What is virtual memory?
Your computer has different types of memory for different functions. The main type is RAM - Random Access Memory. Your PC uses this to load and store programs; generally speaking, the more memory it has, the faster your system will run.
Sometimes a computer boosts the RAM by using something called "virtual memory". This is when the system sets aside part of the hard drive to store regularly used functions for quick access. This speeds up processes when RAM is low and makes things run more smoothly, especially when you have multiple programs open.
Why is my virtual memory too low?
Your computer has a setting that tells it how much of the hard drive it should use as virtual memory. This can be set to a predetermined level, or you can let Windows work out how much it needs.
If you have a large number of programs open or are performing some memory-hungry functions, you may reach the limit of virtual memory your computer can use. To fix this you can either close some programs or adjust the virtual memory settings.
Changing virtual memory settings:
- Open the Control Panel
- Double click to open System and click the Advanced tab
- Under Performance, click Settings
- Click to the Advanced tab and choose Change under Virtual Memory
- Make sure Custom size is selected and Automatically manage paging size for all drives is not ticked
- Under Initial size, enter double the default amount in megabytes.
- Note: There are approx. 1000 megabytes (MB) in a gigabyte (GB)
- Repeat the previous step for Maximum size
- Click Set
- Click OK
The amount of virtual memory you can set is limited by the size of your hard drive.