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80. Clear Windows Paging File At Shutdown

You may not consider clearing the windows paging file as a necessary part of your security housekeeping. Ok it can add quite a few seconds to your final shutdown time, but it doesn't need to be done on a regular basis and you can always disable the option as and when you want.

But why clear the paging file you may ask. Well the simple answer is security. It is not unknown for a third party software application to temporarily store unencrypted information such as passwords or other sensitive material in memory. Obviously the way Windows uses virtual memory it is possible for this information to end up in the paging file.

There are two ways of clearing the paging file. One involves Group Policy and the other the Windows registry. If Group Policy is not available on your version of Vista then proceed to Method Two.

Method One

1/ Click Start button and in the Search dialogue box type: gpedit.msc

2/ When in the group policy window proceed as follows:

3/ Click the > button next to Computer Configuration. This will expand the menu.

4/ Click the > next to the Windows settings option. Again the menu will expand.

5/ Next click the > next to Security settings. The menu will expand again.

6/ Now click the > next to Local Policies. The menu will expand again.

7/ Now click on the Security Options.

8/ The right hand pane of group policies will fill with options

9/ Scroll down to Shutdowns; Clear virtual memory page file.

10/ Now right click on this option and, from the menu that appears select Properties.

11/ In properties click on the radio button marked Enabled.

12/ Now click OK.

13/ Finally close group policies.

Method Two

1/ Click Start button, followed by All Programs, Accessories and then Click the Run option.

2/ In the Run dialog box type: Regedit

3/ User Account Control (UAC) will ask permission to open Regedit. If you are the administrator, then Click the Continue button. If you are not the administrator, then you will need to ask the administrator for the administrator credentials.

4/In the Registry Editor Window navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

5/ In the list that appears on the right of the Registry window look for the Value Name: ClearPageFileAtShutdown

6/ If the Value does not exist Right Click on the Memory Managment key and, from the drop down menu select New.

7/ When you click New another drop down menu will appear. Click DWORD Value.

8/ You should now see a box with the words New Value#1.

9/ Right click on this box and select Rename.

10/ In the rename box Type: ClearPageFileAtShutdown

11/ After you have renamed the value, right click on it again and select Modify.

12/ Change the Value to 1

13/ The registry entry should now look like this: ClearPageFileAtShutdown REG_WORD 0x00000001 (1)

14/ The changes will not come into effect until you have restarted your computer.

15/ To disable the feature just reset the Value to 0.