As the need for multitasking increases in an ever-busy IT world, running multiple applications concurrently has become the norm.
Some applications demand a lot of "free memory" to run efficiently because of the high demand placed on the CPU. Such software applications include Graphic design and video editing applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, and gaming software.
These applications hog a lot of RAM or main memory and since RAM is finite, it gets depleted forcing the system to turn to virtual memory. When virtual memory gets over-utilized, the system triggers a "Low on Memory" warning notification indicating that you are running low on virtual memory.
Many users reporting this kind of problem are known to use Windows 10 as their choice operating system. Since this error leads to slow computer operations, the best thing to do is to transfer some of the used memory pages to another system file by the name pagefile.sys. This hidden file is found in the root directory and you can use it to allocate more RAM space for quick machine operations.
The error is quite bothersome especially when you are running a program that needs a lot of free space. The best advice you can get from this article is not to rush to purchase an extra RAM yet the problem could be a software issue. Some of the causative factors include:
Processes that consume a lot of space available on the memory leaving no space for other programs will lead to this error. This happens when so many programs are running at the same time. When your windows machine encounters many program instructions, it will transfer some to the virtual memory (a process known as paging). The best way to avoid such scenarios is to reduce the number of running programs.
Computer’s system registry always stores program information on RAM over time. When the number of information stored increases, they end up using part of the RAM. The best solution to this is using the Disk Cleanup Utility to delete all junk files.
When the virtual memory is used past its limit, this error is inevitable. It implies that the system can no longer handle any more processes and memory needs to be freed up.
If the number of programs installed on the computer does not leave enough space to allow for startup applications, you are likely to encounter this error. The reason behind this is due to RAM overload, which can be solved uninstalling the software, or programs that are rarely used from the computer.
All these problems will undermine the ideal performance of your computer which will leave you frustrated. Some simple things such as opening multiple tabs in a browser while performing several tasks simultaneously may also lead to computer low on memory error.
Try the following steps to further troubleshoot your PC:
If your computer keeps displaying this error, you will need to change the maximum and minimum page file size. Alternatively, you can quit the troublesome applications that are eating up too much RAM memory.
The best way to uncover the application causing this error is to access the task manager by pressing the usual key combination of CTRL + SHIFT + ESC. Head to the processes tab and identify the application that has a high memory allocation.
Right-click on the process and select ‘End Task’ as shown below.
NOTE: Though this may be a temporary fix, It's however not the best approach provided you still need to run the application.
Fixing the pagefile.sys file on your Windows 10 computer is a better workaround. You can follow the easy steps detailed below and find a lasting solution to fixing the low memory error message.
Press Windows key + R and run sysdm.cpl
The System Properties dialog box will pop open.
Click on the Advanced tab and then on the Settings Button found under Performance section.
On the Performance Options window on the Advanced tab, click on the Change button found under Virtual Memory section.
The virtual memory window will open. uncheck the 'Automatically Manage paging file size for all drive' option.
Then select system drive and then click on Custom Size option button and enter the desired size on the Initial Size and Maximum Size input buttons (your entries should be in MB). Make sure the No Paging Option is not selected.
Once satisfied with your entries, click on the OK button and the Apply button.
The steps taken above have increased the paging file size on a Windows 10 computer. It is only advisable to reboot the computer if you have decreased the paging size and not when it is increased.
Sometimes the problem may refuse to go away even after increasing the pagefile. If that is your case, try the following steps to further troubleshoot your PC:
Click on search and type Edit Group Policy
In the next Window, click on Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System
Scroll down and double-click on Troubleshooting and Diagnostics
Click on Windows Resource Exhaustion Detection and Resolution
Double-click on settings found on the right side window under Configuration Scenario Execution Level
Another window will appear where you have to choose the Disabled Option
Click on Apply and finish by clicking OK.
Another reason for having such an error could be due to malware, which may force you to run a full system scan using your preferred Antivirus program.
In this article, we have given you causes and possible solutions to 'Your Computer is running Low on memory' warning. While ending the problematic tasks may temporarily fix the situation, increasing the paging file size will ultimately sort your Computer Low on Memory issues in windows 10. Be sure also to scan your system using Windows Defender to clean up any malware that may be sabotaging your system and slowing it down.
Hey, this is Margaret, a Windows Systems Administrator who's in love with everything about tech.