How to Upgrade RAM on Laptop

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

How to Upgrade RAM on a Laptop – Overview

While the RAM that ships with a PC is sufficient for the first couple of years, you might need more, especially if you engage in productivity tasks that consume a lot of RAM, such as video editing.

Additionally, upgrading your laptop’s operating system, from Windows 10 to Windows 11, may reveal that the new OS requires more memory. Investing in RAM cleaning software is a temporary fix at best.

To permanently solve your random access memory issues, upgrading the RAM in your laptop is necessary. You have two options: add an extra RAM stick or replace the existing RAM stick with a larger and more capable one.

This review will guide you through upgrading your laptop’s RAM. Before undertaking a RAM upgrade, you should follow several preparatory steps. Let’s explore them.

How Much RAM Do You Need?

The amount of RAM needed for a laptop is not fixed, but 4GB is often considered the bare minimum. Microsoft’s website lists 1GB and 2GB of RAM as the minimum requirements for Windows 10 laptops.

However, any less than 4GB of RAM will struggle to run newer versions of productivity applications, such as Google Chrome and the Microsoft Office Suite.

Therefore, we recommend at least 4GB of RAM for Windows 10 or 11 laptops. If you use RAM-intensive applications like Adobe Photoshop, consider upgrading to at least 8GB of RAM.

For gamers, a minimum of 16GB of RAM and SSD storage is advisable. It’s essential first to check how much RAM you currently have.

What Should You Do Before Upgrading RAM?

Check How Much Memory You’re Currently Using

You can monitor your laptop’s RAM usage via the Windows Task Manager. Press ‘Windows + X’ on your keyboard and select the Task Manager option to view your current RAM usage.

The Task Manager also shows how many RAM slots are occupied and how many are available for expansion or upgrades. Note that not all laptops offer this feature, but it’s worth checking to confirm.

Check If Your Laptop’s RAM Can Be Upgraded

It’s crucial to verify whether your laptop’s RAM can be upgraded. This is because, in some laptops, the RAM sticks are soldered onto the motherboard, or the laptop’s back panel cannot be removed.

This situation is common in Apple laptops, such as the MacBook Air and Pro, especially those released from 2013 onwards.

To determine if your RAM can be upgraded, use tools like the Crucial System Scanner. Enter your laptop’s manufacturer and model on the portal. The next screen will display the number of RAM slots your PC has.

The Upgrade Process

1. Shutdown Your Laptop

After verifying that your laptop’s RAM can be upgraded, begin by shutting down your laptop and disconnecting the power adapter. Remove the battery as well if it is removable.

2. Open Your Laptop’s Back Panel

Proceed to open your laptop’s back panel to access the RAM slots. The method to reach the RAM slots may vary, requiring the removal of the entire back panel in some PCs.

If your laptop has a non-removable battery, leave it in place. Additionally, ground yourself by touching another metal object to prevent static discharge from your body.

3. Detach The Existing RAM Stick If Needed

Should you find all RAM slots occupied, remove one or all of them, depending on the number of new RAM sticks you plan to install. To remove a RAM stick, push the clips holding it sideways; it should then pop out.

Next, grip the RAM stick by its edges to lift it out, not touching the golden connectors at the bottom.

4. Install The New RAM Stick

To install the new RAM stick, align it with an empty slot and gently press it at about a 45-degree angle until you hear a soft clicking sound.

Next, push the RAM stick downwards until it locks in place. Finally, reattach your laptop’s back panel. Upon powering on your laptop, it should recognize the new RAM stick.

In conclusion, this is the process of upgrading a laptop’s RAM. With this upgrade, your laptop should no longer lag when editing videos or opening multiple browser tabs. If you are uncertain about which RAM sticks to choose, consider checking our review on the best 32GB RAM for suggestions.

See Also

32 GB RAM for Gaming

32 GB RAM for Desktop

How Much RAM Does a Programmer Need