How to manually change the size of the virtual memory paging file

Virtual memory, also called page file or swap file, is a file on your hard drive (C:\pagefile.sys by default) that Windows and applications use in addition to physical memory (RAM) as needed.

The rule of thumbs for the size of this file is 1.5 times the amount of physical memory, it is also recommended to make the minimum and maximum size the same to avoid serious fragmentation.

Here are a few examples:

  • 512 MB RAM = 768 MB Page File
  • 1 GB (1024 MB) RAM = 1.5 GB (1536 MB) Page File
  • 2 GB (2048 MB) RAM = 3 GB (3072 MB) Page File
  • 3 GB (3072 MB) RAM = 4.5 GB (4608 MB) Page File and so on.

 If your computer has 512MB of RAM increase the virtual memory paging file to 1.5*512= 768

In Windows XP

  1. Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl in the Open box, and then press ENTER.
  2. Click the Advanced tab, and then under Performance click Settings.
  3. Click the Advanced tab, and then under Virtual memory click Change.
  4. Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file that you want to change.
  5. Under Paging file size for selected drive, click Custom size, type a new paging file size in megabytes (MB) in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, and then click Set.
  6. Click OK to close the dialog box and apply changes.

In Windows Vista/ Windows Win 7

1. Click Start button Picture of the Start button
2. Click Control Panel
3. Choose System and Maintenance and then click System.
4. In the left pane, click Advanced system settings.
5.On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.
6. Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, choose Change.
7. Click Custom to change the Initial size (MB) and Maximum size.


NOTE : Don’t forgot to choose the drive you would like to use to increase the virtual memory. In most cases it will be your C: Drive. You can set the initial size and maximum size after clicking the Custom size check box. Remember its better to keep the Virtual memory values the same. Also it is impotent to keep enough available free space in the drive for your virtual memory and RAM to function properly.

NOTE : You must be logged on as an administrator user account or as a member of the administrator user account group to complete this steps.


Kuttus is an IT professional and a part time blogger. He has started the 123seminarsonly to write his findings gained in daily work life. Kuttus writes articles which are mostly related to technology and Virus Removal. He has been interested in virus and Malware removal. He is working as a remote virus removal technician from the last 7 year.

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