Change the size of the virtual memory paging file

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To change the size of the virtual memory paging file

  1. Open System in Control Panel.

  2. On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.

  3. In the Performance Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab.

  4. Under Virtual memory, click Change.

  5. Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.

  6. Under Paging file size for selected drive, click Custom size, and type a new paging file size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, and then click Set.

    If you decrease the size of either the initial or maximum page file settings, you must restart your computer to see the effects of those changes. Increases typically do not require a restart.


  • To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.

  • To open System, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click System.

  • To open System from a command line as an administrator, type:

    runas /user: computername \Administrator "rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl"

  • To have Windows choose the best paging file size, click System managed size.

  • For best performance, do not set the initial size to less than the minimum recommended size under Total paging file size for all drives. The recommended size is equivalent to 1.5 times the amount of RAM on your system. You should leave the paging file at its recommended size, although you might increase its size if you routinely use programs that require a lot of memory.

  • To delete a paging file, set both initial size and maximum size to zero, or click No paging file. Microsoft strongly recommends that you do not disable or delete the paging file.

  • In computers with 8 or more processors that have the maximum amount of RAM installed, you might be able to gain some incremental performance improvement by splitting the paging file into multiple paging files. Each paging file must be on a separate physical disk and for reliability, each disk must be part of a hardware RAID-5 volume.

  • You can remotely change the size of the virtual memory paging file using System Properties in the Computer Management snap-in. For more information, see Related Topics.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also


System Properties Overview - Control Panel
Change the performance of foreground and background programs
Managing your computer's performance
Change virtual memory settings