How to upgrade your laptop RAM.
It’s easy.

O.K. Since about 3 people read my post on how to replace your laptop battery, you’ve made it abundantly clear that you want ALL THE COMPUTER REPAIR POSTS I CAN MUSTER. To go straight into the garbage.

To that, I say, suck it. Too many people just throw out their old computers once they start to slow down or sputter a bit. Out they trot like moneybag people, sneezing, coughing and farting money, to buy a new computer. I’m all for buying something new when you need it, I’m all for spending money. BUT if you can fix something, especially something as expensive as a computer, why not fix it and spend that extra money on something else? Like a trip to Mexico. Or new gym shorts. Or nasal spray. Anything.

Amazon even has a book on how to talk to your cat.







In fact they have at least 10 books on how to talk to your cat. So if you want to waste your money at least waste it on something that will have a lasting positive impact on your home life.  Assuming you are quietly going insane, your spouse and children will all start to treat you like the special person you are.

Now.  Onto the boring computer stuff you all hate.

What the hell is RAM?  Ram is Random Access Memory.  Good.  Now that that’s cleared up we can move on.

Oh.  Still confused?  Your cat wouldn’t be.  O.K.  I’ll break it down.  RAM is temporary memory.  It’s the place stuff on your computer is stored when it’s working.  So if you’re working on a big program like Photoshop or Excel, those programs use the extra memory that RAM holds.  The more RAM you have the faster those programs and your computer will run.

What that means is if you get BIGGER RAM it can hold more stuff and your tired, slow computer will run faster.  It also means that because the storage is only temporary, while your computer is working, you can remove and replace your RAM (while the computer is off) without having to worry about losing anything on your laptop.  Things like recipes, or resumes, or nudie pics.

Which will then be swooped up to the mysterious iCloud  in the sky where they will be promptly ignored by sleezey hackers because no one cares about a nude photo of you if you aren’t famous in some way.  They may however, be interested in your secret cookie recipe.

O.K.  Onto the actual lesson in upgrading your RAM.  If you missed it, you need to go to this post to read about how to remove your laptop case.

Step 1: Remove your laptop case and battery


Step 2:


Identify your Ram.  There it is, right there!  This particular laptop only had a total of 4 GB of RAM.  2 cards, with 2 GBs each.




The RAM just pops right out.





Step 3:  After pushing the release latch, pull the first RAM card out.




Then pull the second card out.




Admire your shiny new RAM.  I upgraded my computer from 4 MG to a total of 8 MG of RAM (two, 4MG cards)



Step 4:  Replace the RAM. The new RAM just slips right into the slot the old RAM came out of.










That’s it. You’re done.  Put your battery back in, your case back on and dust off your hands because you have a cat that’s been waiting patiently to discuss Russian literature with you.


  1. BJ Naylor says:

    Interesting! That might be something I’ll look into. I was just thinking of getting a new computer today because I may be looking into a job utilizing my home computer more. lol I don’t know what RAM I have now, but I’m sure it’s probably not as good as I could have.

  2. SeaDee says:

    Being the computer geek that I am (it’s what I do), I’m happy to see this type of post! May I make a correction: you replaced your (2)GB sticks with (4)GB sticks, not MB sticks (gigabytes/GB, megabytes/MB). Gigabyte is a larger unit.

    Also, to make sure you’re ordering the correct type of RAM for your laptop, go to and do a free scan, or input your model. You must have the exact specs or your computer won’t run. And be sure to ground yourself before touching the motherboard.

    Good job. It is easy! Do not be afraid.

  3. Terry says:

    Whew ! Glad we got that cleared up but once again a great entertaining article Karen. Personally I buy my computers with as much RAM as can be installed using my big bag of money. I know not everyone can afford to do that. But then I don’t like going on holidays either. I would rather spend my days in Big box electronic stores. Spending my big bag of money on stuff I really don’t need, but I need to keep up the image.
    Its all us old folks have to do other than grow heritage tomatoes.
    Anyway, what do cats know about Russian literature, eh ?

  4. Madhu Ramakrishnan says:

    great help

  5. Stephanie Hobson says:

    *Waves hand* I read it! This one too.

