How to determine the appropriate page file size for 64-bit versions of Windows — Windows Client
Page file sizing depends on the system crash dump setting requirements and the peak usage or expected peak usage of the system commit charge. Both considerations are unique to each system, even for systems that are identical. This uniqueness means that page file sizing is also unique to each system and can’t be generalized.
Applies to: Windows 10
Determine the appropriate page file size
Use the following considerations for page file sizing for all versions of Windows and Windows Server.
Crash dump setting
If you want a crash dump file to be created during a system crash, a page file or a dedicated dump file must exist and be large enough to back up the system crash dump setting. Otherwise, a system memory dump file isn’t created.
For more information, see Support for system crash dumps section.
Peak system commit charge
The system commit charge can’t exceed the system commit limit. This limit is the sum of physical memory (RAM) and all page files combined. If no page files exist, the system commit limit is slightly less than the physical memory that is installed. Peak system-committed memory usage can vary greatly between systems. Therefore, physical memory and page file sizing also vary.
Quantity of infrequently accessed pages
The purpose of a page file is to back (support) infrequently accessed modified pages so that they can be removed from physical memory. This removal provides more available space for more frequently accessed pages. The «\Memory\Modified Page List Bytes» performance counter measures, in part, the number of infrequently accessed modified pages that are destined for the hard disk. However, not all the memory on the modified page list is written out to disk. Typically, several hundred megabytes of memory remains resident on the modified list. Therefore, consider extending or adding a page file if all the following conditions are true:
More available physical memory (\Memory\Available MBytes) is required.
The modified page list contains a significant amount of memory.
The existing page files are fairly full (\Paging Files(*)% Usage).
Support for system crash dumps
A system crash (also known as a «bug check» or a «Stop error») occurs when the system can’t run correctly. The dump file that is produced from this event is called a system crash dump. A page file or dedicated dump file is used to write a crash dump file (Memory.dmp) to disk. Therefore, a page file or a dedicated dump file must be large enough to support the kind of crash dump selected. Otherwise, the system can’t create the crash dump file.
During startup, system-managed page files are sized respective to the system crash dump settings. This assumes that enough free disk space exists.
|System crash dump setting||Minimum page file size requirement|
|Small memory dump (256 KB)||1 MB|
|Kernel memory dump||Depends on kernel virtual memory usage|
|Complete memory dump||1 x RAM plus 257 MB*|
|Automatic memory dump||Depends on kernel virtual memory usage. For details, see Automatic memory dump.|
* 1 MB of header data and device drivers can total 256 MB of secondary crash dump data.
The Automatic memory dump setting is enabled by default. This setting is an alternative to a kind of crash dump. This setting automatically selects the best page file size, depending on the frequency of system crashes.
The Automatic memory dump feature initially selects a small paging file size. It would accommodate the kernel memory most of the time. If the system crashes again within four weeks, the Automatic memory dump feature sets the page file size as either the RAM size or 32 GB, whichever is smaller.
Kernel memory crash dumps require enough page file space or dedicated dump file space to accommodate the kernel mode side of virtual memory usage. If the system crashes again within four weeks of the previous crash, a Complete memory dump is selected at restart. This dump requires a page file or dedicated dump file of at least the size of physical memory (RAM) plus 1 MB for header information plus 256 MB for potential driver data to support all the potential data that is dumped from memory. Again, the system-managed page file will be increased to back this kind of crash dump. If the system is configured to have a page file or a dedicated dump file of a specific size, make sure that the size is sufficient to back the crash dump setting that is listed in the table earlier in this section together with and the peak system commit charge.
Dedicated dump files
Computers that are running Microsoft Windows or Microsoft Windows Server usually must have a page file to support a system crash dump. System administrators can now create a dedicated dump file instead.
A dedicated dump file is a page file that isn’t used for paging. Instead, it is «dedicated» to back a system crash dump file (Memory.dmp) when a system crash occurs. Dedicated dump files can be put on any disk volume that can support a page file. We recommend that you use a dedicated dump file if you want a system crash dump but you don’t want a page file. To learn how to create it, see Overview of memory dump file options for Windows.
