Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Memory | Characteristics & Features

Virtual memory is a technique of operating system that utilizes the software and hardware to get compensate for shortage of physical memory. So, you also should be known about various advantages and disadvantages of virtual memory; as well as several features and characteristics of virtual memory in operating system. Don’t worry! Through this article, we will explain about them in detail.

Introduction to Virtual Memory

Virtual memory is not the real memory for your computer such as external or internal memory. It is a concept where it allows to hardware and software of computer system to support for physical memory on transferring time of data from main memory to secondary memory such as hard disk. Therefore, it helps to improve instantly the overall performance of system.


The virtual memory is also as storage allocation concept that is used by the operating system for getting the data processing, whenever the system requires extra memory compare to the installed memory such as RAM. Virtual memory has also ability to bear all burden when it is getting to low RAM occurs, like as installing most powerful software and applications avoiding the system from destroying by available more memory from external source such as SSD or HDD.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Memory

In this section, we will spread light on various pros and cons of virtual memory in operating system; below explored both, you can read them:

Advantages of Virtual Memory:

There are several of benefits of virtual memory in computer organization, such as:

  • Assigning the memory is very cheap and effective way.
  • Page mapping is done good manner.
  • Virtual memory helps to trash the external fragmentation.
  • While using of huge virtual space, vast programs can be implemented.
  • Virtual memory allows too fast and easy processes.
  • Due to store of programs in the virtual memory, not need more memory space.
  • All data (page frames) can be distributed on the entire physical memory.
  • Allowing the very effective swapping
  • It is capable to operate multiple applications concurrently.
  • It allows the flexibility because their large programs can be fitted into small size programs.
  • It also allows sharing common data between their memories.
  • All processes can get large size to physical memory.
  • It allows reading all data from hard disk, when to need.
  • It allows replacing any code in physical memory without needing relocation.
  • It helps to improve the performance of CPU.
  • It has no any limitation for all degree of multi programming.
  • It allows huge virtual address space to physical memory.
  • It allots the specific segment of program for execution of particular program, so it helps to enhance the speed of execution time.
  • It provides the protection between two programs.

Disadvantages of Virtual Memory:

There are some limitations and draw backs of virtual memory such as –

  • While using of virtual memory, all application’s speed are getting slow.
  • It consumes more hard disk space.
  • Lack of system stability
  • It is not capable to deliver the equal performance like as
  • Due to virtual memory, system gets degrade.
  • It consumes more time between switching the applications.
  • Increase the software complexity and hardware cost.
  • Required the best hardware support
  • Kernel developers require a profound understanding of the hardware, if they are using virtual memory.

Characteristics of Virtual Memory

  • The primary characteristic of the virtual memory is that it helps to improve the overall performance of system by getting free up RAM space.
  • Virtual memory is capable to keep store programs, which are presently not using by the physical memory.
  • Virtual memory can use and utilize space from the other secondary storage devices.
  • The virtual memory is able to enhance the system’s memory, therefore various programs and other apps can work smoothly simultaneously.

Wrapping Up

In this article, you have been fully educated about various advantages and disadvantages of virtual memory; as well as several features and characteristics of virtual memory in operating system with ease. If this post is valuable for you, then please share it along with your friends, family members or relatives over social media platforms like as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, and more.

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Happy Learning!!

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