RAM, or "memory," is an essential part of your computer. It's what hangs on to information you use a lot and gets it to your processor in a timely manner. If you had to wait for the information to constantly transfer from your hard drive, your computer would take forever to get anything done.
In fact, moving tons of information from the hard drive to RAM is why your computer takes forever to start. Click here for some tricks to speed up your computer's startup.
The amount of RAM each program uses varies. Some take up a little and some take up a lot. In fact, some programs take up so much that they can slow down your computer.
That's why it's a good idea to know what's using your RAM. Today, I'm going to talk about one program you might have that can use up a lot of RAM if you aren't careful.
I'm talking about the Chrome Web browser. It's known for reliability and loading websites fast. However, to do both of those things it takes more RAM. Let's see what I mean.
With Chrome running on your Windows computer, press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to bring up Task Manager. Then go to the Processes tab and look for "chrome.exe." Depending on how many tabs you have open you can see anywhere from a few to dozens.
That's because Chrome starts a new process with every tab and plug-in. It means that if something goes wrong in one tab, it won't crash the entire browser. However, it also means that Chrome takes up a bit more space.
Just so you know, other browsers use a single process, so at a glance their RAM usage is going to look a lot higher. However, if you were to add up the usage on every Chrome process, it would be about the same.
Want to know more about processes? Click here to learn how understanding them can help you fix an unstable computer.
Now, takes a look at the bottom of the Task Manager winder and find where it says "Physical Memory." This is how much RAM you're using. No matter what you're doing, you want it to stay below 100%.
Even at 90%, you might start feeling like your computer is slowing down, because it's starting to shuffle more data between RAM and the hard drive. Anything less than that, and you shouldn't need to worry.
If the main culprit for high RAM use is Chrome, then you might need to close some tabs, or see what tabs are causing the high usage. Switch over to Chrome and hit SHIFT + ESC to bring up Chrome's task manager. This shows you exactly where Chrome's RAM use is going.
It might turn out you need to uninstall an extension, or avoid leaving certain websites sitting open in a tab. On the other hand, if your computer has 2GB of RAM or less, you might want to add more.
I really recommend having at least 4GB of RAM in your computer or more. Click here to learn more about upgrading RAM.