How to upgrade the RAM on your laptop

Expandable RAM as seen on Framework laptops.
Luke Larson/

Has your trusty laptop been feeling a little sluggish lately? Does it feel overwhelming when you have too many tabs open? Upgrading your RAM may be the solution.

RAM, or random access memory, plays a vital role in your computer’s performance. When it runs out of physical memory, it starts swapping data to your hard drive, slowing down processes significantly. Here’s when it’s time to upgrade your laptop’s RAM and how to install it yourself.

Install Your New Laptop RAM

As long as you follow the instructions carefully, you will be able to install new RAM on your laptop yourself without any advanced technical knowledge. However, before we start, head to the bottom of this article for more information on how to check your RAM usage, how to know if your laptop can be upgraded, and how to choose the right type of RAM.

It should be noted that the internal parts of laptops vary in terms of design. The following steps are general advice that should apply to most laptops, although the details will vary from laptop to laptop.

  1. Turn off your laptop and make sure it is unplugged from any power source.
  2. Turn your laptop over so you can identify and unscrew any screws that will allow you to remove the base plate.
  3. SODIMM memory sticks are often held in place by clips. Locate these and remember to hold the RAM by the edges rather than covering the gold connectors.
  4. Remove the old RAM from your laptop by removing the clips that hold the RAM in place.
  5. Insert the new RAM by holding it at an angle by the edges; The pins must align with the pins in the slot.
  6. Press the new RAM firmly in place until it clicks into place under the clips.
  7. Replace the base plate and screw it back on.
  8. Turn on your laptop and navigate Adjustment , System , About this, Here, you should see the total amount of RAM installed. If it is incorrect, you will need to repeat the above steps to reinstall the RAM.

Check your current RAM usage

These are the basic instructions, but before you go out and buy some new RAM, there’s a lot more you need to know. Start by checking your laptop’s memory usage. With your most demanding workloads open and running, open Windows Task Manager to check and see if more is needed. Here’s how to open it:

  • Right-click on the taskbar.
  • choose Task Manager,
  • click on Display Tab.

Here, you can see how much memory is being used compared to the total amount of RAM available. If you’re close to the limit, upgrading can significantly improve performance.

Find out if you can upgrade

Next, you need to know if it’s possible to upgrade the RAM on your laptop. Not all laptops allow RAM upgrades; Some have sealed bottoms or soldered memory. For example, if you have a recent MacBook or another compact laptop, you’re probably out of luck.

You can use tools like Crucial’s Memory Advisor Or check your laptop’s documentation to determine if an upgrade is possible. Identify the type and speed (DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, or DDR5) and maximum capacity of RAM supported by your laptop. If you can access your memory, you are good to go.

Buy RAM that is compatible with your laptop

Now that you know the type and speed of RAM your laptop can support, it’s time to purchase that RAM for your laptop. Although it is not necessary to purchase a matching pair of memory sticks, dual-channel RAM provides better performance. This also eliminates any potential compatibility conflicts.

You can purchase RAM to upgrade your laptop from the manufacturer’s website or from online retail stores like Amazon or Best Buy.

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