It is suggested by many enthusiasts that the Pagefile should be deleted on shutdown to eliminate any security risk.
I consider this to be good practice and have configured my PC to do so by the following procedure :-
[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management
Modify/Create the Value Data Type(s) and Value Name(s) as detailed below.
Data Type: REG_DWORD [Dword Value] // Value Name: ClearPageFileAtShutdown
Setting for Value Data: [0 = Clear Page File Disabled / 1 = Clear Page File Enabled]
Enter value = 1 to clear Pagefile on shutdown.
Exit Registry and Reboot
The only adverse effect one could notice is that it may take longer for Windows to shut down while the file is being cleared. Exactly how much longer depends on how large the paging file is.
The file is recreated in an instant (because it is now just an empty cache on the disk) when Windows restarts, and response times, browsing speed etc. are not in any way affected.
The Pagefile or Virtual Memory is an allocated capacity size which stays constant until changed by the Windows system or the Administrator. This size will still be shown against any file check. It can be misleading when you have taken action to delete the Pagefile and the size is still shown unchanged. Pagefile is virtually a fixed sized tank in which contents are added during browsing and it is the tank size that is shown on screen, not the contents.
If the Pagefile is not cleared, it provides a complete cache of your browsing activity and can be easily accessed by a skilful hacker or inserted bug. Clearing or emptying the Pagefile on shutdown prevents this - the tank is empty. No data leak is thus possible.