System-managed page files
By default, page files are system-managed. This system management means that the page files increase and decrease based on many factors, such as the amount of physical memory installed, the process of accommodating the system commit charge, and the process of accommodating a system crash dump.
For example, when the system commit charge is more than 90 percent of the system commit limit, the page file is increased to back it. This surge continues to occur until the page file reaches three times the size of physical memory or 4 GB, whichever is larger. Therefore, it’s assumes that the logical disk that is hosting the page file is large enough to accommodate the growth.
The following table lists the minimum and maximum page file sizes of system-managed page files in Windows 10 and Windows 11.
|Minimum page file size||Maximum page file size|
|Varies based on page file usage history, amount of RAM (RAM ÷ 8, max 32 GB) and crash dump settings.||3 × RAM or 4 GB, whichever is larger. This size is then limited to the volume size ÷ 8. However, it can grow to within 1 GB of free space on the volume if necessary for crash dump settings.|
Several performance counters are related to page files. This section describes the counters and what they measure.
\Memory\Page/sec and other hard page fault counters
The following performance counters measure hard page faults (which include, but aren’t limited to, page file reads):
The following performance counters measure page file writes:
Hard page faults are faults that must be resolved by retrieving the data from disk. Such data can include portions of DLLs,
.exe files, memory-mapped files, and page files. These faults might or might not be related to a page file or to a low-memory condition. Hard page faults are a standard function of the operating system. They occur when the following items are read:
- Parts of image files (
.exefiles) as they’re used
- Memory-mapped files
- A page file
High values for these counters (excessive paging) indicate disk access of generally 4 KB per page fault on x86 and x64 versions of Windows and Windows Server. This disk access might or might not be related to page file activity but may contribute to poor disk performance that can cause system-wide delays if the related disks are overwhelmed.
Therefore, we recommend that you monitor the disk performance of the logical disks that host a page file in correlation with these counters. A system that has a sustained 100 hard page faults per second experiences 400 KB per second disk transfers. Most 7,200-RPM disk drives can handle about 5 MB per second at an IO size of 16 KB or 800 KB per second at an IO size of 4 KB. No performance counter directly measures which logical disk the hard page faults are resolved for.
\Paging File(*)% Usage
The \Paging File(*)% Usage performance counter measures the percentage of usage of each page file. 100 percent usage of a page file doesn’t indicate a performance problem as long as the system commit limit isn’t reached by the system commit charge, and if a significant amount of memory isn’t waiting to be written to a page file.
The size of the Modified Page List (\Memory\Modified Page List Bytes) is the total of modified data that is waiting to be written to disk.
If the Modified Page List (a list of physical memory pages that are the least frequently accessed) contains lots of memory, and if the % Usage value of all page files is greater than 90, you can make more physical memory available for more frequently access pages by increasing or adding a page file.
Not all the memory on the modified page list is written out to disk. Typically, several hundred megabytes of memory remains resident on the modified list.
Multiple page files and disk considerations
If a system is configured to have more than one page files, the page file that responds first is the one that is used. This customized configuration means that page files that are on faster disks are used more frequently. Also, whether you put a page file on a «fast» or «slow» disk is important only if the page file is frequently accessed and if the disk that is hosting the respective page file is overwhelmed. Actual page file usage depends greatly on the amount of modified memory that the system is managing. This dependency means that files that already exist on disk (such as
.exe) aren’t written to a page file. Only modified data that doesn’t already exist on disk (for example, unsaved text in Notepad) is memory that could potentially be backed by a page file. After the unsaved data is saved to disk as a file, it’s backed by the disk and not by a page file.
How to Change the Windows Pagefile Size – MCCI
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The Windows Pagefile is used for virtual memory operations by the Windows kernel.
Windows pagefile sizes are set during installation, and normally do not have to be changed. However, if you add memory to your system after initialization, you may need to increase the “initial pagefile size” on the primary boot drive. This is especially true if you’re trying to get a kernel memory dump to diagnose a problem.
