How Do You Reduce the Amount of Hard Drive Space That the Page File Uses?


Quick Answer

The page file can easily be changed by accessing the system settings in Window's control panel and using custom sizing fields. It is used as a temporary memory to hold data when RAM usage reaches its limit.

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Full Answer

To change the size of the page file, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Window's control panel.
  2. Select "System."
  3. Open the "Advanced" tab or in Windows 7 and 8, choose the "Advanced System Options," and select "Settings" under "Performance."
  4. Open the "Advanced" tab, and click the "Change" button under "Virtual Memory."
  5. Enter the preferred size in the fields under the "Custom Size," and then click the "OK" button to apply the changes.

Be careful when changing the amount of space the Windows operating system can designate for the page file. Microsoft suggests using one and a half times the amount of RAM installed in the computer as the size of the page file.

The page file is a backup memory source, which means that disabling it completely or reducing its size too much will likely cause many memory-related errors. Allowing Windows to control the size of the page file will help prevent most of these issues.

In cases of reducing the size in order to reclaim some hard drive space, a safer alternative is to uninstall rarely used software, or invest in a new hard drive — either internal to replace the current one or external to expand the space available in the hard drive.

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