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Windows 7: Memory - Set Maximum Amount Used by Windows


Memory - Set Maximum Amount Used by Windows

How to Set Maximum Memory to be Used by Windows 7 and Windows 8
Published by Brink
25 Feb 2010
Published by

How to Set Maximum Memory to be Used by Windows 7 and Windows 8


information   Information
This will show you how to specify the maximum amount of physical memory (RAM) to be used by Windows to simulate a low memory configuration by using less RAM, or to make sure that you are using all of your installed RAM.

Windows uses all of your installed RAM memory by default.

You must be logged in as an administrator to be able to do this tutorial.

Note   Note
32-bit (x86) Windows 7/8 Maximum RAM Limit
  • All editions: 4GB
64-bit (x64) Windows 7 Maximum RAM Limit per Edition
  • Home Basic: 8GB
  • Home Premium: 16GB
  • Professional: 192GB
  • Enterprise: 192GB
  • Ultimate: 192GB
64-bit (x64) Windows 8 and 8.1 Maximum RAM Limit per Edition
  • (core): 128GB
  • Pro: 512GB
  • Enterprise: 512GB
warning   Warning
  • If you have a integrated/onboard graphics chip on your motherboard and are using a graphics card instead, then double check your BIOS settings to make sure that you do not have any memory allocated to the integrated/onboard graphics chip (ex:hardware reserved) so that it will be used by Windows instead.
  • If you are using a integrated/onboard graphics chip on your motherboard to display your monitor from, then part of your memory (RAM) will be allocated to it as set in the BIOS.
  • Double check to see if you have a memory mapping option in your BIOS settings. If you do, enable it.

CONTENTS:
  • Option One: Set Maximum Memory for Windows in System Configuration (msconfig)
  • Option Two: Set Maximum Memory for Windows in Command Prompt in Windows
  • Option Three: Set Maximum Memory for Windows in Command Prompt at Boot






OPTION ONE
Set Maximum Memory for Windows in System Configuration (msconfig)
1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type msconfig, and click/tap on OK.

2. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

3. Under the Boot tab in System Configuration, click/tap on the Advanced options button, and do step 4 or step 5 below for what you would like to do. (see screenshot below)
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4. To Have Windows Use All Installed Memory
NOTE: This is the default setting.
A) Uncheck the Maximum memory box, click/tap on OK, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If the box is not checked, then it does not matter what the selected number is since Windows will use all available RAM by default and ignore whatever value is in the box underneath.
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5. To Have Windows Use a Specified Maximum Amount of Memory
NOTE: Only when the box is checked, can you specify how much installed RAM you want to allow Windows to be able to use in the drop down box.
A) Check the Maximum memory box, then type in how many MB of your installed Memory that you want Windows to only be able to use up to, click/tap on OK, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)
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6. Check the Make all boot settings permanent box, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: You will still be able to come back and make changes again if you like.
Name:  Step3.jpg
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7. Click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: You will still be able to come back and make changes again if you like.
Name:  Step4.jpg
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8. Click/tap on the Restart button. (see screenshot below)
WARNING: This will restart the computer immediately. Make sure you save and close anything open that you do not want to lose first.

Tip   Tip
If you checked the Don't show this message again box and would like to restore this Restart box to display again, then see: How to Restore the System Configuration Restart Prompt in Vista or Windows 7
Name:  Step5.jpg
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9. When Windows is finished restarting, it will now be using only the maximum amount of memory that you specified.
NOTE: You can look in Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) to confirm this amount of memory.
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OPTION TWO
Set Maximum Memory for Windows in Command Prompt in Windows

1. Open an elevated command prompt in Windows 7 or Windows 8.

2. Do step 3 or step 4 below for what you would like to do.

3. To Have Windows Use a Specified Maximum Amount of Memory
A) In the elevated command prompt, type the command below, press Enter, and go to step 5 below. (see screenshot below)
bcdedit /set {current} truncatememory bytes
Note   Note
Substitute bytes in the command above with how many actual bytes of maximum memory you want Windows to be able to use.

1073741824 bytes = 1 GB

(1073741824 x GB = bytes you type in command)



For example: If I wanted to set Windows to use 2 GB of maximum memory, then 1073741824 bytes x 2 GB = 2147483648. I would type this command below exactly.

bcdedit /set {current} truncatememory 2147483648



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4. To Have Windows Use All Installed Memory
NOTE: This is the default setting.
A) In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below, press Enter, and go to step 5 below. (see screenshot below)

bcdedit /deletevalue {current} truncatememory


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5. Restart the computer to apply.



