The compressed memory feature in Windows 10 is designed to improve the performance (responsiveness) of the system due to storing part of the memory pages in RAM in a compressed form. It helps to reduce the number of read / write requests to the memory pages in the slow (compared to RAM) paging file on a hard drive. The required data are extracted from the RAM faster even though additional CPU resources are spent to compress/decompress them.
Compressed Memory in Windows 10
Originally, the process responsible for the compressed memory subsystem was located within the System process, which is not too convenient for troubleshooting performance issues. In Windows 10 1511 this feature became a separate process called System and compressed memory.
In Windows 10 Anniversary edition (1607), a separate process, Memory Compression, appeared that was hidden from the Task Manager. You can get the information about this process using Get-Process PowerShell cmdlet:
Get-Process -Name "Memory Compression"
Handles NPM(K) PM(K) WS(K) CPU(s) Id SI ProcessName
------- ------ ----- ----- ------ -- -- -----------
0 0 1548 380920 1,104.59 1764 0 Memory Compression
Also, you can see the actual memory size used by the Memory Compression process using Process Explorer.
You can also get the information about using the compressed memory by the system in the Task Manager. Go to the Performance tab and select the Memory section. The current value of compressed memory usage is displayed by the value of In use (Compressed) parameter. In my example, 4.5 GB are used, of which 373 MB is compressed. To understand the actual size of data that the system is packed into a compressed block, hover the mouse over the Memory composition graph:
In use compressed (373 MB). Compressed memory stores an estimated 1549 MB of data, saving the system 1176 MB of memory.
As you can see, the compression level reaches almost 315%, so the saving is quite significant.
In most cases, if your computer works normally and has the sufficient RAM size, the compressed memory process works well and doesn’t require any action from the administrator.
System and Compressed Memory Process High CPU and RAM Usage
Sometimes it happens that System and compressed memory process starts to use up to 100% CPU and users disks or starts to increase in size in RAM (you can see it in the Task Manager). Of course, the computer starts to work slow or hangs up.
What can you do in this case?
I will give you a couple of tips that will help you to fix the problem of high PC resources usage by the Compressed memory process
- Try to temporary disable the page file on your system (No paging file option), restart your computer, enable the paging file (Automatically manage paging file size for all drives option) and restart your computer again.
- If the problem of heavy loading of the computer by the Compressed memory process occurs only after waking from the Sleep or Hibernate mode (and disappears after the restart), try to download and install the latest versions of drivers for your disk controllers (ACPI/ AHCI / RAID / SCSI), hard drives and video card from the official websites. After that it is recommended to disable automatic driver update.
If these actions did not help, you can try to disable the compressed memory.
How to Disable the Compressed Memory in Windows 10
If you want to make sure that Windows 10 works stable without using the compressed memory, you can temporarily disable this feature. To do it, start PowerShell with the administrator privileges. Let’s make sure that the compressed memory is enabled:
The parameter MemoryCompression : True shows that the compressed memory is enabled.
Let’s disable the compressed memory:
And restart your computer:
After the system has booted, watch the system behavior. If the performance has improved, you can leave your Windows 10 with the compressed memory disabled.
To enable MemoryCompression, run this command:
As a rule, the Compression memory technology in Windows 10 works quite effectively and doesn’t require any interventions. If it causes any problems on your computer, it is likely that you have some troubles with system settings, hardware or drivers. If necessary, the Compressed memory can be completely disabled.
In some cases, users are recommended to fix problems with compressed memory with the following actions:
- Disable SuperFetch (services.msc -> SuperFetch -> Startup type: Disabled)
- Disable full memory diagnostic RunFullMemoryDiagnostic job in the Task Scheduler (Task Scheduler -> Task Scheduler library -> Microsoft -> Windows -> MemoryDiagnostic -> RunFullMemoryDiagnostic (Detects and mitigates problems in physical memory – RAM) -> Disable.
In some cases, these tips help to get rid of high load of the computer by the Compressed memory process, but at the same time basic subsystems that are to optimize Windows performance are disabled, which can result in other troubles with system performance.