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Seelix's avatar

My computer keeps telling me I'm low on memory, which is ridiculous. How can I make it stop?

Asked by Seelix (14862points) November 27th, 2013

I should preface this by saying that, yes, I have Googled for help, but I’m not the most computer-literate and get really frustrated when trying to read through message boards and the like. If someone can explain how to fix my problem quickly and painlessly, I’d be forever grateful!

I’m running Windows 8.1 64-bit, and I have a 2.5G processor. I have eight freakin’ gigs of RAM and a terabyte of memory, so there’s no way I’m actually running low on memory.
I read somewhere that there’s a way to change the amount of memory being used so that I won’t be getting those annoying error messages and my computer won’t shut itself down, but I have no idea how to do it. Help, techies?

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16 Answers

BosM's avatar

Can you clarify the error message – is it “virtual” memory? Does it happen when running MS Office applications, or all the time? Have you run Windows updates, scanned for viruses?

Seelix's avatar

All it says is something to the effect of “Your computer is low on memory. Please close programs and save files”. It happens when I’m browsing the web, using iTunes… nothing too intensive. I don’t do much with Office, so it can’t be that.

I’ve updated and scanned, but it’s still happening. I think it is virtual memory, because with 8GB of RAM I definitely shouldn’t be taxing the system while doing a whole lot of nothing.

glacial's avatar

Have you actually checked to see how much space you have free? If you download on a regular basis, it might be true – these files add up pretty quickly.

Also, if you have a lot of music and video files in iTunes, and you keep them on an external hard drive, opening iTunes before the external is plugged in could result in iTunes copying all or some of your library to your local hard drive without telling you. That’s happened to me a couple of times.

Seelix's avatar

I have over 800GB of free space. :S

glacial's avatar

Does it only happen when you’re gaming?

elbanditoroso's avatar

Open the Task Manager, find the list of processes, and examine memory use and CPU use. Sort the Memory Use column, See what’s eating up memory.

Start with the facts.

LornaLove's avatar

I am no computer expert by any stretch of the imagination, but this happens to me when I am using up a lot of virtual memory like gaming. You can (I understand) increase your virtual memory by simply typing in a higher number in the box for properties.

Seelix's avatar

I don’t game.

It happens when I’ve got Chrome open and am browsing the web. It happens no matter what I’m doing.

I’ve checked Task Manager, and there’s nothing going on that looks fishy.

I’m not a computer expert, but I’m not completely clueless, either. Anyway, I think I’ve figured it out. Thanks for the help.

3easychords's avatar

I get this sometimes when I first turn on my computer but it also says that Microsoft is giving me more. So the pop up goes away in about 5 minutes.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

How many apps and tabs do you have open? Sounds like you causing a “train wreck” with too many things open.

glacial's avatar

@Seelix Excellent! What was the solution?

BosM's avatar
view this short video on increasing virtual memory for Win8

gorillapaws's avatar

You could be running an app that has a memory leak. Memory leaks are when a programmer has made a coding mistake and hasn’t released memory back after using it, so it just keeps sucking up more and more over time. These are easy mistakes to make and are very common. The sign of one would be seeing the memory for an app continue to increase over time and never get smaller when you close tabs/windows that it’s using.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I would need to see a screenshot to know exactly what you mean, but my hunch is for some reason, your computer is not seeing your 8 gigs of ram.

I don’t actually know anything about windows 8, because I have not actually used it, but I know previous verstions of windows, had problems seeing anything over a couple of gigs, without you doing some bios work first.

jerv's avatar

I’m thinking memory leak myself. Windows generally does a surprisingly good job managing virtual memory (I’ve never had to change it from the default settings) and I’ve done pretty hefty tasks on 2GB RAM and far smaller drives. Of course,all tthis assumes that it sees all the RAM you have installed.

Seelix's avatar

I changed the values for the minimum and maximum paging file size. After some Google-fu I came to the conclusion that this solution had helped others in my situation; it seems to have taken care of the problem. Thanks, all.

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