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Can You Upgrade Ram on a Laptop?

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We all enjoy enormously when we open our brand new laptop and experience its speed, multitasking abilities, and storage facilities. With time, we may start noticing that it gets “slow”. That’s when we might want to upgrade its RAM, but can you upgrade RAM on a laptop?

Can You Upgrade RAM on a Laptop?

If your Laptop has a memory slot independent of the motherboard, you can upgrade its RAM by inserting an extra memory card. However, this option is not available for all models of Laptops. 

Generally, high end, ultraslim designed computers have its RAM attached directly to the motherboard. If this is the case, you can’t upgrade your RAM.

A hand holding a strip of a laptop RAM

How Do I Know If I Can Upgrade My Laptop RAM?

To know if you can upgrade your laptop RAM, you can use a configuration web tool like Crucial Memory’s Advisor. This will indicate not only if your laptop is suitable to upgrade your RAM, but the precise model of the RAM card you will need. These models of RAM cards are not exclusive.

  • Visit the Crucial Memory’s Advisor page.
  • Introduce your manufacturer and model of your laptop. 
  • Once you submit the info requested, the tool will show a summary of the technical specifications of your laptop’s memory (RAM); storage (hard disk); and capacity (chip). If your laptop isn’t upgradable, the tool will tell you so. 
  • If your Laptop it’s upgradeable, the tool will indicate, among other data, what is your maximal memory; How many slots do you have; and what are the specifications of the memory cards they recommend.

How Do I Know If I Need to Upgrade My Laptop RAM?

First of all, you should confirm if it is really necessary to upgrade your RAM. You can open up the Task Manager on your laptop to find this out. This is a procedure standard for Windows 10, with no significant changes for previous releases. 

  • Within the “Task Manager,” select the “Performance” tab.
  • In that tab, select “Memory”. This option will show you some interesting data about the performance of your RAM.
  • In the left status, you will see “RAM Total” and “RAM Used”. This is expressed logically (Gbs) and in percentages. 
  • In the right quadrant (Memory used and Memory Composition) you’ll find useful information about how many slots the laptop has (for some models) and how many are used; how many GBs are in use/ How many are available, among other variables. 
A close up of a person with both their hands on a keypad of a laptop

If you are a regular user, a laptop with Windows 10 will require at least 4 GBs of RAM to perform regularly; ideally, you could increase to 8 GBs. Beyond that level, an upgrade in RAM will not have a significant impact on your laptop’s performance unless you’re an advanced gamer or programmer. 

So, for example, let’s say your inquiry in the Task Manager threw the following information: your laptop RAM has 8 GBs and you’re using 30% of it. This is 2,4 GBs. You have 1 slot and it’s in use. In that case, there is no need for you to increase your current RAM memory.

If, on the other hand, the result is that you have 4 GBs of RAM of a maximum total assignable of 8 GBs, using 90% of it (3,6 GBs), it is highly recommendable then to upgrade. 

How Can I Add More RAM to My Laptop?

Here are the steps to upgrade your RAM, adding a memory card:

  • Shut down your laptop and unplug the power cable. You are going to insert the new RAM card in a slot located at the bottom of the laptop. Usually, this is a panel apart in the bottom that has to be unscrewed. 
  • As a security precaution, touch any metal component of the laptop, so you can do ground yourself, and preventing any risk of static electricity. 
  • After you’ve opened the panel at the bottom of your laptop, insert the new memory card with the gold edges facing down in any available slot.
  • If you don’t have an available slot, you’ll need to remove an old memory card to make room for the new one. To remove an old memory card, push the clips that hold it aside with your fingers, and carefully lift it out.
  • After you insert the new memory card, press it down gently until you hear a click sound, signaling that the memory card is in place.
  • Check if the clips at the sides hold the card firmly in place steadily and close the panel.
  • Finally, turn on your computer again. If you don’t notice any immediate improvements in your computer’s speed or performance, you can check the status of your RAM in the Task Manager. (See our steps above on how to make a diagnostic.) 
Woman with her hands hovering on her laptop wondering if she can upgrade her RAM

Can I add 8 Gb RAM to a 4 Gb Laptop?  

Yes. You can add 8GB to your 4GB Laptop. However, keep in mind that you won’t tell the difference if your processor doesn’t support that amount of memory.

Can I upgrade my laptop RAM to 16 GB?

Yes, you can upgrade your Laptop to 16 Gb. However, if your processor doesn’t support that amount of RAM you won’t feel the difference. In the market, there are Laptop models with RAM assigned of 12, 16 and even 32 Gbs, though there are expensive. Generally, the standard  RAM for a laptop is 8Gb.

Can I Upgrade my MacBook RAM?

No. You can upgrade the RAM memory of most of the cutting-edge, ultra-slim laptops. This due to its complex designs, where the RAM memory panel is attached to the motherboard. This is a characteristic of Apple Laptops as well as other good laptop brands like Microsoft, Dell, or HP.

Conclusion

You can upgrade your laptop if it by default has the proper configuration to allow either the user or the technical service to open the panel of memory RAM. Not all models can be upgraded. You should search first if you really need to upgrade, and what’s the maximum increase of the memory you need to do.