How to Increase Windows Speed with Paging

It doesn’t take long for a new computer, or upgraded operating system, to become clogged with new files and programs. Also, the way Windows stores files — by saving parts of new files wherever there is space, rather than next to the original file — can noticeably slow your computer down, even if you’ve only had it a few months.

The best way to improve your computer’s performances to increase the Random Access Memory (RAM). RAM is your computer’s storage space for programs you have open. It’s short-term computer memory that keeps all the parts of your programs open and available to use. More RAM means a faster computer, and that’s what we’re going to cover in this article.

When your PC is using all its available RAM, it begins to create Virtual Memory. For example, if your computer has 512MB (mega bytes) of RAM, and you’re using programs like music, internet browser, movies and photos, you might be using say 700MB of RAM — straining your PC almost 40% over capacity compared to the 512MB available.

Windows will fill up the 512MB, and then open up nearly 200MB free space on the hard drive to store the difference. This is called the Paging File os Virtual Memory, and Windows will increase or decrease the size of this file as needed. Sounds nice and efficient, but writing to the hard drive takes a lot of time, so when Windows creates a Paging File, you will notice a decrease in performance.

The good news is, you can change the settings for the Paging File to make it easier and faster for Windows to do its job.

To change the virtual memory settings, go to Start -> Control Panel and select System. Push the Advanced tab and under Performance, click Settings.

In the Performance popup window, click Advanced, and Change in the bottom panel (Virtual memory). This will open a popup window where you can change the virtual memory settings.

  • The simplest setting is to create the Paging File on a different partition and different hard drive from your core partition (which is usually the C drive on Windows computers). This just means that Windows will be able to process more data, more efficiently, which is exactly what we want.
  • If you want to get more advanced, you can create a new Paging File on the C drive, and create a second Paging File on different hard drive in its own partition. The advantage of this method is you will be able to access your data easily in case of a computer crash.
  • Whichever you are more comfortable with, it’s best to create the Paging File in a partition with no other data. This will ensure the extra RAM does not get fragmented as Windows stores information for other files and programs.
  • If you create one partition, set the initial and maximum sizes to 1.5 times the amount of RAM you have.
  • If you have two partitions, select the boot partition — the first partition — and put both settings (initial and maximum) at 250MB. On the second partition, select Custom Size, then set the initial and maximum values to 1.5 times your PC’s regular fixed RAM. To find this value, go to Start -> Control Panel -> System. Your RAM is displayed in the bottom row of text, on the right.

Increase this settings if you still notice sluggish PC performance.

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