Windows 10: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10  

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    Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10

    Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10

    How to Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10
    Published by Category: Virtualization
    21 Mar 2018
    Designer Media Ltd

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    Brink's Avatar
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    Posts: 30,100

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    How to Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10


    Virtual memory support uses a system pagefile to swap pages of memory to disk when they are not used. On a running system, this pagefile is opened exclusively by the operating system, and it is well protected. However, systems that are configured to allow booting to other operating systems might have to make sure that the system pagefile is wiped clean when this system shuts down. This ensures that sensitive information from process memory that might go into the pagefile is not available to an unauthorized user who manages to directly access the pagefile.

    Some third-party programs can temporarily store unencrypted (plain-text) passwords or other sensitive information in memory. Because of the Windows virtual memory architecture, this information can be present in the paging file.

    Although clearing the paging file is not a suitable substitute for physical security of a computer, you might want to do this to increase the security of data on a computer while Windows is not running.

    If you turn on clear virtual memory pagefile upon clean shutdown, the hibernation file (hiberfil.sys) is also zeroed out if hibernation is disabled.

    If you turn on clear virtual memory pagefile upon clean shutdown, shutdown and restart will take a bit longer to finish.

    This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off to clear the virtual memory pagefile when you shut down or restart Windows 10.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to turn on or off to clear the virtual memory pagefile at shutdown.


     CONTENTS:

    • Option One: To Turn On or Off Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Local Security Policy
    • Option Two: To Turn On or Off Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown using a REG file





    Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10
    To Turn On or Off Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Local Security Policy


    The Local Security Policy will only be available in the Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise editions.

    All editions can use Option Two below.

    1. Open Local Security Policy (secpol.msc).

    2. Click/tap to open Local Policies and Security Options in the left pane of Local Security Policy. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Clear_pagefile_at_shutdown_secpol-1.jpg
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    3. In the right pane of Security Options, double click/tap on the Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile policy to open its properties. (see screenshot above)

    4. Select (dot) Enabled or Disabled (default) for what you want, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

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    5. When finished, you can close Local Security Policy if you like.





    Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10
    To Turn On or Off Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown using a REG file


    The downloadable .reg files below will modify the DWORD value in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

    ClearPageFileAtShutdown DWORD

    0= Off
    1 = On

    1. Do step 2 (on) or step 3 (off) below for what you would like to do.


     2. To Turn On Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

    Turn_On_Clear_Pagefile_at_Shutdown.reg

    download


     3. To Turn Off Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown

    This is the default setting.

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

    Turn_Off_Clear_Pagefile_at_Shutdown.reg

    download

    4. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

    5. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

    6. When prompted, click on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

    7. You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. Posts : 13,444
    Windows 10 Pro
       25 Nov 2017 #1

    Hi Shawn,

    Is the pagefile only cleared with proper reboots & shutdowns or also with system crashes?
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 30,100
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17692
    Thread Starter
       25 Nov 2017 #2

    Hello Martijn, :)

    I wouldn't think so with a system crash.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    21 Mar 2018 #3

    how do you tell if this stuff is even on, on your system ? and is it good to clear it from time to time if it is on. ? or is it better to just encrypt the stuff as i seen you had a encrypting thread as well?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 30,100
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17692
    Thread Starter
       21 Mar 2018 #4

    Hello Tony, :)

    You would need to look at the setting to tell if it's turned on or off. However, you will notice a longer shutdown while it's clearing the page file (if turned on).

    It really depends on your needs and wants. This is more for a stronger security measure to clear or encrypt the page file.

    The average home user PC wouldn't need to turn this on unless concerned about someone accessing the page file to see its content.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 3,361
    3-Win-7Prox64 2-Win10Prox64
       21 Mar 2018 #5

    Hi,
    Nice one Shawn
    What's the listing above about is that to help with the new fake shut down features ?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	above.PNG 
Views:	66 
Size:	452.0 KB 
ID:	181759
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    21 Mar 2018 #6

    Brink said: View Post
    Hello Tony, :)

    You would need to look at the setting to tell if it's turned on or off. However, you will notice a longer shutdown while it's clearing the page file (if turned on).

    It really depends on your needs and wants. This is more for a stronger security measure to clear or encrypt the page file.

    The average home user PC wouldn't need to turn this on unless concerned about someone accessing the page file to see its content.
    would it be better to encrypt it versus clearing it , or is it better to do both whats your opinion on this, as i'm a cautions person and the more security the better.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 30,100
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17692
    Thread Starter
       21 Mar 2018 #7

    Tonyb said: View Post
    would it be better to encrypt it versus clearing it , or is it better to do both whats your opinion on this, as i'm a cautions person and the more security the better.
    Since you want the strongest security for this, doing both would be better.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  • Posts : 30,100
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17692
    Thread Starter
       21 Mar 2018 #8

    ThrashZone said: View Post
    Hi,
    Nice one Shawn
    What's the listing above about is that to help with the new fake shut down features ?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	above.PNG 
Views:	66 
Size:	452.0 KB 
ID:	181759
    Hey Mike, :)

    Here's more details about that one.

    Add or Remove Power Menu Icon on Sign-in Screen in Windows 10 Windows 10 Tutorials
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    21 Mar 2018 #9

    cool will give it a try if i see to much of a system hit i can always turn off :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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