When Windows opens a program, it distributes a certain amount of random access memory (RAM) to the program in order to keep it running smoothly. RAM is hardware installed into the computer and cannot be changed--if you only have 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM installed, that is all you can use. Virtual memory is used when RAM runs out, and can be anywhere from one and a half to four times the size of your RAM--but it does run slower. For this reason, it is important to know how much virtual memory your computer has.
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Select the "Start" button in the lower-left hand corner of Windows. This will bring up a new menu.
Click "Control Panel." This will be on the right-hand side of the Start menu.
Click on "System."
Find "Advanced System Settings." This is the panel that gives you all the information on how your computer is running, including RAM, virtual memory and processing speed.
There are five tabs at the top of the Advanced System Settings window. Click on the one that says "Advanced." This will bring you to a new page, with three boxes, one of which says "Performance."
Click on "Settings" in the Preference box. This opens a new window which will have three tabs at the top: "Visual Effects," "Advanced" and "Data Execution Prevention."
Select the "Advanced" tab. Your virtual memory will be listed in a box near the bottom of the tab.
Tips and warnings
- Virtual memory can be changed in the same place where you learn to calculate how much you have.
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