Even though I only have 4GB of RAM, I have a 12GB pagefile.sys. From what I've read about the topic, this is bigger than the x1.5 rule-of-thumb and it's also taking a huge chunk of space on my hard drive. I tend to run a lot of applications and tabs withing web browsers, so the last time this happened, I closed everything down and restarted my computer. When I ran WinDirStat again later the pagefile was down to 3-4GB. Now my pagefile is up to 12GB again and closing programs/restarting is not working.
My first question is what actions cause pagefile.sys to grow so large in relation to the installed RAM (computer on for long amounts of time, too many programs running, too many browser tabs open)? Second, how can I get my pagefile.sys down to 6-7GB?
I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 with 4GB of RAM