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How to manage Windows 11 Virtual Memory

Is your Windows 11 computer slow at switching between programs? Are you getting low memory warnings? If so, then you might need to change your Virtual Memory settings in Windows 11.

Most computer users know about RAM (Random Access Memory) and how the more you have, the better your system will run. But do you know what happens when your computer runs out of available RAM for programs?

That is where Virtual Memory (paging file) comes into the picture. Each program requires a certain amount of memory (RAM) to operate. When you have more programs running than available RAM, Windows will utilize the Virtual Memory.

If a program is inactive, Windows can transfer it to the Virtual Memory to free up RAM for other active programs. Then when you switch to that program, Windows will bring it back into the RAM and transfer another inactive program to the Virtual Memory, hence the name paging file.

But with the amount of RAM that computers come with nowadays, many people do not need to worry about Virtual Memory. But there are certain times when you can use to modify the Virtual Memory settings.

But if you are like me and have several programs running simultaneously, customizing the Virtual Memory's size and location can help your computer's performance.

With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft increased the minimum memory requirement from two (2) GB to four (4) GB. But just like Windows 10, the actual memory used when idle is around two (2) GB.

So that means when you have only four (4) GB of RAM, two (2) GB is dedicated to Windows 11. So right out of the gate, you have only 50% of available RAM, and when that is used up, the Virtual Memory kicks in.

So if your Windows 11 computer has between 4 and 8 GB of RAM, you could see your performance increase significantly by customizing your Virtual Memory. If your computer has 8 - 16 GB of RAM, you could get a boost in performance.

If your system has more than 16 GB of RAM, you may or may not see any change in performance. But you would have to modify the Virtual Memory settings and see how your system runs.

Note: Creating a substantial Virtual Memory (paging file) can take a lot of disk space. Also, having the Virtual Memory on an SSD (Solid State Drive) can shorten the drive's life, as Windows 11 is always reading and writing to the Virtual Memory.

Now, if your computer has more than one (1) drive, like most gaming systems, it is recommended to place the paging file on the drive that does not have the operating system.

The calculation for the Virtual Memory comes from early in the history of Windows, when RAM was measured in KB's (kilobyte), not MB's (megabytes) or GB's (gigabytes).

Windows 11 Paging File formula

  • 1024 x total amount of RAM = ?
  • ? x 1.5 = Initial paging file size
  • Initial paging file size x 3 = Maximum paging file size

Take 1024 and multiply it by the total amount of RAM your system has. For example, if your computer has 4 GB of RAM, you would take 1024 and multiply it by 4, which equals 4096. Then multiply 4096 by 1.5, which equals 6144. This is the initial paging file size. Then take 6144 and multiply it by 3, which equals 18432. This would be the maximum paging file size.

How to change the Virtual Memory in Windows 11

The Virtual Memory settings are located inside of the Advanced system settings. We can get there from the About sub-menu of the System category inside of the Settings app. There are several ways to get there.

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo key button to bring up the Start menu.
  2. In the list of pinned apps on the Start menu, left-click on Settings.
  3. Scroll down the right-hand column and left-click on About.

or

  1. Right-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Left-click on System.

or

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Press the letter Y to select System.

or

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + Pause.

Now you should have the Settings app open to the About sub-menu of the System category.

  1. Under Device specifications, make a note of how much installed RAM your computer has.
    The device specifications inside of Windows 11
    You will need this for the paging file calculation.
  2. Scroll down the right-hand column and left-click on the link labeled Advanced system settings.
    The Advanced system settings link inside of Windows 11
    The System Properties dialog box will appear.
  3. The Advanced tab should be active. If not, just left-click on it to bring it up.
  4. Left-click on the Settings ... button in the Performance section.
    The System Properties dialog box inside of Windows 11
  5. Left-click on the Advanced tab of the Performance Options dialog box.
    The Performance Options dialog box inside of Windows 11
  6. Left-click on the Change ... button inside of the Virtual memory section.

    The Virtual Memory dialog box inside of Windows 11
  7. Deselect the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives checkbox.
  8. Select the drive you want to manage the paging file on.
  9. Select Custom size and enter the initial size and maximum size using the calculation shown above.
  10. Left-click on the Set button.
  11. Left-click on the OK button.

