How to clear the virtual memory of a Windows computer

Top 3 Easy ways to clear RAM on your computer or laptop running on Windows 7/10

RAM is a critical component of any computer, which is responsible for its performance. The more RAM, the better the PC behaves when working with a bunch of programs. And sometimes the RAM must be cleaned. Preferably on a regular basis.

The same can happen when programs (especially resource-intensive) are running in the background all the time. RAM simply can not withstand the load and starts swap file, which is located on a slow hard drive. Hence the lags.

So the RAM needs to be cleaned from time to time. And there are several ways to do it. You don’t even need to use any third-party applications (although we will consider this option).


When a user sees a message about the lack of free space, it initially implies the RAM and virtual memory. The latter is controlled by a paging file. It is used as additional to RAM when it is not enough.

Users who are inexperienced or not technically savvy about computers see the error as insufficient hard disk space. This leads to their justified bewilderment, because the hard drive holds many GB, but the system does not have enough memory. This leads to a deadlock from which they can’t find a way out.


Before we proceed to fixing the error let’s define the most common causes which can provoke the error. Triggering factors may include:

  • Opening 3-10 applications or programs at the same time (depending on the consumed resources) will lead to the fact that the computer does not have enough memory to process the command and an error will pop up. This is the most common case, and is solved by terminating unused apps;
  • Limited amount of installed space, it is not necessary that the computer is old, because some programs require 4 GB or more of RAM to work properly, and the average 2 GB is not enough;
  • Overcrowded hard disk, respectively, the user does not have enough free media memory for the correct automatic setup and operation of the swap file, that is, the virtual does not fit;
  • Resize swap file, perhaps earlier the user played with optimization or used a third-party application for this purpose, i.e. the size of swap file was changed forcibly to insufficient for correct operation, and the user simply forgot about it;
  • malicious or potentially dangerous programs, when their algorithm involves the gradual eating of free space, there is a constant leakage;
  • If a program does not work correctly, on launching it a message saying that there is not enough RAM appears.

Basically these are the main, if not the only, causes of the problem. Now let’s explore ways to resolve the problem.

Disable swap file:

Enter the system properties. Usually you can do this by right-clicking on the “Computer” icon on your desktop or in the “Start” menu and selecting “Properties” there.

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Next, on the left, select “Advanced System Settings”.

In the “System properties” window that opens, in the “Advanced” tab, click on the first button in the top “Options”.

This will bring up the “Performance Options” window. This is where we are interested in the “Advanced” tab and the “Modify” button.

The “Virtual Memory” window will open. Uncheck the “Automatically select swap file volume” checkbox if it is checked. In the window with the drive letters, highlight the disk with a value other than “None”. Set the switch at the bottom to “No paging file” and click the “Set” button.

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After that press “OK” on all windows and restart the computer.

How to optimize RAM

You can optimize RAM in different ways.

Close unnecessary programs and applications

Unload the RAM by closing unnecessary programs.

“Task Manager displays programs that are currently running. Clicking on “End Process” allows you to close these programs. This will relieve the RAM. Particular attention should be paid to applications that are constantly running in the background.

Click on “End Process” to close the program

But particular care should be taken when shutting them down, as they can be used by the system. If you shut down such a program you will also shut down the system.

Remove unnecessary programs from the autostart

The standard Windows programs are suitable for cleaning the autoloader. There are several ways to run the Run dialog box.

The first method is what you need:

    Press the “Start” button and put the cursor on “All Programs”.

Hover your cursor over “All Programs” and click on “Standard

Press “Run”

The second way to open the Run dialog box:

    Press the “Start” button, find the “Find programs and files” text box and type “execute”.

Enter “Run” in the search box

Click on “Run”

The third way is the easiest. press the “Start” and R buttons at the same time.

