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I have 2 GB of RAM on my computer and I noticed that Windows XP keeps on using the page file even with enough RAM available. This is really affecting the performance of the computer and making it way too slow.

Is there a way to make Windows XP only use the page file when there's no enough RAM available?

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Attention: There is only a limited amount of memory given to drivers, called the non-paged and paged pool memory sections. A page file is necessary for when the paged section gets full, as a gamer I have seen a game complain about paged pool memory just because I had my page file disabled on a 8 GB system. They are necessary, they prevent paged pool depletion and actually do speed up your system. –  Tom Wijsman Oct 24 '11 at 16:25

2 Answers 2

As @Tom Wijsman has mentioned, this is not particularily a good idea, but if you really want to...

Go to

Control Panel -> System -> Advanced

and click the Settings... button under the Performance group.

This will bring up this dialog box

Windows XP Virtual Memory dialog

Select the highlighted option and click OK

Note: This disables the page file. AFAIK there is no way to selectively enable/disable it, depending on memory usage. The closest thing would be to set a custom size to 0MB so Windows would expand it when it needs it

(screenshot source)

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Proceed at your own risk. Don't be surprised if this has an adverse effect on system performance/stability... –  Ben Richards Jan 18 '12 at 5:52
    
Windows automatically uses it, or not, as necessary according to how much RAM is available. Leave it enabled. –  Jamie Hanrahan Sep 15 at 10:20

Windows will use the page file to free up space for system cache and other applications. Even if you have "free" memory now, moving pages that are extremely rarely used, and possibly will never be used again (e.g. a page of start up code in an executable) allows more useful things to be put into that RAM.

This is really affecting the performance of the computer and making it way too slow.

It would be helpful to know how you are measuring this. Generally (when there is not an immediate lack of free pages) paging happens at low priority—any specific IO requirement (data or paging) will get precedence.

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