PC Lag After Windows® 10 Upgrade?
Try Adjusting Pagefile

After upgrading an OS to Windows® 10, many PC users report noticeable system lag that had not been there previously.

Hiccups, stutters, freezes and crashes can become more frequent over time as files fragment, bloatware accumulates, drivers antiquate, and other root causes of slowdown take hold. Yet with otherwise healthy Windows 10-upgraded computers, these more traditional causes of slowdown are not the issue.

It turns out that during many Windows 10 upgrades, the reserve of system memory allocated to the hard disk known as the pagefile (or paging file) seems subject to incorrect resizing. For many new Windows 10 users, this is what is causing all the trouble.

About the pagefile
The pagefile is a reserved portion of a hard disk used as an extension of random access memory (RAM) whenever your system needs additional memory.

As memory is allocated to programs, free memory gets trapped in fragments by apps that grab more of it than they need, failing to release it even after they go idle. Your computer may have many unused blocks of memory mixed in with the used blocks, but programs require contiguous blocks of memory to function properly. The effect of this memory fragmentation is system slowdown due to critically low contiguous RAM availability.

This is when the contiguous pagefile typically takes over, acting to handle any overflow when traditional RAM has become overly fragmented or is filled outright. The pagefile can also serve as a place to shunt those RAM-hoarding inactive program files to free up traditional RAM.

Ensure the pagefile is set correctly
If the value (typically in MB) of the pagefile size is not set correctly, you may experience massive system slowdown. This is precisely what is happening to many Windows 10 users, as the OS upgrade appears to frequently direct Windows to reset the pagefile to a size either too large or too small.

To set the pagefile size correctly:

  1. In the Search box on the lower left, type “performance”
  2. From the dropdown menu, select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows
  3. Select the Advanced tab and click Change…
  4. Deselect Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
  5. Click the drive on which your operating system is installed (most likely C:)
  6. Select the Custom size radial button
  7. Set both the Initial size (MB) and Maximum size (MB) to the value listed for Recommended
  8. Click Set and then OK
  9. Restart your computer

Your system should return to its previous level of responsiveness.

The pagefile is a last resort
Both the pagefile on the hard disk and the RAM on your PC’s memory sticks are essentially spaces for temporarily storing data while the computer is “thinking.” However, because the pagefile is accessed from by far the slowest component of your PC, a mechanically moving hard drive, the memory contained therein is accessed far slower than traditional “fast RAM.”

Free trapped fast RAM first
System Mechanic® from iolo technologies offers two powerful tools that, even when the pagefile value has been set correctly, can help free more fast RAM to maximize speed—for example, during high-demand sessions like gaming or video editing—without having the system necessarily resort to clunky pagefile memory.

System Mechanic’s RAMJet feature automatically releases trapped memory from idle processes in real time—as soon as it detects system memory is undesirably low. This freed memory is then realigned and made available to your current active apps

Memory Mechanic® is a tool you can manually run within System Mechanic that will also recapture trapped RAM, but also features a Deep Cleaning mode that flushes your PC’s entire memory capacity and reloads only the apps that still need it.

A comprehensive optimization solution
To automatically fight trapped memory and all of the other known root causes of system slowdown, install System Mechanic, the industry leader in Windows optimization since 1998. System Mechanic goes to work whenever your PC is idle, removing junk files, registry fragments and other unwanted clutter that confuses and slows down Windows

A group of real-time features then goes on to customize your OS for maximum speed. This includes scaling back unimportant, processor-hogging apps, unleashing needlessly parked processor cores for programs that need a speed boost, and improving a whole cache of under-performing network settings for the smoothest streaming, gaming or browsing available with your broadband connection.

iolo UptoSpeed

UpToSpeed™ is iolo's ongoing article series written by PC experts for everyday computer users. Each article is packed with easy tips and practical advice on the latest issues affecting computers to help you get the most out of your PC.

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PC Lag After Windows® 10 Upgrade? Try Adjusting Pagefile