To remove programs from the “Autorun”, perform the following steps:

Enter command MSCONFIG and click on OK

Select “Autorun” and disable those programs, the disabling of which will not cause malfunctions in the system

Uncheck it and click on “Apply”

Care should be taken when uninstalling programs from the “AutoRun” program, as disabling a program used by the system may cause antivirus to shut down, cause the system to malfunction, or cause it to crash altogether.

Registry cleanup

    Open the “Run” dialog window and enter the “regedit” command.

Open the “Run” window and type the command “regedit

Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion

Remove programs you don’t need

Restart Windows Explorer

Process explorer.The.exe file manages your graphical user interface, which means it is responsible for everything you see on your screen: desktop, programs images etc.д. If the amount of RAM is not enough, the process may not work correctly. In this case, you will need to restart it:

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  • Hold CtrlShift.
  • Right-click on an empty space in the Start Menu.
  • Click on “Exit Explorer”.

Click on “Exit Explorer

Create new task using “New task (Run)” button

Type in the process name “explorer” and click on OK

Removing malware

The presence of malware on your computer affects its performance. Viruses take up memory space, interfere with other applications and sometimes block them.

In this case a reliable anti-virus with up-to-date databases will help to solve the problem and prevent malicious effects on the RAM.

Hard disk cleanup

Hard disk cleanup remains the most common way to optimize your system. It helps get rid of unnecessary files such as copies, active program reports, temporary files, browser cache, etc.д.

To apply the Disk Cleanup tool:

    Click “Start”. “All Programs”. “Standard”. “Utilities”.

In the “Utilities” folder we find the “Disk Cleanup” tool

Select the files you want to delete, press OK and proceed to disk cleanup

Local Group Policy Editor

In order to open the Group Policy Editor go to “Start”, then “Control Panel”. “System and Security”. “Administration. You can also enter the command gpedit.msc (You might be interested in the TOP useful commands for Windows 7, 8 )

In the window that appears, right-click on “Local security policy” and select “Open” in the menu.

In the window “Local security policy” on the left side open “Local policies”, then “Security settings. Select “Shutdown: Clean up the swap file of the virtual memory” on the right.

In the new window, check the “Disabled” box and click “Ok.

In order to clear the virtual memory of the computer or laptop must restart the computer (preferably two times), and then starts cleaning.

Update for April 2022:

You can now prevent PC problems with this tool, such as protecting you from file loss and malware. It’s also a great way to optimize your computer for maximum performance. The program easily fixes typical errors that can occur on Windows systems. No need to spend hours searching and troubleshooting when you have the perfect solution at your fingertips:

  • Download PC Repair Optimizer Tool (Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista. Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Click “Start Scanning,” To find Windows registry problems that may be causing problems with PC.
  • Click “Fix Everything” to fix all problems.
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Cleaning the swap file.sys when shutting down Windows



Windows 10

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Returning to the issue of security of data stored in RAM, faced with the need to organize automatic cleaning of swap file in Windows. When you turn off your computer, the data in your computer’s memory (RAM) is automatically cleared, but by default, the data in the swap file pagefile.sys not removed. When the system is running, some sensitive data or third-party app passwords from memory can end up in the pagefile swap file.sys on the hard disk (e.g., when there is not enough physical memory, or when inactive applications data is pushed out). Although the swap file is only available monopolistically to Windows itself while the system is running, in the event that the computer is turned off, a potentially malicious user could copy the swap file and retrieve sensitive data from it if they have access to the disk.

So, it would be logical to clean up at shutdown (or reboot) of Windows. This feature is disabled by default.

You can enable the automatic swap file wiping at reboot via group policy or via the registry.

In the first case, you need to open the Group Policy Editor console (local gpedit.msc or the domain gpmc.msc) and go to Computer Configuration-Windows Settings. Security Settings. Local Policies. Security Options. In the left panel, find the Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile policy and turn it on (Enabled).

You can also enable virtual memory cleanup through the registry. To do this, open the editor regedit.exe and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management. Create a new DWORD parameter named ClearPageFileAtShutdown with a value of 1 (or if it already exists, just change its value).