  6. shauna says:

    Great post – why not bulk up on RAM!!?? A girl’s gotta have RAM power to do what she’s gotta do.
    Thanks for the variety – I’m not big on cooking, gardening or chickens, but you still manage to post lots of stuff that is right up my alley.
    Ciao bella!

  7. TucsonPatty says:

    I have a laptop that every one thinks I should throw away because it has a cracked screen. I have researched and it will cost about $100 for a new screen, and if I have a computer store put it on, another hunnert! I am thinking of trying to do it myself, but it is scary – what if I ruin the whole thing and then I’m out the $100 I spent on the new screen. It is a PC and 4 years old and I like it. It is just too hard to see through the purple-black lines of strangness on the screen. Any advice? Let the pros do it?
    I like the computer lessons.

    • Jasmine says:

      Hi Patty,

      There are lots of videos online to show you how to replace laptop screens. Just search for your model and you should find something. It’s usually pretty simple. I know you can replace it. 🙂


    • Bobbi says:

      I changed the screen on my laptop and on my daughter’s laptop. Pretty easy…just have some tape or a magnetic strip to keep those teeny tiny screws from disappearing as you work. You tube had a complete video for what I was doing. My daughter thinks I am even more awesome than before. It’s the mad skills.

  8. I love the tech geek posts – keep ’em coming! Any idea how I can do this on my Desktop iMac? And how I can make my teeny 21″ screen grow into a whopping 27″ screen overnight?

  9. Jcorn says:

    I confession: I came here for the cats but stayed for the RAMs. And I think I could handle this. Saving money is a huge motivation even though I usually shy away from tech stuff.

  10. Ki says:

    Thanks for the tips on RAM, interesting stuff that my mother can read and understand, she loves her techno….
    i do have a question tho, my daughter brought me her phone (htc) to download a video of a haircut she has done, wanting it put onto a stick to take to college,.. could i do it , no, … could she do it , no…..
    it says the file is to big to transfer yet there is ample memory on the stick….
    i’m unsure how to change a mp4.vid that is 58mins long into ?.? to transfer it.
    i tried compressing but its still too big….
    Any ideas ?
    I still have a day to it, this day !!!! gulp

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ki – Did you manage to get it on your computer? Or is it still on the phone? Everything really depends on what type of computer you have, what type of phone etc. etc. But if it gets down to the wire, if I were you I’d just upload the video to Youtube so at least it’s in a public forum that your daughter can show people/professors. ~ karen!

      • Ki says:

        Karen, thank you for the advice, exactly the same as my son said when asked., its all solved
        now and no Utube req’d…. until next time !!

  11. Sally A says:

    Thank you! I knew what RAM stood for, but didn’t know what it did. My husband is a computer geek so he takes care of all that stuff. But now I can at least do this! I’ll pretend I can’t though, so he will still feel useful and manly. Or maybe he’d be impressed that I know how?

    I’ve been reading comments about making sure you’re grounded while doing it. This intimidates me a bit. How do you do that?

    • Susan says:

      Touch something metal before you touch the computer and get rid of static electricity. You know how you shuffle your feet and touch something and get that “Zap?” If you Zap your laptop you’ll fry stuff. That’s all that grounding means.

  12. Tigersmom says:

    It does look simple. Especially for what it would cost to have it done by a pro.

  13. MrsM says:

    Girl power! I LOVE that you’re showing women how to do stuff that’s sometimes seen as ‘man’s stuff’. I love reading your tech geek posts as much as I love reading about growing your own veg and cleaning up after the chickens because, seriously, changing RAM must be far less smelly and time consuming than scraping up poop! Thanks, Karen!

  14. Annie Kip says:

    you go girl. takin on those things we all think about, but don’t have the guts to do. until you show us how! question: where does a nice girl go to get some RAM? from Amazon?

    • Karen says:

      A nice girl? Yes. Amazon. A not so nice girl? Their neighbour’s computer. You need to research what exact RAM is required or allowed in your particular laptop/computer. ~ karen!

