How to Increase Virtual Memory in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to increase virtual memory in windows 11

Sometimes, your computer can feel sluggish or slow, especially when you’re running multiple applications. Increasing virtual memory can help. Virtual memory acts like an extension of your computer’s physical memory, or RAM. By increasing it, your system can handle more tasks at once without slowing down. To do this in Windows 11, you’ll need to adjust some settings in the System Properties. Let’s walk through the steps to boost your virtual memory.

How to Increase Virtual Memory in Windows 11

Increasing virtual memory in Windows 11 involves a series of steps that will allocate more space on your hard drive to function as additional RAM. Follow these steps to make your computer run more efficiently.

Step 1: Open Settings

Open the Start menu, then click on the Settings icon.

This is where you access all the settings for your computer, and it’s the starting point for making changes to your virtual memory.

Step 2: Navigate to System

In the Settings window, click on the "System" category.

Here, you’ll find options to manage your computer’s hardware, including display, sound, and storage settings.

Step 3: Advanced System Settings

Scroll down and click on "About," and then click on "Advanced system settings" on the right side.

This option will open a new window where you can access more detailed settings related to your computer’s performance.

Step 4: Performance Settings

In the System Properties window, click on the "Settings" button under the "Performance" section.

This will open the Performance Options window, where you can tweak various settings to enhance your computer’s performance.

Step 5: Change Virtual Memory

In the Performance Options window, go to the "Advanced" tab and click on the "Change" button under "Virtual memory."

This is where you will actually change the settings for virtual memory. A new window will pop up to let you make these adjustments.

Step 6: Uncheck Automatically Manage Paging File Size

Uncheck the box that says "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives."

This step is crucial because it allows you to manually set the amount of virtual memory rather than letting Windows decide.

Step 7: Set Custom Size

Select the drive where you want to change the virtual memory. Choose the "Custom size" option and enter the initial and maximum size in megabytes (MB).

It’s a good idea to have the initial size be 1.5 times your current RAM and the maximum size be 3 times your current RAM.

Step 8: Apply Changes

Click "Set," then "OK," and finally restart your computer to apply the changes.

Restarting your computer ensures that the new settings take effect, giving you a smoother and faster experience.

After completing these steps, your computer will use the newly allocated virtual memory, resulting in improved performance, especially when running multiple applications.

Tips for Increasing Virtual Memory in Windows 11

  • Make sure to check your computer’s current RAM before setting the custom sizes.
  • Avoid setting the virtual memory size too high, as it can lead to system instability.
  • Regularly clean your drive to ensure there is enough space for virtual memory.
  • Update your drivers to ensure compatibility with the new settings.
  • Monitor your system’s performance to see if additional adjustments are needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is virtual memory and why do I need it?

Virtual memory acts as an extension of your computer’s physical RAM. It helps manage larger tasks when your RAM is full, making your computer run more smoothly.

Can increasing virtual memory damage my computer?

No, increasing virtual memory will not damage your computer. However, setting the values too high can cause system instability.

How do I know if I need more virtual memory?

If your computer is slow or you receive warnings about low memory, you might benefit from increasing virtual memory.

How much virtual memory should I allocate?

A good rule of thumb is to set the initial size to 1.5 times your RAM and the maximum size to 3 times your RAM.

Is virtual memory the same as RAM?

No, virtual memory is not the same as RAM. Virtual memory is a portion of your hard drive that acts like RAM when your physical RAM is full.


  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to System.
  3. Click on Advanced System Settings.
  4. Open Performance Settings.
  5. Change Virtual Memory.
  6. Uncheck Automatically Manage Paging File Size.
  7. Set Custom Size.
  8. Apply Changes.


There you have it—an easy-to-follow guide on how to increase virtual memory in Windows 11. By following these steps, you can make your computer run more efficiently, especially when handling multiple applications. Remember, virtual memory is like a safety net for your RAM, catching the overflow so your computer doesn’t slow down.

Feel free to revisit these steps anytime you notice your computer lagging. For further reading, consider checking out guides on optimizing your computer’s overall performance or tips on keeping your system clean and updated. Happy computing!

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