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?

  • Add a real hard drive in addition to your SSD and move it to that drive.
    – cybernard
    Oct 22, 2013 at 0:35
  • It's often recommended to disable virtual memory when using an SSD "cuz SSD is fast!" but this is bad advice. Your applications will crash hard when you run out of RAM, causing data loss. Yes, max out the RAM before buying an SSD to increase its lifespan, but don't disable the pagefile.
    – endolith
    Mar 27, 2015 at 14:15
  • To free up some space on your system SSD you can try to change a size of "System restore" fiiles: Control Panel\System\Advanced System Setting on the left side of window\System Protection then change Protection setting by Configure button for disc "C" and decrease size of Disc Space Usage for system restore by moving slider "Max Usage".
    – user456176
    Jun 7, 2015 at 8:10

4 Answers 4


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.

  • 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. Oct 22, 2013 at 4:25
  • 1
    It is technically possible to remove it and run without it. It is not recommended though.
    – Keltari
    Oct 22, 2013 at 14:51
  • 9
    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, 2014 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

  • Would you please elaborate on "Running without a page file is a very bad idea"? why is it a bad idea? I have 32GB ram and at most 15GB of it used by all running programs. so actually there is nothing to swap to file system.
    – AaA
    Nov 20, 2017 at 12:32
  • Just type "Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows" into the start menu to get this window in Windows 10.
    – xjcl
    Nov 6, 2022 at 1:04

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.

  • 1
    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, 2013 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. Oct 22, 2013 at 1:24

I was able to fix this by following instruction here.

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

  • 1
    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. Nov 23, 2014 at 23:03
  • I executed this command on windows7 and it didn't helped. It even didn't reduced size of file.
    – IsmailS
    Aug 24, 2015 at 15:35
  • powercfg.exe /hibernate off it's only for hibernation purposes (hiberfil.sys),not for pagefile.sys. Nov 12, 2015 at 12:20

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