How to increase the RAM of your Windows 10 PC: You recently purchased a computer with 4 GB of RAM and Windows 10 but, after a few months of use, you realized that the heavier programs are having a hard time running, slowing down the execution of other software or completely blocking the entire operating system.
If lightening the application load of the computer has not produced the results you were hoping for, most likely the “culprit” of the unwelcome behavior is the RAM memory, too small for the programs you intend to open on your PC. How do you say? Are you already thinking about changing your computer? Wait, you could spend much less than you think, by installing some additional RAM on your computer!
So stop for a second and read the guide I made especially for you: below, I will give you all the tips on how to increase the RAM of your Windows 10 PC , applicable even if you have never made hardware component updates on your PC before Now. I can guarantee you that, at the end of this reading, you will have acquired the skills necessary to act in total autonomy, giving new life to a computer that you thought was already done. Having said that, I have nothing else to do, except to wish you a good read and make a big good luck for everything!
Before proceeding with this type of update, you must know that the RAMs are not all the same and that modules of different versions and frequencies , similar in appearance, are available : this is a very important detail, since a RAM bank with version or frequency not supported by your computer may prove to be a worthless purchase.
To avoid making mistakes, you can write down these details in advance by analyzing the RAM already present in your computer. There are several programs suitable for this purpose but, personally, I recommend you rely on CPU-Z : this software, initially designed to access processor information, provides very useful information also aimed at replacing the RAM banks, illustrating the characteristics of those already present, as well as the number of slots available on the motherboard.
To download this program connected to its official website , click on the ZIP – English button located in the Download box , then start the download by selecting the Download now item ; a compressed file will be downloaded (e.g. cpu-z_x.xx -en.zip ), which you will have to extract to a folder of your choice. If you don’t know how to manage .zip files, I invite you to read my guide on how to extract ZIP files .
Now, open the folder containing the files you extracted a little while ago and start the program cpuz_x32.exe or cpuz_x64.exe , depending on the type of processor you have (32 or 64 bit), then grant the software the permissions necessary for its execution , by clicking on the Yes button , and once in the main screen, click on the Memory tab , which is located at the top.
Through this screen, you will get all the basic information about RAM, including those to be taken into consideration when purchasing additional modules: in particular, the items to pay attention to are Type (i.e. the type of RAM memory installed) and Size ( the amount of RAM currently installed).
To get further details on the individual banks of RAM, click on the SPD tab located at the top: there is information on the various memory slots (base 1 will be shown), as well as other precious details such as the size of the bank, if any installed ( Module size ), the frequency band ( Max bandwidth ), the manufacturer ( Manufacturer ) and information on access times and voltage ( Timings table section ). Finally, check the availability of free RAM slots by clicking on the field under the Memory Slot Selection section (inside the SPD tab ).
I advise you to pay close attention to the frequency band , since it will be halved compared to the commercial value advertised: do not worry, it is a normal feature of DDR modules. If, for example, if your RAM is indicated with a frequency of 667 MHz , in reality it is 1334 MHz , then you will have to buy new modules with this latter frequency.
Another aspect to check is the form factor for memory: if you need to expand RAM on a laptop or mini-PC , the form factor for the banks is so-DIMM , while for desktop PCs the factor of form is DIMM ; for both formats, however, all the parameters seen previously apply equally.
Another detail that you can check on the RAM memories for stationary computers is the presence or absence of the heatsink, which can give, respectively, a high profile ( High Profile ) or a low profile ( Low Profile ) to the banks in question: the latter can be easier to place on small computers or on those already equipped with an “important” cooling system.
To avoid making mistakes, when purchasing a new memory module, make sure that the type of RAM is identical (eg DDR3 or DDR4 ) and that the frequency band corresponds to the one already in use; moreover, I suggest you also check the compatibility with the access time values (or CAS ). specified in the Timings table attached to the CPU-Z Memory card (usually commercially expressed in the 9-9-9-25 or similar format ). If these parameters match, the compatibility will be good even if you have to buy modules from different manufacturers than those already present in the computer.
Purchase a new RAM
Now that you are aware of the information to be careful to avoid unnecessary purchases, it is time to understand how (and where) to buy new RAM : usually, this type of electronic component is available in the best IT stores or online.
Depending on the sales channel you have chosen, be sure to specify the precise characteristics of the memory you are looking for, or carefully check the details of the data sheet available online; please, be extremely careful at this stage: if a “guessed” purchase can only benefit your computer, an incompatible or only partially compatible RAM module may not be installed at all, not be detected or, worse still, prevent the correct startup and operation of the operating system.
If you still don’t feel fully ready to face such a step on your own, and you want to further deepen the discussion on the main features of RAM memories, I suggest you take a look at my guide on which RAM to buy , in which I have given you a series of good tips on the subject, as well as some tips on the best RAM modules available on the market today.
How to increase the RAM of your Windows 10 desktop PC
Once you have obtained the new banks of RAM, it is time to disassemble the “casing” of your computer, so as to install them correctly on the motherboard. Before even carrying out this operation, make sure that the computer is completely turned off and disconnected from any power source (including any UPS): in this way, you will drastically reduce the risks of personal damage due to electricity and / or damage hardware. If you are not sure, do not hesitate to ask for the help of an expert: in certain cases, it is always better not to make mistakes!
To access the internal components of a fixed PC , you must access the front of the motherboard (most of the time) by unscrewing the small screws on the back of the case and necessary to hold the panel of your interest in position; on other types of computers (the barebones or mini PCs), however, the panel to be disassembled is the lower one and is held in place by some long screws , often accessible by turning the device upside down.