  15. Jody says:

    Apparently my hard drive is toast. I’m thinking of replacing it with an ipad since all I do is surf the net, watch Netflix and watch DVDs on my old laptop. However since an ipad does not have a USB port how can I watch my collection of DVDs. Is there a simple DVD player I can connect to a USB port? Any suggestions?

    • amyfaith says:

      I’m afraid that I don’t know the answer to your port question, but I though I’d throw something else out to you. While I was shopping for a new phone last week, I discovered that my phone carrier (TMobile) was offering a deal where if you have a cell phone plan, you could add a data plan for a cellular-enabled ipad for only $10/month. I though that was a great deal for anyone who uses an ipad as their main device.

    • Susan says:

      Why don’t you check out a Chromebook? My desktop is XP, no longer supported by Microsoft and I wanted something to surf the net, check email and watch TV or movies and save the desktop for my accounting program. So I got a Chromebook (cheap!) and it’s perfect for all those things and mine has multiple USB ports. And I have no affiliation with Google LOL. (I wish!)

    • Chuck says:

      I know this is too late for Jody, but it is much simpler than you think to replace your hard drive with an SSD, or solid state drive. Most retail places sell a kit to replace the hard drive and then download the files off of the hard drive onto your new SSD. $150 and you have a much nicer laptop than you used to.

  16. Miriam says:

    Karen, you continue to frighten me with your knowledge of, well, just about everything. One day when I am able to own a laptop I will search for this article. I still am in awe of the time you converted the dial phone.

  17. Sandy says:

    You are fearless!!! I’m getting all worked up about installing a memory card in my tablet. On another topic, the latest issue of Canadian Living made for great bathroom reading on the weekend!

  18. Karol says:

    I read it, and the other one too. I’m lucky enough to have a MacBook Pro at work, and also lucky enough to have IT peeps who do all that for me.

  19. Rondina says:

    Now you have proof that although you may not have gotten the love-fest that you were expecting with the first post—we did read it.

    Do not upgrade your operating system though. Go buy a new computer. (Unless it’s a Mac.)

  20. Ana Rocadas says:

    I, for one, love these posts. I don’t have a MAC, but I used to do this stuff a lot on my PC and any time a person is empowered to do their own computer upgrades, it’s great.

  21. Ruth says:

    I did read the last post but I don’t remember whether I commented or not. Truth is… hubby does computer repair from home in his spare time, so this is all familiar territory for me (maybe even more so for the 8 year-old assistant son).

    By the way, now that Cuddles is all better… how are the new chicks?

  22. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    That’s what I had my son fix my computer..although I think I could do this one..

  23. Barbie says:

    THANKS Karen! I was waiting for this one to do the whole job at once….changing battery and then the RAM. You totally ROCK!
    I was thinking maybe I just needed to switch all photo’s to an external hard drive…but want all my pics conveniently in one place. Do you think this is the best way for me? I mean with all my photos slowing things down, or should I go ahead and just do the external HD? Opinion plz!! ??

    Since I am going the “nice girl” route (since I really like my neighbors and don’t want to steal theirs) I will order it all from Amazon. Can you tell me how much $$ I am looking at? I suppose I could just go to amazon and look for myself right? Going now! 🙂

  24. Carol says:

    I LOVE that you post all this stuff!!! It’s incredibly easy to do these cash consuming jobs ourselves rather than take the laptop in to a shop or trash said laptop! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Signed Carol,
    Just another faithful reader who is usually too lazy to comment but is eternally grateful for the time and energy you share with us lackies 😉

  25. Mark says:

    Battery replacement and increasing RAM are good ways to speed up computer. Also doing regular scans for malware and spyware will also help remove unwanted items. Which in long run will help with computer’s run speed.

  26. jainegayer says:

    I feel enpowered!! Thank you, Karen!

  27. Nancy says:

    Hey, Karen! All right. I’m not a Mac person. I like real tools. (*) I did read your first post on replacing the battery completely and I can appreciate your attention to detail and I hope all the others who own Macs bookmarked it because it was a fab post. So is this one. I’m just not interested since the guts of my computer are a tad different than yours. My husband who never throws ANYTHING away and replaces stuff on my computer like the display, thought you did a fab job, too, but he’s not into Macs either, he’s just into me. At least I think that’s what he said.