Check out the video below for more information on setting up your paging file on a computer with multiple drives.

How to get to the Control Panel in Windows 11

Are you new to Windows 11 and having a hard time finding the Control Panel? Or do you prefer using the Control Panel over the Settings app? If so, here is how to get to the Control Panel inside of Windows 11.

How to get to the Control Panel in Windows 11

After using Windows for more than two decades, I have become accustomed to using the Control Panel to configure and customize Windows. But over the years, Microsoft has been trying to migrate all of the features from the Control Panel into the Settings app.

But I still prefer using the Control Panel for some things, like the Devices and Printers app, for one. I also like using the Programs and Features app for uninstalling programs.

Now just like Windows 10, finding the Control Panel in Windows 11 can be a little tricky. So here are all of the different ways to get to the Control Panel in Windows 11.

And for you die-hard Control Panel users, I also have included the instructions for creating a God Mode Control Panel shortcut at the end of this article.

How to get to the Control Panel in Windows 11

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo key button to bring up the Start menu.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the Start menu, left-click on All apps.
  3. Scroll down the list of programs and left-click on Windows Tools.
  4. Left-click on Control Panel.

or

  1. Left-click on the magnifying glass to the right of the Start Windows logo key button to bring up the Search dialog box.
  2. In the Search dialog box, type Control Panel.
  3. Left-click on Control Panel (App) in the search results.

or

  1. Open a Run dialog box by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + R (click here for more ways to open a Run dialog box).
  2. Type in Control and then left-click on OK.

How to create a shortcut to the Control Panel on the Start menu or Taskbar in Windows 11

  1. Left-click on the magnifying glass to the right of the Start Windows logo key button to bring up the Search dialog box.
  2. In the Search dialog box, type Control Panel.
  3. Right-click on Control Panel (App) in the search results.
  4. From the context menu that appears, left-click on either Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.

How to create a shortcut to the Control Panel on the Desktop in Windows 11

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo key button to bring up the Start menu.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the Start menu, left-click on All apps.
  3. Scroll down the list of programs and left-click on Windows Tools.
  4. Press and hold the left mouse button on the Control Panel and drag it to the Desktop.

How to create a Control Panel God Mode shortcut

Years ago, it was discovered that you could create a special shortcut that would display the complete contents of the Control Panel in a single folder view. It was called God Mode.

With the God Mode, everything inside the Control Panel (over two hundred items) is listed in alphabetical order. From Administrative Tools to Work Folders and everything in between.

God Mode works by using a registry key for the Control Panel. When you open a Control Panel God Mode shortcut, it displays the contents of that registry key.

When God Mode was first discovered, the shortcut you created had a label below the Control Panel icon. Now in Windows 11, this shortcut only displays a folder icon and has no title. It can be kind of confusing, so create this shortcut at your own risk. Here is how to create a God Mode shortcut to the Control Panel in Windows 11.

  1. Create a new folder where ever you would like the God Mode shortcut. I recommend making it on your Desktop.
  2. When prompted for a name for the new folder, copy and paste the following code.
    Control Panel.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
  3. Press Enter to finish creating the folder.

You will notice that the folder you just created has the Control Panel icon and no name. Double-clicking on the folder displays the complete contains of the Control Panel.

How to reset your network adapter in Windows 11

Are you having problems connecting to the Internet in Windows 11? Or maybe you are having issues with your local network connection. If so, you might need to reset your network adapter in Windows 11.

How to reset your network adapter in Windows 11

When it comes to the Internet, there can be several things that could be preventing you from making a connection. It could be as simple as a misconfigured firewall or a bad proxy.

But with Windows 11, a good portion of all network problems can be resolved by resetting the network adapter. And there are two (2) different ways of doing it; Simple and Advanced.

Now there are pros and cons to resetting your network adapter. If your computer is a member of a corporate domain or network, you may want to contact your administrator before resetting your network adapter. There could be some network settings that have to be manually entered in the network configuration.

