This function releases or decommits, or both, a region of pages within the virtual address space of the calling process.
BOOL VirtualFree( LPVOID lpAddress, DWORD dwSize, DWORD dwFreeType );
[in] Pointer to the base address of the region of pages to be freed.
If the dwFreeType parameter includes the MEM_RELEASE flag, this parameter must be the base address returned by the VirtualAlloc function when the region of pages was reserved.
[in] Specifies the size, in bytes, of the region to be freed.
If the dwFreeType parameter includes the MEM_RELEASE flag, this parameter must be zero.
Otherwise, the region of affected pages includes all pages containing one or more bytes in the range from the lpAddress parameter to lpAddress plus dwSize. This means that a 2-byte range straddling a page boundary causes both pages to be freed.
[in] Specifies the type of free operation.
You can specify one of the following flags.
Decommits the specified region of committed pages.
An attempt to decommit an uncommitted page does not cause the function to fail. This means that a range of committed or uncommitted pages can be decommitted without being concerned about a failure.
Releases the specified region of reserved pages.
If this flag is specified, the dwSize parameter must be zero or the function fails.
Nonzero indicates success. Zero indicates failure. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.
VirtualFree can perform one of the following operations:
Decommit a region of committed or uncommitted pages.
Release a region of reserved pages.
Decommit and release a region of committed or uncommitted pages.
To release a region of pages, the range of pages must be in the same state (all reserved or all committed) and the entire region originally reserved by the VirtualAlloc function must be released at the same time.
If only part of the pages in the original reserved region are committed, first call VirtualFree to decommit the committed pages and then call VirtualFree again to release the entire block.
Pages that have been released are free pages available for subsequent allocation operations. Attempting to read from or write to a free page results in an access violation exception.
VirtualFree can decommit an uncommitted page. This means that a range of committed or uncommitted pages can be decommitted without being concerned about a failure.
Decommitting a page releases its physical storage, either in memory or in the paging file on disk. If a page is decommitted but not released, its state changes to reserved and it can be committed again by a subsequent call to VirtualAlloc.
Attempting to read from or write to a reserved page results in an access violation exception.
The current state of the range of pages must be compatible with the type of free operation specified by the dwFreeType parameter. Otherwise, the function fails and no pages are released or decommitted.