    You are doing a great service to a lot of your readers and I say long as you’re filling a need, keep up the great work. I’m just more into chicken poop than Macs.

  28. Dahn says:

    Nice post. I am totally going to change my RAM. Now if you can figure out how to get an underlight to see my keys easier in the dark, that would be awesome. Just awesome.

  29. judy says:

    This comment is sorta relevant but not about Ram. Yesterday I picked up the laptop to read all of the blogs that I subscribe to and check the PC banking and Microsoft decided it didn’t like the password I had been using for years? The little ogre then demanded that I answer weird questions like exactly when I bought it etc. In other words questions that I probably couldn’t have answered shortly after I purchased it. AnyHoo After much aggravation -Eureka! I have a rescue disk -I will fetch that sucker out of the China Cabinet-A piece of furniture that is only opened during the Holidays- and the disk will restore order and tranquility to my existence. Was it there? of course not! So I drag out the old laptop and fire it up to go to the Microsoft site and change the password- and ghosts and demons rattling chains appear and warn me that my Norton has expired and I will now be infected with the plague,Ebola and soon Die. Try to remember any of the passwords from the old machine-nada- and to cut this short. Be prepared! I suspect you all are cause you all sound smarter than Einstein but if I saved any of you from my yesterday I have done a good thing.

    • Karen says:

      Judy – And THAT is why I switched to a Mac years ago. Had a PC for years and ALWAYS had those sort of problems. Plus viruses etc etc. You never get any of that nonsense with a MAC. EVER. I can honestly say I’ve never spent one minute trying to figure out some bizarre problem or emergency with my Mac and when I had a PC it seems I had some weird thing like what you described above once a month at least. ~ karen!

    • Tracey says:

      Oh that sounds scary Judy.

      Which is why I won’t replace my battery, or upgrade my RAM. However, I now understand why my computer is slow and I will upgrade it, and have the battery replaced by the nice people at Future Shop.
      If it costs more than what I originally paid for the thing, then I will get a new laptop….and probably a Mac.
      But I’m intimidated by change and I need my computer for work.
      When I see the guts of your laptop Karen, I get the HeebeeGeeBees. I do greatly appreciate the posts though. A little knowledge is better than none at all. Thanks

  30. Jill says:

    I love these posts! I’ve added RAM myself for my Mac and my daughter’s. Once it’s out of warranty – I say open it up and give it a go.
    Just back up first.

  31. Kim says:

    Is it possible to do this to an iPad? Your instructions are so clear!

  32. Jody says:

    Semi-geeky fan checking in, great post Karen. I have been doing this for a long time. I have upgraded RAM and harddrives and changed my op sys from XP to Win 7, although THAT one just about did me in! One thing to add….as you upgrade, be sure that your motherboard can handle what you are upgrading to. Someone else mentioned checking out those obscure specs on your computer and that is true. I have an old dinosaur Dell desktop about 12 yrs old(which I still prefer over my laptop) and I have maxed her out and one of these days will have to FIND a money bag to replace her.

  33. Sam says:

    You must be a Canadian version of me lol. My friends think I’m mad when I take computers apart to add RAM in one breath and then whip up some gluten free brownies in the next. I do all my own DIY (no bloke around), though I’m passing along my skills to my 14 year old son alongside my (nearly) 12 year old daughter. I think you might be funnier than me though so I’m not introducing you to my kids, though I talk about “my friend Karen” who does “stuff like this” quite often lol xxx

  34. Vanessa says:

    You inspired me to upgrade the RAM in my 2011 macbook pro, and I must say, I feel like a complete badass now. Cheers Karen.

  35. Hira says:

    Karen, after reading your post, I got my husband on board to upgrade the RAM on my Macbook. He got really ambitious and also upgraded my hard drive to SSD…which is geek-speak for a really fast laptop. My 5 year old Macbook now feels almost new!! 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Karen says:

      Excellent! Sometimes it just takes a little kick in the pants. 🙂 Congratulations on your almost new laptop! ~ karen

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