What is the virtual memory minimum?    

Virtual Memory Minimum

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Windows uses virtual memory as an “overflow” system for running multiple applications at the same time.  When your computer has run out of RAM as you are running several programs, it uses virtual memory to compensate for that limit.

Virtual Memory

Virtual memory is made up of RAM images that are stored on the hard drive so that there is more available RAM space for running programs. Running several programs at the same time can quickly use up available RAM space, and virtual memory allows you to keep running the programs without having to add expensive RAM to your computer.

When using virtual memory, the computer looks for things in the RAM that haven’t been used lately and copies the information onto a part of the hard drive, freeing up RAM space to use in running programs. Because it is copying RAM images to the hard drive, the computer can run as if it has an unlimited amount of memory without having to physically add it.

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The computer uses page files in the hard drive to store the RAM images in virtual memory. The operating system has to look in both the virtual memory on the hard drive and RAM to run the programs, which can slow programs and compromise performance. The read/write speed on the hard drive is slower than RAM, so relying too much on the virtual memory can also slow the system down.

Virtual Memory Minimums

Many users will see a message that reads: “Your system is low on virtual memory. Windows is increasing the size of your virtual memory paging file.”  This means that you need to somehow increase the memory on your machine in order for multiple programs to run.  You can increase the amount of virtual memory that is available on the hard drive, which will help keep your programs running.

The best solution for increasing memory is to actually add more physical RAM.  Using the right amount of RAM in conjunction with virtual memory is the best way to increase your computer’s memory while allowing it to perform at peak function. If you have the right amount of RAM for your computer, you can go into virtual memory and adjust the minimum settings.

By default, Windows sets the virtual memory to 1.5 times the amount of physical memory. It is easy to get into the virtual memory and adjust the minimum amount if necessary. First, you need to find out how much RAM your computer is running. To do this:

1.    Go to Start and then Control Panel.

2.    Find System and then click on General.

3.    You will see the number of RAM that is installed on the right hand bottom of the screen.

Now you can find out what the virtual memory minimum setting is.

1.    Go to Start and then choose Control Panel.

2.    Choose System and then choose Advanced.

3.    Choose Performance and then choose Settings.

4.    Choose Advanced and then Virtual Memory.

5.    You will see what numbers the minimum and maximum are set to at this point.

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