OPTION THREE
Set Maximum Memory for Windows in Command Prompt at Boot

1. Open a command prompt at boot for Windows 7 or Windows 8.

2. Do step 3 or step 4 below for what you would like to do.

3. To Have Windows Use a Specified Maximum Amount of Memory
A) In the command prompt, type the command below, press Enter, and go to step 5 below. (see screenshot below)

bcdedit /set {default} truncatememory bytes


Note   Note
Substitute bytes in the command above with how many actual bytes of maximum memory you want Windows to be able to use.

1073741824 bytes = 1 GB

(1073741824 x GB = bytes you type in command)



For example: If I wanted to set Windows to use 2 GB of maximum memory, then 1073741824 bytes x 2 GB = 2147483648. I would type this command below exactly.

bcdedit /set {default} truncatememory 2147483648



-boot_bcedit_truncatememory.jpg
4. To Have Windows Use All Installed Memory
NOTE: This is the default setting.
A) In the command prompt, type the command below, press Enter, and go to step 5 below. (see screenshot below)

bcdedit /deletevalue {default} truncatememory


-boot_bcedit_deletevalue_truncatememory.jpg
5. Restart the computer to apply.



That's it,
Shawn



25 Feb 2010   #1
valtonray

Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition
 
 

great tutorial.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2010   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10130
 
 

Thank you Valton. I'm happy that you like it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2010   #3
MadMaxData

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Hi Brink. Have you done any benchmarking after changing this setting? The reason I ask is because some RAM is allotted to your GFX card by default. For instance, I have 4Gigs of OCZ dual channel RAM installed, but my NVIDIA GeForce GFX card is a 512MB crad. So the available memory is around 3.5Gigs by default, because the GFX card is alotted the 512MB. Now I'm not posative, but changing that setting might mess with your GFX card...say if your doing something that is both data, and GFX intensive. You might want to do some benchmarking if you haven't already to see if this is a safe setting. In the meantime, I'll do a little research myself.

Max
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


20 Mar 2010   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10130
 
 

Hello Max,

Any RAM allocated towards a onboard graphics chip would be handled by the BIOS. The setting in this tutorial is only for how much RAM is available at the OS (Windows 7) level instead. If any memory is allocated by the OS for graphics, then this will affect that.

I have not done any benchmarking for exact figures on how much performance is affected though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2010   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MadMaxData View Post
Hi Brink. Have you done any benchmarking after changing this setting? The reason I ask is because some RAM is allotted to your GFX card by default. For instance, I have 4Gigs of OCZ dual channel RAM installed, but my NVIDIA GeForce GFX card is a 512MB crad. So the available memory is around 3.5Gigs by default, because the GFX card is alotted the 512MB. Now I'm not posative, but changing that setting might mess with your GFX card...say if your doing something that is both data, and GFX intensive. You might want to do some benchmarking if you haven't already to see if this is a safe setting. In the meantime, I'll do a little research myself.

Max
I assume you are working with a 32bit system. So the 512MBs for the graphics is not really "memory=RAM" but "address space" that is used for the graphcs card. If that was an on-board graphics with "shared memory", it would be real RAM though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2010   #6
MadMaxData

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
I assume you are working with a 32bit system. So the 512MBs for the graphics is not really "memory=RAM" but "address space" that is used for the graphcs card. If that was an on-board graphics with "shared memory", it would be real RAM though.
Nope, I have an NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT GFX card. Every time I install an OS [currently 7 Ultimate x64], it alots half a Gig to the GFX card by default. You mean changing this setting isn't going to rob my GFX card of memeory in the event it really needs it? That's not what I've read about it.

Also, I already have 4Gigs of dual channel RAM installed. Will this make any difference in performance?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2010   #7
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10130
 
 

Max,

Since you have a graphics card instead of a onboard graphics chip, it has it's own memory on the graphics card it uses instead of system RAM. Now with that said, this setting will affect any memory that Windows 7 and the CPU decides to use to process anything for graphics that the graphics card does not handle itself.

4GB of RAM is about the sweet spot. Unless you run memory intensive apps, you normally would need more than 4GB, but more is always better to a point before it's just not being used. The better the MHz speed of the RAM, the better performance you will get.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2010   #8
MadMaxData

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Now with that said, this setting will affect any memory that Windows 7 and the CPU decides to use to process anything for graphics that the graphics card does not handle itself.
That's what I thought. I'll just leave it be. I'm not complaining about performance anyway, this rig FLIES!

By the way, I added you as a friend. I'm not sure if it sent an invitation back to you when I accepted yours or not. I'm not used to this forum's software at all. I usually join ProBoard style forums, or VBulletin.

I just joined here a few days ago, and so far I'm loving it. I'm having a hard time logging out...LOL


Max
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2010   #9
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10130
 
 

LOL, yep you have been added.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Memory - Set Maximum Amount Used by Windows




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