How to increase virtual memory Is your computer slow? Maybe it helps if you increase your virtual memory, rather than upgrading your actual physical memory. Don’t know how? Here’s a quick guide.

SSD users often disable the paging file (virtual memory) to increase the lifespan of their disk

Increase Virtual Memory

1. Step First, click on Start and enter SystemPropertiesAdvanced.exe into the search field or access the settings via Control Panel / System and Security / System / Advanced System Settings.

Windows Advanced System Settings

2. Step Next, click on the button Setting (field: Performance)

Advanced Performance Settings Windows 7

3. Step Go to the tab Advanced and at the bottom click on the button Change (field: Virtual memory)

Change virtual memory in Windows 7

4. Step Uncheck Automatically manage paging size for all drives

5. Step Select your primary partition e.g. C:, check Custom size, multiply your physical RAM by 2 and enter the number in MB. Let’s say you have 4GB “real” physical memory then you’d enter something like 8000.

Set Virtual Memory

Virtual Memory Optimization Tips

General rule: As a rule of thumb your virtual memory is supposed to be twice as large as your physical (real) memory. But almost more important than the size is that you follow some tips or the virtual memory might slow down Windows 7. Do never store the virtual memory file on a secondary partition!


  • Do NOT store your paging file on a secondary or tertiary partition (separate hard drive recommend, if not possible then main partition) to avoid disk head movement
  • If you can don’t store the paging file on the same hard drive as your main drive that runs Windows 7
  • Store the paging file on the fastest hard drive, e.g. if you own one a SSD (Solid State Drive)
  • Don’t compress your main partition or your paging file will also be compressed: Compression/Decompression takes time
  • Free up disk space

How to check virtual memory size

So, you increased your virtual memory and now you want to be sure that Windows 7 is really using that much virtual memory?

Enter msinfo32 into the search field. At the bottom it will list your installed physical memory as well as your virtual memory size:

Installed Memory

Windows 8 Users

If you’re on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you will be able to increase your virtual memory in the same way.

Hit CTRL + F and enter SystemPropertiesAdvanced.exe and you will get the exact same System Properties dialog.