How to Increase Computer Memory

Your computer relies on Random Access Memory, or RAM, for temporary high-speed storage to operate from. RAM is much more expensive per gigabyte than hard drive space, because it is so much faster. RAM is also volatile, meaning its contents are lost after the computer is powered off. Over time, your computer’s performance may slow down as large programs are loaded onto the computer. Unless you're maxed out on RAM, you can increase your computer’s memory by installing new RAM modules.

Step

Power off and unplug the computer. Remove the battery if you are working on a laptop computer.

Step

Remove the side cover of the computer case, or the memory slot cover of a laptop. Laptops and most desktops use screws, while some desktops feature a movable lever.

Step

Insert the memory into an available slot. The memory is notched so that it may be inserted in a single direction only. If no memory slots are available, remove the existing memory by gently prying apart the plastic or metal retention clips. The new memory should gently snap into place.

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Replace the side cover or memory slot cover and power on the computer. The new memory is recognized by the computer automatically.