How to Change the Windows Pagefile Size

The Windows Pagefile is used for virtual memory operations by the Windows kernel.

Windows pagefile sizes are set during installation, and normally do not have to be changed. However, if you add memory to your system after initialization, you may need to increase the "initial pagefile size" on the primary boot drive. This is especially true if you're trying to get a kernel memory dump to diagnose a problem.

To change the Pagefile size:

  1. Log in as a system administrator.
  2. Open the system control panel, and double-click "System":
    Device Manager
  3. After a short pause, you'll see the the general system properties page. Select the "Advanced tab"
    System Properties
  4. In Windows 2000, select "Performance Options". In Windows XP through Windows 7, select the "Settings" button under "Performance". The image below is for Windows XP:
    System Properties
  5. You'll see the Performance Options page. In Windows 2000, select "Change..." In Windows XP through Windows 7, select "Advanced" and then, under "Virtual Memory," select "Change." The image below is for Windows XP:
    System Properties
  6. You'll see the "Virtual Memory" page. Select a drive, if more than one, and change the initial size of the paging file. (If you are doing this because of a message from "How to Enable Kernel Memory Dumps", be sure to select the drive mentioned in the alert box, and also set the initial size according to the alert box.) The image below is from Windows XP.
    System Properties
  7. Press OK, and exit from the Performance Options (2K) or Virtual Memory (XP through Windows 7) page.
  8. Restart the system.

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