If your pagefile is too small, you may get a memory.dmp file, but Debugging Tools for Windows won’t be able to read it. Even if you don’t intend to examine the dump yourself, you still might want to give it to someone else! On systems with solid-state disks (SSDs or NVMe drives), your system administrator might have limited the size to reduce wear on the disk — but this can prevent analysis later.
It’s rather involved to change the sizes, so here are step-by-step procedures, one for Windows 10, another for older versions of Windows.
To change the Pagefile size:
On Windows 10, you can get directly to system properties from the task bar, but then you have to traverse several dialogs.
- Press the Windows key.
- Type “SystemPropertiesAdvanced”. (You can type all in lower case, too: “systempropertiesadvanced”.) You’ll see this:
- Click on “Run as administrator.” You’ll see the advanced properties page:
- Click on “Settings..” You’ll see the performance options tab.
- Select the “Advanced” tab. You’ll see the following panel.
- Select “Change…”. You’ll see the following panel.
- Make sure the checkbox “Automatically managing paging file size for all drives” is not checked, as shown above. Then select “Custom size:” and fill in an appropriate size. (If you are doing this because of a message from “How to Enable Kernel Memory Dumps”, be sure to select the drive mentioned in the alert box, and also set the initial size according to the alert box. )
- Press “Set”, press “Ok”, then exit from the Virtual Memory, Performance Options, and Systems Properties Dialog.
- Reboot your system.
Windows 2000 through 7
- Log in as a system administrator.
- Open the system control panel, and double-click “System”:
- After a short pause, you’ll see the the general system properties page. Select the “Advanced tab”
- In Windows 2000, select “Performance Options”. In Windows XP through Windows 7, select the “Settings” button under “Performance”. The image below is for Windows XP:
- You’ll see the Performance Options page. In Windows 2000, select “Change…” In Windows XP through Windows 7, select “Advanced” and then, under “Virtual Memory,” select “Change.” The image below is for Windows XP:
- You’ll see the “Virtual Memory” page. Select a drive, if more than one, and change the initial size of the paging file. (If you are doing this because of a message from “How to Enable Kernel Memory Dumps”, be sure to select the drive mentioned in the alert box, and also set the initial size according to the alert box.) The image below is from Windows XP.
- Press OK, and exit from the Performance Options (2K) or Virtual Memory (XP through Windows 7) page.
- Restart the system.
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what it is for and whether it should be disabled
In Windows operating systems, the so-called pagefile.sys paging file (hidden and system, usually located on drive C) is used to work, which is a kind of “extension” of the computer’s RAM (in other words, virtual memory) and ensures that programs run even when there is not enough physical RAM.
- What is pagefile.sys and how it works
- What is swapfile.sys
- Optimal paging file size
- How to increase or decrease the paging file
- Is it possible to disable the paging file in Windows 10
- How to disable or delete the paging file pagefile.sys
- Helpful tips that will definitely help
- How to disable or delete swapfile.sys
- How to move the paging file to another drive
Everyone knows that computers use both non-volatile memory (hard drive, SSD, flash drive, etc.) and random access memory (also known as “RAM” or “RAM”). The more memory the better. This statement is true for all types of memory.
An integral part of your computer’s RAM is the so-called «paging file». It is located on the system drive of the computer and is hidden by default. When free RAM runs out, the system transfers some of the information in RAM to the hard drive to avoid application crashes and maintain stable operation. Windows itself knows how to work with the paging file and does not require user intervention.
There are many myths associated with the swap file. Some users blame it for the slowness of their computers. Still, there is some truth in this. When an application is written to the swap file, its performance really drops, because the read speed of the hard drive or SSD is several times lower than the read speed of the RAM. But to understand whether you really need a swap file, you need to understand how this system works. In short, having a paging file enabled is always better than not having one. This article will tell you why.
What is pagefile.sys and how it works
Let’s take a closer look at everything. So, the swap file is also known as «pagefile.sys» aka «swapfile». You can find it on the C:\ drive and only if you ordered the system to display not only hidden files and folders, but also system ones. To see the paging and hibernation file in Explorer, activate the display of hidden files and folders in Windows 10.
