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Article ID: 307886 - Last Review: September 23, 2011 - Revision: 3.0

This article was previously published under Q307886

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This article describes how to change the location of the paging file in Windows XP.

The paging file is the area on the hard disk that Windows uses as if it were random access memory (RAM) This is sometimes known as "virtual memory." By default, Windows stores this file on the same partition as the Windows system files. You can increase the performance of Windows, and increase free space on the boot partition, by moving this file to a different partition.

How to Move the Paging File

  1. Log on to the computer as Administrator.
  2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  3. Click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
  4. Click the Advanced tab, and then under Performance, click Settings.
  5. Click the Advanced tab, and then under Virtual memory, click Change.
  6. In the Drive [Volume Label] list, click a drive other than the one on which Windows is installed (Windows is usually installed on the drive C). Under Total paging file size for all drives, note the value that is displayed next to Recommended.
  7. Click Custom size, and then type the recommended value in the Initial size (MB) box.
  8. Type the maximum size that you want to allow for paging in the Maximum size (MB) box, and then click Set.
  9. In the Drive [Volume Label] box, click the drive on which Windows is installed (usually the drive C), and then use one of the following steps:
    • If you do not want a paging file on the drive, click No paging file, and then click Set. A message similar to the following message appears:
      If the pagefile on volume C: has an initial size of less than 126 megabytes, then the system may not be able to create a debugging information file if a STOP error occurs.
      Continue anyway?
      Click Yes.

    • If you want to keep the minimum size of the paging file on the drive, click Custom size, and then type a value that is equal to or greater than the amount of RAM in the computer in the Initial size (MB) box. Type that same value in the Maximum size (MB) box, and then click Set.
  10. The following message appears:
    The changes you have made require you to restart your computer before they can take effect.
    Click OK, click OK, click OK, and then click Yes when you are prompted to restart the computer.


For more information about moving temporary storage files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
308666  ( ) How to move the Spool folder in Windows XP
For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
241143  ( ) You receive a "Limited Virtual Memory. Your system is running without a properly sized paging file" message in Windows NT 4.0
257758  ( ) FIX: "Limited Virtual Memory" error message when you start your computer

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
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