How to Increase Virtual Memory in Windows

By Ruri Ranbe

Increasing virtual memory decreases the amount of available space on your disk.
i MeePoohyaphoto/iStock/Getty Images

When your computer executes a task, it stores the data it's working with in one of two locations: the RAM or the hard drive. If your computer runs out of the physical memory it needs to perform an operation, it moves data to a paging file on your disk. This paging file acts as virtual memory the PC can use as supplementary, or backup, memory. Windows 8 automatically sets the paging file to three times the amount of physical memory on your computer, but if you're a heavy multi-tasker, you may need to increase your virtual memory for the best performance.

Step 1

Press "Windows-X" to open a popup menu and then choose "System" from the options to open the System window.

Step 2

Choose "Advanced System Settings" from the left to open the System Properties window. Click "Settings" under Performance to open the Performance Options dialog box.

Step 3

Select "Change" from under Virtual Memory on the Advanced tab and then deselect "Automatically Manage Paging File Size for All Drives."

Step 4

Choose the disk you want to configure and then select "Custom Size."

Step 5

Enter the minimum size for the paging file into the "Initial Size (MB)" field and then enter the maximum size for the paging file into the "Maximum Size (MB)" field.

Step 6

Click "Set" and then click "OK" to apply your changes. You do not need to restart for your changes to take effect.