How to Move Your PC’s Virtual Memory to a Separate Drive on Windows 10

Jun 5, 2020
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Windows 10 uses paging files to store idle information present on your RAM to your hard drive in order to save the memory for active apps and processes. These files are classified as pagefile.sys on your main drive. Virtual memory can be shifted to a separate drive to improve performance or offload the I/O load from your drive.

How to move Windows 10 virtual memory to a separate drive

To move your PC’s virtual memory on Windows 10 to a separate drive due to storage constraints or performance reasons, follow these steps:

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  1. Open the Start menu and type advanced system settings. Click on the View advanced system settings option to proceed.
    How to Move Virtual Memory on Windows 10
  2. Click on the Settings menu within the Advanced tab to continue.
  3. Switch the tab to Advanced by clicking on it as highlighted below.
  4. Uncheck the box that states Automatically manage paging file size for all drives. This feature is enabled by default on Windows 10 but in order to make changes to the virtual memory on your PC, you would have to uncheck this box.
    How to Move Virtual Memory to a Different Drive on Windows 10
  5. You can disable the main drive from storing any paging files and functioning as virtual memory but it is recommended to keep the main drive listed and add a separate drive as this would improve performance and promote longevity in case of any crashes. In order to keep the main drive intact, just skip to Step 7 after Step 4. If you still wish to remove the main drive then click on No paging file option and select Set.
  6. The system will prompt and inform you that this would disable the paging file on your PC and it might not record error details. Click on Yes to continue.
  7. Simply select the preferred drive from the listed options, select the System managed size option, and click on Set.
    Moving Virtual Memory on Windows 10
  8. You can now see that the F: drive is System managed as the virtual memory instead of the C: drive. Click on OK to continue.
  9. Click on Apply and select OK to finalize the changes. Now you have to restart your PC in order for the changes to take place.
    How to move the paging memory file on Windows 10

Verifying virtual memory on the new drive

  1. Open the File Explorer by pressing Windows key + E. Select the drive that you set to store the virtual memory.
  2. Click on the View tab on the top left corner of the File Explorer window.
    How to Move Pagefile on Windows 10
  3. Select the Options menu on the top right side of the window.
  4. Switch to the View tab, scroll down and uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) to proceed.
    How to Store Virtual Memory to Another Drive on Windows 10 PC
  5. The system will prompt you whether you wish to confirm this action. Click on Yes to confirm the changes made.
  6. Select Apply and click on OK to exit the Folder Options menu.
    How to Manage Windows 10 Virtual Memory

You can now view the newly created pagefile.sys file in your drive. This indicates that your selected drive is successfully functioning as the virtual memory of your PC.

You can move your PC’s virtual memory on Windows 10 in just a few simple steps. This can specify a secondary drive to be used as virtual memory whereas the primary one can function as a crash dump or the main drive can also be turned off completely.

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