With growing concerns about privacy a lot of people and businesses are doing more to secure their data.  Everything from locking the drawers on computer desks to having secure passwords in use on everything.

The problem is that even then it’s sometimes possible to retrieve this information by reading the Windows page file.  This file contains the virtual memory used by Windows. This means that it will almost certainly contain sensitive information including passwords and copies of recently edited or viewed files.

Fortunately the fix is easy, you just need to have Windows clear the page file during shutdown.  Doing this involves editing your registry.  It’s an easy enough edit to do but it’s still a good idea to use a registry tool like RegSeeker to make a backup copy of your current registry before editing anything.

Once you’ve backed it up, find this value:

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

Locate the key: ClearPageFileAtShutdown and change it to 1

Save and quit the editor.  Now when you shut down or reboot, the page file will be deleted every time.  It means taking a bit longer to shut down or reboot but the benefit is that there is less chance that there will be a page file with copies of important documents and passwords in it.

Technorati Tags: passwords, how to, security, delete page file, edit registry, pagefile

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