Before in 90’s our computers didn’t have more things to perform. We didn’t have programs which used to consume high memory. With the advancement in Software and hardware field we have programs which uses high memory to perform jobs such as designing, gaming. So, we need more memory. How much memory we install in our system it’s not enough for us. We want more and more. It costs money for us to upgrade our memory. But the advancement in windows we are able to use Hard disk to create virtual memory which helps to boost computer performance.

What is Virtual memory ?

Virtual memory is not a physical memory which you will install in your system. Instead it is a space in the hard disk used as a RAM when the memory is low.

When we run a program then the CPU (Central processing unit) access program from the Hard disk to the RAM. When we run another program then it is again loaded from the Hard disk to the RAM. So, if you don’t have enough RAM to hold these program then your computer may freeze or you may get Blue Screen with errors which is coined as BSOD (Blue Screen of Death).

How Virtual memory works ?

CPU can’t access program from the hard disk. It can only access the program from the RAM. So, if there is no space in the RAM then the data or the program which is not used will be transferred from RAM to Virtual memory which is created in the hard disk. Then the program which you want to run will be transferred from Hard disk to the RAM. So, this swapping of program from RAM to Hard disk and from Hard disk to RAM continues. Whichever program is not used at the moment will be transferred from RAM to Hard disk and that which you want to use will be transferred from Hard disk to RAM. This process is known as “paging” or “swapping“.

How to optimize Virtual memory for better performance ?

  • Right click on “Computer” icon on the desktop and click on “Properties“.

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  • Click on “Advanced System settings“.
  • Click on “Advanced” tab and then on “Settings” button under performance.

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  • You will get “Performance Options” dialog box.

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  • Click on “Advanced” tab and then on “change” button.

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  • Now remove the tick mark from the check box in front of “automatically manage paging file size for all drives“.
  • Select the drive for where you want to have virtual memory. Since “C:” has all the system files which the system uses heavily so you can have virtual memory on “D:” drive.
  • Now in Custom size you have two parameters “Initial size” and “Maximum size” . You need to enter the size in mega byte for your Virtual memory. How much space you want to allocate for the virtual memory, you have to set in those boxes. You can enter 1.5 – 2 times the size of your Physical RAM. If my RAM size is 3 GB then I would enter 4.5 GB as a Virtual memory i.e 1.5 times the size of my RAM.
  • After entering the size then click on “Set” button.

Remember never forget to click on “Set” button otherwise the space which you have set for the Virtual memory won’t be set.

  • Then click on “OK” button.
  • Now you will get a dialog box stating that you need to restart the computer for making the effect come to action.

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  • Click on “OK” button.

Now have successfully optimized the Virtual memory for better performance.