Make Windows 7 use all installed memory

Set Windows 7 to use all of the available installed memory (RAM) in your computer.

If you have the 32bit version of Windows 7 and you have 4GB or more memory installed, your computer might tell you it is only using about 3.5GB, or about 7.1GB if you have 8GB or more in the 64bit version.

This behavior is normal in Windows 7. Here are some of the possible causes.

  • Devices installed on the computer (ex. On-board video card) might have reserved some of the memory.
  • The motherboard might be limited to the amount of memory it can see.
  • An old system BIOS might not allow the motherboard to see all of the installed memory.
  • The version of Windows 7 might limit how much memory can be used. Windows 7 Starter only allows 2GB of memory to be used.

Things to try

Check the system settings

  1. Type run in the Start menu’s search box and press Enter on your keyboard.
  2. Type msconfig in the Run box and click OK.

  3. Select the Boot tab in the System Configuration window.

  4. Click the Advanced options button.

  5. Check Maximum memory in the BOOT Advanced Options window and then click the OK button.

  6. Click the OK button in the System Configuration window and then restart your computer.

Update your computer’s BIOS

Your computer’s BIOS might be out of date. Check your computer’s motherboard manufacturer for BIOS updates.

Check BIOS settings

Enable the memory remapping feature in the BIOS.

Check possible issues with the physical memory

Check for bad memory. You might also want to make sure the order of how the memory is installed in the motherboard is correct.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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