This article documents the method for clearing the Windows
paging file (Pagefile.sys) during the shutdown process, so that no unsecured
data is contained in the paging file when the shutdown process is complete.
Note If you enable this feature, the shutdown time may be increased.
Some third-party programs can temporarily store unencrypted
(plain-text) passwords or other sensitive information in memory. Because of the
Windows virtual memory architecture, this information can be present in the
Although clearing the paging file is not a suitable
substitute for physical security of a computer, you might want to do this to
increase the security of data on a computer while Windows is not
This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
To have us clear the windows paging file at shutdown for you, go to the "Fix it for me
" section. If you prefer to fix this problem yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself
Fix it for me
To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix it
button or link. Click Run
in the File Download
dialog box, and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard. Notes
- This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
- If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.
Next, go to the "Did this fix the problem?
Let me fix it myself
- Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
- Change the data value of the ClearPageFileAtShutdown value in the following registry key to a value of 1:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management If the value does not exist, add the following
Value Name: ClearPageFileAtShutdown
Value Type: REG_DWORD
This change does not take effect until you restart the
additional information about Session Manager memory management settings, click
the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
REG: CurrentControlSet Entries PART 2: SessionManager
Did this fix the problem?
- Check whether the problem is fixed. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this section. If the problem is not fixed, you can contact support
- We would appreciate your feedback. To provide feedback or to report any issues with this solution, please leave a comment on the "Fix it for me
" blog or send us an