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GlobalMemoryStatus function

[GlobalMemoryStatus can return incorrect information. Use the GlobalMemoryStatusEx function instead.]

Retrieves information about the system's current usage of both physical and virtual memory.


void WINAPI GlobalMemoryStatus(


lpBuffer [out]

A pointer to a MEMORYSTATUS structure. The GlobalMemoryStatus function stores information about current memory availability into this structure.

Return value

This function does not return a value.


On computers with more than 4 GB of memory, the GlobalMemoryStatus function can return incorrect information, reporting a value of –1 to indicate an overflow. For this reason, applications should use the GlobalMemoryStatusEx function instead.

On Intel x86 computers with more than 2 GB and less than 4 GB of memory, the GlobalMemoryStatus function will always return 2 GB in the dwTotalPhys member of the MEMORYSTATUS structure. Similarly, if the total available memory is between 2 and 4 GB, the dwAvailPhys member of the MEMORYSTATUS structure will be rounded down to 2 GB. If the executable is linked using the /LARGEADDRESSAWARE linker option, then the GlobalMemoryStatus function will return the correct amount of physical memory in both members.

The information returned by the GlobalMemoryStatus function is volatile. There is no guarantee that two sequential calls to this function will return the same information.


Minimum supported client

Windows XP [desktop apps only]

Minimum supported server

Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps only]


WinBase.h (include Windows.h)





See also

Memory Management Functions
Memory Performance Information
Virtual Address Space and Physical Storage