RAM is a temporary storage location for data used by a computer's processor. If your programs are running slow or some programs fail to work properly when other programs are open, you can install more RAM in your laptop to improve performance. Whether you want to improve performance or prepare for upcoming technologies, knowing how to install memory will save you money over taking it to a technician.
Ensure your laptop is powered off and unplugged from the outlet. Don't risk an electrical shock that could harm you and the laptop.
Turn the laptop over and slide the battery release switch. Remove the battery.
Look for the icon that resembles an insect with a bunch of legs. The memory will go under the removable plate. The other icon you'll see is three discs stacked on each other. This is the hard drive. If no icons exist, the small plate is most likely the location of the memory.
Remove the screw with a Phillips-head screwdriver and gently pry out the plate.
Locate the one or two small sticks of RAM held down by white, black or gray clips. Using your fingers, unhook each side of the clips and lift the stick up until it's at about a 45-degree angle. Do not force it.
Grasp the memory and pull it gently. If it doesn't come out, work it out slowly. Remove the second memory chip the same way. Make sure the second slot also angles up before removing it.
Take the first RAM stick replacement and slide it into the chip slot. The contacts will slide in easy but you may have to apply a small amount of force.
Secure the two tabs on either side of the memory so that they fit nicely into the notches on the RAM. Repeat the process to install more memory.
Replace the plate and secure it with the screw. Replace the battery and plug in the laptop.
Turn the computer over and turn it on. If the memory is installed correctly, the computer will boot up as normal and recognize the new hardware. Click the Windows "Start" button and right-click "Computer." Select "Properties" to verify that the amount of RAM is correct.
- Make sure you hear the clicks when inserting the RAM sticks. This means the memory locked into place properly.
- Keep the computer unplugged the whole time you are installing memory
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images