Deleting pagefile.sys and hiberfile.sys

Posted on 2005-04-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-05

Just doing some housecleaning on my hard disk and found two files ( pagefile.sys and hiberfile.sys ) which add up to just over a Gigabyte and was wondering if it is possible to delete or erase data from them safely. If so , How?

Question by:moose25
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    dont touch them - pagefile.sys is used for virtual memory. You can set this to utilise less disk space but could affect perfomance.
    Not 100% sure about hiberfile.sys but I'd assume this is where the system is saved to when the box hibernates.

    For further info do a search on for the two files.
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    If you turn off hibernation, hiberfil.sys will be deleted. To do this:

    You must be logged on to your computer with an owner account in order to complete this procedure.

       1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click Power Options.

       2.   Click the Hibernate tab, clear the Enable hibernate support check box, and then click Apply.

    In terms of pagefile.sys, this is a necessary file called the page file that is used as 'virtual' memory when your physical memory is all used up. As such, you can't delete this one. You can move it to another drive or partition if you have one but it is necessary for Windows to run.

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    hiberfile.sys is where your memory gets dumped into when you put your computer into hibernation.

    Hibernation is a process in which all contents of active memory are copied to a file on the hard drive and then the computer is powered down.  When the computer is powered back up, rather than the typical boot-up process, the computer simply restores the contents of that file into memory and resumes processing.  It's very handy.

    You can disable hibernation by going into your Power Options control panel.  There is a Hibernate tab and a checkbox you can turn off.  I don't know for sure if this deletes the hiberfile, but it does tell you the necessary amount of disk space required (basically the same as the amount of memory you have).
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    To make your pagefile smaller:

    1.      Hit (the windows key)+(the pause/break key, by the lights on your keyboard)

    OR if that's not an option...

    1.      Right click on “My Computer” icon and select “Properties” then go to the “Advanced” tab.
    2.      Click on “Settings” on the “Performance” box.
    3.      Click the “Advanced” tab.
    4.      Then at the bottom of that window click “Change” in the “Virtual Memory”
    5.       Now if you have more than one drive select the one with the most free space, Click the “Custom Size” Box and set the values that         apply to you, I will describe them below:

           If your computer is used for hardcore gaming and you only have less than 512 MB of ram set this value to ~1500 MB, If you have lots of ram lets say around a gig set it to ~1000 MB.

           If your computer is used for light gaming like say “Starcraft” or “Diablo 2”, the kid of games that load fast and have simple graphics, and you only have less than 256 MB of ram set this value to ~1000 MB, If you have lots of ram lets say around a ½ a gig or more set it to ~500 MB.

           If your computer is used for simple online activities or to type on, and you only have less than 256 MB of ram set this value to ~1000 MB, If you have lots of ram lets say around a ½ a gig or more set it to ~500 MB.
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    note that you will not be able to analyse a BSOD crash dump if vm is less than physical memory. Probably not important in a home setup but may be relevant in a corporate.

    Featured Post

    Courses: Start Training Online With Pros, Today

    Brush up on the basics or master the advanced techniques required to earn essential industry certifications, with Courses. Enroll in a course and start learning today. Training topics range from Android App Dev to the Xen Virtualization Platform.

    Join & Write a Comment

    If your system is showing symptoms of browser hijacks or 'google search redirects' check out my other article ( first and run the tool TDSSKiller ( to get rid of the infection. Once done, and if the …
    Step by step guide to Clean and Sort your windows registry! Introduction: Always remember: A Clean registry = Better performance = Save your invaluable time In this article we're going to clear our registry manually! Yes, manually! The e…
    how to add IIS SMTP to handle application/Scanner relays into office 365.
    This demo shows you how to set up the containerized NetScaler CPX with NetScaler Management and Analytics System in a non-routable Mesos/Marathon environment for use with Micro-Services applications.

    745 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    17 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now