Disable Windows Page File?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Richard D. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Can you please tell me if it is possible to disable the Windows Page File [also known as virtual memory or swap file]? I have an especially large amount of RAM inside my PC and as far as I'm concerned, I don't need the Windows Page File because I doubt I'd ever run out of available RAM.

I've read a number of conflicting reports on the Internet that suggest it is possible to disable the Windows Swap File and that in doing so, my PC performance will be improved. However, I've also read that disabling virtual memory would be dangerous. What do you think? "

My response:

I would not advise shutting off the the Windows Page File.

Regardless of how much RAM is available, you should always have the Windows Page File enabled; it is more of a safety guard than anything -- especially if you have lots of available RAM.

This is especially true if you encountered a memory leak that ate all your RAM; if there was no virtual memory (swap file) defined in this scenario, the operating system would crash immediately (rather than later).

As far as performance is concerned (with virtual memory enabled): this shouldn't be an issue, either. Virtual memory is seldom used if primary memory (RAM) is in abundance.

More Information

For more fascinating information regarding Primary Storage (RAM) and Secondary Storage (Virtual Memory), refer to the following articles:

Defrag RAM Utility and Memory Leak?

Why does Windows constantly report 'Virtual Memory Low'?

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