How to Install Notebook Memory

Installing several programs on your laptop makes it handy, especially for business travelers, but it can also slow your system down. Installing additional RAM can speed up your computer's response time and it is relatively cheap and easy to accomplish. Here's how to install notebook memory, buy the right kind the first time and avoid paying for labor.


  1. Image titled Install Notebook Memory Step 1
    Determine your current RAM type, amount of RAM installed and maximum availability.
    • Some laptop brands make it easy for you to find out the type of RAM you have, but it can be a challenge for other brands.
    • Check the documentation that came with your computer.
    • Visit your laptop brand's support site and search for your model and build to determine the kind of RAM. The model, serial and build numbers are found on stickers on the bottom of your computer.
    • If all else fails, visit and download their free system scanner. Running this quick scan will produce a browser window with your computer's RAM details.
  2. Image titled Install Notebook Memory Step 2
    Shop for your upgrades.
    • Prices for the various types of RAM can vary. It's possible to find 4 GB sticks of DDR3 RAM for about $50, or a set of 2, 2 GB sticks for $64.
    • Many computer technicians recommend that you install RAM as matched pairs, splitting the total RAM in a laptop into 2 equal sticks. Using multiple smaller sticks of RAM rather than one larger stick can increase the bandwidth of the memory and improve performance in some cases.
  3. Image titled Install Notebook Memory Step 3
    Access the memory compartment of your laptop.
    • Power down your computer. Once it has completely shut down, unplug the power cable from the wall and then from the computer.
    • Flip the laptop over onto a static-resistant surface. Touch a switch plate or otherwise ground any static electricity you may have built up. Remove the battery.
    • Find the memory bay and remove the small screws holding the door. Lift the door out of place.
  4. Image titled Install Notebook Memory Step 4
    Install the new RAM sticks.
    • If you are replacing 1 or more sticks, remove them first, working from the top down for sticks that overlap.
    • Gently pull back the clips securing the RAM stick and lift the outside edge slightly. Slide it back out of the bay when it is at a 45-degree angle.
    • Insert the new sticks in the opposite fashion. Seat the pins into the bay while holding the stick at a 45-degree angle. Once the RAM is seated, press it down until the clips snap around it.
  5. Image titled Install Notebook Memory Step 5
    Return your laptop to operating condition.
    • Replace the memory bay door and screws. Reattach the battery and plug in the power cable.
    • Turn on your computer.
  6. Image titled Install Notebook Memory Step 6
    Check to be sure that your laptop is recognizing the total amount of RAM you have installed.
    • If it is not, follow the process again to make sure the RAM is seated firmly in place and installed correctly.
    • If the RAM is still not recognized by your computer, double check the system specifications to be sure your system is capable of supporting the amount of memory you have installed.


  • Many electronics store clerks will be happy to help determine the type and amount of RAM you have installed in your laptop if you bring your laptop into the store with you.
  • Defective RAM is not uncommon. Make sure to keep your receipt until you are certain that your purchase is acceptable.
  • If your Notebook is running a 32-bit operating system, you will not be able to use more than 4GB of memory unless you install a 64-bit operating system.


  • Apple recommends that Mac users allow only certified Apple technicians to replace and upgrade RAM. Check your user documentation carefully, as installing your own memory in a Mac computer may void your warranty.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop
  • Small flat-head screwdriver
  • RAM sticks (memory)

Article Info

Categories: Computer Memory | Laptop Maintenance and Repair