How to Upgrade Your Laptop's Ram Memory

By Eric Mack

Spending more time staring at your computer screen waiting for programs to load than actually using them? Having nightmares about that irritating hourglass cursor? If your laptop's speed or performance just isn't up to snuff anymore, it might be time to consider a RAM upgrade.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer's manual or access to the internet
  • New RAM chip
  • Set of jeweler's screwdrivers

Step 1

Determine exactly what kind of RAM your laptop needs and how many open slots you've got, if any. There's a few ways to do this: you can consult the laptop manual, open up the laptop and have a look, or perhaps the easiest way is to run some software on your system that will tell you your current RAM information and what your total capacity and configuration is (see Resources below).

Step 2

Figure out how many megabytes (or gigabytes) you want to add. It's a simple equation: More RAM equals better performance and more dough to be shelled out. Laptops usually don't have a ton of RAM capacity, so if you can afford it and it's practical for your needs, you might want to consider maxing out your capacity.

Step 3

Purchase your RAM. This can be done online at vendors like Crucial or through brick-and-mortar retailers like Best Buy.

Step 4

Prepare to install your RAM once you have it in your hands. First, disconnect your laptop's power cable, and then remove the battery and ground yourself to discharge any static buildup.

Step 5

Consult your laptop's manual for the location of the RAM slots. Generally, there should be a removable panel on the bottom. You'll probably need to remove a few screws with a jeweler's screwdriver.

Step 6

Gently remove any old RAM chips that you will replace with the new ones, if necessary.

Step 7

Press the new chip into the slot and lock into place, following the included instructions. Never force the chip.

Step 8

Put the cover back on, put the battery back in, boot up and you should be ready to go.

Tips & Warnings

  • If an error message comes up when you reboot, make sure the chip was inserted correctly or call a technician to reinstall.
  • Beware of static electricity and magnets while installing. It's best not to install while standing on carpet or sitting on a fabric-covered couch.