Simple upgrades for your laptop

Install an SSD, more RAM and a Wi-Fi card

Increase your laptop's RAM

If your laptop seems to be getting slow, it's probably bogged down with files and a glut of programs that may or may not be of value - a proper maintenance and decluttering schedule is in order.

If that doesn't do the trick, however, consider adding some more RAM - this will offer a significant boost and should sort out existing performance problems. In fact, upgrading your laptop memory is the most cost-effective component change you can make. It's also a straightforward process.

First, you need to establish what type of RAM your laptop can take (and how much) and what speed it can run at.

You can mix and match old modules with new ones, but some systems may end up with better performance if you install a matched pair of identical dual in-line memory modules (Dimms).

Swapping old for new: Power down the laptop and discharge any static from yourself and the machine. Now you're ready to go in.

Most laptops have a panel on the underside - generally labelled ‘M' for memory - that conceals the Dimm slots for RAM. You'll have to undo a couple of screws to lift this up; on some models you may have to go through the rigmarole of removing the keyboard too.

If you need to remove the keyboard, first take off the machine's hinge cover. This involves prying up the plastic casing - watch out for any recessed screws that prevent easy access.

Next, detach the keyboard by taking out the two screws beneath the hinge cover that secure it. Lift it off and then unplug the connector that holds the keyboard in place. Ensure you put these screws somewhere safe, because you'll need them later when you come to reassemble your laptop.

Next, you need to remove the old RAM module. Gently pull apart the metal clips securing each end. Once freed, it should pop up at an angle. Gently pull it straight out.

Laptop_RAM_Step_1_360px

Insert your new RAM in the same way, at an angle, until it's securely seated in the slot; then gently press it down flat. The holding clips should engage automatically.

Laptop_RAM_Step_2_360px

Replace the panel and battery, then restart your laptop. Your machine should automatically recognise the enhanced memory capacity.

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