How to Change Pagefile Size and Location in Windows

Every now and then, you will see a suggestion in the Internet telling you to change the location and/or the size of the pagefile file in your Windows PC. Changing pagefile isn’t anything hard, but it is buried deep inside Windows settings as to avoid any unwanted changes. Let’s check out the way to change the location and size of pagefile in Windows.

Note: Even though it is easy to change pagefile settings, it is not recommended that you change these settings unless you know what you are doing. Any misconfiguration may result in your system not working as it should. Also, this procedure is the same for all the Windows versions.

Pagefile is like a virtual memory in your Windows PC. Whenever Windows runs low on the physically installed memory (RAM), it creates a hidden file named “pagefile.sys” and dumps all the least-used memory bits into that file. That way, Windows can clear up the physical RAM for any excess work.

1. To change pagefile size, we need to access Windows Advanced System Settings. To do that, press the Windows start button, search for “System” and then click on the “System” item displayed under the Control Panel in the results. If you are using Windows 8, press “Win + X” and then select “System” from the power user menu.

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2. In this screen, click on the link “Advanced System Settings” displayed in the left pane. This will open the Advanced System Properties window.

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3. Click on the “Settings” button under the Performance section. This action will open the Performance Options window.

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4. Navigate to the “Advanced” tab and click on the “Change” button under Virtual Memory.

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5. The above action will open the “Virtual Memory” window. Here uncheck the check box “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives,” select the paging file drive and again select the radio button “custom size.” Enter the initial size and maximum size for your pagefile and click on the “Ok” button to save the changes.

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That’s all there is to do. Once you are done, close all the windows and restart your system to apply the changes.

To change the pagefile location, first follow the steps 1 through 4 above. Here in this window, uncheck the check box “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.” Now select the default paging file drive, select the radio button “No Paging File” and click on the “Set” button. This action will effectively disable the paging file feature.

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Select the drive where you want to store the paging file, select the radio button “System managed size” and click on the button “Set” to apply the changes. Once you are done, click on the “Ok” button and close all the windows.

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That’s all there is to do. Just restart your system and you have successfully changed the paging file location in Windows.

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In fact, if you head over to the drive you just selected, you will see the paging file with the name “Pagefile.sys.” Make sure that you have changed the Folder Options to show the protected operating system files.

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Changing paging file settings is fairly easy in Windows, and it is particularly helpful when you are using SSD. That being said, only change the paging file settings if you are hundred percent sure.

Hopefully that helps, and do comment below with any suggestions and thoughts.