How to Reset Virtual Memory in Windows 10/11? [2 Easy Ways!]

There is nothing more frustrating than having your programs crash or slow downIsn’t it?

Are you also experiencing slowdowns and lags in Windows 10 or 11 and looking for a way to reset your virtual memory, also known as paging file?

Memory management is handled efficiently by the Windows operating system, however, if you find that virtual memory is not functioning properly, you may need to reset it manually.

Resetting a virtual memory is a simple process that can be completed in a few steps easily in windows 10 and 11.

How to Reset Virtual Memory in Windows 10?

There are several ways to reset paging file (virtual memory) but, we’ll discuss only two methods which are short and easy too.

Let’s have a look at these method:

  1. Using Windows Settings
  2. Using command prompt

Now, we’ll explore these two methods step-by-step individually.

Method 1: Reset Virtual Memory Using Settings

Windows operating system handles virtual memory itself to improve system overall performance, however, it provides you a facility to manually change virtual memory size (or paging file size) as well, thanks to Microsoft.

You have to follow the given steps in order to reset virtual memory in windows 10:

Step 1: Navigate to System Properties

Go to your windows desktop.

Then, right-click on This PC and select Properties:

Open system properties

Alternatively, you can type “System” in the windows search bar and select “System” from the list of results.

Moreover, you can also use control panel to open system properties. To do this, open control panel > System and Security > System.

Step 2: Open Advanced System Setting

Now, click on the Advanced system settings located at the right sidebar or at the bottom of the page:

open advanced system settings

Alternately, you can type “advanced system settings” in the windows search bar and select “view advanced system settings” from the list of results.

In advanced tab, click on Settings under Performance section:

Open Performance Settings

Step 3: Reset the Virtual Memory Settings

Now, coming to our next and main step which is to reset the virtual memory size.

In performance options window, go to Advanced tab:

Navigate to Advanced tab in Performance options

Then, click on Change under the Virtual Memory section:

Change virtual memory size

First, uncheck the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives option and click on the Custom size radio button:

Uncheck automatic manage page file and check custom size

Now, you have to enter Initial and Maximum size (in MB). It is fine to enter the initial size the same as the recommended size. For instance, 1905 MB is recommended size in my case (this size will be different in your case) so, I’ll set initial size to 1905 MB.

As far as the maximum size of page file is concerned, Microsoft recommends at least one and half times (1.5 times) the size of your physical memory (RAM). For example, if you have 4 GB of RAM, the maximum size of virtual memory should be at least 6 GB (4 x 1.5) which is 6144 (6 x 1024) in MBs.

Note: The maximum size should not exceed 3 times the size of your installed RAM.

Once you set limits, click on Set and then, hit Ok button:

Set paging file size and click OK

To disable virtual memory, you need to check no paging file radio button, however, it’s not recommended as it’ll cause system performance issues.

Step 4: Restart Your System

Now, you’ll need to restart or reboot your system for the changes to take effect.

After restarting your PC, you’ll notice improvements in performance especially when working with large files and multitasking.

In case if you notice lags or crashes after this process, you can follow the above steps to revert the changes.

So, this is an entire procedure to reset or change virtual memory in windows 10 in a few steps. From now on, multitasking won’t be a problem for you. And, you can easily fix windows paging file issues too.

Whenever you have low virtual memory, you can increase its size by following this same procedure.

Method 2: Reset Virtual Memory Using Command Prompt

You can also use CMD to reset paging size and you just need to type a few commands to perform this task.

First, click on windows Start button

Type “CMD” in the windows search bar and run command prompt as an administrator from the list of results:

search and run command prompt as an administrator

Type the following command and press Enter. Upon executing the following command, you can check the current virtual memory in windows 10 or 11:

wmic pagefile list /format:list
Check paging file status by cmd command

After that, type the following command and press Enter. This command will switch from automatically managing to custom manage.

wmic computersystem where name="%computername%" set AutomaticManagedPagefile=false
Change manage to custom cmd command

Then, copy and paste the following command and press Enter. Replace “XXXX” with the desired size in megabytes for both the initial and maximum sizes.

wmic pagefileset where name="C:\\pagefile.sys" set InitialSize=XXXX,MaximumSize=XXXX

For instance:

wmic pagefileset where name="C:\\pagefile.sys" set InitialSize=1905,MaximumSize=12288

The above example sets the initial page file size to 1905 MB and maximum size to 12288 MB.

