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How to Optimize the System Memory (RAM) on a Dell Computer

Summary: This article provides information about how to optimize the memory using the Disk Defragmenter option.

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Optimize your System using SupportAssist

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Random Access Memory (RAM) is a type of hardware that your computer uses to store information. Adding memory is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your computer's performance. However, before adding memory, consider taking steps that better utilize the memory you already have.

  • Verify that the Paging File is set to the correct size for your computer.
  • Run the Disk Defragmenter.
  • Run any other type of memory optimizing applications.


No cause information is available.


Verify the Virtual Memory Paging File Size

  1. Save and close all open apps and files.
  2. Press Windows + R key on the keyboard.
  3. In the Run dialog box, type control and press Enter.
  4. In the Control Panel window, double-click System. If the icons are in Category View, click Classic View at the top-right corner to show icons individually.
  5. Click the Advanced tab, and in the Performance section, click Settings.
  6. Click the Advanced tab, and in the Virtual Memory section, click Change.
  7. Click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.
  8. Click System Managed Size to let Windows choose the best size.
  9. Click the Set button and OK.
NOTE: You can manually adjust the size by clicking Custom Size and typing a new size in the Initial and Maximum boxes. The size is limited by the total amount of free space on the hard drive. You may be able to improve a program's performance by manually increasing the paging file size; see the software vendor documentation for recommended settings.

Defragment the hard drive

NOTE: For SATA Hard Drives only. Do not run disk deframent on a solid-state drive (SSD).
  1. Click Start, point to All programs, then Accessories, System Tools and finally Disk Defragmenter
  2. Click the C driver, or the drive you want to defragement and then click Defragment
NOTE: Defragmenting the hard drive can take anywhere from a few minutes to more than an hour depending on the hard drive size and the amount of data stored on the drive.

Troubleshooting Disk Defragmenter

If you encounter problems running Disk Defragmenter, try the following:

  • Exit other programs before beginning disk defragmentation, including programs running in the background.
  • Disconnect from the Internet and then turn off anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.
  • Log on as Administrator or as a member of the Administrators group to run Disk Defragmenter.
  • Check to see if the computer is on a network. Network policy may prevent you from running Disk Defragmenter. Remove the computer from the network to correct this condition.
  • Ensure that the hard disk being defragmented has at least 15% free space.

For more information about troubleshooting the Disk Defragmenter, go to Microsoft Support SLN60463_en_US__4iC_External_Link_BD_v1

Additional Information

Article Properties

Affected Product

Alienware, Inspiron, Legacy Desktop Models, OptiPlex, Vostro, XPS, G Series, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Legacy Laptop Models, Fixed Workstations, Mobile Workstations

Last Published Date

02 Nov 2023



Article Type