How to Free Up Ram on Windows 10

How to Free Up Ram on Windows 10

/ Shayne Sherman

Maybe you wonder why your computer at first performs without any hiccups. Then, as you go through your day-to-day tasks, you see a significant performance drop in your system, and it struggles to execute the functions it usually handles. Your computer may even suffer from random freezing issues.

The most probable cause for this kind of issue is that you are running out of RAM. A few years back, you would see systems running on 4GB ram, or even lower, run smoothly no matter what application you throw at it.

However, this is not the case anymore as applications continue to update and improve their performance; these programs’ hardware requirements also increase.

But what does your RAM do, and why does it affect your computer’s performance?

What is RAM?

RAM or Random Access Memory is a type of system memory that can be read and changed in any order. It is typically used to store data that is currently being used by your computer.

For example, if you open a browser on your computer, the temporary data produced by your browser is stored in your RAM.

In this case, if you have a lot of programs running on your system, your computer can start to slow down as the amount of data you can store in your random access memory decreases.

With that, you must maintain your computer so that no unwanted programs are running on your system and hogging your memory.

Today, we will show you a few methods that you can try to free up RAM on Windows 10.

Let’s get started.

Method 1: Restart Your Computer

If you see that Windows 10 is starting to slow down while you are using your computer, the first thing that you can try doing is to give it a simple restart. Restarting Windows 10 would free up ram since it will stop all background applications running on your system that can contribute to your ram usage.

To restart your computer, follow the steps below.

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows key to open the Start Menu.
  2. After that, click on the Power button.
  3. Lastly, click on Restart to begin rebooting Windows 10.
restart computer

Once Windows 10 has completely restarted, open the Task Manager to see if your ram usage is expected.

Method 2: Close Unwanted Applications

It is always a good habit to close down applications on your system that you are not using. Not only does it free up ram on your Windows computer, but it also lessens your CPU usage, which can further improve your system’s performance.

To close unwanted applications on your computer, check out the guide below.

  1. Press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys on your computer and select ‘Task Manager‘ from the selection menu.
  2. After that, click on ‘Processes.’
  3. Now, click on the ‘Memory tab‘ to show the applications that use the most RAM on your computer.
  4. Lastly, click on the programs you are not using and click the ‘End Task‘ button to stop it from running on Windows 10.
google chrome end task

Using Task Manager, observe your RAM to see if your computer’s free memory increased after closing the unwanted applications.

Method 3: Manage Startup Programs

Windows 10 has advanced system settings that let you decide which programs to run on your computer once you power your system. If you notice that Windows 10 is running slowly right after it boots up, your system may have many startup programs, contributing to high CPU and memory usage.

Check out the steps below to guide you on how you can manage your startup programs on Windows 10.

  1. Press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys on your keyboard and click on ‘Task Manager‘ from the selection menu.
  2. Inside the Task Manager, click on the ‘Startup‘ tab.
  3. Lastly, disable any program that would not be needed when your computer boots up.
disable icloud in startup

Now, restart Windows 10 and open Task Manager immediately so that you can monitor your system for high CPU usage and high memory usage.

Method 4: Enable Clear Page File at Shutdown

Whenever you shut down your computer, Windows 10 clears your RAM, so it will be accessible the next time you boot up your computer. However, the page file that is on your hard drive is not cleared at all.

The page file is a portion of your hard drive used as overflow by Windows 10 whenever your actual system memory (RAM) gets full. Clearing your page file every time Windows shuts down would ensure everything is clean and optimized the next time you use your computer.

To enable the ‘Clear Page File at Shutdown‘ option on Windows 10, you can check out the steps below to guide you through the process.

  1. First, press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the ‘Run Command Box.’
  2. After that, type regeditand click ‘Ok‘ to launch the Registry Editor.

3. Inside the Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management.

4. Lastly, double-click on ‘ClearPageFileAtShutdown‘ and set its value to ‘1‘. Click on Ok to save the changes.

clearpagefileatshutdown regedit

Restart Windows 10. Use your computer and see if you are still experiencing a performance drop.

Method 5: Reduce Windows 10 Visual Effects

It is known that Windows 10 improved its performance compared to older versions of Windows and added a few tweaks to visual effects that boost user experience.

While the new animations and effects are a great addition to Windows, they can also affect your computer’s performance while consuming more system resources.

Check out the guide below to disable animations and visual effects on Windows 10.

  1. First, press the Windows key + S and search for File Explorer.
  2. After that, click on ‘Open.’
  3. Now, right-click on ‘This PC’ and select ‘Properties’ from the side menu.
this pc properties

4. Inside Properties, click on ‘Advanced System Settings.’

advanced system settings

5. Under the ‘Performance’ tab, click on ‘Settings.’

6. Click on ‘Adjust for Best Performance‘ and ‘Ok‘ to save the changes.

let windows choose in performance options

Once the settings are applied, reboot your computer and try to observe if reducing visual effects on Windows 10 increased the amount of free RAM.

Method 6: Add More RAM Sticks to Your Computer

The last thing you can do to resolve your computer’s memory problems is to add more RAM to your system.

Memory is a vital part of your computer. If you don’t have enough RAM to run applications that you use, then even the most powerful processor or GPU would not improve your computer’s performance.

Too little physical memory (RAM) can become a bottleneck in performance.


In this case, we recommend you add a stick of RAM so that Windows has enough free memory to get you through day-to-day tasks.

This wraps up our guide on freeing up RAM on Windows 10. The methods above would help you utilize the amount of RAM available on your computer. Here are some other issues you might need to fix on your laptop: system interrupts 100 cpu, dns_probe_finished_nxdomain, dpc watchdog violation windows 10, and device descriptor request failed.

However, as you continue to use your computer, it is subject to an upgrade. If you continue to experience performance drops on your computer, we strongly recommend increasing your RAM as soon as possible.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert on all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. Aside from entertaining at his home theater, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie.