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Does my Computer Need More Memory?

If you’re frustrated by an unresponsive computer, it’s likely that lack of memory (RAM) is to blame. See if a memory upgrade will solve your slow computer issues and deliver the speed you expect!

Signs you might need more RAM for your computer

When you first notice that your computer is running slowly, stalling, or crashing: “Do I need to add computer memory?” should be the first question to ask. However, it’s only when it becomes a recurring problem that people investigate if they have a deeper computer issue with their hardware. Usually it’s just about finding a quick fix or restarting the computer so you can finish sending an email or surf the web. Then the problem is forgotten until the next time you use the computer.

If you’re constantly seeing spinning hourglass icons or a frozen screen, it’s likely time to add computer memory.

How do I know if I need more memory right now?

It’s not always easy to diagnose insufficient memory, so here are some simple yet telling signs that your computer could benefit from a memory upgrade.

 If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, you may need to add computer memory:

  • Everyday tasks are plagued by poor or sub-par performance
  • Programs frequently stop responding
  • Typing constantly involves waiting for your computer to catch up
  • Clicking or selecting an icon has a delayed response
  • Multitasking with more than one app or program is nearly impossible
  • Working on spreadsheets slows your system to a crawl
  • You get system notifications about low memory
  • System updates stall productivity because your computer is so slow
  • You have display problems, like pulling up a page that either partially loads, doesn’t load at all, or shows a blank space where data should be
  • You try to open apps or documents and the system stops responding

Why does more memory help?

Almost everything you do on a computer relies on it having sufficient memory. This includes actions ranging from moving your mouse cursor, which uses a minimal amount of RAM, to multitasking among multiple apps, which uses more RAM. There are also processes that are constantly running in the background, such as system updates and security software, which can use most of your computer’s RAM. To put it simply, the more things you’re doing on your computer, the more gigabytes (GB) of RAM you need. And you will likely need to add computer memory as time goes on.

Find out more about how memory works in your computer.

Find out how much memory is installed in your system

Computer manufacturers often fail to fully populate the installed memory capacity in the systems they sell because they want to keep the price down. For example, if a desktop can hold 32GB of RAM, it often comes with 4GB or 8GB. This is another reason why a memory upgrade usually solves the problem: There is almost always room to improve. Let’s see how much RAM is in your system:

If your computer is a PC, here’s how to find out on Windows® 10:

  • Click the Windows logo or Start button on the taskbar
  • Right-click Computer
  • Click Properties

If your computer is a Mac® system, here’s how to find out on OS X® Sierra

  • Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock
  • Click Other
  • Click System Information

Look at the “Installed memory” to see how much RAM is installed.

How to upgrade your memory

Adding computer memory is one of the fastest, easiest, and most affordable ways to increase system performance. It’s an upgrade that delivers instant results that last because it cures the root problem of the symptoms listed above. Use the Crucial System Scanner tool below to find out how much RAM your system currently has installed, how much it can hold, and to view a list of compatible memory upgrades for your specific computer.

Crucial DDR3 4GB DIMM

How do I know if I’ll need more RAM in the future?

The minimum system requirements for almost every app continue to increase, but it’s possible to set your computer up with enough memory to avoid having to continuously upgrade when you install a new program. Maxing out your installed RAM will likely suffice until the end of your computer’s life, so it’s in your interest to be proactive about adding RAM to your computer.

Here are a few examples of when you might want to upgrade your computer’s memory:

Updating your operating system (OS)

Because your computer’s OS uses hardware resources like RAM to run properly, the OS has a significant impact on overall performance. Typically, a newer version of an OS demands more memory than its predecessor. Adding more memory when you upgrade your OS ensures a smoother transition, prevents potential problems, and optimizes the performance of your system.

Installing new software or other hardware

New software often requires more memory than its predecessors, particularly productivity applications, such as photo editing software, video editing programs, and games. Similarly, new hardware components like video cards, storage, and even the processor require sufficient memory to deliver their promised level of performance.

To make sure your system has enough memory, check all minimum hardware memory requirements and add more GBs of RAM to give your system the resources it needs to run optimally.

memory desktop

Purchasing a new system

This is especially true with inexpensive new computers that have minimal memory. However, before paying a higher price for a computer with more preinstalled RAM, check out the available upgrades for a system using the Crucial Advisor™ tool or System Scanner tool You might find affordable upgrades that save you money while significantly boosting performance.

Adding memory to your computer gives you the resources to run multiple applications at one time and to do it all faster. Stop waiting on an unresponsive computer and install more RAM today!

©2017 Micron Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Information, products, and or specifications are subject to change without notice. Neither Crucial nor Micron Technology, Inc. is responsible for omissions or errors in typography or photography. Micron and the Micron logo are registered trademarks of Micron Technology, Inc. Crucial and the Crucial logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Micron Technology, Inc. Microsoft, Windows, Mac, and OS X are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.