Your computer saves various information in random access memory (RAM). It is much faster than a hard drive. For example, when an application is launched, files are read from the drive and, figuratively speaking, “rewritten” into RAM. Information in applications is also stored in RAM. The opened page, downloaded streaming video and other temporary information — all this lies in RAM.
When the amount of RAM fills up, the system decides what information to transfer to the paging file (pagefile.sys). This is a kind of «virtual memory», always ready to come to the rescue of RAM, which has run out of space. The swap file is a very good system to prevent application crashes. Instead of closing or reloading an application for which there is no free memory, Windows dumps it into the page file and returns it if necessary. Since the speed of the drive is lower than the speed of RAM, this is where the user stumbles upon a drop in speed and performance. If you notice that after deploying the application, the application lags slightly and seems to wake up, and the disk usage indicators have activated, then the system has restored the application from the paging file.
Windows decides which applications to assign to the paging file or virtual memory. For example, an application that has been minimized for a long time can be marked by the system as less relevant, and if there is not enough RAM, it will go to virtual memory on the hard drive.
Since a lot of RAM is installed in modern computers, the average user’s personal computer often does not use the swap file. If you notice that your work scenario often uses the swap file, then it’s time to install a little extra «frame» or close some of the applications. And yes, you should not disable the swap file.
What swapfile.sys is
If pagefile.sys has existed since older versions of Windows, then swapfile.sys is a much younger object. It was introduced in Windows 8 and at its core is just another swap file focused on other tasks. Pagefile.sys is used for regular apps and swepfile.sys for generic apps, which you can find in the Microsoft Store. Unlike pagefile.sys, swapfile. sys takes up much less disk space. Often, its size does not exceed a couple of tens of megabytes, while a traditional swap file can reach tens of gigabytes.
The system writes information from UWP applications to the swapfile.sys file and unloads from memory when the user does not need these applications. Think of it as a kind of hibernation mode for apps. When you restore an application from sleep, and the amount of RAM is very limited, the system dumps another application in the swapfile (swap — change, English) to free up memory for the application you currently need.
Swapfile and Pagefile always work in pairs. Disabling the traditional swap file will disable the same for UWP apps. Without swepfile.sys, many applications from the store simply will not start, and others will start to crash within a few minutes after the start. If you want to disable only swapfile without pagefile, this guide will tell you how to do it. You can find the relevant section below.
Optimal swap file size
The system decides how much swap file it needs to work properly. Often the standard size is more than enough. If you want to manually set the swap file size, consider the following principle. Open all the apps you want and look at the amount of RAM used, then double the amount of used memory. For example, you have 5 GB of 8 GB occupied. We double 5 GB and get 10 GB, from which we need to subtract 8 GB. As a result, it turns out that the optimal size of the swap file will be approximately 2 GB. You can look at the amount of free and used RAM in the Task Manager on the Performance tab:
If you get a negative size, then you don’t need to change the default swap file size at all. Just leave it as is — it’s unlikely you’ll need it at all (but don’t disable it). If there are several gigabytes left, then the paging file can be increased to the received volume. However, keep in mind that Microsoft does not recommend increasing the paging file more than three times the installed amount of RAM.
How to increase or decrease the paging file
If, nevertheless, you think that the size of the paging file is not what you need, then you can increase or decrease it at any time. A little time and simple steps — the problem is solved. Here is a step by step guide.
- Open the Start menu and start typing view tuning and system performance. When your search returns a matching result, open this control panel item.
- Go to tab Advanced and under Virtual Memory click Edit.
- Uncheck Automatically select paging file size.
- Select the system disk from the list, and then click Specify size.
- Now you need to change two parameters that are responsible for the initial amount that will always be reserved (this amount of memory will always be occupied by the file pagefile.sys and you can free up space either by completely disabling the paging file or by reducing it), and the maximum possible amount . If the initial size of the paging file is not enough for your tasks, the system will automatically expand it.
