How to increase the paging file if the RAM is 4, 8, 16, 32 GB

In the era of the dominance of Windows XP, RAM was measured not in GB, but in MB. On the other hand, hard drives were fast enough. Microsoft was actively developing the idea of ​​”extending” RAM by allocating a paging file. The seventh Windows, and then the “ten” inherited this technology.

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What is a paging file and why is it needed

First of all, let’s figure out what a file for swapping data is. In every home computer has a memory , succinctly – RAM or RAM. It is needed for fast loading and unloading of machine code, it is used by the processor and programs. The operating system works ten times faster than a hard disk, but it is volatile: when the computer is turned off, the information recorded in it is not saved. An exception is the rare non-volatile memory.

Part of the RAM for its needs is taken by Windows, it can be about 1-2 GB. The remainder is serving programs. There are add-ons that need a significant amount of RAM. For example, Photoshop requires at least 2 GB, hence the lack of RAM. Windows partially solves the problem of lack of RAM using the paging file – the allocated memory of the hard drive.

When Windows is loaded, the user does not have access to the FP, he cannot open and view its contents. After turning off the PC, the virtual memory is not erased by default. Booting from a flash drive , you can see what is left in the FP. After the usual boot of Windows, 3 operations are available to the user:

  • increase in AF volume,
  • its decrease;
  • refusal to use additional memory.

You don’t have to choose any of these options. Sometimes everything works fine with the default settings. This is when the system decides how much virtual memory it needs to function efficiently.

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Swap file size

The vastness of the virtual stash is one of the factors affecting the speed of the computer. Techniques for calculating the size of the paging file:

  1. The most primitive method is to multiply the amount of RAM by 2. For weak computers, this method justifies itself, but for powerful computers it is not suitable. For example, if the RAM is 32 GB , this may be enough for all the programs used, so it makes sense to limit yourself to 1-2 GB so that the computer is content with fast memory, and accesses a slow hard drive as rarely as possible.
  2. Mathematical calculation. We load the computer to the maximum with the attachments that we use. Launch Task Manager, look at the Performance tab. We remember the value of the occupied memory X. We apply the formula 2 * X-RAM. An example for clarity. Suppose that the programs plus the system occupy 6 GB, the amount of RAM is 8 GB . Then we get: 2 * 6-8 = 4 GB. If you get a negative value, it is better to leave the default settings.
  3. Experimental method. If the user prefers to spend time playing computer games, he can set different paging file sizes and look at fps. An example of the dynamics of optimal values ​​of virtual memory:
RAM size, GB Suitable swap file, GB
4 12
eight 8-16
16 2-3
32 1

You may get slightly different values, since the result of the experiment depends not only on RAM, but also on the video card , the game for which the virtual memory was optimized, and other factors. However, the dynamics in any case will not refute the basic thesis: a dead computer needs a multi-gigabyte FP, a gaming one – a small one.

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How to increase the swap file in different versions of Windows

Popular versions of Windows differ in swap technologies: the “seven” works with one pagefile, in the “ten” it is swapfile. The latter is intended solely for serving prog from the Windows store. These apps use a hibernation-like mechanism.

When they are running, but not required, the system unloads them from the RAM to disk. After the resumption of activity, Windows does the opposite operation. It uses swapfile to store the swapped bytes. Its size, by the way, is within 256 MB, so it affects PC performance much less than pagefile.sys.

From the point of view of setting up the paging file, there is no fundamental difference between Windows 7 and the “top ten”. In both cases, everyone can set the FP limits in the additional parameters of the system.

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Windows 10 (instructions to enlarge)

  1. Click Start → Options.
  2. We select the System – About the System in the menu.
  3. Scroll down to the Related Parameters, focusing on System Information.
  4. We click the Additional parameters of the system, by the way, the “seven” also has them.
  5. In “Performance” we click on Parameters.
  6. We go to the “Advanced” tab, there is the current size of the FP. Click Change.
  7. Unchecks the checkbox for automatic selection of FP. We indicate its starting and maximum size.
  8. Click Set → OK.

A reboot may be required to update the changes. This algorithm is suitable for both increasing and decreasing AF. If, after the changes, the computer starts to work slower, you can continue to experiment with the swap file of the installed Windows 10 or let the system decide for itself how much spare memory it needs.