Once you execute this command, you’ll need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. The paging file size limits will be changed once the system is rebooted.

Note: Setting the initial and maximum size properly will also help reduce the chances of system crashes and lags.

After following this process, you should observe improvements because your system will continue to operate smoothly and will prevent from crashing due to a lack of physical memory (Random Access Memory).

This is how you can reset your windows 10 virtual memory easily.

How to Clear Virtual Memory in Windows 10/11?

Resetting a virtual memory means either clearing the virtual memory or manually changing it again.

To clear the virtual memory in windows 10 and 11, follow the given procedure:

Press Windows + R keys together to open run dialog box.

Type gpedit.msc in the open field and click on OK to open group policy editor:

open run dialog box

Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Windows Settings :

Navigate to Windows Settings in group policy editor

Go to Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options :

Go to security options in group policy

In security options, find and double-click on Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile :

open shutdown clear virtual memory pagefile option

Click on Enabled option and then, hit Apply button:

Enable clear virtual memory pagefile on system shutdown

Now, every time you shutdown your system, the virtual memory will be cleared automatically.

So, in this way you can free up virtual memory or virtual RAM easily. There is also a registry editor method that can be used for this task, but this is an easier method.

Why Windows Uses Virtual Memory?

Virtual Memory is one of the important features of operating system that allows to use more system memory than it physically has. But how? This goal is achieved by using a portion of your hard drive as a temporary storage space when the physical RAM is full in order to improve the overall system performance.

When a system runs out of physical memory or RAM, it temporarily transfers data from the RAM to a space on the hard drive called the paging file or virtual memory. It’s actually the disk space on your hard drive. Solid state drives (SSDs) perform better since they are fast. This allows the computer system to continue running smoothly and effectively.

Note: You can check your random access memory usage and disk usage in task manager performance tab.

Virtual memory is particularly useful when dealing with large programs that require more memory than the computer can physically provide. Due to the virtual memory feature, you are running heavy games on a limited amount of RAM.

In short, virtual memory compensates for a shortage of physical memory (RAM). Operating system itself handles it efficiently, however, we can also set virtual memory limit manually (as we did earlier).

It is generally recommended to leave the virtual memory paging file settings as they are and let the operating system handle it more efficiently.

However, you can manually increase the limit if you face crashes or lags in performance by following the steps described above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Safe to Disable Virtual Memory?

Disabling virtual memory can negatively affect your computer’s performance and stability. Virtual memory allows to run more programs simultaneously and handle larger workloads. Although you can disable virtual memory, but it’s not recommended.

How much virtual memory should I set?

According to Microsoft, you should set the virtual memory to at least 1.5 times the amount of physical memory (RAM). For example, if your system has 8 GB of RAM, you should set the virtual memory to at least 12 GB. However, it can even be increased to twice or three times as well to ensure stability.

What Happens If I Reset Virtual Memory?

Resetting a virtual memory sets or changes the size of your virtual memory back to the default settings, which can help make sure that your computer is running smoothly and efficiently. Furthermore, it can be a great way to free up space on your hard disk, increase your computer’s performance.

Bottom Line:

After resetting your windows 10 or 11 virtual memory, your system performance will be better than before. You can try different virtual memory sizes and observe which one suits best according to your system.

Some users suggest to turn paging file off but it’s not a good idea since you can face different issues like memory shortage, software crashes and lags. Also, some heavy applications will not work. Although you’ve large amount of RAM but disabling virtual memory is not a great idea.

So, I hope you learned something from this guide. If so, you can share your thoughts in the comment section.

Furthermore, you can share this useful guide with others too so that they can also get benefit from it.

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Muhammad Bilal
Muhammad Bilal

I'm Muhammad Bilal, founder of Tech Axen. Being a tech enthusiast, I enjoy sharing tech tips and tricks with others to assist them with their issues. For this purpose, I feed this blog with articles that provide useful information on technology.

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