Once you open one of the computer panels, you will have access to the motherboard and all other hardware components: immediately identify the slots in which the RAM banks are already installed , usually positioned in the upper right part, immediately next to the processor block (you should see only the fan and the heatsink).
If you need to unhook one or more of the RAM banks already present, move the safety levers (similar to small triggers) on the sides of the module outwards : they lock the modules both at the top and bottom, then make sure to act on both. Once you move the levers, you can gently lift the RAM module out of its seat and it will come off without too much effort.
To position the new RAM module, move the levers outwards, to prevent them from getting in the way during insertion, identify the free “notch” on the contacts of the module to get the right direction (the notch must coincide with the ” jump ”on the slot), then gently insert the module, taking care to push it all the way. Once the correct position is reached, the levers should snap automatically to secure the bank to the slot; otherwise, you can position them manually. If the RAM does not “enter”, do not press further and check the insertion direction again.
When you are finished, close the panel by inserting and screwing the screws back in their place, connect the computer to the power supply and turn it on: if everything went in the right direction, the computer should immediately recognize the new RAM, correctly starting the operating system. Once logged in, use CPU-Z again to see if the new RAM has been properly managed. If the computer should turn on but appear “dead”, or make strange sounds during startup, I recommend you reopen it and check the correct insertion of the new memory module.
If you need a hand during the assembly and disassembly of the PC, I invite you to take a look at my guide on how to assemble a PC , in which I have provided you with some useful information about this topic.
Note : in some cases, the BIOS / UEFI may warn you of a change in the system configuration, following the installation of the new RAM; if this happens, press the indicated key to proceed with normal computer startup (usually F1 or F2 ).
How to increase the RAM of the Windows 10 laptop
To increase the RAM on a laptop , the steps are quite similar to those seen on the desktop: however, the ways of accessing the appropriate slot on the motherboard change, which could be slightly more complex than previously seen. Again, if you are not sure, do not hesitate to ask for the help of a technician or a friend who is competent in the matter.
However, first of all, turn off the computer , remove the battery (if possible) and disconnect the machine from the power supply, so as not to run any danger. If your laptop does not allow you to remove the battery, I invite you to act with gloves and insulating screwdrivers to avoid unwanted electric shock.
Once the power is removed, turn the notebook upside down , so as to bring the lower panel (the one in contact with the support surface) to the foreground, and identify the screws necessary to disassemble the panel. On some laptops you will have to disassemble only a part of the panel to access the RAM slots, on others, however, you will have to disassemble the entire panel: you can understand how you will have to act simply by looking at the bottom of the laptop. If there are small doors , often accompanied by small icons (such as the RAM and disk), you will probably only need to disassemble the part dedicated to the main memory.
Once the door has been identified, use a small screwdriver to remove the screws and lift the panel to access the so-DIMM slots: usually, the RAM banks are positioned one above the other and can be pulled out “by click”. Consequently, you will have to gently press the small safety levers on the side of each module to lift one side of it, then remove it by pulling it gently upwards. Once the upper module has been removed, you will also have access to the lower module, which can be pulled out exactly with the same steps seen earlier.
Once you have reached the slot you are interested in, carefully position the new bank of RAM, paying attention to respect the direction of the contacts and to observe the indication notch on the RAM itself. Once you find the right hook, you can simply push the raised side of the module down until it snaps into place (the levers will hold the module in place). If necessary, repeat the steps also to place the second RAM memory module.
At the end of the installation, replace the protective cover and screw the screws, then try to start the notebook: if everything went in the right direction, the system will start smoothly and Windows 10 will be launched. If you need additional help, I urge you to carefully read my guide on how to disassemble a laptop .
Other methods to increase the RAM of your Windows 10 PC
If you want to increase the RAM of your Windows 10 PC without adding modules to your computer, maybe because you don’t feel ready enough to disassemble the computer or, perhaps, because you don’t intend to invest money, you can get some benefits by acting on the amount of virtual memory managed from the system.
The virtual memory in question is called a paging file and is for all intents and purposes a file, stored in the system partition, which provides additional virtual RAM . When the physical RAM is full, Windows can move some of the data to this file, thus taking advantage of a portion of the hard disk space as if it were additional RAM.
I would like to warn you, however, that this is a buffer solution and that you don’t have to rely much on it: the communication speed of the disk is much lower than that of the RAM memory (although modern SSDs have mitigated the problem), so the computer may seem slow enough in case it is used.
To obtain an increase in virtual memory on Windows 10, open the Start menu by clicking on the Windows flag icon (bottom left), then type in the search field the words advanced settings ; finally, click on the result Show advanced system settings which should appear after a few seconds.
Once in the window dedicated to System Properties , click on the Advanced tab and then on the Settings button , located in the Performance section . Once the new screen is open, click on the Advanced tab and press the Change … button , located in the Virtual Memory section .
At this point, you can use the proposed items to change the virtual RAM volume: to start, remove the check mark from the item Automatically manage paging file size for all drives , select the partition where Windows is installed, inside in the Units [Volume Label] section , then put a check mark next to Custom Dimensions .
If everything went in the right direction, the two fields Initial size (MB) and Maximum size (MB) should be unlocked : through them, you can choose the minimum size of the paging file, when not used, and the maximum size that it can to reach.
If you do not know how much virtual memory to reserve for the system, you can enter the value next to the Recommended item in both fields : in general, it is good for most usage scenarios. In case you own a PC with less than 4 GB of RAM, you can push virtual memory up to 4096 MB , so as to have a quantity of virtual memory suitable to support the difficulties of physical memory.
If the computer you are configuring is intended for video games, I recommend you read my guide on how to dedicate more RAM to a game , so as to optimize the operating system to grant more physical memory when running a complex video game.