Reset Virtual Memory In Windows 10

Because I’m such a nice guy, I’m going to teach others a simple fix to improve Windows 10’s performance. This is not guaranteed to cure all your Windows 10 problems, but it will help. It consists of resetting virtual memory in Windows 10. And, I’m not even going to explain what virtual memory is, because to do this, you don’t need to know.

Step 1 – Bring up Task Manager (right click on the task bar, and in the popup menu, click on Task Manager). If the Task Manager window looks like this:
ResetVM_009

Click on the More details item to make it look like this:
ResetVM_010

See that column labeled Disk? If that reads 100%, you now know why your computer is pathetically slow. Hopefully, the remaining steps will fix your computer, so this column reads a much smaller number. If it doesn’t read 100%, you don’t have to do anything, but you can continue with this reset if you wish to.

Step 2 – In the Windows search box (where it says, Type here to search), search for View Advanced System Settings. See that identified application? Click on that. You should now see a window like this one:
ResetVM_001

Step 3 – In the window area labeled Performance, click on the Settings… button. Now, you should see a window like this one:
ResetVM_002
Step 4 – In the Performance Options window, click on the Advanced tab. The window should change to look like this:
ResetVM_003

This is where the fun starts. The area named Virtual Memory shows you how much of your hard disk drive (or solid state drive) is being used by Windows as if it was memory in your computer. If your computer isn’t running well, and your Disk column in Task Manager said 100%, resetting this Virtual Memory should help.

Step 5 – In the Virtual Memory area, click on the Change… button. This will pop up another window that looks like:
ResetVM_004

Step 6 – Change the Virtual Memory settings by unchecking the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives checkbox, and by clicking on the No paging file radio button. It should look like this:
ResetVM_005

Step 7 – Click on the Set button. You will see this alert pop up.
ResetVM_006

Click on Yes. Now, click on the OK button in the Virtual Memory window, then restart your computer.

At this point, you have removed the virtual memory from windows. Your computer WILL run slower. It will take longer to do anything, and everything. Don’t worry. We’re not leaving Windows this way. We’re going to reset virtual memory.

Step 8 – After you are back in Windows, bring up the View Advanced System Settings window again. If you forgot how, see Step 2 above. As before, bring up the Virtual Memory settings (see Step 3 and Step 4). You should be back at this window.
ResetVM_005
Step 9 – Check the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box. And click on the OK button at the bottom of the window. Now, restart your computer one more time.

Step 10 – Repeat Step 1 of this procedure. The Disk column should gradually drop to a much smaller number, and your computer should run better.

For those interested, here’s a brief technical note on what this process does, and why it works.

Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10) all use a section of your Hard Disk Drive/Solid State Drive, as extra storage space to keep thing in instead of keeping them in RAM all the time. Unfortunately, over time the content of that section of your drive fragments, and then fragments even more. It may even become so fragmented it’s not really usable. Since the virtual memory function of Windows runs all the time, it’s trying to process the content of that drive section all the time. If that content is too fragmented, and even damaged, Windows begins to spend all of its time processing that drive section.

When the Virtual Memory is reset, as described in this procedure, that drive space is first erased, and then a new, clean space is created. This new space does not have the problems the old space had. The result is Windows runs much better, because it doesn’t have to spend all of its time figuring out what’s in that drive space.

Note that I have started resetting virtual memory on my home computer, and on every Windows 10 computer I work on for other people. Because. This works. And it helps the computer run better.

Note: If you try this, you’re on your own. I’m not responsible for anything that may go wrong. I’m just trying to be nice here. If this works for you. Good. If it doesn’t. Well. I tried.

Mark.

 

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Notes On Windows : Windows Registry Maintenance

Starting with Windows XP (all versions), and then including Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft implemented something called the “Windows Registry”. Put as simply as possible, and as bluntly as possible, the Windows Registry IS windows. If the registry is broken, so is Windows.One thing I do with my computers that run Windows operating systems (In my home, we have Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7) is I obtain tools that help me take care of the Windows Registry, and keep it from becoming broken. While I know that it is possible to maintain the Windows Registry by hand, it’s a serious time consuming process, and any errors, or mistakes in that process will result in a Windows operating system that may not run at all. So, using tools to clean up and maintain the registry greatly reduces the risk of typographical errors, or mistakes in registry maintenance.I’ve listed two tools that are available for free that perform registry maintenance rather well. Note that I’m only listing tools that I’ve actually used. In this case I actually use both tools. In my experience, using two tools that perform registry cleanup actually produces a better end result than just using one.

  1. CCleaner by Piriform. This is the tool I currently use.
  2. Advanced System Care Free by IOBit. I’ve just started testing this one. So far, I like it.

I use these tools to make maintenance of my Windows based computers simpler. A computer is a complex tool. Like any complex tool, it requires maintenance. You need to care for your car. You also need to care for your computer.

You can find both of these tools at http://www.download.com/. I have found they are simple to use, and work well. Using them does keep Windows working better, for a longer time. You may wish to try one, or both of them. The first time you use these tools, they will take a while to run. That’s because they will have to perform lots of corrective actions to fix the Windows Registry, and to complete the process of tuning up your computer. If you haven’t ever tuned up your computer, this process can take a long time.

Have fun learning about your computer.

Mark.