Loads a program into the upper memory area (UMA). Loading a program into the UMA leaves more room in conventional memory for other programs. Use the systemroot\System32\Config.nt file, or the equivalent startup file specified in a program's program information file (PIF), to specify the programs to load high.


loadhigh [Drive:][Path] FileName [parameters]


[Drive:][Path] FileName : Specifies the location and name of the program you want to load. Filename is required.

parameters : Specifies any command line information required by the program.

/?: Displays help at the command prompt.


Windows XP does not use this command. It is accepted only for compatibility with MS-DOS files. 

To use the loadhigh command, you must include the dos=umb command in your Config.nt or equivalent startup file. For more information about the dos=umb command, see dos in Related Topics.

Before you can load a program into the upper memory area, you must install the Himem.sys extended memory manager. Use the device command in your Config.nt or equivalent startup file to install Himem.sys.

If you use the loadhigh command to load a program, Windows XP attempts to load it into the UMA. If there is insufficient space in the UMA, the program is loaded into conventional memory; the memory area used is not indicated.

The most convenient way to use the loadhigh command is to include it in your Autoexec.nt or equivalent startup file.


To load a driver into the high memory area (HMA), include the following line in your Autoexec.nt or equivalent startup file:

lh %systemroot%\system32\dosx

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Information that the user must supply


Elements that the user must type exactly as shown

Ellipsis (...)

Parameter that can be repeated several times in a command line

Between brackets ([])

Optional items

Between braces ({}); choices separated by pipe (|). Example: {even|odd}

Set of choices from which the user must choose only one

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Code or program output



Command-line reference A-Z

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