I've got a machine that is 64-bit, running 32-bit windows 7, which has 8GB ram.

I did the official upgrade to windows 10 that Microsoft was offering a few weeks ago, but I'm having a difficult time setting up the /pae boot option, which I have been lead to believe will allow me to use more than 3.5 GB of ram.

Is it possible to set up the /pae option to address more than 3.5GB ram on a windows 10 system?

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  • 6
    Just install Windows 10 64 bit ...
    – DavidPostill
    Aug 15, 2015 at 17:26
  • 3
    PAE hack is unstable and causes more problems than is solves.
    – Moab
    Aug 15, 2015 at 17:32
  • We live in a 64 bit world now. Adopt it and you won't have future headaches on top of past headaches. Aug 15, 2015 at 17:59
  • According to this guide, you can use PAE to allow more than 4 GB of RAM to be used by a 32 Bit OS. But i am not sure Windows 10 still supports PAE and more than that, is does not make any sense to struggle with a 32 Bit OS in 2015, when all PCs are 64 Bit. He should go for 64 Bit.
    – snaks20
    Aug 15, 2015 at 18:15
  • 1
    Windows 10, 32-bit fully supports and uses PAE. However, it is still limited to using 4GB of RAM. This limitation comes from the fact that 32-bit kernel drivers only use 32-bit pointers into kernel memory, and so can only address 4GB. Windows 10 doesn't support having kernel memory that drivers can't access. Nov 23, 2015 at 14:15

1 Answer 1


You can enable PAE (Physical Address Extension) by using bcdedit in command prompt to enable it.

However, as Moab said in comments: PAE hack is unstable and causes more problems than it solves

This means that a 64 Bit Windows is much more stable than a 32 Bit Windows with PAE enabled for extended memory (over 4 GB).

The choice is up to you.

Note: i recommend you to install Windows 10 64 Bit

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