The virtual memory is a portion of the hard drive that acts and thinks like RAM. Often this type of memory is known as the swap file in Windows. It is commonly used when the RAM in a system has been depleted. All the Operating Systems have got tools to help adjust the virtual memory. This is something you would not want to use, the best thing is to extend your computer memory so that you can avoid instances of getting memory errors and a slow system. The actual part that of the hard drive that emulates the RAM is known as a paging file.
Access the Virtual Memory in Windows
You can check, or rather access the virtual memory from your Windows system through the command prompt or via the system properties. Lets begin with using the system properties;
Step 1. Right Click on this PC
When you right click on this PC, you will see properties, tap on it and it will take you to system properties.
Step 2. Click on Advanced System Settings
On the system Properties, click on the advanced settings, then tap on settings.
Step 3. Click on Advanced
Once you tap on settings as shown in the previous step, click on advanced on the next window, just as shown below;
On tapping change, the virtual memory will be displayed, ensure that you keep it on automatically manage paging file. This will allow your system to manage for you the virtual memory. Just as shown;
Check Virtual Memory from the Command Propmt
To avoid all the above steps through the system properties, you can check the swap file from the command Prompt. Just as follows;
Step 1. Open Command Prompt
Open the command prompt and change directory to the root directory by typing the following command;
It will be shown as follows, and now you are in the root directory;
Step 2. Show anything with the attribute hidden
To list anything that is hidden, type the following command
All hidden stuff will be shown as follows;
C:\>dir /ah Volume in drive C has no label. Volume Serial Number is 3459-ABFC Directory of C:\ 08/03/2021 20:27 <DIR> $Recycle.Bin 09/03/2021 07:08 <DIR> $SysReset 30/10/2015 10:18 400,228 bootmgr 24/03/2021 15:23 <DIR> Config.Msi 09/03/2021 07:13 <JUNCTION> Documents and Settings [C:\Users] 12/04/2021 10:09 6,804,058,112 hiberfil.sys 24/03/2021 18:11 <DIR> OneDriveTemp 24/03/2021 18:06 2,550,136,832 pagefile.sys 25/03/2021 15:18 <DIR> ProgramData 09/03/2021 07:08 <DIR> Recovery 24/03/2021 18:06 16,777,216 swapfile.sys 05/04/2021 13:36 <DIR> System Volume Information 4 File(s) 9,371,372,388 bytes 8 Dir(s) 124,361,875,456 bytes free
This is the image of the same, showing the swap file, as you can see the size is much bigger than the one shown on system properties, showing the extend to which the virtual memory can be extended.
The swap should only be used when the physical memory has been exhausted while you wait to increase the size of RAM. It is recommended often to just leave the virtual memory to be automatically managed.