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Move your Windows 7 Pagefile to a New Location

Homer from IN asks:

Is there an easy way to free up some space on my hard drive? It’s getting awfully crowded in there!

Windows is a cool operating system. It sure has pitfalls and annoyances, but once you look at it from a novice point of view, Windows does away with all the geeky stuff that most people won’t want to bother themselves with. It has a huge array of software to do various tasks and it forms an excellent computing environment for the home user.

However, Windows comes with its own pitfalls and shortcomings. The most common of them are evident slowdown as compared to a fresh installation of Windows and the second one is lack of free space. Many of us face the second problem; because our C drive (the drive on which people usually install Windows) runs out of space. Here is a quick solution to the problem.

Note: If you are unsure of your ability to complete the following tip, please consult a professional. You have been warned.

The C drive hosts our entire operating system, but some other files are also created on the C drive, which eat up additional space. One of them is the pagefile. The pagefile is essential for Windows to perform optimally, but once the C drive runs out of space, we are already losing performance. Therefore, the obvious solution is to move the pagefile to a physical disk with more space.

Step 1: Click on the Windows orb on the bottom left corner. Alternatively you can hit the Windows button on your keyboard. Once the start menu comes up, go to “My Computer” and right click. You will get the right click context menu for My Computer. Now, click on “properties”.


Step 2: Once you get the window as shown below, click on the “Advanced system settings” link on the left.

Step 3: The system properties window has an “Advanced” tab, which has options divided into three sections. In the performance section, click on the “Settings” button.


Step 4: Once you get the “Performance options” window, click on the “Advanced” tab as shown below.


Step 5: In the advanced tab, you will find a section for Virtual Memory. In that section, there is a button to change paging size and locations. Click on the “Change” button.


Step 6: This is where the real action is. Uncheck the option which says “Automatically manage paging file size”.

Notice how the C drive has a system managed paging set for itself. The pagefile can occupy as much as 2 GB of space at times and it is best to move this file out of the C drive to save valuable space.

Select the C drive, select the “no paging” option and click on the “Set” button as shown below.

A window appears telling us about the potential threats of having no paging on the system. Click on “Yes” to continue, because in the next step, we are just moving the pagefile to a new location and not disabling it all together.

Step 7: Select a drive you want to use for paging, select the “System managed” option and click on the “Set” button. Make sure the drive has enough of free space(at least as much as the recommended free space). Once you are done with that, click on OK.

Reboot your system to finally set the paging. You will notice additional free space on your C drive.

~Chinmoy Kanjilal