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Virtual memory is a term you might hear, but it is not something you can really buy. If you are running several applications at once and run out of RAM, this is where virtual memory comes into the picture.
When all of your RAM is being used and you attempt to open another application or execute a command, inactive content stored in your RAM is temporarily moved to your hard disk storage to make more room for active content. This is essentially a way for your system to act as though it has more RAM than it really does.
Information stored in virtual memory will be transferred back to RAM once it is accessed again. If you receive a warning that says your machine is low on virtual memory, it means that you are running more simultaneous applications than your RAM and hard disk can handle.
If you regularly see these types of warning messages or feel that your computer is slowing down substantially when you try to run multiple programs at once, this is usually a good indicator that a RAM upgrade is needed. Some machines can only support a certain amount of computer memory, though. Make sure your system is capable of the upgrade before making a purchase. If it cannot be upgraded, it might be time for a new computer.