%" set AutomaticManagedPagefile=false
Step 4. Lastly, type the following command to set the initial and maximum size of the virtual memory and press Enter from the keyboard:-
wmic pagefileset where name="C:\\pagefile.sys" set InitialSize=YOUR-INIT-SIZE,MaximumSize=YOUR-MAX-SIZE
For example, to set the paging file to initial to “9216” and maximum size to “13364”, issue the following command:-
wmic pagefileset where name="C:\\pagefile.sys" set InitialSize=9216,MaximumSize=13364
Step 5. Next, you need to restart your computer to see the result.
Your PC will start using the new values for virtual memory and should help to improve system performance when the above steps are complete.
If you no longer need to use the custom size for virtual memory, you can always revert the changes on Windows 11/10. For that, you need to use the following command:-
wmic computersystem where name="%computername%" set AutomaticManagedPagefile=true
Then, press Enter from the keyboard and restart your PC.
Virtual memory acts as an extension of the computer’s physical memory, playing a critical role in enhancing system performance. On Windows 11/10, users have the flexibility to adjust virtual memory size either through the user-friendly Settings app or via the powerful Command Prompt. Following the above-explained methods allows users to tackle potential performance hiccups, ensuring a smooth computing experience. Regular monitoring and understanding when to adjust this memory can keep your system running efficiently.