Thanks to the page file mechanism, Windows can extend the amount of RAM. Sometimes, when the amount of installed RAM is not enough, Windows creates a special file on your hard-drive to store program fragments and data files. With the arrival of the new technology in the form of solid-state drives (SSD), people started asking – whether they need a page file on SSD or not? Now, when SSDs have become more common and affordable, the question is still among hot topics on the list. So let’s discuss it and decide – should you enable a page file on an SSD or secondary HDD?
Do I even need a page file?
As we mentioned above, your system creates a page file automatically when it runs out of available RAM. It is a common thing for old or budget machines with four or less GBs of RAM. If you have 8GBs of RAM or even more (like most modern gaming stations do), you don’t really need a page file, and you can disable it if you want to. This will allow you to boost your system’s performance and prolong the lifespan of your disk. On the other hand – if you have less than 8Gbs of RAM – you should have a page file no matter what type of storage device you have.
Page file management
As we said, you can enable and disable a page file in your system as you wish. In order to do that, you just need to follow these instructions:
- Right-click on the icon “This PC” on your desktop and select “Properties.” Alternatively, you can go to the Control Panel (Win+R, type control, and press Enter) and click “System and Security” – “System.”
- On the left sidebar look for the “Advanced System Settings” and click it.
- Go to the tab “Advanced” in the window that will appear.
- In the new window, you need the Performance section that has a button named “Settings.” Press on it.
- Go to the “Advanced” tab within the Performance Options menu.
Now you can finally change the paging file size or disable it. In order to do the second, you need to click the “Change” button, then uncheck the option “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” and in the same menu also select “No paging file.” In this menu, you can also select the disk to save a page file and select its size manually.
When you need a page file on your SSD?
Today many users have both types of storage devices in the system – SSD for system needs and most important programs and HDD for everything else. In this situation, you can go without a page file. It would be reasonable to have a page file on an SSD as it has much faster reading/writing speed. Doing so will have a positive effect on your system’s performance. Or here is another scenario typical for laptops – you have 4GBs of RAM (or less) and an SSD with the system installed on it. Windows will automatically create a page file, and we would not recommend disabling it. If you have a small SSD (less than 128GBs), you can decrease the size of the paging file (see the instructions above).
As you see, using a page file depends on the amount of RAM you have. However, when your PC or laptop can work without it (thanks to high amount of RAM), and you have an SSD, it is ok to have a page file on an SSD to improve system’s performance.