How to increase virtual memory in Windows 11/10

Virtual memory ensure that your computer has enough memory to run applications and processes smoothly.

When your computer runs low memory, (due to multiple tasks running simultaneously) windows 11 uses your Hard disk space to provide a temporary expansion. It’s called virtual memory, also known as a swap or paging file on Windows 11. Properly adjusting the Virtual memory settings on your computer can help optimize Windows 11 performance and prevent system crashes or freezes. If your computer slowing down isn’t a great feeling you can increase virtual memory size on Windows 11 to boost your system performance. Here this article explores what exactly virtual memory is and how to change virtual memory size on Windows 11.

What is Virtual memory?

Your computer has two types of memory, the hard drive or solid-state drive, used for storing operating systems, photos, music, documents, etc. RAM (Random Access Memory) also known as volatile memory used for storing program-specific data. And Virtual memory is a combination of your computer’s RAM with temporary space on your hard disk.

In simple, Virtual memory uses part of your hard drive to effectively expand your RAM, allowing you to run more programs than it could otherwise handle. Every time you open more applications than the RAM on your PC can accommodate, the programs already present in the RAM are automatically transferred to the Pagefile. This process is technically called Paging. Because the Pagefile works as a secondary RAM, many times it is also referred to as Virtual Memory.

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By default, Windows 11 automatically manages the Pagefile according to your computer’s configuration and the RAM present in it. But you can manually adjust the Virtual memory size on Windows 10 for better performance.

Virtual memory is extremely useful and allows your system to handle more data for more programs than previously available.

Use of Virtual Memory

The primary purpose of virtual memory is to enable Windows 11 to run more applications and processes simultaneously. Also, virtual memory can Increase system stability by using hard disk space as temporary memory when the physical RAM is running low. Another benefit of Virtual memory, it Enables large applications to run on computers with limited physical RAM, such as video editing requires a lot of memory to run smoothly. Overall By providing additional memory when a computer is needed, virtual memory can help improve overall system performance.

Increase Virtual Memory on Windows 11

Virtual memory is a very useful concept for older machines or devices lacking enough memory. It not only improves the performance but also prevents program crashes when all the RAM is in use.

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Microsoft recommends keeping the virtual memory size between 1.5 to 3 times the available RAM on your computer.  To check the RAM on a Windows 11 system open task manager Move to the performance tab then select the memory option.

Check available RAM windows 11

Once you have checked the available RAM, you can easily set up the virtual memory or page file in Windows 11. For example, say the available memory is 8 GB, so the minimum virtual memory to be set up is 8 x 1.5= 12GB while the maximum would be 8 x 3 = 24 GB.

To Increase Virtual Memory in Windows 11.

  • Press Windows + R, type sysdm.cpl, and ok to open the system properties window.
  • Move to the Advanced tab, under the Performance section select Settings

System properties advanced windows 11

  • Now On the “Performance Options” window, go to the Advanced tab and click on the Change button located under the “Virtual Memory” section.

Change virtual memory option

  • Here are your Virtual Memory options, The default option is to Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.
  • To customize virtual memory size on Windows 11 uncheck the automatically manage option then select the custom size.
  • Next, input your desired virtual memory size and select OK.

Set virtual memory windows 11

By default, the system drive is used as virtual memory. But if you can change it and force Windows to use a different drive for paging files or virtual memory.

Once done restart your computer to apply the changes.

FAQ:

What is virtual memory? 

  • Virtual memory or pagefile is technic to use hard disk space as temporary memory when the physical RAM is running low.

How does virtual memory work?

  • When the physical RAM is running low, virtual memory uses hard disk space to temporarily store data that would normally be stored in the RAM. This allows the computer to continue running programs and processes smoothly.

What is the recommended size for virtual memory?

  • Microsoft recommends virtual memory size is typically 1.5 times the size of your physical RAM, but the actual recommended size may vary depending on your system specifications and the applications you use.

How to check Virtual memory size?

  • You can run the command systeminfo.exe to check the virtual memory size in Windows 11

Can virtual memory slow down my computer? 

  • If the virtual memory is set too low, it can actually cause performance issues. However, if it is set properly, virtual memory can help improve overall system performance.

Can I turn off virtual memory?

  • Technically, yes, you can turn off virtual memory, but it is not recommended as it can cause system instability and crashes.

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