Do I really need a sawpfile for a 4GB memory computer? I disabled them!


Extraordinary Member
A few weeks ago I read somewhere that I can completely disable the swapfile(s) in Win7 if there is enough (=4Gb) physical memory.
So I gave it a try and disabled all swapfiles.....and it works!
Even better I feel a little speedup (especially at shutdown).

So why is this recommendation almost unknown?
Can there be a situation where I need swapfile(s) anyway?



Noob Whisperer
I believe that the swapfile (pagefile) is still essential in certain aspects of Windows error reporting like for instances in the case of a system failure that produces a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), i believe that the swap file is required to write the error information correctly in order for the dump files to be created.
Also I don't suspect that it would produce any performance degradation, nor in the case of it's absense any performance enhancements, except that sometimes I believe it can become fragmentent and perhaps in those instances may degrade system performance to some extent.
For a long time Microsoft has recommended that the pagefile should be one and one half times the amount of actual physical memory in the system and also recommended that the upper and lower size should be the same to supposedly prevent fragmentation.
I have 16 Gigabytes of physical memory in my system and still have a pagefile (on C:\) does it help? I don't know. Does it hurt? Pretty sure it doesn't.
Just an opinion and there may be others. At least I hope so.

Yes because certain programs look for the swap file when performing operations, graphics come to mind. I have 12 gig of memory and still have a swap file.
What size is your HD. I have a 1.5 TB using about 70 gig of it and that includes the swap file.


Essential Member
So long as your page file is at least 200 MB, error information can still be written.
Adding to others recommendations above, you can safely divide your page file to about 25% your total RAM capacity, so 1 GB would work fine.
Since you already have 4 GB of RAM, there's no benefit to having a huge page file.

Hope this helps :)


Noob Whisperer
Depending on how you have your machine configured to Write debugging information, if you are collecting kernel memory dumps
to capture physical memory dumps for analysis, the traditional model of the page file should be at least the size of physical ram plus 1 MB, or 1.5 times the default physical RAM. This makes sure that the free disk space of the operating system partition is large enough to hold the OS, hotfixes, installed applications, installed services, a dump file, and the page file. On a server that has 32 GB of memory, drive C may have to be at least 86 GB to 90 GB. This is 32 GB for memory dump, 48 GB for the page file (1.5 times the physical memory), 4 GB for the operating system, and 2 to 4 GB for the applications, the installed services, the temp files, and so on. Remember that a driver or kernel mode service leak could consume all free physical RAM. Therefore, a Windows Server 2003 x64 SP1-based server in 64-bit mode with 32GB of RAM could have a 32 GB kernel memory dump file, where you would expect only a 1 to 2 GB dump file in 32-bit mode. This behavior occurs because of the greatly increased memory pools.
Source: How to determine the appropriate page file size for 64-bit versions of Windows
Other articles that may help to further confuse the issue;
RAM, Virtual Memory, Pagefile and all that stuff
How to configure paging files for optimization and recovery in Windows XP
Bottom line, yes you need a swapfile (pagefile). How big probably depends mostly on the use and load on the machine. Generally if you are seeing some out of memory/virtual memory messages popping up, then you need to grow it.
Hope for the best....plan for the worst.
Belt plus suspenders.


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
I have 4gb ram and have no swap file. It is a personal decision but best thing is to delete all swap files and see how it goes. If you have some programs which need it then at the worst they will complain/fall over and you will have to create one. If you have no problems then you have saved disk space equal to (default value) 6GB. It is also worth knowing that there are some programs about which use swapfile without checking if they really need to so invoking unnecessary disk transfers. The point about log files is a valid one but if an error is a "one-off" then you probably wouldn't be worried about debigging it and if it becomes repetitive then you can re-enable swapfile to catch the next occurrence.

I personally have swap file even though I have 12 gig of memory. My Os is also on a 1.5 Terra Byte drive of which I am only using about 70 GIG of and that inscluses the swap file. I would recommend you keep the Swapo File unless your drive is very small or almost full. If it is alsmost full I would suggest a Bigger Drive. In today's market a 1 Terra byte drives are the norm on most machines. The space saved by reoving a swap file on a bigg drive would be less 1 or 2 percent of the drives size. In my mind the question is moot


Extraordinary Member
Another often overlooked issue is having a swap file enable is a nice hiding place for viruses, since they can write to it and most realtime scanners dont check swap files at all due to performance hits on the system, enabling the clearing of pagefiles on reboot helps that but adds huge delays on shutdowns.

Personal choice is disable it totally, have done with and without it for many years and in most cases when its been on it hasnt helped one jot.

Last edited:


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
There is commonsense in the suggestions, and the op should consider them. Maybe not good advice, but I support Highwayman. I have managed without a swap file, also for many years. One of my daily tasks over those years has been the testing of software, and OSs. This on a variety of machines. I have not so far (fingers crossed) experienced any errors or problems.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.