How to Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10  

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    How to Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10

    How to Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10

    Published by Category: Virtualization
    07 Jan 2021
    Designer Media Ltd


    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.

    The Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile security policy setting determines whether the virtual memory paging file is cleared when the device is shut down.

    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






    OPTION ONE

    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)

    How to Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10-clear_pagefile_at_shutdown_secpol-1.jpg

    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)

    How to Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10-clear_pagefile_at_shutdown_secpol-2.png

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






    OPTION TWO

    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/tap 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. axe0's Avatar
    Posts : 14,785
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Hi Shawn,

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

  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,295
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #2

    Hello Martijn, :)

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


  3. Posts : 1,104
    win 10 pro x64 os build 20H2
       #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 Computer

  4. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,295
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #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 Computers

  5. ThrashZone's Avatar
    Posts : 7,107
    3-Win-7Prox64 2-Win10Prox64
       #5

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

    How to Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10-above.png
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 1,104
    win 10 pro x64 os build 20H2
       #6

    Brink said:
    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 Computer

  7. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,295
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Tonyb said:
    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 Computers

  8. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,295
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #8

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

    How to Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at Shutdown in Windows 10-above.png
    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 Computers


  9. Posts : 1,104
    win 10 pro x64 os build 20H2
       #9

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


 
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