Set-ItemProperty.Path ‘HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management’.Name ClearPageFileAtShutdown.Value 1

For the changes to take effect, you must reboot your Windows.

The next time the operating system is shut down, the system clears the pagefile.sys, overwrite it with zeros. Depending on the size of the swap file, this may significantly increase shutdown (reboot) time by 10-30 minutes. In addition, when this policy is enabled, the hiberfil hibernation mode file is also zeroed.sys (if sleep mode is disabled). It is now almost impossible to recover data from the swap file.

Over 10 ways to free up RAM on your Windows or Mac devices

When you use all available RAM on your computer, you may notice that your device starts to run slower, and the system and installed applications start to “fight” for available RAM when performing their tasks. If you find that your computer applications are crashing often and need more time to perform simple tasks, you may be wondering how to free up RAM on your computer.

Your computer’s RAM (RAM) is stored on a memory chip that is usually on the motherboard. This is where your computer stores short-term data. RAM is the storage center for all active and running programs and processes. Your computer uses the information stored in RAM to perform tasks while also receiving and performing other functions.

When you use all available RAM, your computer’s performance may slow down because it no longer has the storage it needs to perform its tasks. When you clear out RAM space, it gives your computer the ability to perform its tasks faster. Depending on what kind of computer you have, there are several different ways you can free up RAM space.

Achieving the use of all available RAM is quite easy because it supports so many functions. Before you start uninstalling programs from your computer, try the following quick steps that will allow you to free up space in your RAM.

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The first thing you can do to try and free up RAM is to. is to restart your computer. When you reboot or turn off your computer, all of your RAM (stored data) will be erased and programs will be reloaded. This could potentially clean up some processes and programs that run in the background and use your RAM.

It is very important that your computer is running the latest versions of software and installed applications. Older versions of software and applications may take up more memory to process, causing your computer to slow down.

What else you can try. is to use a different browser, as some of them are known to use more data than others. Try using, for example, Chrome or Firefox, which are usually good browsers in terms of memory consumption.

If you are still short on RAM, the next step is to try to clear your cache (cached data). Sometimes your cache can take up a lot of space because it uses RAM. The cache stores information that your computer uses to reload pages it previously opened so that it does not load them again. It can save you time when browsing, but if you’re short on RAM you can sacrifice the cache with no problem.

You’ve probably installed extensions on your browser to simplify a number of operations. However, they also require constant use of RAM, so you can try disabling or even uninstalling these browser extensions and add-ons.

If you’re still experiencing problems with excessive RAM usage, you may have too many unnecessary programs and apps that you’re not even aware of. Try the five ways below to free up RAM on your Windows 10 computer.

You should monitor your computer’s RAM usage so that you don’t deplete it before you really need it for important tasks. To monitor your computer’s memory, you can go to Task Manager to check your processes. This is where you can see which programs are running and how much memory they are using.

Now you can see which of your programs need the most memory on your computer. If you find some suspicious process that is “eating up” a lot of your memory, you can stop it, and also remove the relevant programs that you don’t need or don’t use. But! If you do not feel confident in this matter, it is better to contact the experts.

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Disable those programs that you don’t need from the autoloader

If you’ve been using your computer for several years, you’ve probably downloaded a fair number of programs that you’ve either forgotten about or no longer use. After the “Processes” tab shows you which programs are consuming your memory, you may want to go to the autorun settings to remove those programs you no longer need.

Autoloadable programs are those which are activated when your computer boots up. When these programs run, each of them consumes a certain amount of RAM in the background without your consent. Although this amount may not be very large, but added together with other programs and over time, this value can increase. Make sure that the autorun of all unnecessary programs are disabled or such programs are removed at all.

The following are items that can consume your RAM. These are your applications configured to run automatically in the background. You may have been using your computer for years before you noticed that some of these applications were consuming your RAM. Such applications can “eat up” your memory, the battery of your device, and reduce the performance of your computer.

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