how to upgrade ram on a laptop

How to Upgrade RAM on a Laptop

Learning how to enhance RAM on your laptop can significantly enhance its speed and functionality, potentially saving you from the expense of replacing the entire device. Even top-tier laptops benefit from a little tender loving care over time, and one of the simplest methods to enhance performance is by upgrading your laptop’s RAM.

While the idea of performing the upgrade yourself might seem intimidating, we’ll guide you through the process step by step, making it easy. These steps can also be adapted for upgrading RAM on desktop computers, as outlined in our home computer guide.

However, in this guide, we’ll focus on upgrading a laptop running a Windows operating system. Many of the principles discussed here can also be applied to upgrading an Apple laptop like the Apple M1 MacBook Pro, although specific support can be found on Apple’s support pages.

To upgrade RAM on your laptop, you’ll only need a screwdriver, a new RAM module, and a clear understanding of your computer’s specifications and RAM compatibility.

What is RAM?

RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is a type of computer memory that is used to store data and programs that are currently being used or processed by the computer’s CPU (Central Processing Unit). RAM provides fast access to this data, allowing the CPU to quickly retrieve and manipulate it.

Unlike storage devices such as hard drives or SSDs (Solid State Drives), RAM is volatile memory, meaning that its contents are lost when the computer is powered off.

RAM plays a crucial role in determining the overall speed and performance of a computer system, as more RAM allows the computer to handle more tasks simultaneously without slowing down.

Why Upgrade RAM on a Laptop?

Over time, as software becomes more advanced and demanding, more than the existing RAM in a laptop may be needed to handle the workload efficiently.

Signs such as sluggish performance, frequent freezing, and extended loading times indicate that it might be time for a RAM upgrade.

Upgrading RAM can significantly enhance multitasking capabilities, improve system responsiveness, and allow for smoother operation of resource-intensive applications.

Understanding Laptop Specifications

Before embarking on the journey of upgrading RAM, it is crucial to understand the current specifications of the laptop. This includes determining the existing RAM capacity and identifying the compatible types and capacities of RAM modules that can be installed.

Preparation Before Upgrading RAM

Prior to commencing the RAM upgrade process, it is advisable to back up important data to prevent any potential loss during the procedure. Additionally, gathering the necessary tools, such as a screwdriver and grounding strap, and observing safety precautions to prevent damage to the laptop components are essential steps.

How to upgrade RAM on my laptop?

Is there a way to increase RAM on a laptop? Absolutely possible, provided you haven’t hit your device’s maximum RAM limit. Similar to desktops, the potential RAM upgrade for your laptop depends on various factors.

However, it’s worth noting that not all laptops are upgrade-friendly when it comes to RAM. In some cases, RAM modules are soldered onto the motherboard, making them non-removable. To find out if your laptop is eligible for a RAM upgrade, check online for information regarding replaceable RAM.

To upgrade the RAM on a laptop follow these steps:

  1. Research Compatibility: Before purchasing new RAM, ensure it is compatible with your laptop. Check the manufacturer’s specifications or use online tools to determine the type and maximum capacity of RAM your laptop supports.
  2. Prepare Workspace: Find a clean, well-lit workspace to perform the upgrade. Gather the necessary tools, including a screwdriver.
  3. Power Off and Unplug: Shut down your laptop and disconnect it from any power source.
  4. Access RAM Slots: Depending on your laptop model, the RAM slots may be located underneath a panel on the bottom of the laptop or beneath the keyboard. Refer to your laptop’s manual for specific instructions.
  5. Remove Existing RAM: If your laptop has existing RAM modules, carefully remove them by pushing outward on the retaining clips until the RAM module pops up. Gently pull the module out at an angle.
  6. Install New RAM: Align the notches on the new RAM module with the grooves in the RAM slot. Insert the module at an angle and press down firmly until it clicks into place. Ensure it is fully seated.
  7. Replace Cover: If you removed a panel, secure it back onto the laptop. If necessary, reattach the keyboard.
  8. Power On and Test: Reconnect the laptop to power and turn it on. Check the system properties or use diagnostic tools to verify that the new RAM is detected and functioning properly.
  9. Update BIOS: In some cases, updating the laptop’s BIOS may be necessary to ensure compatibility with the new RAM. Check the manufacturer’s website for any available BIOS updates.
  10. Enjoy Improved Performance: With the RAM upgrade complete, your laptop should now be capable of handling more tasks simultaneously and running applications more smoothly.

Post-Installation Checks

After installing the new RAM modules, it is essential to power on the laptop and verify that the RAM upgrade has been successful. It can be done by checking the system properties or using diagnostic tools to confirm the increased RAM capacity.

Tips for Maximizing RAM Performance

To maximize the newly upgraded RAM, it is advisable to effectively manage background processes and perform regular maintenance tasks such as disk cleanup and defragmentation to optimize system performance.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

In some cases, users may encounter compatibility issues or encounter errors during the RAM installation process. Troubleshooting steps such as reseating the RAM modules or updating the BIOS can help resolve these issues effectively.

How to check your current RAM usage

To check your current RAM usage in Windows, follow these steps:

Open Task Manager: Right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen and select “Task Manager” from the menu that appears. Alternatively, you can press “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” on your keyboard to open Task Manager directly.

Navigate to the “Performance” Tab: In Task Manager, click on the “Performance” tab at the top.

Check Memory Usage: Under the “Performance” tab, you’ll see various graphs and statistics. Look for the “Memory” section. Here, you’ll see a graphical representation of your current memory usage, including how much is in use and how much is available.

View Detailed Information: For more detailed information, click on the “Memory” option in the left sidebar. This will display additional details about your memory usage, including the total amount of RAM installed, how much is currently in use, and how much is available.

To check your current RAM usage on a Mac:

Open Activity Monitor:

  • Go to the “Applications” folder.
  • Then open the “Utilities” folder.
  • Launch “Activity Monitor.”

Navigate to the “Memory” Tab: In Activity Monitor, click on the “Memory” tab at the top.

Check Memory Usage: Under the “Memory” tab, you’ll see a graphical representation of your current memory usage, including how much is being used by active processes and how much is “inactive” or available for use.

View Detailed Information: For more detailed information, check the “Memory Pressure” graph at the bottom of the window. This graph gives you an overview of how efficiently your system is managing memory resources. Additionally, you can view detailed information about your memory usage in the various columns displayed in the Activity Monitor window.

By following these steps, you can easily check your current RAM usage on both Windows and Mac operating systems.


In conclusion, upgrading RAM on a laptop is a relatively simple yet effective way to enhance its performance and prolong its lifespan. 

By following the outlined steps and guidelines, users can experience improved multitasking capabilities and smoother operation of their laptops, ultimately leading to a more enjoyable computing experience.


Is upgrading RAM difficult?

While it may seem daunting at first, upgrading RAM on a laptop is straightforward and can be accomplished with basic technical knowledge and the right tools.

How much RAM do I need to upgrade?

The amount of RAM to upgrade depends on individual usage requirements. Adding at least 4GB or 8GB of additional RAM can significantly improve performance.

Will upgrading RAM void my laptop warranty?

In most cases, upgrading RAM does not void the laptop warranty. However, it is advisable to check the warranty terms and conditions.

Can I mix different RAM brands and speeds?

While it is possible to mix different RAM brands and speeds, identical modules are recommended for optimal compatibility and performance.

How often should I upgrade RAM?

The frequency of RAM upgrades depends on individual usage patterns and the evolving requirements of software applications. Generally, upgrading RAM every few years can help keep the laptop running smoothly.

Read More – >>> Types of Server RAM: What’s the Difference?

Leave a Comment