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My computer has Windows 8 installed on a SSD. The SSD is only 250GB large and I'm trying to clear up some space. WinDirStat found that a large file is "PageFile.sys". It's 8GB.

Looking on google, I found tutorials on how to remove it, but not much on if I should remove it. Is it important?

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Add a real hard drive in addition to your SSD and move it to that drive. –  cybernard Oct 22 '13 at 0:35
Also, I must urge you to use search engines like Google, as this is a rather frequently asked question that would have a lot of helpful answers already. ;) –  MetaNova Oct 22 '13 at 0:35
@MetaNova, one of the goals of the SE network is to be a repository/reference of questions and knowledge. It is okay to ask basic, newbie, questions (if they are not duplicate of others here). Google has to index something, so it might as well be SE, right? –  That Brazilian Guy Oct 22 '13 at 14:45

5 Answers 5

up vote 12 down vote accepted

PageFile.sys is your "virtual memory" or "swap space". It is where things from your RAM go when they are not currently being used. You should never delete that file. You may, with some caution, change the Windows system settings that dictate the size of that file, however you are likely to see performance degradation if you do so.

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I just want to add that it is also where data go when there is no faster place for it to go, too much of this leads to thrashing. –  Louis Oct 22 '13 at 4:25
It is technically possible to remove it and run without it. It is not recommended though. –  Keltari Oct 22 '13 at 14:51
You may actually see performance increase! The pagefile is usually set to the same size as the ram, but if say you had 6GB of ram (hence 6GB swap to total 12GB) then windows will put 'unused' applications in swap, even if there is still ram available, to account for another application POSSIBLY using it. If you never use more than 6GB, you can increase perfomance by disabling swap (ie deleting pagefile.sys) –  shelvacu Jan 17 at 6:10

Running without a page file is a very bad idea. If your system is stable, and you don't want to have your pagefile on your SSD, you can manually set its location to another drive - rightclick on "My Computer" (or "this pc" on windows 8.1) "advanced" -> "performance" -> "advanced"

Set no paging file for c: and set it to system managed on another drive. However, if your system crashes, you will not be able to have mini dumps. In that case, just turn it back on while you troubleshoot

enter image description here

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If you really want to delete it, first disable it. You can do this from advanced performance options in System Properties.

You can get there by running sysdm.cpl, clicking the Adanced tab and clicking the Settings... button for Performance. Then clicking the Advanced tab in the new Performance Options window and clicking the Change... button.

  • Uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
  • Set all drives to No paging file
  • Click OK until Windows suggests restarting

After restarting you can safely delete pagefile.sys.

However, I don't think you should ever disable the pagefile, especially if you have an SSD; as an SSD will only speed it up.

Windows always uses virtual memory, and although RAM pools are large enough these days for most people to avoid problems, there's no real benefit in making Windows unstable by limiting that space to the size of your RAM rather than the size of what Windows may need.

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heh, My answer is marginally similar, but I'd suggest setting the paging file elsewhere, rather than closing it. If you want to gank my screenshot, and mention that, I wouldn't mind deleting my answer. –  Journeyman Geek Oct 22 '13 at 1:18
@JourneymanGeek Haha, no they're distinct enough. Our answers just illustrate the many different opinions. I say don't treat an SSD like it's a dying resource. And there are others who never run into issues operating without a pagefile. –  Louis Oct 22 '13 at 1:24

I was able to fix this by following instruction at http://thenotepad.org/blog/solution-for-persisting-windows-created

If you get an error saying you can't delete pagefile.sys, start a Command Prompt with elevated privileges and type powercfg.exe /hibernate off

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Welcome to SuperUser! Please edit your answer to include the information from your linked source so that it will remain useful to other users even if the link becomes inaccessible in the future. –  Twisty Nov 23 at 23:03

Take a look at: Cleaning PageFile.sys on shutdown. Atleast when you shutdown the file is cleaned up. But yeah, you don't want to just BLOW IT AWAY =)

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