Your computer uses RAM (random access memory) to handle active apps and tasks, and when you don’t have enough RAM, your computer will slow down. We’ll show you how to check your RAM, see how much you have, and decide how much you need. Then, we’ll show you how to optimize your computer with specialized performance tools.

Checking RAM on windows 7

Step 1:   

Boot into Safe Mode by repeatedly hitting F8 before your Windows logs in. If it does not seem to register at first, keep trying until it shows up. Once you hit this key sequence correctly, a menu will pop up with additional options. You want to choose ‘Safe Mode’ or ‘Minimal.’ This will check your RAM, so choosing anything extra is unneeded right now.                

Step 2:   

Once you’re in, open up your task manager by right-clicking on the Taskbar > Task Manager or Ctrl + Shift + Esc. A lot of processes will be running at this point. You need to find out which one is Windows Explorer (the folder / file manager) and end its process. To do this, click on the tab (which should be labeled Processes) and search for ‘Windows Explorer.

After that, stop any other instances of it that come into view if there are multiple listed. Do not close the window without stopping every example you can see. If you’re unsure about what one is Windows Explorer, hover over each option (options with a { } frame around their work like hovering), if a tooltip pops up that doesn’t help, then it’s likely Windows Explorer. Once you’re sure all instances of Windows Explorer are stopped, take note of how much RAM that process was using. If there is more than one instance of Windows Explorer running at this point, repeat this step to check each instance’s RAM usage.  

Step 3:   

Once you’ve found the process taking up the most memory (if you have multiple results take note of them all), right-click on the process and press ‘Go to details. This will reveal a detailed list of files being accessed by your computer so you can see which files exactly are taking up too much space. Some people like looking through multiple entries, but not everyone does this. If you would like to look through the other entries, do so and then proceed once finished. After that, head back up to the task manager and hit ‘New task (Run)’.

Step 4:

(This part is essential) From here on out, whenever we open a program, it should appear in the Processes tab temporarily. Search for anything your computer has tons of access to, such as internet browsers or any other program you commonly use. Because RAM is constantly changing, we need something we can check periodically. After doing this, ignore everything listed in the processes, find our original Windows Explorer, and right-click it > Go to details.

Once there, keep an eye on how much memory it takes up every time you open a program and check it. If there’s a memory increase, Windows Explorer is being accessed too much to be considered safe. If not, then ignore this step for now. Close out of the Task Manager and proceed to use your computer as usual for at least an hour or two.

Step 5:

Boot into Safe Mode again by repeatedly hitting F8, as mentioned in Step 1. Once you’re back in Safe Mode, head over to task manager once more (Ctrl + Shift + Esc will always work) and select ‘New Task (Run)’. You should still have access to our original Windows Explorer listed from before so reopen that process.

Instead of looking for ‘Windows Explorer, look for your browser or similar program you’ve been using recently. If it took up a large amount of RAM before, check to see if it still does now. If there has been a change in memory usage, then this means that something is wrong with your computer, and you should consider upgrading your RAM.   

Read more: Step by Step Guide about How to Allocate More RAM to Minecraft Server?

Step 6:  

If nothing seems out of place after using your computer, as usual, make sure to restart and repeat these steps later on at least once every other day. In some cases, people will need to repeat this process multiple times within one week, but this is very rare. Congratulations! You have successfully checked your RAM on Windows 7/10.

What is the best way to check your memory for errors?

If you want to check your memory for errors, a program called Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool can do this automatically for you. See below on how to use it and if it’s essential, as most experts believe checking RAM manually covers the need to do the same thing with software.            

  1. Press ‘Windows key + R’ to open up Run
  2. Type in MSC, then hit OK.
  3. The Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool will now open, and you can choose if it should run immediately or at the next restart (highly recommended to run it right away). After that, have finished checking your results. If there are errors recorded, then this is a sign of something wrong with your RAM. It’ll be essential to see how many errors are recorded so you can look for ways to fix them.
  4. If there are no errors, then everything is fine with your RAM. The errors likely occur during startup or at other times when Windows is being accessed heavily, but this doesn’t always mean that something’s wrong. This step is optional but recommended.   

Is it necessary to upgrade your RAM?

You may find yourself asking this very question when it comes down to whether or not you need to upgrade your RAM, and that’s completely fine. The matter is that upgrading computers is almost always an easy task in most cases with basic knowledge on how to use a computer and the components. Sometimes, it may even be possible to upgrade RAM without taking everything apart, such as with laptops or other devices that use modules compared to sticks. If you’re looking for a quick answer on whether you need more RAM or not.             

If you have less than 8GB of RAM, the chances are that your computer is running low on memory. Upgrading this will help to futureproof your PC if you’re planning on using it for a long time.

If you have more than 8GB of RAM, then consider what kind of tasks you’re using your computer for. More than 8GB of RAM is beneficial most of the time, but if you don’t need that much, it’s not worth it to get new modules. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, so consider what you do within your day-to-day life before making a decision.   


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