Your System is Running Low on Virtual Memory

Pinoy IT Tech Support – Computer Problems Frequently Ask Question (FAQ) Q&A:  Your System is Running Low on Virtual Memory.  

Question:  How to fix, “your system is running low on virtual memory” message?

Your System is Running Low on Virtual Memory

Problem: You keep getting a popup or message that says “your system is running low on virtual memory”.

If this message pop-ups then probably you are noticing something different with your computer performance as its getting gradually slower and slower. Programs and applications become harder to open and close. You could also experience waiting forever for Web pages to be displayed. And then, you get a message saying that the “virtual memory is too low”, like the one in the following picture.

Don’t panic as this message isn’t as scary as it sounds.

First let’s define what is virtual memory?
Virtual memory is the space your PC uses when it’s short of RAM (Random Access Memory), which is the memory used when running programs like Windows Media Player or Microsoft Office Word.
Solution 1:Increase the virtual memory size on your computerThe first solution is to increase your computer’s virtual memory settings.
To do so, you first need to determine how much RAM you currently have.Windows 7

  1. On the Start menu, click Control Panel, then click System.
  2. In the left pane, click Advanced system settings. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.
  4. Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, click Change.
  5. Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box.
  6. Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.
  7. Click Custom size, type a new size in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, click Set, and then click OK.

Note: Increases in size usually don’t require you to restart your computer for the changes to take effect, but if you decrease the size, you’ll need to restart your computer. We recommend that you don’t disable or delete the paging file.

Solution 2: Add more RAM to your computer

If you keep getting that dreaded “Your system is running low on virtual memory” message—even after you increase your computer’s virtual memory—then you may need to buy more memory for your computer. To really work well:

  • Windows 7 needs at least 1 GB of RAM to run. See more system requirements for Windows 7.
  • Windows Vista needs at least 512 MB of RAM to run, but for some applications (like gaming) 1 GB or more of RAM is recommended.
  • Windows XP needs a minimum of 256 MB of RAM.