GNU Emacs Manual. Node: Memory Full

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28.9.6: Running out of Memory

If you get the error message `Virtual memory exceeded', save your modified buffers with C-x s. This method of saving them has the smallest need for additional memory. Emacs keeps a reserve of memory which it makes available when this error happens; that should be enough to enable C-x s to complete its work.

Once you have saved your modified buffers, you can exit this Emacs job and start another, or you can use M-x kill-some-buffers to free space in the current Emacs job. If you kill buffers containing a substantial amount of text, you can safely go on editing. Emacs refills its memory reserve automatically when it sees sufficient free space available, in case you run out of memory another time.

Do not use M-x buffer-menu to save or kill buffers when you run out of memory, because the buffer menu needs a fair amount memory itself, and the reserve supply may not be enough.

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