Tap to Read ➤

Paging File Size Recommendations

Shah Newaz Alam Oct 21, 2018
The paging file size recommendations given here will help you answer the queries related to page file and its size.
Many, who run heavy applications on computers are always in a dilemma as to whether we need a particular paging file. The mentioned details will thus help in solving this query and provide you with the paging file size recommendations. But before going into the technicalities of all these aspects, know certain basics regarding a page file and its importance.


The RAM (Random Access Memory) of a computer is the primary memory of the computer. The primary memory of a computer is the place where all the data needed for processing is stored. The computer processor can in fact directly access only the primary memory of the computer. The situation of paging occurs, when this primary RAM is completely full.
When the computer is running a good number of application and the RAM is not able to handle or store all the operations in the computer, the processor uses the hard disk for storing the extra data. It is done through a particular process.
The computer processor creates the page file in the hard disk and uses it for storing the extra information. It is nothing but a virtual memory that acts as the primary memory of the computer. The virtual memory size is usually set at the time when you install the operating system for the computer.

Ideal Page File Size

As already mentioned, when the operating system in a computer is loaded, the virtual memory size is automatically assigned. It is not necessary that the computer processor will need it every time. In most of the operating systems like the Windows XP, the memory is set at three times the available RAM.
So, if your computer has 512 MB or RAM, then your paging file memory will be around 1.5 GB. In fact, in most of the cases, this is the recommended size for Windows XP and most of the other operating systems. Another important aspect that needs to be mentioned out here is that, with the increase in RAM, the need for paging file decreases.
The 32 bit versions of Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 may need them, as they are not capable of supporting a lot of RAM. But the 64 bit versions of these operating systems can support a lot of RAM, hence making use of these files unnecessary. Just take the following example into consideration.
For a 32 bit Windows XP operating system, the amount of RAM that the processor can support is maximum 4GB. Whereas, for a 64 bit, Windows XP operating system, the amount of RAM that is supported can be up to 128 GB. In fact, with the introduction of Windows Vista and Windows 7 accompanied with good amount of RAM, the need is almost completely eliminated.

How to Get the Size

Many of us simply use the pages/sec counter to calculate the memory. But the answer that you receive through this method may not be accurate. The pages/sec counter can be accessed while using the System Monitor. No doubt, the data that you get through this method is also very useful.
The pages/sec value that you get here is the sum of the pages input/sec and the pages output/sec counter values. So, if monitoring memory pressure is your main concern then pages/sec is the value that you need to monitor.
However, if you want to know the minimum memory required by the system, then you can add the peak private bytes used in the system by all the processes running in the system and subtract the memory in the system. The value that you get is the minimum requirement by your system.

Error Solving

Many times, we encounter the error paging file too small for operation to complete. The reason for this is as already mentioned that the page file is created on your hard drive. If in case your computer RAM is totally full and your hard drive too does not have enough space, then the computer does not have enough space to run the application that you started.
Thus, this may become a common message that you may encounter. What you can do to resolve this issue, is to free up some hard disk space. Move some data from your hard drive to an external or spare hard drive. The other option is that you end the unnecessary processes or the processes that you do not require, which are consuming a good amount of RAM.

Error When Logging into the OS

Many times, you may face the error that while your OS, say Windows XP, while loading your personal settings, simply hangs and/or shows the error message, Limited Virtual Memory. The problem mainly occurs when you are using NTFS hard drives. The main reason behind this error is that the OS tries to create virtual memory of a particular size on your hard disk.
But the system and administrator accounts do not have the proper permissions to create a virtual memory. Giving full access to the system and administrator accounts will simply resolve your issue. Refer to the website of your operating system's vendor to find out how to change these settings. Read more to know what is virtual memory.
Hope that the provided information regarding the paging file size recommendations and their requirements helps you. In short, if your computer processor can support a good amount of RAM and you have so, a paging file may not be necessary. But, in case you do not have sufficient memory in your computer, this will help you in executing your operations easily.