Solve: ‘Your Computer is Low on Memory’ on Windows 10, 8.1 or 7

By: Andrew Wafer
8 minute read
Your Computer is Low on Memory fix

Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 are great platforms that offer several in-built features that can be used in order to improve the user experience and troubleshoot problems with ease (we all know that there are many issues that can occur, mostly caused by incompatibility related problems).
windows 8 low memory
One common error issued by the Windows 8 / Windows 8.1/ Windows 10 system (which cannot be fixed by using classic troubleshooting processes) is the one that is referring to low virtual memory. Unfortunately, you can’t fix this problem automatically. But in this article, we’ll show you how to solve the “Your Computer is low on memory” Windows 8.1/ 10 error within minutes using a series of simple troubleshooting steps.

This message is referring to low virtual memory, a problem which can lead to lags and malfunctions on your Windows 8.1/ Windows 10 device, not to mention that is quite stressful to get the same alert over and over again. Anyway, there are various reasons that can cause the “Your Computer is low on memory” error, so you should read all the guidelines from below, before applying the proper troubleshoot solution for your Windows 8 / Windows 8.1/ Windows 10 tablet, laptop or desktop. Therefore, don’t hesitate and check our solutions listed in this dedicated step by step guide.

How to Fix “Your Computer is low on memory” Windows Error

There are many instances where this error may occur. This troubleshooting guide will show you how to fix this annoying issue in the following instances:

  • Your computer is low on memory but it’s not — many users report that when this alert appears, PC memory actually works correctly. It appears that the computer somehow misinterprets various memory indicators.

I am getting these messages sometimes even when my 16GB physical RAM is only half used, let alone the huge virtual RAM set by windows. This was the main reason I upgraded from my old laptop (8GB RAM, same symptoms) Is there a way to disable this message?

  • Your computer is low on memory Claymore — this cryptocurrenty miner apparently uses too much memory, triggering the low memory alerts.
  • Your computer is low on memory black screen issues —  Sometimes, the low memory error also triggers black screen issues, forcing users to reboot their PCs.

I keep getting this message since upgrading to Windows 10 . My pc screen then goes black and I have to reboot the computer, I never had this problem with windows 7.Can anyone help ? Thank you

  • CutePDF ‘Your computer is low on memory‘ alerts — CutePDF is a PDF converter that often displays low memory alerts. These messages usually appear when users want to print the converted PDF files.
  • Your computer is low on memory Excel — Sometimes, saving an Excel file may become a very difficult task due to the low memory error message that is blocking the process, as this user reports:

I have a new very powerful computer. Intel Core i7 with an 8mb L3 cache, a 256gb SSD OS drive of which there is 205gb free, two 1TB mechanical hard drives set up in RAID 1, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX graphics card, and 16gb of 1666mhz ram. […] With NO other programs open, if I open my email, (Outlook 2013 btw), start a new email, and try to attach a tiny Excel file, (I’m talkin 40kb tiny!) I get an error message that there isn’t enough memory to run Excel!

  • Your computer is low on memory Dying Light, Call of Duty, WoW, and more — If you’re a gamer, you have probably encountered this error message quite a few times. Games use large chunks of memory, and for this reason they often trigger low memory errors.

After a couple of minutes while playing WoW, my computer is gonna show an error box saying that I’m running low on memory, that I should close the program and save files. […] That problem never happened to me before and idk why it is now. I have 8gb of memory on this computer so there’s no reason for it to say that I’m running low on memory.

We hope that the following troubleshooting steps will prove useful in most of the cases listed above, if not all.

Solution 1 — Run a full system scan

Some malicious files might prompt you with the “Your Computer is low on memory” alert. The same programs will then prompt you to download various “dedicated” software to fix the low memory issue. Of course, this is nothing but a scam and you shouldn’t download or install anything on your Windows 10 PC.

All you need in this case is a strong antivirus program, as well as an antimalware tool. Perform a full scan of your computer to remove malware.

You can use Windows’ built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, or third-party antivirus solutions.

Here’s how to run a full system scan on Windows 10 Creators Update:

  1. Go to Start > type ‘defender’ > double click Windows Defender to launch the tool
  2. In the left hand pane, select the shield icon
  3. In the new window, click the Advanced scan option
  4. Check the full scan option to launch a full system malware scan.

If virus or malware infection was the initial cause of the problem, then after using a security tool, the low memory pop-up should disappear.

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Solution 2 — Close the programs that are using too much memory

Usually, the “Your Computer is low on memory” error is displayed when there are many processes running or your programs are using too much memory. In this case, your RAM won’t support all these processes and you will be prompted to make some changes in order to disable some of your programs.

Well, that’s exactly what you should do – of course, remove only the processes that aren’t important for you. As a quick reminder, if you disable a system process, you can damage your OS.

1. Therefore, launch Task Manager on your device – you can do this by right clicking on your task bar and selecting the option dubbed as “Task Manager”.

