Virtual memory in Windows is a special file (called pagefile) that is used in place of the RAM (physical memory) when the RAM runs out of usable space. For example, if your computer has 4 GB of RAM and all of it is in use, then any further application you launch will use the virtual memory in place of the RAM. Virtual memory is obviously not as fast as the RAM, but it can prevent program crashes when all of the RAM is in use. The concept of virtual memory materialized when the computers used to have smaller amount of physical memory. In todays time, when computers are equipped with as much as 16 GB of RAM, enabling the virtual memory for Windows will only consume hard disk space and will hardly ever be used.
If your computer has more than enough RAM, then you can safely disable the virtual memory using these simple steps:
- Open the system information window by using the hotkey Win + Pause. In the this window click on the Advanced system settings near the left side of the window.
- This opens up the System Properties window. You have to switch to the Advanced tab and click on Settings button under the Performance section.
- This will open the Performance Options tab, where you have to switch to the Advanced tab and click on the Change button.
- In the Virtual Memory configuration window that opens up, you have to uncheck the checkbox labeled Automatically manage paging file size. Then select the No paging file option and click on the Set button.
Disabling the virtual memory is good for the SSD disk drives as it reduces the number of writes when using Windows. But at the same time, you should not disable virtual memory if you do not have large enough RAM to handle your everyday computer usage.