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Windows 8, 7 (instructions for increasing)

We go into the properties of the PC, then we repeat the algorithm of actions for the “ten”, starting from point # 4. The settings are the same. In the virtual memory window, you can change the FP. When choosing its size, it is not recommended to set the interval. It is desirable that the starting and maximum allocated memory be equal to the same value. With this approach, there will be less fragmentation on the disk of the allocated “stash”.

Windows 7, after adding new GB to the FP, does not ask for a restart, the system simply adds the required number of megabytes to the pagefile. Reboot is needed in case of reverse operation or when the FP is disabled.

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How to disable the swap file

The logic of users disabling FP is as follows. Using FP, the system, instead of being content with fast RAM, turns to a slow hard drive. Sometimes they also want to free up disk space. Both of these arguments are highly dubious. On the other hand, after the user has disabled the paging file, unpleasant consequences can await him:

  • When several applications are launched, the system stops working, displays a message related to insufficient memory.
  • Individual programs will not start at all without FP, for example, a virtual machine will not start working.
  • It will become more difficult to find the cause of the freezes. When a critical failure occurs, Windows stops working and displays a “blue screen of death”. This writes the contents of the RAM and error information to virtual memory. And if the FP is disabled, the system cannot do it.

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Pagefile.sys, its role in swapping

In the pagefile, Windows stores information that does not fit in RAM: the history of visiting sites, information about launching programs, images, texts, OS logs, and so on. Disabling the FP after a reboot frees up the space occupied by the pagefile. Usually we are talking about 1-16 GB. Freeing up disk space this way is not a good idea. Alternative options are much more expedient: you can delete movies, TV shows, disk images, which can occupy tens of gigabytes on the hard drive, without any risk .

If you nevertheless have an irresistible desire to get rid of the pagefile, uncheck the autoselect FP checkbox (point 7 of the instructions on how to increase the system paging file for the “dozens”). The next step is to select No FP. Click Set → OK, reboot and disk space will be freed up.

Swapfile.sys – appendix to pagefile

Disabling swapfile to save disk space makes even less sense than not using pagefile because the swap file takes up little space. If you select No FP in the virtual memory window, then Windows will not use both files.

There is an alternative to dump the swapfile, but leave the pagefile. For this:

  1. We open the system registry.
  2. Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Session Manager \ Memory Management section.
  3. We sculpt a brand new 32-bit DWORD parameter, name it SwapfileControl, and drive 0 into it.

Reboot and admire the lonely pagefile.

Is it possible to move the paging file to another drive

By default, the FP lives in the system partition, the motivation for moving it to another location may be as follows:

  • there is a desire to free up space on the smallest system partition,
  • there is a faster partition on the PC .

The transfer scheme is simple:

  1. Disable automatic FP selection.
  2. In the list of disks, select the one to which you are going to transfer the FP. Enter the size of the “stash”.

We return to the system partition and select the No FP checkbox. Windows will warn you that there will be problems with writing debug information. To avoid them, you can leave the FP of the minimum recommended size on C: \ (about 200 MB). After all, no one bothers to use multiple pagefiles. In this case, the transfer is not complete, since the paging file in the system partition was changed, not deleted. If you need a full transfer, we leave Windu without FP in the sys section.

Do I need to leave the paging file on a small system SSD if I can transfer it to a larger HDD? There is an opinion that it is not necessary to load a solid-state device with a large number of read-write operations. But in practice, the placement of the FP does not become the reason for the premature death of the SSD, and the fact that it is much faster than the HDD is beyond doubt. Therefore, it is better to keep the FP on a solid-state device.

In conclusion, it should be noted that FP optimization is not a panacea. The most relevant reasons for bothering with this question: errors issued by the system with the mention of memory, PC freezes when starting several programs. If, after increasing the FP, the desired effect does not come, you should look at the problem from a different angle: clean up the disk and the system registry from garbage (CCleaner to help), see what is in startup, etc. Didn’t work with the software help? It might be worth considering upgrading your PC. The cost of a gigabyte of RAM is decreasing every year. What was expensive yesterday has become available today.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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