Pagefile.sys – How to remove Pagefile.sys from Windows


Pagefile.sys, a windows system files act as a virtual memory extension of a computer’s real memory RAM. Normally pagefile sys is 1.5 times than your actual physical memory size and might consume a huge disk space of your computer hard drive space.

But the benefit of pagefile sys is allowing your computer’s operating system pretend that you have more RAM than you actually do and run the windows application smoother. However, i would advise you remove pagefile.sys and save up your disk space if you have a huge memory ram to support your windows application which disable paging or remove pagefile sys might not effect your computer.

However, if you have low memory less than 256mb and turning off or remove your pagefiles or virtual memory. Then it will be a disaster for your windows and you might feel latency and struggle for multatasking on your windows.

Here’s how to remove pagefile.sys from Windows :

1. Go to Control Panel and run System.
2. Click on Advanced tab and click the Settings button on Performance.

remove pagefile.sys and turn off virtual memory
3. Click on Advanced tab again and click on the Change button.
4. Select “No paging file” and click the Set button if you want to remove pagefile.sys.
Windows Paging Pagefile sys

  • Flash

    It needs a 2nd step to totally remove pagefile.sys

    Restart windows, and manually delete the hidden file pagefile.sys


  • Larry Miller


    Disabling the pagefile as suggested will cause severe performance problems with less than 512MB of RAM. The pagefile was designed to improve performance, not simply to compensate for a shortage of RAM. Based on this article I get the strong impression that the author has only a very limited understanding of virtual memory or the pagefile.

    Larry Miller
    Microsoft MCSA

  • km


    I agreed with you for those having less memory… should not try out this method which might cause latency over their computer processing.

    However, If your computer or laptop having 2G memory ram and sufficient to supply all windows application. So, why wasting so much space ? Let say i got 2GB ram… then i will getting a pagefile.sys around 3G file size just for stored on computer for pagefile.sys purpose.

  • Larry Miller

    Many people believe that with no pagefile there will be no paging and everything will remain in RAM. They could not be more wrong. Disabling the pagefile will not prevent paging, it will probably increase it. Paging of executable files, DLL’s, etc does not involve the pagefile and will continue as usual. This is inherent in all virtual memory systems and cannot be prevented. The pagefile is designed to store modified data that has not been recently accessed. This makes more RAM available for more important purposes, such as for active applications and file caching.

    Disabling the pagefile unbalances the entire virtual memory system. Modified data must then remain in RAM no matter how infrequently it is accessed. Uninformed users may believe that with 2GB of RAM they have more than enough to accomodate this. In many cases this will not be the case. Even with 4GB of RAM paging may still be necessary with memory intensive applications. With no pagefile this will be limited to paging of executable files, etc., that do not use the pagefile. With fewer options available Windows will be forced to make poorer choices about what should be paged.

    Disable the pagefile if you must, but be warned you will probably impair performance.

    Larry Miller
    Microsoft MCSA

    • tim ramich

      And then when your computer needs this “useless” old data again it has to fetch it from the hard disk, which is slow.  If disabling the page file was so dangerous and a hindrance then there would not be the option to do so for how many Windows versions now.  It makes more sense than ever to disable it now that you can actually physically have more than 4 GB of RAM.  I’m sure Windows knows how to treat memory once it’s disabled, too.  You assume that once disabled, everything is going to act the same with paging.  Also, people who say certain programs need a page file are idiots.  Programs don’t manage memory, the OS does.

  • ana

    Oi, eu gostaria de saber se é possível desativar apenas temporariamente o pagefiles.sys

  • Jigs

    Using santa rosa platform laptop iquipped with 2GB of RAM i have noticed quite difference in the performance with pagefile deleted. before deleting IE and firefox and other routine tasks like copy-pasting, playback were slow and jerky. atleast in this first hour after deleting the pagefile it has improved quite a bit.

  • T

    So is there a way to replace/recover the pagefile if it has been deleted?

  • Chris


    To replace/recover the pagefile just do the steps listed above and set the page file back to 1.5X system memory (or let Windows Manage it). It will recreate itself automatically (might require reboot).

  • Matthias Dailey

    If you have Windows XP Pro, you can set your system to delete both pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys on shutdown. Use the Group Policy Editor: and find this entry:
    Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies -> Security Options -> “Shutdown: clear virtual memory pagefile” and set it to “enabled.”

  • Manos Geek

    I have been testing all about pagefile. I ve come with a solution on how to delete it.
    First you need a bootable cd with the tools… acronis true image and explorer or total commander.
    Put the cd into drive and boot it.
    Run the explorer or total commander.
    Delete the pagefile.
    Run acronis tru image and make a backup of the disk, you will need another disk to save the backup. I prefer to use maximum compression because it makes restore quicker.
    After you have a backup of the drive without the pagefile, format the drive, then restore the image you saved with acronis to the formated disk. Also include the mbr sector.
    After that eject the bootable cd .
    Start windows in safe mode, reboot, start windows in normal mode, reboot. Thats it, you have deleted the pagefile.
    I have made several tests, but believe me this is the only way of deleting that file.
    I done this with an installation of 63GB, acronis compresed it to 35GB in 9 files of 4.5GB each. I burned the to dvds and deleted the image. The last dvd has the bootable cd plus the last file of the image.

  • A

    Doesn’t work for me. Any changes I make on that tab are simply ignored, in the classical MS manner. I have an EEE Pc with very tight space on the boot partition, and I wanted to move that fracking file to the bigger partition (and make it smaller since I really think 1GB RAM is enough); but the OS team is smarter and doesn’t let its’s stupid users make decisions for themselves bc they know better what users need than the users themselves.

