How to Reset Virtual Memory in Windows 10 & 11

When facing problems or to improve system performance, you can reset the virtual memory in Windows 10 & 11. Here is how to do it.

Along with the physical memory, Windows also has something called a Virtual Memory or Page File. Windows uses virtual memory every day in almost all situations. It doesn’t matter how much physical memory (RAM) your system has; Windows always uses the virtual memory to manage the system properly.

If you don’t know, virtual memory is nothing but a memory file, also known as the Page File, used by Windows to move and store less frequently modified pages and apps in the RAM. That way, the storage space in RAM increases, and more apps and pages can run without problems. That is why systems with low memory can still run many applications at once, albeit at the cost of overall performance.

As good and helpful as virtual memory is, there will be situations where it can cause problems. In that case, you have to reset the virtual memory or page file in Windows.

The virtual memory file is cleared, and Windows doesn’t have to deal with old items. It is pretty safe to reset the virtual memory if you are wondering.

Follow the guide below to quickly and easily reset the page file or virtual memory in Windows operating system if you ever want to.

Important note: The steps below will work in Windows 10 and 11.

Reset virtual memory in Windows 10 & 11

To clear or reset the virtual memory, you can follow one of the three methods. They are as follows:

  • Reset virtual memory from System Properties
  • Modify pagefile properties in Group Policy
  • Make registry changes

Clear virtual memory with System Properties tool

By disabling and enabling the pagefile option in the System Properties tool, you can effectively reset virtual memory. Here is how to do it.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to “System > About.”
  3. Click on “Advanced System Settings.”
  4. Press “Settings” under “Performance.”
  5. Go to the “Advanced” tab.
  6. Click “Change” under “Virtual Memory.”
  7. Uncheck the “Automatically manage paging file size for all drive” checkbox.
  8. Choose the “No paging file” option.
  9. Click the “Ok” button.
  10. Reboot the computer.
  11. Follow the steps from 1 to 6 again.
  12. Select the “Automatically manage paging file size for all drive” checkbox.
  13. Press the “Ok” button.
  14. Reboot the computer.
  15. You have reset the virtual memory in Windows 10 & 11.

Reset virtual memory in Group Policy

By enabling the “clear virtual memory pagefile” policy, you can easily reset the virtual memory in Windows 10 & 11. Here are the steps to follow.

  1. Press the Start key on your keyboard.
  2. Search and open “Edit Group Policy.”
  3. Go to the “Computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Security Settings/Local Policies/Security Option” folder.
  4. Open the “Clear virtual memory pagefile” policy with a double-click.
  5. Choose the “Enabled” option.
  6. Press the “Ok” button.
  7. Close the Group Policy Editor.
  8. Reboot the computer.
  9. With that, the virtual memory is cleared and reset.

Make registry changes to reset virtual memory

If you don’t have access to the Group Policy Editor, you can use the Registry Editor to reset the virtual memory. Windows Home users can use this method.

  1. Press the Start key.
  2. Search and open “Registry Editor.”
  3. Go to the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management” folder.
  4. Right-click on the “Memory Management” folder.
  5. Choose “New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.”
  6. Set the value name as “ClearPageFileAtShutdown.”
  7. Double-click the value.
  8. Type “1” in the Value Data field.
  9. Press the “Ok” button and close the Registry Editor.
  10. Reboot the computer, and virtual memory is reset.

That is it. It is that simple to reset virtual memory in Windows 10 & 11.

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I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

— Update: 19-03-2023 — found an additional article How to reset Virtual Memory or Page File in Windows 11/10 from the website for the keyword how to reset virtual memory or page file in windows.

Virtual Memory or Page File is a type of memory that allows Windows to use part of the storage space a RAM, to improve the overall performance or when there is a need for extra memory. While Windows configures it automatically, you can always reset it. This post will guide you on what this memory is and how to reset Virtual Memory or Page File in Windows 11/10.

What is Virtual Memory or Page File?

According to Microsoft, A paging file is an area on the hard disk that Windows uses as if it were RAM. When there is a shortage of RAM or if Windows finds it better to store it in virtual memory, it is used. It is useful when running an older PC that doesn’t have enough RAM or can use a bit more when required.

Since it uses storage, the performance will depend on the storage quality. If you are using an SSD, it will be faster than the HDD. Also, the overall usage of the storage will be more which can further impact the life of the HDD or SSD.


How to reset Virtual Memory or Page File in Windows 11/10

When we reset, it means either Windows clears the file when the system shutdown or when you manually change the size, the System resets it. You can clear or reset the virtual memory or page file using one of these methods.

  1. Group Policy
  2. Registry Editor
  3. Manually Reset Page Size

You will need admin permission to execute these.

1] Group Policy Editor

If you are using Windows Professional or Server, you can use the group policy to make the changes.

  • Open Run prompt using Win + R
  • Type gpedit.msc and press the Enter key to launch the Group Policy Editor
  • Navigate to the following folder
  • Find policy: Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile
  • Double click to open the policy configuration
  • Select the Enabled radio button and apply the changes

Once done, the virtual memory page file is cleared every time you shut down the Windows PC. The most significant advantage of using this policy is that no one else can access them by connecting the storage to another PC. When in use, Windows protects the page file, but it is not the same case when it is connected to another PC.

Read: How to Back up, Move, or Delete PageFile.sys on shutdown

2] Registry Editor

The registry method is for Windows Home users who don’t have access to the group policy. While it is easy to use, it is also risky. Ensure to create a System Restore point which will be handy if you accidentally delete something in the registry resulting in a non-bootable system.

  • Open Run prompt using Win + R
  • Type regedit and press Shift + Enter together.
  • In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following path
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management
  • Locate DWORD ClearPageFileAtShutdown and double-click to edit it
  • Set the value as 1. It will ensure to clear the page file during the shutdown.

3] Manually Reset Page Size

Every time you change the size of the virtual memory or page file, it will reset and start using it again from the starting.

  • Open Windows Settings using Win + I
  • Navigate to System> About
  • Under Device specification, click on the Advanced System settings link
  • It will open the System Properties
  • Switch to the Advanced tab, and then click on the Settings button under the Performance section
  • In the Performance, Options switch to Advanced Tab
  • Locate the Virtual memory section and click on the Change button
  • Check the automatic management, and it will enable custom size, the System managed size, and other options
  • Here is all you can do next
    • Set Custom Size
    • Disable Paging
    • Keep System Manage size
  • Once you change, it will reset the Virtual Memory or Page File

I hope the post was easy to follow, and you were able to reset Virtual Memory or Page File in Windows 11/10.

Is it safe to delete Virtual Memory or Page File?

Yes, you can delete it anytime, but make sure you have disabled the feature first since the file is only removed during the shutdown. You can also delete the file when in safe mode using an administrator account.

Read: How to increase Page File size or Virtual Memory

What should I set my paging file size to?

While windows set it to around 10% of the physical memory, it would be best to set it at least two or three times the memory size of RAM. It will ensure to add stability for any heavy lifting for PC.


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