Technical Level
Basic

 

Summary 

This is a general procedure on how to prevent low memory problems and some basic troubleshooting and preventative tips.

Details

Firstly, running fewer programs at the same time can help prevent low memory problems. It's a good idea to observe which programs consume more of the system memory and try not to run the programs with the higher values at the same time. However, It may not be practical or convenient to do so. 

Signs of low memory indicates that your computer needs more RAM to support the programs you use. Here are some sample solutions to solve this issue.

To find out how much RAM your computer has

  1. Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.
  2. In the System section, next to Installed memory (RAM), you can see the amount of RAM your computer has.

Determine if a program overuses memory


If the computer becomes low on memory when ever you run certain programs, one or more of your programs might have a memory leak.To stop a memory leak you need to close the program, check for updates, and contact the software publisher.

To determine which program is using the most memory, follow these steps:
  1. Open Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar, and then clicking Start Task Manager.
  2. Click the Processes tab.
  3. To sort programs by memory usage, click Memory (Private Working Set).

You can also check for program errors and troubleshooting information using Event Viewer.

  1. Open Event Viewer by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Security, clicking Administrative Tools, and then double-clicking Event Viewer.‌  If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. In the left pane, click Applications and Services Logs to view error events. To see a description of the problem, double-click the event. To see if troubleshooting information is available, look for a link to online Help.

Increase the paging file (virtual memory) size


Windows automatically attempts to increase the paging file size the first time your computer becomes low on memory, but you can also manually increase it up to a maximum size that is determined by the amount of RAM installed. Increasing the paging size may resolve your low memory issue, but also keep in mind that it may slow down your programs because your computer reads information from RAM much faster than your hard disk (where the paging file is).

To change the size of virtual memory


  1. Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.
  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 megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, click Set, and then click OK.

Install more RAM


If you see signs or the computer warns you that it is having low memory problems then consider installing more RAM. Make sure you consult the manufacturer to determine which type of RAM is compatible with your computer. Once you determine compatible RAM, choose the RAM that will meet the needs for your system and program requirements. Afterwards consult the manufacturer on the proper installation methods of the RAM.