Improve Windows’ Virtual Memory Settings?

All versions of Windows— including XP— let you adjust the "virtual memory" or "page file" or "swapfile" space:

Fred, I just bought a new PC running Windows XP. It has 1.3 G Hz CPU, 128 MB RAM and 32 GB hard drive. My question: Is there a rule of thumb for the paging file size settings with different amounts of RAM, drive space and CPU speed in order to maximize performance?  I don’t run a lot of memory intensive applications. The most intensive application I run is PrintShop. If you can suggest some Web sites that might have some recommendations on paging file settings for maximum performance I would appreciate them. Thanks in advance, Mark J. Rote

Actually, XP and Windows 2000 both will suggest a reasonable "recommended" size for their virtual memory settings, and also tell you the minimum and maximum allowable sizes. In XP, right click "my computer," then select properties/advanced/performance settings/advanced/change (virtual memory). See also item #7 "Improve XP’s Virtual Memory Settings " in

In Win2K, right click "my computer," then select properties/advanced/performance options/change (virtual memory).

For how to choose and set the right amount of virtual memory in other versions of Windows, see:

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Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.