The paging file (a.k.a pagefile, swap file) is a file located in C:\pagefile.sys. The Windows OS stores files in RAM cause it is the fastest memory in your PC. When the RAM becomes full Windows moves a part of the data to paging file. The same file is also used to store the data of apps you are not using.
Should I Disable It?
It is a widely spread myth that disabling the paging file improves performance. In fact it is able only to make idling apps open faster. But at the same time you can provoke different apps to crash or generate errors. So, it is not recommended to disable it completely. You may reduce its size instead, that is a recommended option.
How to disable the paging file in Windows 10
1. Press Win+Break. The system window would open.
2. Click on Advanced system settings link.
3. Go to Advanced tab.
4. Press Settings button:
5. Go to Advanced tab.
6. Press Change:
7. Unset the checkbox Automatically manage paging file size for all drives if it is set.
8. Switch to No paging file.
9. Click Set.
10. Click YES.
11. Press OK 3 times in other windows.
For a clean experiment, we recommend restarting Windows after that.
How to Enable Paging in Windows 10
Let’s say, you tried to run OS without paging file and concluded that this option is not for you. What to do? Go back to the Virtual Memory settings, set the Automatically manage… checkbox at the top and click OK.
How to Use Paging File of a Custom Size (Recommended)
They say, a fixed size of the paging file improves the system performance. If you agree with this, do the following:
- First, select Custom Size in the Virtual Memory settings.
- Then specify the same size in both fields. For instance, 10240 MB.
- Click Set.
- Click OK to close windows
On Which Drive: HDD or SSD?
Store the paging file on your fastest drive. If you have a SATA SSD – place the file on it. If you use an NVMe storage – it will be the best place for it.
But never listen to those who advise to move it to a HDD to improve SSD’s lifespan! Then, it’s better to take the SSD out of your computer and put it on the shelf – it’s health will stay in a perfect condition.
Please, tell us in the comments, whether or not you find the guide useful and what you think about the disabling the paging file on SSD or setting the fixed size.
3 thoughts on “How to Disable the Pagefile in Windows 10”
Thanks for getting right to the point
My MS Surface Laptop doesn’t appear to have a break key. I know that on many keyboards, the del key is shared with break, but none of the modifier keys I tried worked properly. There doesn’t appear to be an All Control Panel Items under my control panel, so I had to go to Control Panel > System And Security > System > Advanced system settings, and follow your instructions from there.
Note that SSDs are much better about wear leveling and handling many read-write cycles than they used to be, but I still disable pagefile / swap on my machines with SSDs in order to maximize the life of my SSD drives. Back around 2000, I had a conversation with a guy doing embedded Windows development for some product with flash / SSD. They were behind schedule and were having trouble getting WinCE to work, and having trouble getting Win2k to work with pagefile disabled, so in order to make deadlines, they just shipped an embedded product with Win2k and pagefile enabled on a 2000-era flash drive, knowing it would wear out the flash drive after about 2 years on average. Now, flash / SSD technology has gotten much much better since 2000, but it still can’t handle as many read-write cycles as spinning rust platters.