- In line Initial size (MB) enter the size of the paging file you want to install, and in line Maximum size (MB) enter the maximum amount that you will allow the system to take away. You can make the initial and maximum sizes the same. Values must be specified in megabytes (1 GB = 1024 MB).
- After entering the new parameters, press Set, and then Ok.
Please note that Microsoft does not recommend to reduce the page file below 400 MB, so operate with numbers ranging from 400 MB to three times the size of the installed RAM (for example, if you have 16 GB of RAM, do not set the page file above 48 GB ).
Is it possible to disable the paging file in Windows 10
This issue has been discussed for a very long time on websites and special forums. I will express my subjective opinion that it is possible to disable the paging file in Windows 10, but it is not necessary. Many may «tell» you that disabling the paging file can speed up your computer (with the same success, you can advise painting the system unit or laptop red). The system does not write the application to a slow disk and therefore does not lag when it is restored.
While technically correct, disabling the swap file will do more harm than good. First of all, it is worth noting that the disabled paging file absolutely does not affect the performance of the system in any way, if it has enough free memory. In other words, the system will not access virtual memory if it still has free RAM at its disposal. The paging file is needed only when RAM is intensively consumed. And if virtual memory is disabled at this point, the system will feel quite bad.
First, applications will start crashing. This is well known to Android users. When the RAM runs out, the application simply restarts. On Windows, you will see an out-of-memory error as well as crashes of open applications. Secondly, some programs will not be able to start at all. For example, applications that require a large amount of RAM.
Yes, by disabling the paging file you will free up a couple of extra gigabytes, but when you hit the RAM limit, you will surely regret your decision. It is better to endure a few seconds of application lag that is being restored than to put up with crashes and loss of information. If you want to disable the paging file just to save space on your system drive, it’s better to use other methods that allow you to grab an extra couple of gigabytes.
How to disable or delete the paging file pagefile.sys
Although I advise you not to interfere with the operation of virtual memory, but if you really want to disable it (if the pipes are on fire and you urgently need to free up disk space, for example), our duty is to show how to do it. But remember that you do all this at your own peril and risk.
- Open File Explorer, right click on This Computer and select Properties.
- Click on the left menu Additional system parameters.
- A new window will open where you need to open the Advanced tab. Locate the section Performance and click Settings.
- A new window will open again. On it, open the Advanced tab. In the Virtual Memory area, click Change.
- You will see that Windows is configured by default to automatically size the swap file. A little lower will be the minimum and recommended values. The recommended amount of virtual memory is calculated based on the amount of installed RAM and the drive on which the paging file is stored.
- To disable the paging file, uncheck Automatically select paging file size . After that, manual configuration options will be available to you. Set the checkbox to No paging file and click Set. The system will warn you that disabling the paging file or setting it below 400 MB may cause unwanted results. If you are sure, then agree, and then press OK.
Helpful hints that will definitely help
Hint 1: if you are turning off the swap file because you need to free up some space, try not to turn off the virtual memory completely, but reduce it within reasonable limits. For example, in the screenshot above, you can see that the swap file is 3 GB. Reducing it by half will help free up an extra gigabyte and at the same time leave the paging file in more or less working condition (a volume below 400 MB is not recommended).
Tip 2: If your computer uses multiple disks, you can move the paging file to one that is used less. Due to this, it will be possible to slightly improve performance when restoring an application from the paging file. Moving the paging file to another drive is discussed a bit later. You just keep in mind that we are talking about moving the paging file to another physical disk, and not another partition. In other words, if you have a single hard drive with multiple partitions, moving the swap file between them will not affect performance in any way (may even worsen it).
Clue 3: The SSD and swap file is a tricky business. Using a swap file on an SSD could theoretically result in a lower media lifecycle. If you have an HDD installed in parallel with an SSD, it is better to move the swap file from the SSD to the HDD. The opinions of different users differ on this issue, but the bottom line is that the fewer cycles of rewriting information on an SSD, the longer it will last. And yes, moving the swap file from a fast SSD to a slower HDD can have a negative impact on the performance of an already not the fastest virtual memory.