Your Computer is Low on Memory

2. Then, from the Task Manager’s main window, select the Processes tab and click on Memory (Private Working set) in order to sort your processes by memory usage.

Your Computer is Low on Memory

3. From there, just remove or end the processes that are using too much memory. This should resolve your problems.

Your Computer is Low on Memory

Solution 3 — Use Windows Troubleshooter

In some cases, rare ones, if a program is forcelly closed, or if something isn’t working properly on your Windows 8 / Windows 8.1/ Windows 10 system, you might be prompted with the “Your Computer is low on memory” error message. This is happening because Windows is allocating too much virtual memory to the mentioned process, while your system is trying to fix all the problems. You could actually say that your computer is “thinking” a little bit too much.

Anyway, don’t worry as you can resolve these issues by running the System maintenance Troubleshooter – see the steps from below.

  • From your Start Screen press “Wind + F” keyboard keys.
  • In the search box type “Troubleshooting”.
  • From the Troubleshooting window select “View All” (located on the left panel) and pick “System Maintenance”.
  • Tap on “Next” and wait while your Windows 8 system is running the troubleshooting process.

If you want to avoid closing down your programs, you can also use Windows 10’s built-in troubleshooting tool.

  1. Go to Settings > Troubleshoot > scroll down to Find and fix other problemsYour Computer is Low on Memory
  2. If one of the apps installed on your PC uses to much memory, we recommend running the Windows Store Apps troubleshooting tool. It’s the last one on the list.

Solution 4 —Manually increase Virtual Memory

By increasing your virtual memory, you will be able to resolve the low memory issues or alerts. Of course, you will have to do it manually as there are no apps dedicated to this matter. The process can be easily applied, just follow the steps below:

  1. Go toStart Screen > type “advaced system settings” > double click the first resultYour Computer is Low on Memory
  2. Select the Advanced tab and click Settings under the Performance panel.Your Computer is Low on Memory
  3. In the new window, click the Advanced tab again and go to the Virtual Memory panel; from there select “Change”.Your Computer is Low on Memory
  4. Clean the “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” box.
  5. Click on Drive (Volume Label) and choose Custom Size.Your Computer is Low on Memory
  6. Add a new size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box and then select “Set”.

Solution 5 — Repair your registry

The simplest way to repair your registry is to use a dedicated tool, such as CCleaner. Don’t forget to first backup your registry in case anything goes wrong.

You can also use Microsoft’s System File Checker to check for system file corruption. The utility verifies the integrity of all protected system files and repairs files with problems when possible. Here’s how to run an SFC scan:

1. Go to Start > type cmd > right-click Command Prompt > select Run as Administrator

2. Now type the sfc /scannow command

3. Wait for the scanning process to complete and then restart your computer. All corrupted files will be replaced on reboot.

Solution 6 — Update your OS

Make sure that you’re running the latest Windows OS updates on your machine. As a quick reminder, Microsoft constantly rolls out Windows updates in order to improve the system’s stability and fix various issues.

To access the Windows Update section, you can simply type “update” in the search box. This method works on all Windows versions. Then go to Windows Update, check for updates and install the available updates.

Solution 7 — Check your disk for errors

On Windows 8.1, you can bring up the drive you want to check in File Explorer. Then, right-click the drive that you want to scan and select Properties. Go the the Tools tab, select Check and then select Scan Drive.

On Windows 10, you can run a disk check using Command Prompt.

Start Command Prompt as administrator and type the chkdsk C: /f command followed by Enter. Replace C with the letter of your hard drive partition.

As a quick reminder, if you do not use the /f parameter, chkdsk displays a message that the file needs to be fixed, but it does not fix any errors. The chkdsk D: /f command detects and repairs logical issues affecting your drive. To repair physical issues, run the /r parameter as well.

Solution 8 — Clean your temporary files and folders

The simplest and quickest manner to delete your temporary files and folders is to use Disk Cleanup. As you use your computer or browse the Internet, your PC accumulates various unnecessary files.

These so called junk files may affect your computer’s processing speed, and also trigger low memory alerts.

Here’s how to use Disk Cleanup on Windows 10:

1. Go to Start > type Disk Cleanup > launch the tool

2. Select the disk that you want to clean > the tool will them tell you how much space you can free up

3. Select “Clean up system files”.

Solution 9 — Remove recently installed software

If you recently installed new software on your computer, try uninstalling it.

Go to Start > type Control Panel > select the program(s) recently added > click Uninstall.

Then restart your computer, and see if the issue has been solved.

Conclusions

These are the best methods to apply when you are dealing with “Your Computer is low on memory” Windows 8.1/ 10 error.

If you couldn’t fix these issues after using these guidelines, you should consider expanding your RAM. If you have any questions or if you need extra help, leave us a message in the comments field below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2014 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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