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Can I Add External RAM to My Laptop? [Detailed Guide 2022]

Can I Add External RAM to My Laptop? [Detailed Guide 2022]

So, you don’t feel comfortable opening your laptop and installing more RAM for a performance boost. Or perhaps, your laptop’s RAM slots are already filled, leaving you with no choice but to determine if you can add external RAM to your laptop. So, really, can you add external RAM to a laptop? 

In a nutshell, there’s no way to install more RAM on your laptop externally. But you can use the ReadyBoost program to use a flash drive as RAM.

Apart from that, many other solutions are available to add more RAM to your laptop, which we’ll explore in this guide. 

Keep reading for detailed information on adding more RAM to your laptop in 2022. 

Can You Add External RAM to a Laptop?

Can I Add External RAM to My Laptop

Installing external RAM to a laptop is not possible. As a crucial part of your laptop, RAM is closely connected to the processor through high-speed links on the motherboard.

So, data is transferred between the processor and RAM at a very fast speed, which is unachievable when using the USB port on your laptop.

This is why you cannot externally add more RAM to your laptop via its USB ports. 

But don’t worry just yet, as many other solutions are around the corner. 

How to Add More RAM to Your Laptop

Below are the top alternative ways to upgrade your laptop’s RAM:

Install RAM Internally

Can I Add External RAM to My Laptop

As there’s no way to upgrade your laptop’s RAM externally, why not open its lid and install more RAM internally? 

It might seem like a demanding and risky task if you’ve never done it before. But if you follow the right steps to open your laptop’s lid and install more RAM, everything will be fine.

Anyhow, you can always visit an expert to help upgrade your laptop’s RAM. 

But before you upgrade your laptop’s RAM internally, you might want to see if a RAM slot is free. To view your RAM slot details, open Task Manager, navigate to the Performance tab and click Memory.

Here, you’ll be able to track your used RAM slots.

If one or more RAM slots on your laptop are free, you can get a new compatible RAM stick and install it into your laptop.

But if all RAM slots are already used, you can swap an existing RAM stick with one with a higher memory size. 

For instance, you can swap a 2 GB RAM stick with a 4 GB stick to upgrade your laptop’s overall RAM size.

Most computer part providers are generally comfortable with replacing your existing RAM sticks with a new one for some extra money. 

Use ReadyBoost

Another way to add more RAM to your laptop is by ReadyBoost. This method doesn’t require opening your laptop if that’s something you’re concerned about.

ReadyBoost is a Windows feature that lets you turn a flash drive or SD card into RAM for your laptop.

If you want to add more RAM to your laptop permanently, go for a small flash disk or an SD card so you can freely leave it on your laptop. 

To use ReadyBoost, follow the steps below:

Step #1: Plug the USB disk or SD card into an available slot on your laptop. 

Step #2: Click on Speed up my system in the dialogue box that appears. You can also manually open this dialogue box by right-clicking on your disk and clicking Open AutoPlay. 

Step #3: Windows will check if the attached device is suitable for ReadyBoost. If it is, click Use this device. 

Step #4: In this step, select how much memory you’d like to dedicate to RAM. 

Step #5: Next, click Okay, and that’s it – ReadyBoost has been activated on your laptop, adding external RAM.

How Much RAM Do You Need in Your Laptop?

Can I Add External RAM to My Laptop

In case you’re wondering what’s the right RAM size for your laptop, well, it isn’t very easy.

If you’re a casual user who uses your laptop for browsing the internet and performing everyday computing tasks, you’ll be perfectly fine with 8 GB RAM. 

But we recommend at least 16 GB RAM for those who are into gaming or other demanding workloads like running office programs simultaneously.

Lastly, 32 GB RAM is an optimal solution for creators who use challenging programs like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and Autocad apps. 


Here we answer the most commonly asked questions regarding adding external RAM to a laptop. 

Q1: Is it possible to add RAM to laptops externally?

Ans: To add more RAM to your laptop externally, you can use the Windows built-in feature called ReadyBoost. This program allows using a flash drive or SD card as temporary RAM for low-memory laptops.

But note that it’s not the ideal solution as the flash disk or SD card will need to be put into your laptop round-the-clock. Also, you may feel performance glitches while using ReadyBoost to add more RAM to your laptop. 

Q2: Can I add 8GB RAM to a 4GB laptop?

Ans: You can definitely add 8 GB RAM to a laptop with 4 GB memory, as long as it supports it. The motherboards of laptops support different RAM sizes, the commonest ones being 16 GB and 32 GB.

If your 4 GB laptop is compatible with 16 GB or 32 GB of RAM, you can comfortably add 8 GB RAM to it. 

Q3: Can you upgrade 8GB RAM to 16GB?

Ans: You can certainly upgrade 8 GB RAM to 16 GB. If your laptop contains a free RAM slot, buy an 8 GB RAM stick and install it on your laptop. But if no slot is free, consider getting two 8 GB RAM sticks and swapping them with the current 4 GB RAM sticks. 

Final Words

There’s no effective way to add more RAM to your laptop externally. However, ReadyBoost, a Windows program, lets you temporarily use a flash drive as your laptop RAM, but it’s not a good long-term solution. With that at hand, we recommend upgrading your laptop’s RAM internally, as it’s supposed to be. Until next time, cheers!