How To Stop High RAM Usage In Windows 10

Managing RAM effectively is crucial for maintaining your computer’s performance, especially when using Windows 10. High RAM usage can lead to slow performance, stuttering in video games, and a generally less responsive system. In this guide, I’ll walk you through practical steps on how to free up and manage RAM in Windows 10, enhancing your system’s efficiency.

Precautions Before You Begin

Before adjusting your system settings, ensure to save any important files or data. Some steps involve modifying the Registry and other significant settings, which could affect your system’s functionality if not done correctly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Reduce RAM Usage in Windows 10

1. Close Unused Background Programs

Many applications continue to run in the background even after you close them, such as Steam, Skype, or Discord. To fully close these programs:

  • Click the up arrow on the Taskbar, hover over the program icon, right-click, and select “Exit” or a similar option.
  • Repeat for all unnecessary background applications.

2. Disable Startup Programs

Prevent programs from running automatically when you boot your computer:

  • Open Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), navigate to the ‘Startup’ tab, and disable programs you don’t use frequently.

3. Uninstall Unnecessary Programs

Remove programs you no longer need to free up both RAM and storage:

  • Open the Start Menu, search for ‘Add or remove programs’, select the unwanted program, and click ‘Uninstall’.

4. Conduct a Malware Scan

Malware can consume a significant amount of RAM. Use Windows Defender or a third-party tool like Malwarebytes to scan and remove malware.

5. Adjust Virtual Memory Settings

Increase the paging file size to enhance your system’s virtual memory:

  • Open the Start Menu, search for ‘Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows’, go to the ‘Advanced’ tab, under ‘Virtual memory’, click ‘Change’, and set a custom size.

6. Modify the NDU Registry Setting

Reduce high RAM usage caused by the Network Data Usage Monitor by changing the Registry:

  • Open the Registry Editor as an administrator, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > ControlSet001 > Services > Ndu, and change the ‘Start’ value to 4.

7. Disable SysMain (Superfetch)

This service can increase RAM usage by preloading programs. Disable it to prevent this:

  • Search for ‘Services’ in the Start Menu, find ‘SysMain’, and change its settings to ‘Manual’ or ‘Disabled’.

8. Turn Off Windows Animations

Disable animations to save RAM, as follows:

  • Search for ‘View advanced system settings’, go to the ‘Performance’ settings, and select ‘Adjust for best performance’.

9. Manage Browser Tabs

Limit the number of open tabs in your browser, especially when using resource-heavy browsers like Chrome.

10. Consider a RAM Upgrade

If your system is consistently low on memory, adding more RAM can be an effective solution.

11. Reinstall Windows 10

For persistent performance issues, a fresh installation of Windows 10 can eliminate legacy issues and improve RAM usage.

Additional Tips

Always back up important data before making substantial changes to your system settings. Regularly check for and close unused programs and processes to maintain optimal RAM usage over time.


Managing your RAM effectively involves both preventative measures, like closing unused apps and disabling unnecessary startup programs, and corrective actions, such as adjusting virtual memory settings and conducting malware scans. Following these steps will help ensure that your Windows 10 system runs more smoothly and efficiently.

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