Also, if you have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or virtual appliance set up, resetting the network adapter might affect it. Resetting the network adapter can also reset the Windows Firewall.

The simple way to reset your network adapter in Windows 11

  1. Left-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Start menu and select Settings in the pinned apps.
  2. In the left-hand column, left-click on the Network and internet category.
  3. In the right-hand column, left-click on Advanced network settings.
  4. In the right-hand column, left-click on Network reset.
  5. Left-click on Reset now. You will get a prompt asking you are sure you want to reset your network settings.
  6. Left-click on Yes, and your computer will restart within five (5) minutes.

or

  1. Right-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Left-click on Settings.
  3. In the left-hand column, left-click on the Network and internet category.
  4. In the right-hand column, left-click on Advanced network settings.
  5. In the right-hand column, left-click on Network reset.
  6. Left-click on Reset now. You will get a prompt asking you are sure you want to reset your network settings.
  7. Left-click on Yes, and your computer will restart within five (5) minutes.

or

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Press the letter N to select Settings.
  3. In the left-hand column, left-click on the Network and internet category.
  4. In the right-hand column, left-click on Advanced network settings.
  5. In the right-hand column, left-click on Network reset.
  6. Left-click on Reset now. You will get a prompt asking you are sure you want to reset your network settings.
  7. Left-click on Yes, and your computer will restart within five (5) minutes.

or

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + I to bring up Settings.
  2. In the left-hand column, left-click on the Network and internet category.
  3. In the right-hand column, left-click on Advanced network settings.
  4. In the right-hand column, left-click on Network reset.
  5. Left-click on Reset now. You will get a prompt asking you are sure you want to reset your network settings.
  6. Left-click on Yes, and your computer will restart within five (5) minutes.

The advanced way to reset your network adapter in Windows 11

Windows 11 has a command-line utility called Netsh (Network Shell) that allows you to display and modify your computer's network configuration. The most common use of Netsh is to reset the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) stack back to default. Since Netsh is a command-line tool, you will need to use a Command Prompt with Administrative privileges.

How to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11 (link will open in a separate window)

Netsh commands for resetting your network adapter in Windows 11

A Windows 11 administrative command prompt running Netsh commands

Note: This section is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, ask someone for help. Follow these steps to reset the Windows Firewall, TCP/IP stack, and Winsock manually. You will have to restart your system to complete the reset.

The following is a list of the Netsh commands with descriptions that you can use to reset your network adapter in Windows 11:

netsh advfirewall reset

Restores the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security policy to the default policy. The current active policy can be optionally exported to a specified file. This command returns all settings to not configured and deletes all connection security and firewall rules in a Group Policy object.

netsh int ip reset

Removes all user-configured IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) settings. Restarting the computer is required before the default settings take effect.

netsh int ipv6 reset

Removes all user-configured IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) settings. Restarting the computer is required before the default settings take effect.

netsh winsock reset

Resets Winsock Catalog to a clean state. All Winsock Layered Service Providers, which were previously installed, must be reinstalled. This command does not affect Winsock Name Space Provider entries.

How to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11

There may be a time when you need to bypass the Windows GUI (Graphical User Interface) and enter commands directly into an Administrative Command Prompt. Quite a few of our favorite Geeks Tips require the use of it. So here's how to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11.

The Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11
The Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11

Open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11

  1. Left-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Start menu.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the Start menu, left-click on All apps.
  3. Scroll down the list of programs and left-click on Windows Tools.
  4. Right-click on Command Prompt.
  5. On the context menu that appears, left-click on Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

or

  1. Left-click on the magnifying glass to the right of the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Search dialog box.
  2. In the Search dialog box, type Command Prompt.
  3. In the list of results, the Command Prompt should be highlighted.
  4. In the right-hand column under Command Prompt, there is an options menu. Left-click on Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Using the Power User menu to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11

  1. Right-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Left-click on Windows Terminal (Admin). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. On the title bar, left-click on the pull-down menu and left-click on Command Prompt.

or

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Press the letter A to select Windows Terminal (Admin). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. On the title bar, left-click on the pull-down menu and left-click on Command Prompt.

