How To Solve "Your computer is low on memory" problem?

How To Solve "Your computer is low on memory" Problem In Windows 10

Computer memory is a physical device that stores information. There are two types: 1) memory that stores information temporarily such as RAM [Random Access Memory], and; 2) memory that stores information permanently such as a hard drive. Relating to memory issues, you might have encountered a Microsoft Windows warning message stating that your system is low on memory.

The "Your computer is low on memory" warning usually indicates that a specific process (or processes) is using more memory than your computer is capable of providing. You can add more memory to your computer, both temporary and permanent, but this is not the only way to bypass this warning. One solution is provided in the warning message itself: to restore enough memory for programs to work correctly, you should save your files and then close or restart all open programs. This is good advice, however, you may experience the same warning when you reopen the programs.

As mentioned, purchasing and adding more memory (RAM chips) physically will solve the problem, but if this is not an option, there are other methods described below.

your computer is low on memory

Table of Contents:

End Processes

First, start with the solution provided in the warning message itself. If there are too many programs running in the background, your computer response will be slower (depending on how much memory is available). Therefore, check if you really need all programs to be running. Some programs might use memory resources even when they are 'closed' - there are cases whereby a 'closed' program is not actually closed, and might run in the background using memory without your knowledge. The best way to close programs (especially those that cannot be closed completely) is to use Task Manager. Task Manager is useful when there is a need to close/terminate a particular running program that is frozen, not responding, taking too many CPU resources, or simply not working properly. Task Manager helps to close programs and stop processes from running when exiting normally does not work. To open Task Manager, press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on the keyboard, or right-click the Start and select "Task Manager" from the contextual menu.

end processes step 1

In Task Manager, you will see a list of services and programs that are currently running. Click the "Memory" tab to sort the list by memory usage from highest to lowest. You will see which programs and processes are using most memory at the top of the list. If there are running programs that are not necessary, close them by right-clicking the program (the process) and selecting "End task" from the contextual menu. Do not end tasks that are necessary for Windows to run properly.

end processes step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Increase Virtual Memory

When your system runs out of physical RAM memory (Random Access Memory), Virtual Memory is used. Virtual Memory combines RAM with TEMP storage on the hard disk to compensate for lack of RAM. Increasing Virtual Memory might solve the problem. To increase Virtual Memory, open the Run dialog box by pressing Win (Windows key) + R, or by typing "run" in Search and clicking the Run result. In the Run dialog box, type "sysdm.cpl" and click "OK" or press Enter on the keyboard.

increase virtual memory step 1

In the System Properties window, select the "Advanced" tab and click "Settings..." under Performance.

increase virtual memory step 2

Now select the "Advanced" tab once again and click "Change..." under Virtual memory.

increase virtual memory step 3

Ensure that "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives" is unchecked, select your drive (in our case it is C:), and click the "Custom size" option. Set "Initial size (MB)" and "Maximum size (MB)" manually. Click "Set" and "OK" to save changes and restart the computer. See if this solves the problem.

increase virtual memory step 4

[Back to Table of Contents]

Run System Maintenance Troubleshooter

Windows includes a number of troubleshooters designed to quickly diagnose and automatically resolve various computer problems. Troubleshooters cannot fix all problems, but they are a good place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer, operating system or connected devices. System Maintenance Troubleshooter is a Windows tool that automatically fixes any detected problems related to maintenance tasks. It fixes broken shortcuts, disk volume errors, unused desktop icons, etc. To run the System Maintenance Troubleshooter, open the Run dialog box (by pressing Windows key + R), type "msdt.exe -id MaintenanceDiagnostic", and press Enter to run it.

run system maintenance troubleshooter step 1

Before you start troubleshooting maintenance problems, bear in mind that you will need to use your administrator account to run System Maintenance Troubleshooter. In the System Maintenance window, click "Advanced", and then click "Run as administrator". Click "Next" and follow the instructions.

run system maintenance troubleshooter step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Scan Your System For Malware

Ensure that memory is not being used by malware. The scanning process will use system resources and, therefore, we recommend that you run the system scan when you are not using your computer. Using your computer and running programs during a scan might provoke the same warning message to appear.

You can use Windows Defender (built-in antivirus program), which protects computers against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, or you can run another third-party antivirus if you have one installed. To run a full system scan using Windows Defender, type "virus" in Search and click on the "Virus & threat protection" result.

scan your system for malware and viruses step 1

In the Virus & threat protection window, click "Advanced scan".

scan your system for malware and viruses step 2

Select "Full scan" and click "Scan now". This will start scanning your system for malware. If there are any viruses found, delete them.

scan your system for malware and viruses step 3

You can choose virus and malware scanner from our Top anti-malware list. The list consists of well-known top spyware removers and will help you choose the right software for your computer's protection. Find the list by clicking this link

[Back to Table of Contents]

Update Windows

Update your current version of Windows. Checking for updates for the entire Windows operating system might help. To check for Windows Updates, type "check for updates" in Search and click the "Check for updates" result.

update windows step 1

You should be automatically directed to the Windows Update section. Click "Check for updates". Windows will start checking for updates. If there are updates available, install them and try checking for updates once more (just to ensure that you have the latest updates on your operating system). After updates are installed (if there were any to install), see if this fixes the problem with the "Your computer is low on memory" warning message.

update windows step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Check Your Disk For Errors

It is a good idea to periodically check the disk for errors. There is a built-in tool in Windows tool to check the integrity of disks. It examines disks and corrects many types of common errors. You can run this tool from the command line or through a graphical interface. In this case, we recommend that you to run it through Command Prompt. To run it from the command line, open Command Prompt: type "command prompt" and right-click on the "Command Prompt" result, and then select "Run as administrator" from the drop-down menu.

check your disk for errors step 1

In the Command Prompt window, type the "chkdsk C: /f" command and press Enter on the keyboard. Replace "C" with the letter of your hard drive (if it is not the C: drive you wish to scan, or the Windows operating system is on another drive) on your computer. The "chkdsk C: /f" command detects and repairs logical issues affecting the drive. To repair physical issues, also run the "chkdsk C: /r" command. Windows will need to restart the computer to finish the scan. The disk checking could take some time, depending on the specification/speed of the computer and size of hard drive. Be patient and wait until it has finished.

check your disk for errors step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Enable Normal Startup

Some users have reported that enabling Normal startup in System Configuration settings solved the "Your computer is low on memory" problem. To enable Normal startup, type "system configuration" in Search and open the System Configuration desktop app. Another way to access System Configuration is to type "run" in Search, open it, type "msconfig", and then click OK to run it.

enable normal startup step 1

Find the "Normal startup" option under the General tab and select it. Click "Apply" to save the changes and "OK" to exit the System Configuration window.

enable normal startup step 2

It will inform you that you need to restart you computer to apply these changes. Choose whether you want to restart now or restart manually later.

enable normal startup step 3We hope that you are able to solve the "Your computer is low on memory" problem by applying the methods above. If you know of other solutions to this problem, not mentioned in our guide, please share them with us by leaving a comment in the section below.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Video Showing How To Solve "Your computer is low on memory" Problem:

[Back to Top]

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

Our guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.