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Finding the swap file

By brifd1 ·
I'd like to find my computer's swap file. It's my understanding that the defragmenter does nothing with this file and that may be one of the reasons my machine has become so pokey.

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by TheChas In reply to Finding the swap file

The swap (page, virtual memory) file is a hidden system file that cannot be moved or deleted while Windows is running.

You can usually find the actual location by checking the virtual memory section of performance options under system properties.

The only way to close the page file is to set Windows to run with NO virtual memory.
Windows does not run properly (even with large amounts of RAM) without the page file.

There are 2 ways to defragment the swap file:

1. move the swap file to another drive. If you have more than 1 hard drive, you can defragment another drive, then change virtual memory settings to use the other drive.
After re-booting, you can fully defragment the drive the swap file was on.

2. use a defragment utility such as Norton Speed Disk.
Some 3rd party defragment utilities do defragment and move the swap file.

For a more detailed overview of the swap file, check out the article on virtual memory posted at

While there is some truth to a fragmented swap file being a cause of poor system performance, I suspect that you have other problems.

Start by cleaning up your hard drive. I like to have a minimum of 500MB of free hard drive space.

Next, download and install one of the "Ad-Ware" removers.
Either AdAware
Or Spybot Search and Destroy (get this from

Also make sure that your anti-virus software is up to date, and run a full scan of your system.

If your system is still slow, there was at least 1 XP update that was causing some systems to slow down after it was installed.


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by brifd1 In reply to

Thank you! Yes, I have Norton, was unaware that Speed Disk worked on the swap file. I have both Spybot and Ad-Aware, and I thought about running the Antivirus, so it sounds like I'm on the right track.

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by brifd1 In reply to Finding the swap file

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