Follow

Adjusting the Paging File

The Windows paging file is a system-managed file on all versions of Windows that is meant to act as "virtual memory" for your system. This allows Windows to run multiple programs that may require large amounts of memory without having to see "out of memory" errors when the amount of available system memory has been exceeded. Typically, larger programs will be allocating more physical memory while other inactive tasks will be dynamically swapped in and out of the virtual memory as needed. This explains why a system may often be slow or unresponsive when switching in and out, or exiting large programs.

Depending on your version of Windows, the paging file is often set by default to be automatically resized as needed. This allows the user to be able to open many large programs at once without having to worry about running out of available memory, but the downside to this is the hit in system performance, as the paging file is expanded or contracted.

When playing a large game like RIFT or ArcheAge, it is usually best to set the paging file to a fixed size. This will often mitigate or even prevent the performance hit that occurs when the paging file is automatically resized. This is sometimes a troubleshooting step or solution for performance problems that may occur while playing the game.

To manually set the size of your system's paging file, click on the Start button and right-click on My Computer (for Windows XP) or Computer (for Windows Vista, 7, 8, & 10). Click on Properties on the menu that appears, and this will open the System Properties (Windows XP) or System (Windows Vista, 7, 8, & 10) window. Follow the instructions below for your particular version of Windows.

Windows XP

  1. Click on the Advanced tab.
  2. Click on the Settings button under Performance.
  3. Click on the Advanced tab.
  4. Click on the Change button under Virtual Memory.
  5. Select Custom size.
  6. Set the Initial size to 1.5 times your system's total memory.
  7. Set the Maximum size to 2 times your system's total memory.
  8. Click the Set button.
  9. Click OK and you will be prompted to restart your computer

Windows Vista, 7, 8, & 10

  1. Click on Advanced system settings.
  2. Click on the Advanced tab.
  3. Click the Performance button.
  4. In Performance Options, Click on the Advanced tab.
  5. Click the Change button under Virtual memory.
  6. Uncheck the box next to "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives".
  7. Set the Initial size to 1.5 times your system's total memory.
  8. Set the Maximum size to 2 times your system's total memory.
  9. Click the Set button.
  10. Click OK and you will be prompted to restart your computer.

To give an example of what size to set your paging file, you will want to set the Initial size it to 3 GB (3072 MB) if your system's total memory is 2 GB, and the Maximum size to 4 GB (4096 MB). It is recommended that you disable your system's paging file and defragment your hard drive prior to setting it to a custom size if your system's hard drive is more than 75% full.