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How to Install or add Computer Memory (RAM) to your computer

Illustrated guide to help add memory (RAM) to your PC

Installing more memory is the cheapest upgrade for your computer. By increasing the amount of RAM you have in your system the greater the temporary storage for it to work with when running programs and applications.

Especially when using software to edit large files such as digital photos and videos alongside simple tasks such as just loading your computer with more RAM Windows will load faster and allow you to open and close programs quicker so that you can truly multitask.

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Power down your PC and switch it off at the wall. Remove the screws holding the sides of the case on and carefully slide off both panels.

To install computer memory you first need to get inside your computerWearing an anti-static wristband is preferable whenever working with sensitive electrical equipment. Keeping one hand on a metal part of the case will have the same effect, though you may need both hands when installing certain items of hardware.

There are differences between types of memory, so it is wise to make sure you have the correct type before attempting to install it to avoid damaging your motherboard and/or RAM.

First, locate your RAM slots, which are typically located near to the CPU. You may need to unplug a few power cables to give yourself enough room to work with, though make sure you remember what you have unplugged.

A memory module prior to installationRemove the RAM from its anti static bag and hold it by the edges as shown in the adjacent image. This will minimise contact with the working parts hence reduce the risk of static damaging the RAM.

Line the RAM up with one of the slots on your motherboard. Make sure you have the RAM the correct way round, otherwise it will not fit into the slot correctly. You should also note whether or not the RAM is dual channel, in which case you will need two identical sticks of RAM in adjacent slots to get the full effect. Refer to your motherboard manual if you are unsure of this.

With the motherboard on a flat antistatic surface we line up the memory with the slot and press down firmlyBegin to push down on the RAM module. In some cases, fairly significant pressure is required, so push down gently at first and increase the pressure until the RAM slots into the motherboard. Ensure that the white tab at either side is locked in the vertical position which will keep the RAM module secure.

Finally, replace any cables you removed and put the sides of the case back on. Boot up your machine and check that your new memory is accounted for by the RAM check at POST.

If you are in any doubt, go to Start - Settings - Control Panel - System once in Windows, and check the amount of RAM reported matches what should be in your system.

If you have any problems, remove the case and check the RAM is seated correctly.