How Can I Tell How Much Memory I Have on My Laptop?

By Justin H. Pot

When it comes to laptops, memory is very important. The two main types of laptop memory--RAM and hard drive space--both play key roles in the day-to-day functioning of a machine. If you see an error message complaining about a lack of memory, the problem could be one of two things: your RAM or you hard drive space. The best way to find out is to check both and see how much you have. Doing so is easy on all major platforms.


When it comes to what your computer is doing right now, RAM is the key. Having sufficient RAM is important because without it your computer runs very slowly. Finding out how much RAM you have is simple on all major operating systems. On a Windows machine, right-click "My Computer" and click "Properties." The window that pops up will tell you how much RAM there is on your system near the bottom. On a Mac, click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of the screen, then click "About This Mac." This screen will tell you how much RAM is installed on your system, as well as your processing power and the free space on your system.On Gnome-based Linux systems, click "System," "Administration," "System Monitor." The window that opens will tell you all about your system, including how much RAM you have.

Hard Drive

The computer's hard drive is where long-term data is stored. Your documents, pictures and music are all stored here so you can use them whenever you want. If you want to know how big your hard drive is, it doesn't take much work. On a Windows machine, double-click the "My Computer" icon to see all of your hard drives. You can then right-click the drives and click "Properties" to see how big the drives are, as well as how much space each drive has free.On a Mac, simply open Finder. The bottom of the window will tell you how much free space you have on your primary hard drive. If you have additional drives, simply open them with Finder and check in the same way.On Gnome-based Linux systems, your best bet is probably the "System Monitor," described in "RAM." Simply open the monitor as you did before and then click on the "File Systems" tab to be shown information about all drives connected to your system.