  • Thanks Larry Miller MVP!
    If you have a pagefile you want to get rid of then do it! Your computer will not explode and if you have over 1Gb it will run fine. Be aware that if you open may applications you may possibly get an error.
    What “experts” forget is that a person struggling with a small disk that really NEEDS the extra space does not care that they may not be able to open 30 applications simutaneously.

  • Anon

    Removing it is easy and safe with the prescribed method. There is no real downside since you can always add it again.

  • Bill Gates

    Larry Miller is a total douche!

  • Chad

    If you do want to delete it just follow the steps outlined on this page, then load up as administrator. Go to the root of your operating system directory. Type “del pagefile.sys” and it’s deleted.
    You could also use a batch file or some program that deletes stuff, but note that you must run as administrator (ie, click “Run as Administrator” instead of normal execution of the program).

  • Peter

    You and your Microsloth baffoons are why I got away from IT. You have ZERO common sense in the technical realm.

    People, if you wish to get rid of the pagefile, do so. If you find your computer is not running the way it should afterward, just go back and change it back.

    You will not damage anything.

  • Danish

    Hi , i moved my pagefile to E: drive and want to delete old page file from C: drive.when i try to delete pagefile it shows that “the file in use”

  • Rams


    I was using 2GB of RAM, i have pagefile.sys is it necessary for me to Delete this file ? or its better to have this pagefile.sys ?.

    Regards & Thanks

  • km


    I believe there is no delete Pagefile.sys…. It’s better to keep it

  • its simple

    just do the allocations in the advanced tabs in systems properties. if you wish to delete it, simply turn it off. effects will make changes after reboot. else, a move would constitute the new location you direct it to, also effective on boot. problem solved. to verify this change. check the location upon boot. i have done this many times after needing more space on systems primary drive on various occasions.

  • Khawar

    thank you for your kind information its work. Keep helping people thank you once againg

  • Knapp

    Wow there are a lot of n00b’s here – sorry guys, but Larry is correct – If you remove your pagefile you are only using valuable memory space to store useless data that could otherwise going on a low cost storage device. What would you spend a bunch of money on extra memory and then run out of space on your hard drive when there are less than 10 cents a GB? If you need space on the root then move the page file to another drive – or split it up. Just be cautious if you do to remember to move it back if you ever remove the drive or your install will have a hissy fit.

    Also – No need to image you machine or any other odd maneuvers – to delete the page, first remove it using the procedure listed, reboot and then delete it if it is still there (hidden). If should already be gone.

    MCSE, MCITP, CCDA, CCNA, A+ ,Sec+,and HP ASE,

  • Mole

    Could someone clarify please, it terms of removing evidence of data or documents from a hard drive, is there any benefit in erasing/removing the pagefile.sys ? Does it improve security in that respect or create further issues ?

    • km


      The main purpose of removing pagefile.sys is save disk space only. It doesn’t improve your computer security totally.

  • Mole

    Thanks for that, I was advised by another knowledgeable person that it is another place of reference where data can be found if disk was being searched for example. No matter it was just a point of interest. Cheers

  • euthan420

    i have windows 7 ultimate with 1gb ram. the issue is the low memory error comes repeatedly. the settings i make to the page file console some how wash away on next boot and the console shows blank space in the area designated to show the size of page files. can the page file be forced edited in a text editor as i believe the windows based console is not working. i have been optimizing for programs and use values much above the min and max allowed in the custom size.

    • Gamestacker

       Why in the WORLD are you using 1gb of ram with windows 7. That is like buying a Mustang, and only using 1 spark plug.

  • pFolio

    @Larry, Knapp
    Look at Jigs’ post. He removed the pagefile and improved the performance of his computer with 2GB ram. Your not only saving hard drive space, it also increases performance. RAM is much faster than hard drives.
    If you don’t have a pagefile, when that “useless” data is needed by an application or the OS, your computer wouldn’t have to wait for the hard drive to load the “useless” data.
    Just because you have all sorts of certifications, doesn’t mean you’re right douche bag.

  • Maclaren


    voce nao pode desativar o pagefile “temporariamente”. Voce pode desativa-lo para uma sessao do Windows e depois ativa-lo e reiniciar o computador. Eu nao conheco nenhuma maneira de modificar o status “pagefile/nao pagefile”, sem reniniciar a maquina

  • Arvee

    I currently have 4gb ram installed, Windows 7 32 bit. I deleted the pagefile, though windows is telling me that is doesn’t have enough memory when I start gaming. I did however notice better performance without the pagefile, though i need it for gaming.

  • Alex

    Larry just demonstrated that MS gives our certificates to those that do not understand anything about OS design.

    Windows page file is nothing other than swap space, not swap + pagecache space. On x86 architecture swap space is only needed when the system does not have enough memory. Windows’s page file management is idiotic and that’s why with time page file access becomes slower and slower. Accessing page file will ALWAYS decrease system performance as unless the page file is located on Tier-0 memory ( such as Violin 1010 device ) there’s just absolutely no way page file seek is faster than the access to memory controller.

  • Tenant Background Check

    I appreciate the help. My computer was running super slow and this did the trick!

  • Tenant Background Check

    I appreciate the help. My computer was running super slow and this did the trick!

  • Tenant Background Check

    I appreciate the help. My computer was running super slow and this did the trick!

  • Guest

    Bad advice. If you think Windows uses your HDD as RAM when you run out of memory, you’re wrong.

    My 64 bit system with 4GB ram was unstable until I let Windows 7 manage the pagefile again.

    • User

      It is true, Windows does use space on your hard drive as virtual RAM. However most times, mainly after virus removal and if the system is aged a few years; deleting the existing pagefile and letting it rebuild if needed is often good for overall performance.