Learn how you can increase RAM of your computer using a USB flash drive and a Windows feature called Readyboost.
Is the RAM of your computer insufficient for your everyday needs? Do you want to increase RAM but you cannot install more modules? Then this guide will help you utilize the most of your system!
ReadyBoost was an innovative disk caching technology initially implemented in Windows Vista. When it activates, Windows takes advantage of an assigned whole USB flash drive or part of its capacity as added system RAM. Eventually it offers a small boost in performance, especially on low specs laptops.
So, how did it fare?
ReadyBoost was at the time not that well designed and the difference in performance was negligible. Moreover, USB flash drives were not as cheap and with lower capacity, so standard users did not bother to use the feature at all; main reasons would be that it would require sacrificing a very useful device for a limited effect in performance.
With Windows 7 and subsequent releases, Microsoft enhanced Readyboost and it can provide a larger scale upgrade on system performance. Now it works with a larger section of USB drives in the market. Moreover, it can support more than one of them.
So can Readyboost increase RAM effectively nowadays?
Even today, with very fast USB flash drives and software which tend to hog memory, ReadyBoost does not offer an extraordinary performance boost. It cannot compare, by any means, with a CPU or a RAM upgrade. Even with a recent flash drive with very high speeds of data transmission, users will not see much difference.
How can I increase RAM using Readyboost?
The following steps will help you increase RAM by utilizing Readyboost and will possibly offer a small performance boost.
- Make sure the flash drive does not contain files that you might need in the future. ReadyBoost does not format the drive, but it is always better to back your files up before enabling the feature.
- Go To This PC, locate the USB hard drive that you want to use for ReadyBoost, right click on it and select Properties.
- In the ReadyBoost tab, you will be asked to run a small test for Windows to determine the performance characteristics of your USB drive. Some flash drives are over-used and their performance in read and write speed has deteriorated; or they were never really fast enough to boost the performance of your computer. If that is the case with your flash drive, you will not be able to enable ReadyBoost for it thus you will not be able to increase RAM.
- If the test has deemed your flash drive to be suitable, then you will get 3 options – Do Not Use This Device, Dedicate This Device To ReadyBoost and Use This Device. The last option will also show you a slider to choose how much of its capacity can be used. Please note that when assigned to ReadyBoost, you cannot use the storage space.
- By pressing OK, Windows will perform necessary actions to enable ReadyBoost on your device.
At this time it is worth mentioning that you can also use Readyboost on other external storage media such as SD, MMC and TF cards to increase RAM. Of course, it goes without saying that if the devices are slow Readyboost will under perform or not work at all.