A swap file, sometimes called a page file or paging file, is space on a hard drive used as a temporary location to store information when RAM is fully utilized. Using a swap file, a computer can use more memory than what is physically installed in the computer. However, if the computer is low on drive space, the computer can run slower because of the inability of the swap file to grow.
Below is a listing of common Microsoft operating system default swap file names and locations.
|Operating system||Swap file name||Location|
|Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7||PAGEFILE.SYS||C:\|
|Windows 95, 98, and ME||WIN386.SWP||C:\|