IT Support and Tech Blog

August 6, 2011   Posted by: JJ Fiasson

How To Increase the Memory Limit for 32-bit applications

Out of MemoryIf any of you are using a 64-bit Microsoft Operating System like Windows 7 x64, then you might stand to gain from this little tip. Basically, any 32-bit applications that you run will be limited to addressing only 2GB of memory. This is usually not a problem, however many business applications (like Excel) actually do hit this memory limit. If you’re a gamer, this tip is even more applicable as many games break the 2GB limit. Thankfully the solution is very simple, so read on!

Basically, an awesome coder by the name of Daniel Pistelli was commissioned to write a little patching application that will modify your 32-bit programs to address up to 4GB of RAM. It’s important to remember, however, that this is only applicable if you are running a 64-bit OS. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then there’s an easy way to check. Go to Control Panel, click view by “small icons” in the top right hand corner, then click System. Some way down the screen that loads will be an entry that says “System Type: 64-bit Operating System”, or it might say “System Type: 32-bit Operating System”. If it says 32-bit, then ignore the rest of this article. If it says 64-bit, read on!

You can download the little patching application from here. When you run it, it will ask you to select an executable file. It’s best to first backup the file that you are going to patch. Right, so assuming you’ve backed up the executable file, browse and select the file and the patcher will do its work. Upon completion it will ask you if you wish to patch another file. If you do, go ahead, if not, quit!

4gb patch

Right, so now your application is patched – what next? Go ahead and use it. You should now see the memory ceiling limit raised. If you work with huge Excel files, this little solution will likely save you a couple of hundred bucks as you won’t need to go out and buy the latest Office 2011 with 64-bit applications. If you play games, you might find they crash less after this patch. Until next time.. :)