How to Upgrade RAM on Laptop? – Overview
While the RAM that ships with a PC are good for the first couple of years, you might need more, especially if you’re into productivity tasks that occupy a lot of RAM, such as video editing.
In addition, you might upgrade your laptop’s operating system, for instance, from Windows 10 to Windows 11, only to find that the latter requires more memory. You can invest in RAM cleaning software, but this is a temporary solution at best.
To completely fix your random access memory problems, you need to upgrade the RAM in your laptop. You have two options either add an extra RAM stick or remove the existing RAM stick and install a bigger and better one.
This review will discuss how you can upgrade your laptop’s RAM. But before you upgrade your laptop’s RAM, you should do a couple of things. Let’s first check them out.
How Much RAM Do You Need?
Although it’s not set in stone regarding how much RAM you should have in a laptop, 4GB is considered the bare minimum. You’ll find that Microsoft’s website includes 1GB and 2GB RAM as the minimum specifications for Windows 10 laptops.
However, anything under 4GB RAM will struggle to run the newer versions of productivity applications such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Office Suite.
So, we recommend at least 4GB RAM if your laptop runs Windows 10 or 11. But if you’re running RAM-intensive applications like Adobe Photoshop, you should upgrade to at least 8GB RAM.
You’ll need at least 16 GB of RAM coupled with SSD storage if you’re a gamer. Just make sure that you check how much ram you have first.
What Should You Do Before Upgrading RAM?
Check How Much Memory You’re Currently Using
You can check your laptop’s current RAM usage in the ‘Windows Task Manager’ application. To open this application, Press ‘Windows + X’ on your keyboard and click on the ‘Task Manager’ option to see how much RAM you’re using.
The Task Manager app also lets you see how many RAM slots are occupied and how many are available for expansion or upgrades. Keep in mind that this feature isn’t available on all laptops, but you can check just to confirm.
Check If Your Laptop’s RAM Can Be Upgraded
It’s important to check if your laptop’s RAM can be upgraded. Why? Because the RAM sticks in some laptops have been soldered onto the motherboard or the laptop’s back panel can’t be removed.
This is common in Apple laptops, MacBook Air, and Pro hence why we haven’t mentioned them in this review, particularly those from 2013 onwards.
To check if you can upgrade your RAM, use tools like the Crucial System Scanner. When you open the portal, enter your laptop’s manufacturer and model. On the next screen, you should see the number of RAM slots your PC has.
The Upgrade Process
Shutdown Your Laptop
After confirming that you can upgrade your laptop’s random access memory, start by turning off your laptop and disconnecting the power adapter. If your laptop has a removable battery, ensure you remove it as well.
Open Your Laptop’s Back Panel
How to Upgrade RAM on Laptop – Back Panel
Next, open your laptop’s back panel to reveal the RAM slots. Depending on your PC, you might have to remove the entire back panel to access the RAM slots.
If your laptop has a non-removable battery, just leave it as it is. Also, ensure you ground yourself by touching another metal object to prevent static discharge from your body.
Detach The Existing RAM Stick If Need Be
If you find that all RAM slots are occupied, you should pull out one or all of them, depending on the number of new RAM sticks you have. To remove a RAM stick, push the clips holding it in place sideways; it should pop out.
Next, hold the RAM stick by its edges and lift it out. Keep in mind that as you lift it out, you shouldn’t touch the golden connectors at the bottom.
Install The New Ram Stick
To install the new RAM stick, align it with an empty slot, then gently press it at an angle of about 45 degrees until you hear a soft clicking sound.
Next, push the RAM stick downwards until it locks in place. Finally, screw in your laptop’s back panel; when you switch on your laptop, it should detect the new RAM stick.
In conclusion, that is how you upgrade a laptop’s RAM. Now, the next time you edit a video or open many browser tabs, your laptop shouldn’t lag. If you don’t know which RAM sticks to use, check out our review on the best 32GB RAM for suggestions.