I know that recommended size for a page file C:\Pagefile.sys in Windows is about 2 or 1.5 times the RAM. Out of curiosity what is the maximum size for a page file that can be set?

  • 1
    What is the point of this question? May 11, 2017 at 15:53
  • 1
    @djsmiley2k In theory how large can a page file can be? This question is for people who have imagination and like to push the limits. May 11, 2017 at 16:05
  • 2
    "I know that recommended size for a page file" ... "in Windows is about 2 or 1.5 times the RAM." Nope. Famed utility creator Mark Russinov notes, in Pushing the Limits of Windows: Virtual Memory, "There’s no end of ridiculous advice" ... "even Microsoft has published misleading recommendations. Almost all the suggestions are based on multiplying RAM size by some factor, with common values being 1.2, 1.5 and 2. Now" (after reading more of what he wrote, you can) "see how useless such formulas truly are."
    – TOOGAM
    May 21, 2017 at 22:40
  • These days the recommended size for a pagefile is to let the operating system decide.
    – Richard
    Jun 19, 2017 at 17:33

4 Answers 4


The limit on Windows 7 is 16 Terabytes.

Learn Best Practices for Optimizing the Virtual Memory Configuration - Microsoft TechNet

On a PC with a processor that supports Physical Address Extension (PAE)—which is to say, on any PC that is capable of running Windows 7—the maximum size of the page file is 16 TB.

When attempting to set a larger amount, Windows displayed the error:

System Properties

Enter a maximum page file size that is greater than or equal to the initial page file size, and less than 16777216 MB.

Note: This limit is also the max file size for a file on Windows 7 NTFS (Source: NTFS - Wikipedia). The max file size for NTFS on Windows 8 and Windows 10 are larger, but it is unclear if a larger page file is allowed.

  • You think the number is absolute or it is somehow tied to the HDD size in percentage? May 11, 2017 at 16:06
  • 1
    This number is absolute for Windows 7. I don't have a Windows 10 machine to test at the moment. I also can't find the Windows 10 limit online.
    – Steven
    May 11, 2017 at 16:10
  • You're right, it's an absolute figure. Hm, interesting. May 11, 2017 at 16:20
  • I believe 32-bit versions can only handle pagefiles up to 4GB in size. But I don't have a 32-bit machine to confirm.. :) May 11, 2017 at 16:31
  • howtogeek.com/307972/…
    – phuclv
    Jun 19, 2017 at 16:52

In the days of XP with 1 gig ram, the answer was 1 and 1.5. One being the ram and 1.5 being the pagefile. Otherwise, there was the option of letting the machine decide.


The above mentioned limits of 16TB etc seem quite off the charts! Couldn't find any documentation to base those claims.

According to Microsoft itself, 64-bit versions of Windows have a 4GB max paging file size limit. Windows XP Windows Server 2003, 2008 & 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016 Windows Vista Windows 7, 8, 10

It's clear from the above the OS don't play a much of a role in regards to max paging file size. It plays a role though in recommended page file size (not much but it does).

Since this post is coming quite high in google search, i thought to lay out the facts.

Data taken from: https://support.microsoft.com/el-gr/help/2860880/how-to-determine-the-appropriate-page-file-size-for-64-bit-versions-of

  • 3
    I think you misread your link. It says that the maximum is the higher of 4 GB or 3x RAM, except Win 8.1 & 10 impose additional restrictions based on volume size.
    – fixer1234
    Dec 29, 2018 at 23:51
  • Yes indeed!!😧 you’re right, it’s whichever is larger. Thanks for that, it actuallu solved some discrepancies in systems i checked.
    – TR45
    Dec 31, 2018 at 20:27

i use a 1004 gb page file on a dell Inspiron 3000 i5 witch is 1 million mb super snappy now run the forest ultra settings in window mode. way better stability and performance no upgrades on this laptop ever things factory

  • You created a 1TB page file? Why? That just seems excessive?
    – Ramhound
    Feb 18 at 3:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .