How to Reduce Ram Usage – How often do you see how much RAM you are using by opening the Task Manager? If many applications are using your RAM, your computer will slow down.
What is RAM?
RAM or Random Access Memory is one of the computer hardware which function is to store the entire process of the application you are running. For example, when you open Microsoft Word, all components to run Microsoft Word will be moved from a storage device such as a hard disk or SSD to RAM.
However, if the Microsoft Word application is closed, the process will be killed and can be used for other applications. From this explanation, we can conclude, RAM with a large capacity can open applications simultaneously.
RAM is volatile, meaning that if the RAM is not powered, then all data in RAM will be erased. So, before you turn off your computer, make sure to save your data on the hard drive.
How to Reduce RAM Usage in Windows
Here are some tips on how to reduce RAM usage in Windows.
1. Restart the computer
Windows introduced the Fast Startup feature starting from Windows 8 and used it until Windows 10. With this feature, when the computer is turned off, all processes in RAM will be moved to the hard drive. The benefit is that your computer can turn on faster because it doesn’t need to reprocess the data and retrieve it directly on the hard drive.
This is not the case in Windows 7. When it shuts down, your Windows deletes the data in RAM and reprocesses everything when the computer is turned on.
Because of this fast startup feature, your Windows may still store data that is not used while you are using the computer. Restarting will erase all data in RAM and reload it so RAM usage can be reduced.
You can simply restart the computer when you start to feel that the RAM usage is high.
2. How to Reduce Ram Usage by Disabling Apps at the startup
Some applications run immediately without your knowledge when you turn on the computer. This makes RAM usage increase. You can manage the application that starts and disable it.
For Windows 10 and 11 you can disable it from the Task Manager which can be opened by pressing CTRL+Shift+ESC simultaneously. Navigate to the Startup tab, then select the application that you think doesn’t need to be loaded automatically when the computer starts and click “Disable” at the bottom right of the Task Manager. This only disables it and doesn’t remove the app.
For Windows 7 press Windows button+R to open the Run command window. Type in msconfig.msc and then navigate to Startup Tab and disable any unnecessary application from there.
3. Analyze RAM usage
Every application that runs, of course, uses free space in RAM. But do you know how much is used? Like the previous tip, you can use Task Manager to find out.
Open Task Manager and in the “Process” section, you can see which applications are running and how much RAM they are using. As shown above, you can see that the Firefox application is currently using a lot of RAM. To reduce RAM usage in the browser, you can close unused tabs.
4. Using alternative applications that use less RAM
RAM usage in applications such as web-browsers is currently very high. For that, you can look for alternative browsers if necessary. Before that, we need to analyze which browser uses more RAM. The method is the same as the previous tips, namely using the Task Manager.
Comparing Task Manager Ram Usage
For testing, I use Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. I use the same extension on the 2 browsers and both use the latest version. Then, I accessed 5 sites in those 2 browsers. As a result, the RAM usage for Firefox is higher than for Chrome. Do the same with other applications. Disclaimer this is based on my own testing, your results may vary.
5. Perform a deep malware scan
RAM usage can increase significantly if viruses and malware are present. Also, your Windows may crash and get other problems. However, Windows 10 already has Defender (Windows Security in the latest versions of Windows 10) installed when you install it. Even so, you still need to check whether the antivirus is running or not.
Go to Start and type “windows security” and hit enter. If all the statuses are green, it means your computer is protected. For added security, I recommend you use the Malwarebytes application and scan with it.
6. Using ReadyBoost
This feature has been around since Windows Vista. I have also discussed ReadyBoost in a previous article. In essence, you can use a Flash Disk as an ‘additional RAM’. However, this only applies to computers that still use hard disks. If your computer is already using an SSD, you will not get any additional speed.
For maximum results, it is recommended that you use a flash disk with a capacity of 2x the RAM capacity. If you have a computer with 4 GB of RAM, it is recommended that you use a flash drive with 8 GB and so on.
To find out how to use it, you can read the article How to Speed up Computer Performance by Utilizing Windows ReadyBoost.
7. Buying new RAM
If it’s still not enough, there’s no other way than to add new RAM. Even though in the end you have to set aside some money, this choice is the best. With computer applications that have more and more features, even large-capacity RAM is needed.
If you look at new laptops, they all now have at least 4GB of RAM. Unlike before, which was at least 2 GB.
I hope this article helps you on how to reduce RAM usage in Windows
I’m sure when you have followed the tips above, you can reduce RAM usage and your computer will feel faster.