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tech consumer guide

Last updated on September 1st, 2020 at 03:41 pm

2 Ways On How To Increase RAM On Laptop Or PC For Free

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Last updated on November 30th, 2020 at 10:23 pm

Random Access Memory (RAM) is important hardware in your PC and has a direct impact on the performance. The more RAM your PC has the more programs it will be able to run smoothly.

Running out of RAM is not great. Your PC slows down, you can’t open programs and warnings will pop out of nowhere tell saying, “Insufficient Memory”.

Fortunately, you can increase the amount of RAM your PC has without buying. Here’s how to increase RAM on laptop or PC for free on Windows 10.

Using A USB Flash Drive Or SD Card To Increase RAM

ReadyBoost in Windows allows you to increase your PC RAM with the help of a USB drive or SD card. The way ReadyBoost works is by creating a Swap file on the USB drive or SD card.

This makes them be utilised as a memory cache. Only HDDs benefit from this feature because their read and write speeds are slower than USB drives or SD cards. Solid state drives (SSDs) have fast read and write speeds.

Much faster than USB drives and so it wouldn’t make sense to use them. Worst case scenario you will experience a decrease in performance. Follow these simple steps to use ReadyBoost to increase your RAM.

  • Plug in your USB drive or SD card.
Choose properties
Choosing Properties
  • Open This PC. Right-click the USB drive and select Properties.
  • Once Properties have been opened proceed to choose the ReadyBoost tab. Wait for a few seconds for ReadyBoost to display the information.
  • Select the Use this device radio button. Click Apply and OK. You can disable ReadyBoost from using your device by selecting Do not use this device.
ReadyBoost Activated
ReadyBoost Activated
  • Once activated your USB drive or SD card then shows a red bar indicating ReadyBoost is working.

Q. Why Isn’t ReadyBoost Working?

Not all USB flash drives or SD cards are able to activate ReadyBoost. The message This device cannot be used for ReadyBoost shows when the USB drive or SD card doesn’t meet the requirements. Your USB drive must fit the requirements below.

USB Drive Doesn't Meet ReadyBoost Requirements
USB Drive Doesn’t Meet ReadyBoost Requirements
  • The USB drive has to be USB 2.0 or higher.
  • Must have at least 256 MB of free space.
  • You can’t use ReadyBoost with an external USB HDD.
  • Your USB device or SD card should have sufficient read and write speed. Write speeds of 3.5 Mbps or higher and read speeds of at least 2.5 Mbps.

ReadyBoost is one of the several useful programs on Windows. You can use it to increase the performance of your PC but you will only reap the benefits if you are using an HDD not an SSD.

How To Increase RAM In PC With A USB Drive

Increase RAM By Increasing Your Virtual Memory

Another way to increase RAM is by increasing your Virtual Memory or Pagefile. Virtual memory is what makes your PC to perform smoothly by transferring some of the workloads from the RAM to it.

You might think of it as a virtual RAM. Increasing the amount of virtual memory or Pagefile your PC has boosts its performance. Depending on the amount of RAM, you can increase the amount of virtual memory from 1.5 times to 4 times of that of your RAM.

If your PC has 8GB of RAM you can make the virtual memory from a minimum of 12GB to a maximum of 24GB.

Follow these steps to increase your Virtual Memory or Pagefile.

control panel
Control Panel
  • Open Control Panel
Advanced System Settings
Advanced System Settings
  • Enter Advanced System Settings into the search box and click View advanced system settings.
advanced tab
Advanced Tab
  • Once the System Properties dialog box has opened. Click the Advanced tab and under Performance click on settings.

Related: Intel Optane Memory Vs RAM: Here’s The Truth

performance options
Performance Options
  • Click the Advanced tab in the Performance Options dialog box. Under Virtual memory click Change.
De-selecting Checkbox
De-selecting Checkbox
  • De-select the checkbox next to Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.
Increasing The RAM by Making Changes To Virtual Memory
Increasing The RAM by Making Changes To Virtual Memory
  • Choose the drive you want to increase the virtual memory. Enter values into the Initial size and Maximum size in MB. This should be between 1.5 times and 4 times the size of your RAM. You can also use the recommended values provided under the Total paging file size for all drives.
  • Click OK and restart your PC.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on How To Increase RAM on Laptop or PC for Free

How Can I Increase My Laptops RAM?

You can either increase it by buying and replacing it with a bigger RAM stick or try to increase it by increasing the virtual memory on your PC or laptop.

How Can I Increase My RAM Without Buying It?

There are two ways to increase RAM without buying:

  1. Increasing the virtual memory by following the steps outlined here.
  2. Using an SD card or microSD to increase the RAM.

How Do I Free Up RAM On My Laptop?

Restarting your PC or laptop is a good way to free up RAM or you can close applications that have taken most of your PC or laptop’s RAM resources.

To know which programs or applications that are using the most amount of memory. Open task manager by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL.

Under the processes tab take a look at the memory usage. It’s right next to the CPU usage. You will see how much memory or RAM each program uses.

You can them decide to end task these programs to free up some RAM.

Does Increasing RAM Increase Laptop Speed?

Yes, increasing RAM is one of the main ways to increase laptop speed. The other methods are getting a faster CPU, SSD and GPU.

Having a lot of RAM is very beneficial and a good way to increase the performance of your laptop or PC.

The Takeaway

These are all legit methods of increasing RAM without purchasing or for free. But, it is not sustainable. If these are not done properly especially when increasing your virtual memory.

Some major problems can happen causing you unnecessary headaches. The more sustainable way of increasing the amount of RAM is to purchase more RAM. This is safer and guaranteed to increase the performance of your PC.

Also, RAM is not as expensive as it was back in the day. You can easily purchase one for as little as 30 dollars. We also have a guide on How to Choose the Right RAM for Your Laptop or PC.

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  1. I tried using the Readyboost option with a memory stick. It appeared to work, but the APPLY button was not available, only the OK tab. It did not turn red, as your instructions say.
    Any suggestions?

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