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Is your PC feeling sluggish? It may also suffer from freeze-ups, spinning wheels or error messages about “low memory”. If you experience any of these issues while your processor is working, you may need more RAM. But before you buy more, it’s a good idea to double-check how much you already have. Here’s how to check how much RAM your PC currently has and whether you should upgrade.
How To Tell How Much Ram Is Being Used
RAM stands for random access memory, and it’s a type of super-fast storage used to hold data that your computer needs in the short term. Think of your hard drive as a filing cabinet where all your data is stored, and RAM as your desk where you keep the stuff you’re currently working on. The more RAM you have, the more projects and programs you can keep open at once, pulling in and out of your computer’s filing cabinet.
Ways To Free Up Ram On Your Windows Or Mac Device
Unfortunately, in the age of thin and light devices, most modern laptops have their RAM permanently soldered to the motherboard, meaning you can’t upgrade without buying a whole new computer. But if you have a desktop PCor upgrade-friendly laptop (like a Framework laptop), adding more RAM is usually pretty easy.
You’ll need to find a compatible stick (which may require some web sleuthing), pop in your computer, and swap the RAM into its dedicated slot. Before you blow money on a new stick, it’s a good idea to see if you really need it or if that money is better spent on another upgrade, like a solid-state drive.
Whether you’re using Windows 10 or 11, checking your RAM is easy. Open Settings > System > About and go to Device Specifications section. You’ll see a line called “Installed RAM” that tells you how much you currently have.
If you are still using Windows 7, official support has ended so you should upgrade. At this point, open the Start menu, right-click Computer, and then click Properties. This will bring up a window with the basic specifications of your computer. Under System, you should see a line showing your installed memory.
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Mac users have an easy way to check their computer’s specifications: Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen and choose About This Mac. On the Overview tab, you will be presented with a general specs list along with the amount of memory currently installed.
Unfortunately, modern Macs don’t have upgradeable RAM. Most iMacs and older MacBooks are upgrade-friendly, but newer MacBook models have RAM permanently soldered to the motherboard. Find your model of Mac and look online to see what your machine can do.
As a general rule, 4GB is becoming “insufficient”, but 8GB is sufficient for most general-use PCs (high-end gaming and workstation PCs can go to 16GB or more). But this can vary from person to person, so there’s a more accurate way to know if you really are
Continue your work as usual and if the computer starts to slow down, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to bring up the Windows Task Manager. Click the Performance tab and select Memory in the sidebar to see a graph of your current RAM usage.
Vs 4 Ram Modules
You don’t want the graph to be completely empty—after all, unused RAM is wasted RAM—but if your RAM fills up while you’re trying to do basic tasks like browsing the web or writing a document, you’ll pay for an upgrade. (Task Manager You can also try closing applications that are using too much RAM or uninstall unnecessary extensions from your browser.)
If your RAM isn’t bursting during those slowdowns, your problem may lie elsewhere and you should look at other solutions to speed up your PC.
On macOS, you should check Activity Monitor. When you encounter a slowdown, open Launchpad > Other and select Activity Monitor or open the Utilities folder and select Activity Monitor from there Press Command + Shift + U. Click the Memory tab at the top of the window to see the graph below showing how much of your RAM is currently in use.
Note that it’s not necessary to have more free RAM – as long as you have some free RAM you’re fine and should look into other possible upgrades. But if Activity Monitor says your RAM is full, you probably need more. At this point, you can check the list of processes and close any programs that are using too much memory.
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Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer and tech geek who has been building PCs for over 10 years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks so he doesn’t get grease on his mechanical keyboard. Is your computer running slower than Al, struggling to complete simple tasks, and programs can crash? If so, your computer is likely low on memory or RAM. If you’re wondering how to free up RAM and get your computer back on its A game, you’ve come to the right place.
RAM stands for random-access memory and is the short-term memory that a computer creates for its active, moment-to-moment processes. Because of this, your computer can access RAM very quickly. It is stored on a memory chip on your computer’s motherboard, which serves as your device’s primary memory hub.
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RAM is the ultimate multitasker, allowing you to stay active in one program while loading another. The more RAM you have, the more your computer can do at once. When your computer is slow, your programs may be taking up more space than your RAM can handle.
Freeing up RAM is an important part of computer maintenance because it can be very annoying when your computer is running low. Read on for tips on freeing up RAM on Windows and Mac computers.
Whether you’re a Windows or Mac user, there are a few steps you should try before taking drastic measures to free up RAM on your computer.
If you are wondering how to clear RAM, the answer is easier than you think. As with many other problems your devices may experience, restarting your computer is a great first troubleshooting step to slow down RAM aging.
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Since RAM is only short-term data for currently running programs, restarting your device will clear your RAM. You may have some processes running in the background without your knowledge, and restarting is a surefire way to stop those processes and tell your RAM to take a break.
Some browsers are better designed to allocate and manage RAM age more effectively than others. If you rely heavily on one browser and find it running slowly, it may be time to get back into the market for a smart browser.
Your cache relies heavily on RAM, as it’s short-term memory for reloading pages you’ve recently visited. While it helps you navigate the web faster, it can demand a lot of RAM, leaving you with minimal memory to complete other important tasks. If you’ve already restarted your computer and experimented with other browsers, try clearing your cache to free up RAM.
Software updates may seem like a pain, but in the long run you’ll be glad you kept your computer and programs up to date. Outdated software often requires more RAM, requiring updates for better RAM allocation. Faster multitasking may be far from the update.
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Yes, even those little helper icons at the top of your browser can be guilty of memory hogging. If you find yourself stuck on browser extensions you don’t use often, it might be time to remove them and see if your computer rewards you.
If you’re using a PC and those first few troubleshooting tips didn’t adequately take care of your RAM issues, try the tips below to free up RAM in Windows 10.
Thanks to the Windows Task Manager, identifying the source of RAM depletion is no longer a guessing game. This tool will show you which programs and processes are hogging RAM and causing you trouble, so you can take the right steps to free up RAM. You should remember how to open Task Manager as we will refer to it in other steps as well.
You should now see the source of your RAM aging. Remember to regularly monitor your RAM age in Task Manager so you can spot problematic ones and manage or eliminate them before they slow down your computer significantly.
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Most likely, you have software on your computer that you’ve never downloaded (and probably never updated). Now that you’ve identified which programs are taking up the most RAM in the Processes tab, you can remove large programs that aren’t needed.
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