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Hiberfil.sys & Pagefile.sys | What are they & How to Delete them

Hiberfil.sys & Pagefile.sys What are they & How to Delete them post thumbnail

If you get to this page because you searched for the term Hiberfil.sys or Pagefile.sys on Google, or using the search feature on my site, then you need to be commended.

This is because, those files aren’t files you can easily discover on your Windows computer. But since you were able to discover it, it means that, you are really into understanding your computer. Having commended you, let’s get to it.

You may like to read: Checkboxes Makes File Moving Using Windows 10 File Explorer Easier

What is Hiberfil.sys

Have you noticed that in a Windows computer, instead of putting off (shut down) the computer, and losing all your unsaved documents, you can Hibernate it.

When you hibernate your computer, Windows will save all the unsaved documents, including the open programs and then turn off your computer. So, when you restart your computer, everything you are doing before the system went off will be there, the way it was.

Read: Unfreeze Windows 10 Computer by Restarting Windows Explorer

The Hiberfil.sys is the file (location in your system drive) where Windows saves those documents and programs to.

In other words, we can say that, whenever you Hibernate your computer, the hiberfil.sys is a system file where Windows saves the RAM to, before it shut down the computer.

Reducing the Hiberfil.sys file size.

If you have been able to locate the Hiberfil.sys file, you will notice that the size can be very large. Well, it should be, because, it is the content of your RAM, as of when you last hibernate your computer, that is stored there.

Because this file is important, Windows will not permit you to delete it, except if to deactivate the Hibernation feature.

However, if you just want to reduce its size. I will recommend that you,

  1. Save and close all your document.
  2. Close all your running programs.
  3. Then Hibernate your computer.

The current state of your RAM will replace the old one. And since there are no opened unsaved documents, and no running programs, the size of the hiberfil.sys file will be reduced.

Deleting the Hiberfil.sys file (Deactivate the Hibernation Feature in Windows 10).

As I have earlier mentioned, the hiberfil.sys file can only be deleted if you deactivate the Hibernation feature of Windows. The following guide will show you how to deactivate hibernation in Windows.

Step 1: Open Command Prompt as admin. You do this by:
Right-click on the Start button, and then click on Command Prompt (Admin). Or,
Press Windows + X keys in your keyboard together, then click on Command Prompt (Admin).

deactivating the hibernation feature of windows 10 Steap 1

Step 2: Type in the hibernation deactivation code and hit the Enter button in your keyboard.
The Hibernation deactivation code is: powercfg /hibernate off

deactivating the hibernation feature of windows 10 Step 2

If you want to Reactivate the hibernation feature, the code is powercfg /hibernate on

Once you have deactivated the Hibernation feature, the hiberfil.sys file should either be gone or you will now be able to delete the file yourself. But note that you will no longer be able to hibernate your computer once deactivated.

Now, let’s talk about Pagefile.sys

Pagefile.sys What is it?

Have you heard about Virtual Memory?

Well, for the sake of those that haven’t, virtual memory is a type of memory which Windows create in a drive to serve as a RAM.

Read: Creating Drive Partition in Windows 10 with AOMEI Partition Assistant

As you multitask in your computer, all the programs you open consumes a portion of your computer’s RAM. When the RAM memory is filled up, you will not be able to use new program, or tell already opened programs to perform new function.

To fix this problem, Windows will create a virtual memory in your drive and move some opened programs (processes) that you rarely use to the virtual memory, thereby making more space available in the computer RAM for new programs that you want to open, or for the new function you want to perform.

Pagefile.sys is the file that is used as the virtual memory.

Some tech geek may refer to pagefile.sys as a swap file. Because Windows swaps programs in and out of this file when the RAM is full, and as you indicate you need a program.

How to Reduce the size of the Pagefile.sys file.

As you may have noticed, the size of the pagefile.sys is determined by how many rarely used programs you have running, which Windows moved, so as to create more space in the RAM for program you are currently using or one you use frequently.

 So, to reduce the size, all you need to do is to close the program you no longer use. This way, the program will not be using any space in the RAM, and then forcing Windows to move it to a virtual memory when the RAM is full.

How to Deactivate Virtual Memory in Windows 10 and Delete the Pagefile.sys file.

To be able to delete pagefile.sys, you need to deactivate the Virtual Memory feature in your Windows computer. Here is the guide of the deactivation process.

Step 1: Open your Windows computer System Info. You do this by:
Hit the Windows + E keys in your keyboard. Right-click on This PC and then click on Properties.

opening Windows 10 system inform from File Explorer

Once the System Info open, click on Advanced system settings.

Deactivating and Activating Windows 10 virtual memory (pagefile.sys) feature step 1

Step 2: In the Advance tab, click on Settings.. in the Performance section.

Deactivating and Activating Windows 10 virtual memory (pagefile.sys) feature step 2

Step 3: Switch to Advanced tab, then click on the Change… button in the Virtual memory section.

Step 4: Now, Uncheck the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives option.
Then Check the No paging file option.
Finally, click OK to apply.

Deactivating and Activating Windows 10 virtual memory (pagefile.sys) feature step 4

Now, the Pagefile.sys file should be either gone, or you will now be able to delete it.

How to reactivate Virtual Memory in Windows 10

Follow the deactivation process above.

When you get to Step 4, check the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives option, then click the OK button.

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