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Configure virtual machine memory

Updated: June 25, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7

Memory is as important in a virtual machine as it is in a physical computer. A virtual machine requires enough memory to run the guest operating system and all the applications that you want to run at the same time on the virtual machine. If you need to change the amount of memory allocated to a virtual machine, you can do so when the virtual machine is not running or hibernated. For more information about shutting down a virtual machine, see Shut down a virtual machine manually.

A virtual machine consumes memory only while it is running. To start a virtual machine, the computer must have enough physical memory available to provide the virtual machine with the amount of memory specified for the virtual machine. If there is not enough available physical memory, the virtual machine will not start. If you have multiple virtual machines and want to run them at the same time, there must be enough physical memory available to provide each virtual machine with the amount of memory that is specified for it.

It is possible to configure the Memory setting for the virtual machine with all the available physical memory (memory that is in use on the host is not included as available memory). We recommend that you avoid allocating all available memory to a virtual machine. Instead, allocate enough memory to run the guest operating system and applications. In most cases, the amount of memory recommended for the operating system should be sufficient. For information about the recommended amount of memory, see the documentation for the specific operating system.

To configure virtual machine memory

  1. Open the settings for the virtual machine. In the Virtual Machines folder, right-click the name of the virtual machine, and then click Settings.

  2. In the left pane of the Windows Virtual PC Settings page, click Memory.

  3. In the right pane, specify the new amount of memory.

  4. Click OK to save the change.

See Also

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