Windows 10: change swap file size ?

Discus and support change swap file size ? in Windows 10 Performance & Maintenance to solve the problem; I am running rainmeter and it shows my desktop has 48-49% ram usage and 49% swap file usage. I currently have 4 gigs of ram, room to put 4 gigs more... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Performance & Maintenance' started by jimjoe, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. jimjoe Win User

    change swap file size ?

    I am running rainmeter and it shows my desktop has 48-49% ram usage and 49% swap file usage.

    I currently have 4 gigs of ram, room to put 4 gigs more for a max of 8 gigs.

    Isn't that too much swap file usage ? I have tried to find in the tutorials, and on my computer, where to change swap file size. Not there. So, where is it ? And should it be lowered ? Or do I buy more ram instead ?

    Thanks !

    jimjoe, Oct 30, 2016

  2. Windows 10/Shockwave Plug In Not Responding Error, Then Laptop Crashed

    I did find when I messed with my Swap file size - and drive things got better?

    My Swap drive was C - Bitlocked. I moved it to another drive that was not Bitlocked and set the size manually rather than the system size.

    It is not fixed - it is better.
    David Willett, Oct 30, 2016
  3. Windows 10 out of memory issues

    For those don't want go deeper into investigation details:

    My method to keep problem away for some time is RESTART computer. Shutting down then turning on again doesn't work.

    To know more about this problem please details below.

    - - - - -


    For a while now I also have problem with "Out of memory" error.

    I've got Asus UX32LN (2 year old model), which was shipped with Windows 8.1. This laptop also has 512 GB SSD, 12 GB RAM.

    I've started to investigating this "out of memory error" problem, when my partition C (Windows is located on this partition) free space shrink from like 60 GB to 20 GB . I remember that I didn't install any programs and didn't move any files to this partition.
    After some research I've found culprit of free space shrink - swap page file.

    When I moved to settings related to size of swap page file I saw it was set to be managed by system and it's size was (at that time) like ~40 GB. That looked really similar to free space I've lost on partition C.

    So I've set swap page file size to manual. I've set it to be minimum 1024 MB and maximum of 3072 MB. Computer restart and "magically" I've got my 40 GB free space back.

    I was really happy. Unfortunately, after changing swap page file size to manual, Windows occasionally start to pop-up "out of memory error". This picked up my curiosity.

    On daily basis I've got open browser (typically 20 tabs opened), Android Studio, mail client. I know this application setup won't take more than 8 GB of RAM.

    Now the question is why Windows keep increasing swap page file to such enormous size? The only situation where Windows will enlarge swap page file is hitting available memory limit. Until Windows can enlarge swap page file you won't see any "out of memory

    Whole memory are split into 2 main parts: RAM (physical memory) and virtual memory (swap page file).

    Both sizes are described in Windows 10 as "commited memory" (Commited memory = RAM size + Swap file size).

    When "out of memory error" dialog pop up, the first thing you do is open task manager and check is which application take some much memory for system to hit limit. I was really surprised when task manager show That I have like 3 GB of free RAM. But Commited
    memory was strange - 15.9 GB out of 16 GB was in use. From my calculation with 3 GB of free RAM, there should be like 12.9 GB commited memory.

    I closed up all applications in Windows, but I couldn't go below 6-7 GB of used commited memory. When I turn on Windows and everything is okay, task manager show like 2-3 GB used memory.

    Well I had some things to do so I RESTARTED computer, and everything work like it should... until I shutdown computer and turned it on next morning. Problem came back again after some computer usage. Again, commited memory at it's limit when there are like
    3GB of free RAM.

    So I reduced swap page file size to 800-1024 MB. Unfortunately, problem still occurs, but this time when I've got "out of memory error" commited memory is at it's limit (12.9/13.0 GB) and I've got 1 GB free RAM. Strange coincidence that free RAM is similar
    to set maximum value of swap page file size. For testing purpose I set swap page file size to maximum of 6 GB. Shutdown to apply changes. Turn on again and keep working until next error occurrence. I didn't have to wait long. Error pop up. Check memory. 6
    GB of free ram, commited memory at it limits (17.9/18 GB).

    So this must be related in same way to swap page file size. Consecutive shutdowns and turnings on (not RESTART option in Windows) of computer worsen situation. The bigger the swap page file, the worst behaving of the system.

    Rammap show that there are lots of zeroed memory but not free. When everything is okay zeroed memory size is much much smaller (closer to several dozen of MB instead of GB).

    I'm not an expert at how Windows 10 manages memory and how looks Windows procedure of loading up memory, but definitely RESTART is something different than SHUTDOWN + MANUAL TURN ON. For me RESTARTING always helps with "resetting" memory to optimum state
    and prevent this strange memory leak.

    That kinda explains my really big size of swap page file. System couldn't clear memory after some kind of loading swap page file to memory, so after premature hitting commited memory limit, system increased swap page file size to prevent "out of memory error".
    After each shutdown and turn on memory leak still occurred and started to drive itself (bigger swap page file -> earlier "out of memory" situation -> increase swap page file to prevent OOM -> even bigger swap page file -> even earlier OOM situation -> and
    so on...). In this situation even big hard drive could end up eaten by swap page file.

