Controlling the Size of the Windows Page File

by Barry Dysert
(last updated June 3, 2019)

The Windows page file is a system file stored on your disk drive at C:\pagefile.sys. The page file is used to allow virtual memory to work correctly. (Understanding virtual memory is covered under another tip.) This file is typically sized to the amount of physical memory in your computer. So, if you have 16 GB of memory in your system, the size of the page file will also be 16 GB. Windows controls this file, so it is recommended that you leave it alone.

If, for some reason, you want to control the size of the page file yourself, how you start depends on the version of Windows you are using. If you are using Windows 7, click the Start button, right-click Computer, and select Properties. A Control Panel screen appears that displays some information about your system.

If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 10, you display the same screen by displaying the Control Panel, clicking on the System and Security link, and then clicking the System link.

Regardless of the version of Windows you are using, you should now follow these steps:

  1. At the left side of the screen click Advanced System Settings. Windows displays the System Properties dialog box; the Advanced tab should be displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Advanced tab of the System Properties dialog box.

  3. In the Performance area of the dialog box, click the Settings button. (This is the first of three Settings buttons in the dialog box.) Windows displays the Performance Options dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Advanced tab is displayed. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Advanced tab of the Performance Options dialog box.

  6. Click the Change button. Windows displays the Virtual Memory dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  7. Figure 3. The Virtual memory dialog box.

  8. Clear the first check box on the dialog box. (The one that specifies Windows automatically managers the paging file size.)
  9. In the list of drives on your system, select the drive where you want a paging file located.
  10. Click the Custom Size radio button.
  11. Specify an Initial Size and Maximum Size setting, in megabytes, for the paging file.
  12. Click Set.
  13. Repeat steps 6 through 9 for each drive on which you want a paging file.
  14. Click OK and close all other open dialog boxes.
  15. Restart your system.

 This tip (12629) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Seeing which Files are Compressed

Compressed files can make it easier to store a lot of information on a hard drive. However, compressed files aren't that ...

Discover More

Understanding the Task Scheduler

If you want to have a program run at a certain time or when a specific system event occurs, you'll want to understand the ...

Discover More

Adjusting Hearing Settings in the Ease of Access Center

If you have hearing difficulties that affect your ability to use your computer, Windows 10's Ease of Access Center can ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Deleting a Saved Search

Windows Explorer has a good search utility built into it. As you use it, you may wish to delete a previously saved search ...

Discover More

Filtering a Folder's Content

If you have lots of files on your computer, it is helpful to filter the files to more easily find a specific one. When ...

Discover More

Opening a File with a Program Other than the Default

Windows determines a program to use with a particular file based on the file's type. If you want to temporarily override ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.