How to disable or delete swapfile.sys
As mentioned above in the description of the swapfile. sys file, the swap file for UWP applications is disabled along with the traditional swap file, as you just read about. If for some reason you want to disable only the swap file, you can do this through the registry editor.
Warning: Disabling swapfile is only possible if you are a confident user who knows exactly why you need to disable the swap file. If you do not know why to disable a separate paging file, it is better not to risk the health of your computer. And do not forget that registry tweaks always carry the potential threat to damage the operating system.
- Make a system restore point to leave yourself a way back in case of unintended consequences of experimenting with the paging file.
- Click Win + R and type regedit. This command will open the built-in registry editor.
- Copy the following address into the address bar of the registry editor: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management. On the right side of the Registry Editor window, right-click, select Create — DWORD (32-bit) value.
- Name it SwapfileControl and restart your computer.
After that swapfile will be disabled. If you wish to activate it back, simply go to the above path, remove the key SwapfileControl and restart your computer.
How to move the paging file to another drive
- Open the Start menu and start typing Customize View and system performance. When your search returns a matching result, open this control panel item.
- Click the Advanced tab and under Virtual Memory click Edit.
- Uncheck the box next to Automatically select the size of the paging file.
- Highlight the system drive from the list, and then click No paging file. Press Set and confirm your choice.
- Select the drive where you want to store the paging file. Do not forget that you need to store it on a separate physical disk, not a separate partition. Transferring to another partition of the same disk will not lead to anything good.
- Specify the desired paging file size in the fields Specify size, and then click Set. As an option (we recommend using it), press System size and press Set. In this case, Windows will decide for itself what size of the paging file it needs. Click Ok and restart the computer so that the system applies your settings.
The paging file is an important part of Windows, necessary for its stable operation. Even if you don’t use 100% of your RAM, there are times when your computer is heavily consuming the available memory. In this case, virtual memory will save you a headache. And do not forget that an unused swap file does not affect the performance of your PC in any way, except for a busy couple of gigabytes on the system partition.
How to increase the size of the paging file
Hello, in this article I will tell you how to increase the paging file size for Windows 10. programs. Perhaps first I will write what a paging file is.
What is the swap file
The swap file is a system file that Windows accesses. This happens if the computer does not have enough RAM. We can say that this is virtual memory, which is summed up with physical memory. As a result, the speed of the laptop or computer is improved.
Here is a simple real life example. The program or game requires 4GB of RAM. And you only have 3GB. For the program to work correctly, you need to increase the size of the swap file «Swapfile. sys».
Of course, there are several points here:
Increase the size of the Windows 10 paging file
In order to increase the paging file, you need to enter Computer . Next, on a white background, right-click. And select Property.
Log in to Computer
The System window opens. By the way, this window can be opened by pressing the Win+Pause hotkey combination.
Then click the link Additional system parameters.
Advanced system settings window
Now the window System Properties has opened, here you need to click the button Settings in the section Performance.
Next, in the window Performance Options, you need to select the Advanced tab.
And press the button Change.
You will see the virtual memory management window.
Virtual memory management window
Choosing the size of the swap file
There is no definite opinion about the choice of the size of the swap file. Someone calculates with complex formulas and programs. And someone just puts the choice of the system. At the same time, the system makes this file very large. And for example, if you do not have an SSD drive, then the operating system starts to slow down.
There is also no definite opinion on the Microsoft website, but people on the Internet write that in the course of practice they revealed the following data:
- 512 Mb of RAM, the optimal swap file size is from 5012-5012 Mb.
- 1024 Mb of RAM, — the optimal size of the paging file is from 4012-4012 Mb.
- 2048 Mb of RAM, — the optimal size of the paging file is from 3548-3548 Mb.
- 4096 Mb of RAM, — the optimal size of the paging file is from 3024-3024 Mb.
- 8 GB of RAM, — the optimal size of the paging file is from 2016-2016 Mb;
- 16 GB of RAM (and more), — most often, without a swap file.