    I also tried setting up 1 for ClearPageFileAtShutdown entry in MemoryManagement registry (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management) but without any spectacular effect.

    I also used Scan File Checker, but it didn't find any problems.

    There are some rumors about drivers causing memory leaking after upgrading to Windows 10, but even if this is the case Windows shouldn't behave in such way as it is. I think Microsoft should do something with this problem.

    - - - - -


    Workaround #1: Turn off swap page file.

    This is maybe not the best solution but could prevent premature OOM error. In this case the bigger RAM the better. The may be some problems

    Workaround #2: Clean install of Windows.

    Unfortunately I can't do this right now, but some people says that clean install of Windows 10 resolves problems.
    KamilSzepietowski, Oct 30, 2016
  4. Berton Win User

    change swap file size ?

    It's not necessarily too much, haven't checked Win10 but Win7 had a written recommendation in Help and Support on Virtual Memory of 1.5 times the physical RAM, more if needed for things like video editing, large spreadsheets or large databases. Right-click the Start button, click System and then click on Advance System Settings. Many folks do say having large amounts of RAM doesn't need the paging file/Virtual Memory but I've found some programs look for its presense so I keep at least 2GB size but the amount will depend upon the space available on the HDD, SSDs are more limited so a larger portion of the paging file can be put on a second internal drive.
    Berton, Oct 30, 2016
  5. LMiller7 Win User
    I suspect that Rainmeter isn't showing swapfile (pagefile) usage at all but the commit charge which is quite different. This misuse of terms is quite common, including XP Task Manager. Actual pagefile usage will be much less, in some cases zero. Few utilities will show this. You will gain nothing by making the pagefile smaller except some disk space. If usage was actually 50% you should not make it smaller.
    LMiller7, Oct 30, 2016
  6. fdegrove Win User

    Just let Windows manage it and you'll be fine.

    From experience I can say that regardless of the amount of RAM installed Windows is running smoother with a pagefile than without one.

    Cheers, *Wink
    fdegrove, Oct 30, 2016
  7. jimjoe Win User
    Says swapfile is 947 megs. I've changed it to 1000 megs initiasl and 1400 for max. It suggested 1397 megs for max.

    I wouldn't change it to zero... bad things happen when that is done.
    jimjoe, Oct 30, 2016
  8. LMiller7 Win User

    change swap file size ?

    I agree.

    The pagefile is one of the most misunderstood of all Windows components. Most explanations you will find on the Internet contain serious errors and the explanation on Windows pagefile configuration dialog is more than a little misleading.

    The pagefile is often considered as some kind of necessary evil that should be done away with if at all possible. The reality is that the pagefile is used to optimize the use of RAM, whether you have a little or a lot. This is nothing new but was the case from the beginning of the NT platform. It does this by providing a place where rarely used data can be offloaded from RAM thus leaving more for more important purposes. This is all very complex.
    LMiller7, Oct 30, 2016
  9. jimjoe Win User
    I might get more ram. I did, as noted above, increase the amount of pagefile above what Windows had it as. Windows 10 had it less than its own suggested size.
    jimjoe, Oct 30, 2016
  10. fdegrove Win User

    Looks as if we took the same MS course. LOL.

    Cheers, *Wink
    fdegrove, Oct 30, 2016
  11. Adalwar Win User
    SwapFile nowadays has not the meaning from XP / WinME times. SwapFile is almost used for Dump of System Crashes.
    For example, I have 12GB RAM, Win 10 - 64bit and I choice the recommended settings of minimum 16MB and 2400MB as Maximum.
    When reboot and look at System, the actual SwapFile is 16MB, what means it is not used at all.
    Adalwar, Oct 30, 2016
  12. fdegrove Win User

    Swapfile and Pagefile are not one and the same.

    Cheers, *Wink
    fdegrove, Oct 30, 2016
  13. LMiller7 Win User

    change swap file size ?


    Supporting dumps after a system crash is only a minor function of the pagefile. The primary functions of the pagefile on the NT platform have not changed since the beginning. The 2 primary purposes are:
    1. Optimize RAM usage by providing a place where rarely used data can be offloaded from RAM.
    2. Increase the commit limit which is RAM size + pagefile size - a small overhead.

    The terminology of pagefile and swapfile was confusing prior to Windows 8. Then it became more so.

    The NT platform has always had a pagefile, although it is sometimes called the swapfile. Swapfile is an old term dating back to when it actually swapped out entire processes. Modern operating system don't do that anymore but page blocks of data instead. Linux continues to use the term swapfile for historic reasons but it functions much the same as in Windows. Windows 8 brought back the swapfile but is used only with modern Apps. The pagefile remains and functions as it always has.
    LMiller7, Oct 30, 2016
  14. fdegrove Win User

    That plus you can't change the size of the swapfile which is roughly 16Mb.
    The paging file's size can be changed though.

    The title of this thread is therefore not correct but it's understandable given the historic background of the function of the paging file.

    Cheers, *Wink
    fdegrove, Apr 4, 2018

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