How to change the default program for Windows Terminal

  1. Right-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Left-click on Windows Terminal (Admin). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. On the title bar, left-click on the pull-down menu
    The Settings pull down menu for Windows Terminal inside of Windows 11
    and left-click on Settings.
  4. In the right-hand column under Startup, left-click on the Default profile pull-down menu
    The Default profile pull down menu for Windows Terminal inside of Windows 11
    and left-click on Command Prompt.

or

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Press the letter A to select Windows Terminal (Admin). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. On the title bar, left-click on the pull-down menu
    The Settings pull down menu for Windows Terminal inside of Windows 11
    and left-click on Settings.
  4. In the right-hand column under Startup, left-click on the Default profile pull-down menu
    The Default profile pull down menu for Windows Terminal inside of Windows 11
    and left-click on Command Prompt.

Windows 11 hardware requirements explained

Are you confused about the hardware requirements for Windows 11? Want to know why your computer can or cannot be upgraded to Windows 11? Let's take a detailed look at the hardware requirements for Windows 11.

Windows 11 hardware requirements explained

With Windows 11, Microsoft is focusing on security and is starting to enforce the hardware requirements to run it. Previous versions of Windows (10, 8.1, and 7) all had the exact general hardware requirement.

But with Windows 10, the security requirements were still there, but they were not being enforced. The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), Secure Boot, and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) (see below) requirements were optional for Windows 10 to install and run.

Case in point, TPM has always been required for BitLocker encryption to be enabled. Windows 10 would use either TPM 1.2 or TPM 2.0. But the TPM 1.2 standard has been depreciated, so TPM 2.0 is now the defacto standard.

And if you look into UEFI, you will find that Secure Boot is part of that standard. And since UEFI can take advantage of TPM, it makes sense to include all three (3) in the requirements for Windows 11.

Note: Sorry for anybody still running a 32-bit version of Windows 10, but Windows 11 is only available in a 64-bit version.

Hardware requirements for Windows 7, 8.1 and 10

Processor - 1 Gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

Memory - 1 Gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)

Storage - 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

Graphics card - Compatible with DirectX 9 with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Hardware requirements for Windows 11

Processor - 1 Gigahertz (GHz) or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC). This requirement is now particular on what processors are compatible with Windows 11. General Rule of thumb: If the processor is less than three (3) years old, it should run Windows 11. Microsoft has a list of processors that are compatible with Windows 11.

Memory - 4 Gigabytes (GB) RAM. This requirement has increased from 2GB to 4GB, which is no biggie. I have not seen a computer with only 2 GB of memory in over a decade now.

Storage - 64 GB or larger storage device. This requirement has also increased, and it is about time. I have seen Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 installed on 32 GB drives, which is not pretty. The biggest problem is there usually is not enough free space to perform a feature update. I recommend at least a 256 GB drive for the operating system and programs.

Graphics card - DirectX 12 graphics device or later with WDDM 2.0 driver. Since DirectX 12 was released with Windows 10 back in 2015, most modern graphic cards will be compatible with Windows 11.

Hardware requirements that are no longer optional

Display - High definition (720p) display greater than 9" diagonally, 8 bits per color channel. This requirement is pretty easy to meet.

System firmware - UEFI and Secure Boot capable. UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) has been used for over a decade now, so most computers running have UEFI enabled. And since the Secure Boot specification is part of the UEFI, that too should already be in place. However, you may have to change some settings in your computer's BIOS (Basic Input / Output System) to enable UEFI and Secure Boot.

TPM - Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0. Besides the processor requirement, this is another stumbling point for upgrading to Windows 11. A TPM can be a separate module that you connect to your motherboard or be part of the chipset on your motherboard. Most modern motherboards will use FTPM (Firmware Trusted Platform Module) that is included in the chipset. However, you may have to change some settings in your computer's BIOS (Basic Input / Output System) to enable the TPM.

Storage structure - There are two (2) types of drive structures; MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table). Previous versions of Windows would run on either of these structures. Windows 11 requires GTP for the drive that contains Windows 11. Microsoft has included a tool inside Windows 10 to convert drives from MBR to GPT. Here is a link to the documentation for MBR2GPT.EXE.

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