Is it a good idea to change my Microsoft Windows page file size?

Question

Is it a good idea to change my Microsoft Windows page file size?

Answer

No. We highly recommend that all users let Microsoft Windows choose the best initial, maximum, and minimum settings for their virtual memory (page file). Disabling or setting the page file size too small can reduce system performance and cause instability and crashes within Windows.

What if I just doubled or tripled the page file size?

This may help with preventing instabilities and crashing with Windows. However, a hard disk read/write times are much slower than what they would be if the data were in your computer memory. Having a larger page file is just going to add extra work for your hard drive, causing everything else to run slower.

This should only be done when encountering out of memory errors as a temporary fix. For a more reliable fix, we recommend adding more memory to the computer instead of increasing the page file size.

I have plenty of RAM, should I disable the page file?

No, the page file is what helps keep your computer stable. Although you may think there is enough memory in your computer to handle all the programs it runs, Windows or programs that run on it can exceed that limit, which will cause program errors and even system crashes. In addition, some programs rely on there being a page file. If the page file is missing or not available, the computer will get random errors or the programs will not work.

Should I disable the page file so it can be defragged?

Many people recommend disabling the page file so that it can be defragged. While it is true that Windows defrag will not defrag any file in use, there are defrag utilities capable of defragging this section of the hard drive without needing to disable the page file. We recommend PageDefrag, which defrags locked files including the page file as the computer boots into Windows.

I read the page file size should be 1.5x or 2x the amount of memory installed.

There are hundreds of online sites and optimization pages that claim the page file size should be 1.5x, 2x, or something similar to the amount of memory installed on your computer. However, this does not take into consideration other important factors and system settings that may be unique to your computer. Again, let Windows choose what to use instead of relying on some arbitrary formula that worked on a different computer.

Ok, but should I put the page file on another partition or drive?

On a different partition

No. Storing the page file on a different partition of the same drive as Windows increases the hard drive seek times and will reduce system performance.

On a different drive

This is one scenario that can deliver a slight increase in performance, however, we still only recommend this for computer enthusiasts looking to tweak their computer for a minimum performance gain. If you plan on putting the page file on a separate drive, create a partition large enough for the page file on that drive and only keep the page file in that partition. For almost every Windows user, we still recommend letting Windows manage the page file on the primary drive.

I have an SSD, should I use a non-SSD for a page file?

There are people that suggest using an HDD as a second drive for a page file, reducing the overall read/writes done to the SSD, and extending the life of the drive. However, today’s SSD are generally rated to transfer 20GB and more of data daily for 5-years and often have a MTBF of 1,000,000 hours, which is well beyond what the average user does on their computer.

How about putting the page file on a USB flash drive or hard drive?

No, again this will reduce the system performance. While it is true the access times on flash memory can be faster than a hard drive, the transfer speeds over USB are much slower.

How do I see how much my page file is using?

See the viewing Windows virtual memory or page file settings page for further information about accessing this information.

I still want to change the page file settings.

How you use your computer is up to you. However, after changing the page file settings try to remember that you did this so if problems arise you can try re-enabling the default settings to make sure it is not the cause of your problems.

Ha! I’ve changed my page file and have seen improved performance.

There are hundreds of reported users who have reported to noticed a system performance increase after changing the page file size or disabling the page file. However, as mentioned above doing this decreases the overall stability of the computer, so there may have a slight improvement in your performance, but at what cost?

How do I change, recreate, recover the page file back to default settings?

If the page file is disabled or changed it can be re-enabled or set back to the default settings by opening the virtual memory settings and under the Change option for Virtual Memory checking the “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” or “System managed size” depending on your version of Windows. Reboot the computer after changing the settings. If you are having troubles getting into Windows boot it into Safe Mode.

 

 

 

(Courtesy computerhope.com)

 

For any questions, queries please do not hesitate to leave a comment in the queries page at the bottom of the page or contact us at compfaqz@gmail.com

 

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