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What is the .SWP File Extension?

.SWP File Extension Description:

The virtual memory is basically a portion of the hard drive that the computer uses to extend physical memory size. This technique gives an application the impression that it has adjacent working memory when in fact it is physically fragmented. The use of this technique can be done by means of swapping programs with their data completely out to disk while they are inactive. This type of memory, however, is much slower than regular system memory.

The best way to speed up Windows is to create a SWAP partition that can solely be used for this virtual memory. This creates the files with the .swp file extension on your hard drive and this becomes your virtual memory. These files constantly changes in size and content along with the useable size of your hard drive.

By giving the files with the .swp file extension their own partition on the hard drive; Windows does not have to search the drive for the files with the .swp file extension when needed. And because they have their own partition, they cannot become fragmented with other files and programs. In addition, the free space on the usable area of the hard disk cannot fluxuate in case the file with the .swp file extension does.

The SWAP partition that uses the SWP file extension can be about 1GB or 10% of the hard drive's total capacity. This can be in the Extended DOS partition where it will be accessed as the logical drive showing up in Windows as the second hard drive.

The files with the .swp file extension can then be saved on the SWAP partition by telling Windows to use that partition. This can be done through the Performance tab of the Device Manager in the Control Panel where the button labeled Virtual Memory can be clicked. Specify your own virtual memory settings by choosing the location of the hard disk from drive C: to drive D: changing the minimum to 0 and the maximum as high as it can go.

Applications also create their own files with the .swp file extension. The name of the swap files is normally the same as the original files you are working on, only with the file extension SWP. The files with the .swp file extension are normally erased when the operation is completed or deleted as soon as you stop editing them.

The SWP file extension is not used on read-only files, unless the file is big that can cause the amount of memory used to be higher than that given. When making changes to a read-only file, the file with the .swp file extension is created anyway.

Author: Microsoft Corporation
Author URL:
Related Applications: Windows operating system, virtual memory
Common Path: N/A


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What Causes .SWP files Errors?

A common and likely reason for .SWP files errors is corruption in the Windows program registry - fixing is needed to avoid additional harm in other applications and/or devices. Risks include device failure, blue screen errors and fatal crashes.

Symptoms of .SWP files Errors:

.SWP files errors bring forth a range of symptoms, including: personal computer freezes while starting up or shutting down, applications crash, decreased computer speed, case speaker beeps, trouble opening files, sluggish behaviour and problems installing software.

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