Solution to Virtual Memory Too Low Problem

This problem was reported by one of our readers that in spite of having a sufficient amount of RAM, he is running out of Virtual Memory and his Windows PC gives the following error:

Your system is low on virtual memory. To ensure that Windows runs properly, increase the size of your virtual memory paging file. For more information, see Help.

This is a common problem and you may have seen it if you are trying to open many heavy applications at the same time like Microsoft Office.

Let’s see what the causes are and what can be done at this stage.

Windows XP or Vista uses the concept of Virtual Memory that aims at providing the additional memory from the Hard Disk if most of the RAM of the computer is already occupied. This memory used from the Hard Disks is called Paging File. Windows reserve some part of the memory for this purpose only (this is one of the reasons why we see less memory than specified on the hard disk).

Virtual Memory also known as Page File or Swap File can be located at C:\pagefile.sys (it is system hidden and can be viewed if you Uncheck the option of “Hide Protected Operating System Files” inside Folder Options).


1.    If culprit is known:

Just end the task that is consuming the maximum Virtual Memory.
To know the culprit, open Task Manager -> View -> Select Columns.

Now tick on the “Virtual Memory Size” option, this will display a new column in the task manager.

This column lists the Virtual Memory consumed by the different processes. So just close the task that is using the maximum Virtual Memory.

2.    For general solution (better):

•    First thing is to upgrade your RAM. These days anything above 2 GB RAM is great and will stay for a long time. Go for 4 GB if your pocket supports.

•    Now as suggested by Windows, the size of VM should be at least 1.5 times the size of RAM example, 768 MB of Virtual Memory for 512 MB RAM. But I would suggest you to keep it twice (to avoid the problem anytime in future).

•    To set the VM size manually, right-click My Computer and then click Properties.
•    In the System Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
•    In the Performance pane, click Settings, now click the Advanced tab.
•    In the Virtual memory pane, click Change.
•    Change the Initial size value and the Maximum size value to a higher value, click Set, and then click OK.
•    Click OK and restart the system.

Problem Solved!! By the way, what RAM size are you using?

9 Replies to “Solution to Virtual Memory Too Low Problem”

  1. hi sir i got 2gb memory but still windows is saying that my pc is virtual memory too low
    what is happening then

  2. i already configure the paging file . . .
    my RAM is 2GB but i see 2048 in my specifications . . .
    so 2048 x 1.5 = 3072, so i put it in initial size
    and in maximum size, i triple the 2048 and its 6100+
    but i just put 6100. so is this safe?

    or am i doing it right?

Leave a Reply