How-To: Improve Swapfile Performance

If you run Windows operating system, this tip can be of use for you. Using this trick, Swapfile performance can be increased considerably leading to a faster PC.


Most of the programs we run require a lot of memory. In such a scenario, running more than one or two programs can certainly make Windows Operating system suck out all of your RAM. When such a phenomenon happens, Windows starts using space on your Hard Disk called “Swapfile” which certainly is very slow as compared to RAM. This in turn leads to poor performance.

Often Windows starts using Swapfile even before the critical mark. The below mentioned steps can be used to make the Swapfile usage wait till the last moment.


  • Click Start, then Run.
  • Enter msconfig in the space provided to enter command.
  • Click on the tab name System.ini
  • Click on the plus sign (+) next to 386enh.
  • Click New, then type “ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1″ (enter without quotes) in the box that appears.
  • Click OK.

Other Performance related reads:

Microsoft Windows: How to Process Idle Tasks

Windows XP: Speed up Folder Browsing.

The Mystery of Thumbs.db

Use Update Checker to Keep your Softwares UPDATED




5 Responses

  1. […] November 15, 2007 · No Comments How to: Improve Swapfile Performance […]

  2. […] November 15, 2007 · No Comments How to: Improve Swapfile Performance […]

  3. That was really helpful thanks a lot!

  4. Thanks Abhishek. By the way you have an interesting blog as well.

  5. The author has spent a good deal of time on this tip. Unfortunately, Windows XP will completely ignore the setting. On all NT platform operating systems the system.ini file is maintained only for compatibility with old 16 bit applications. Settings such as this will be ignored. The remark at the top of the file says “; for 16-bit app support”. This not an idle statement, it means precisely what it says.

    This setting did work on Windows98, although not as described. It did not prevent page file activity until memory was exhausted, it merely used it less.

    Larry Miller
    Microsoft MCSA

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