Shopping for a new computer is never easy. Most of us always want that machine that looks the nicest, and we need to work out if the closer-to-the-bottom-of-the-range version of it is going to be able to meet our needs.

The rule of thumb in today’s computing is to get yourself something with at least 8 GB of RAM to be safe. There are exceptions: some Surface laptops only come with 4 GB of RAM, and they’ll still do the job for students who are just looking to use a web browser and open up apps such as Microsoft Word.  But if you want to play it safe, 8 GB is what you should be aiming for.

If you’ve brought home a nice computer but after running some programs are a bit worried that you’re using up too much RAM, you can head into the Control Panel and adjust some settings for the virtual memory.

Windows 10 gives a few basic options—let Windows choose what’s best for your computer, adjust for the best performance, adjust for the appearance—and you also get the chance to create a custom group of settings so the virtual memory settings are more precisely what you need.

Here is what you need to optimize the performance using the virtual memory performance options in a version of the Windows 10 operating system.

Optimize Performance Using Virtual Memory in Windows 10

You can optimize your performance for gaming and other things alike from the Control Panel in Windows 10.

Get started by typing “Control Panel” into Cortana search in the taskbar and then click on the “Control Panel” desktop application when it appears under the Best Match section.

Click on “View by” in the top right corner of Control Panel and select the small icons. Now click on the “System” link found in the list of all Control Panel items.

Next, in the left pane click on the “Advanced system settings” link.

You’ll then see the Performance Options dialog.

Change it from its default setting to “Adjust for best performance.”

You can also select any of the boxes down below that you think might suit your needs. Most of the boxes have been deselected now, so your computer is handling fewer requests, and thus you have more freed up resources, so you don’t want to add too many of those boxes. But you might want to add a few, so your visuals are OK.

Turn your attention to the “Advanced” tab now and then click on the “Settings” button were it says Performance: Visual effects, processor scheduling, memory usage, and virtual memory.

Where it says Virtual memory, click on the “Change” button.

Uncheck the box where it says “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives and then select the “Custom size” checkbox and fill in the sizes with the same details that it shows below where it lists the recommended paging file size.

When you’ve done that, click on the “Set” button, followed by “OK” and then it closes the dialog and saves your settings.

You’ll probably get a message letting you know that the changes can only take effect after you’ve restarted your computer, so go ahead and do that now before you try using your additional RAM.

That’s it.

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