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What to do if your PC is showing “Low virtual memory” error

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Virtual memory plays an important role in running your PC smoothly. It plays a crucial part in multitasking especially when you open more than one program on your PC at one time. For opening multiple programs quickly and together you must have data stored in the memory of the PC. The more the number of running applications, the more is the memory requirement. Once the physical memory of the PC is full, then the excess data is stored in the virtual memory.

Apart from multitasking virtual memory is required when software or application developers develop complex and larger applications. Once the programs for the development of such application run on your PC, they require both physical as well as virtual memory. Therefore, it is clear that the role of virtual memory is significant for the smooth running of the PC. In some cases, your PC shows error messages “Low virtual memory” to add your woes related to the computer. Usually you encounter such messages while you start an Office program.

In this article you will find symptoms, causes and resolution of “Low virtual memory” error messages. Information shared in this article will help you get rid of issues related to low virtual memory and thus enable your PC to run smoothly and efficiently.

What are the symptoms of low virtual memory?

You generally come across this issue while launching the MS Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 programs. While facing such issues you may receive a message with following description.

“Your system is low on virtual memory. To ensure that Windows runs properly, increase the size of your virtual memory paging file.” This is the most common message which you get in case of low virtual memory on your system. The message also suggests that you require increasing the size of the virtual memory paging file.

The error is caused when you start any Windows program which is included in the MS Office installed on your PC. It mostly happens when the paging file value setting is very low.


When the virtual memory of your PC runs low you must immediately begin exploring options to increase virtual memory. The ideal way is to follow the guidelines which Microsoft suggests for the quick resolution of the issue. This can be easily resolved by clicking on Microsoft Fix It button which appears once you face such issues. But if you want to fix this problem yourself then you can do it by following the below mentioned steps.

Below mentioned is the step-by-step guideline to fix the low virtual memory on your PC. The tips are ideal for PCs running on Microsoft Windows XP operating system.

  • First of all click ‘Start’ then right-click on ‘My Computer’ and then click ‘Properties’
  • Now move into the ‘System Properties’ dialog box and click the ‘Advanced’ tab
  • Move into the ‘Performance’ pane and then click ‘Settings’
  • Now move into the ‘Performance Options’ dialog box and then click the ‘Advanced’ tab
  • Here you will find the ‘Virtual Memory’ pane where you need to click the ‘Change’
  • Now you have to change the ‘Initial size’ value and the ‘Maximum Size’ value and click on ‘Set’ followed by ‘OK’
  • Finally, you need to click ‘OK’ to close the dialog box of ‘Performance Options’ and ‘System Properties.’

By following the above mentioned steps in the right sequence, you can fix the low virtual memory issues with your PC. If the above mentioned tips don’t work in resolving the issues, then the right recourse would be to call a reputed tech support agency.


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