There are several components that are part of our PC that we must take into consideration. Here we refer to the processor, disk drives, graphics or RAM that you have. This is something that, for example, will influence our daily work with Windows.
Well, among the many components that we must look at, now we are going to talk about one of the fundamental ones, memory. And is that as many of you already know, the RAM memory that we are talking about here, is one of the most important parts of the PC. This is the component that is used to load the instructions that the processor executes temporarily, in addition to other elements.
The problem with it, as with storage units such as hard drives, is that it is limited. Hence precisely that if the team does not have enough of it, it will not work as we would like. Thus, in the event that it falls short in terms of quantity, we will find blocking problems or slowdowns in the software we run. One possibility to solve this is to buy and install more RAM, but that comes at a cost. To all this we can add the delicate situation in which those who have just migrated from Windows 7 and have somewhat older PCs can find themselves.
What is Windows Virtual Memory
On the other hand, we will always be able to make use of the Virtual Memory that the Redmond system offers us. This is a solution that may be very helpful in certain circumstances on a day-to-day basis. To give us an idea, this Windows Virtual MemoryIt is a functionality by which the system reserves a space on the hard disk. This is used, if necessary, as if it were a substitute for the RAM we are talking about. In fact, this comes into operation when it is about to run out. This is a section that Windows itself already manages by default in order to improve the experience of using the software. But the desired results are not always obtained, so once again users have the possibility to customize this functionality.
As you can easily imagine, the use of virtual memory is not the most common, especially in modern computers. This is not necessary to write in Word, to surf the Internet, or to listen to music. However, in more demanding types of work such as games or video editing, things change. In addition, this is something that becomes especially evident if we are going to squeeze the equipment, and this is somewhat limited in terms of specifications.
Therefore, at this point is when Windows, by itself, makes the determination to start sending certain data that it does not need at that moment, to that virtual memory. In this way, it reserves, without saturating, the main RAM, for everything that is really running at that precise moment. This way we ensure that we always have RAM for the most demanding tasks, while avoiding unexpected crashes.
How to enable and customize Virtual Memory
But as is evident and happens in a good part of the Windows sections, this is something that we ourselves will be able to customize. To do this, the first thing we do is go to the Windows Configuration application through the Win + I key combination, where we click on the System section.
Once in the new window that appears, we scroll down until we find the option called About located on the left side. So, now in the right pane we can click on Advanced system settings.
This will lead us to a new, smaller window, in which we go to the Advanced options tab and click on Settings in the Performance section. Now, again in the tab called Advanced Options, we see a Virtual Memory section, so we click on Change.
It should be mentioned that by default this is a function that is set to automatic mode. Therefore, it is Windows itself that is responsible for reserving the allocated size for this virtual memory. But as we say, this is something that we can customize. To do this, it is enough that we remove the brand from the sector located at the top of this window so that the personalization fields are activated .
Thus, in custom size we indicate the amount of initial and maximum virtual memory that we want to use on this computer. As we can see, the process of customizing virtual memory in Windows is not complicated at all. Perhaps at first you might think that this type of change is limited to more advanced Windows users, but Microsoft usually tries to make things easier for us.
Virtual memory configuration tips
To begin we will tell you, contrary to what many may think, Windows will not work better the more virtual memory we configure. At this point and if we are going to do it manually on old or somewhat limited computers, the best thing is to configure, between 1.5 and 3 times the physical RAM installed, for the virtual one.
On the other hand, this is more effective in computers that do not have more than 4 gigabytes of RAM, in that case specifying a one-to-one ratio will be more than enough. We must also make it clear that in current SSD drives, this functionality can be used without problems. Some think that this can damage the disc, but today it is not. At the same time we are also going to tell you that it is not advisable to configure this virtual memory that we are talking about in partitioned drives. This could be more harmful than beneficial when it comes to getting Windows performance, the same happens when using very old hard drives for these tasks. Anyway, in case of doubts, it is best to leave the automatic configuration, as it comes by default, and let Windows take care of everything.
Completely disable Virtual Memory
At this point, also keep in mind that this is a built-in Windows feature that can be disabled. As we said before, it is active by default, but it is the operating system itself that is responsible for optimizing its use. If we want to customize it manually, we have just seen how it is done.
However, it may also be the case that we want to deactivate its use. Well, then we will show you how to do it. Actually we just have to follow the steps described above. That is, go to Settings / System / About / Advanced configuration of the equipment / Advanced options / Settings / Advanced options.
We arrive at the virtual memory window after clicking on the Change button and activate the manual operating mode, as we have just reviewed. However, in this case instead of adjusting the new values, to deactivate the function, we just have to activate the No paging file control.
With everything and with this, this is not a fully recommended step, since even if we have plenty of RAM installed, nothing happens to leave some space for the virtual one. In fact, it is even recommended, for example to leave four gigs here so that Windows can manage them if necessary. Keep in mind that in this section, Windows itself allocates a certain amount of virtual memory. All this will depend on the RAM that we find installed in the PC itself. Therefore it is possible that, depending on the type of use we make of the PC, changing these values is beneficial if our computer is somewhat old or limited in terms of specifications.