How To Fix “Your Computer Is Low On Memory” Error On Windows 10 & 11

Some users have talked in troubleshooting forums about a “Your computer is low on memory” error that can occur in Windows 11/10. This error message appears randomly and regularly for some users who need to fix it. This means that a PC has little RAM (Random Access Memory).

If you often see the “Your computer is low on memory” error message, you can’t just ignore it. Some apps may not work properly and your PC will become slow and unresponsive if not enough RAM is available. Fortunately, you can solve the “low memory” problem with the resolutions in this guide.

What exactly is RAM anyway?

Your computer’s Random Access Memory (RAM) is temporary storage for programs to store their data and is an essential system resource for all software. The amount of RAM your PC has is specified in the system specifications.

Windows 10 and 11 PCs typically contain between four and 64 gigabytes of RAM. However, the “Your computer is low on memory” error is more likely to occur on PCs with less RAM.

There are different types of RAM such as SDRAM and SRAM. Then there are also DDR3, 4 and 5 RAM types. You can refer to our RAM guide for more information on system memory.

1. Disable background apps

Running more apps will exhaust the amount of RAM available on your PC. Closing unnecessary apps and other background processes can free up enough RAM on your PC to at least temporarily fix the “not enough memory” error. Even the message for that error suggests that you close running programs. So try to disable background apps in the following steps:

  1. Launch Task Manager with its direct Ctrl + Shift + esc Keyboard shortcut.
  2. Select Task Manager Processes tab to view apps and background processes.
  3. Close all programs listed under apps by selecting them and clicking End task.
  4. Repeat the previous step for unnecessary third-party programs listed under Background Processes. However, select only to close unnecessary processes there.
  5. Click To start at the top of Task Manager.
  6. Select and click Turn of for all the unnecessary startup items listed there. Doing so will prevent those programs from starting automatically with Windows and using RAM as background processes.
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Be careful not to go too far when disabling background processes. Do not terminate any of the Windows processes listed in the tab. Interfering with it can cause Windows to crash.

When RAM is low, Windows uses a paging file from the hard drive storage to act as virtual memory. However, an overfull hard drive will limit the virtual memory space. Make sure your PC’s hard drive has enough free space for the page file.

To do this, you can erase redundant files with Disk Cleanup as follows:

  1. Open the Windows Disk Cleanup utility (our guide to opening Disk Cleanup can help you with this step).
  2. Check all the boxes on the Disk Cleanup tab.
  3. Click Okay > Delete files to confirm.
  4. You can also choose to erase unnecessary system file data in the same way by clicking Clean up system files.

Besides erasing junk files, you can also uninstall unnecessary software to free up disk space. Removing some major software packages will likely free up more space than the Disk Cleanup utility.

3. Increase Virtual Memory Allocation

Some users have confirmed that increasing the virtual memory allocation can fix the “low memory” error permanently. Expanding the page file frees up more disk space for virtual memory. You can refer to our guide on how to increase virtual memory on Windows for more information on how to do this.

4. Run a malware scan

Malware is another possible cause for the “low memory” error in Windows 11. Some malware can greatly increase RAM usage, leading to low memory issues. Windows includes a built-in antivirus program that can help you remove malware.

The Malwarebytes utility is a good third-party alternative for Windows security. The freeware version of that software includes a built-in malware scanner that you can use. Here’s how to run a malware scan with Malwarebytes:

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  1. Bring the Malwarebytes download page and download the app.
  2. Press to install in the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard window.
  3. Open the Malwarebytes app after installing it.
  4. Select the Scan choice.
  5. Click Quarantine after the scan.

5. Reinstall all software with unusually high RAM usage

Sometimes the “low memory” error occurs because of a memory leak problem for specific software. A memory leak is when a program does not properly release RAM, which can greatly increase RAM usage. Therefore, identifying and reinstalling software that has a memory leak issue can also resolve this error. Follow these steps to identify and reinstall software with unusually high RAM usage:

  1. Bring the Processes tab in Task Manager.
  2. Click on the Memory column header to identify software with the highest RAM usage. Clicking that header will reorder processes with the biggest RAM pigs at the top.
  3. Close the software you want to remove by selecting the process and clicking . to click End task.
  4. Then press the Windows button + R; and enter the appwiz.cpl command for Programs and Features.
  5. Click Okay to view the uninstaller.
  6. Select the software with unusually high RAM usage and click remove.
  7. To reinstall the software, download the latest version from the website or other reliable sources. Then open the downloaded installation wizard to reinstall the software.

6. Set Windows to Clean Boot

This possible solution to the “low memory” error is a variation of the first one in this guide. Setting Windows to clean boot will disable both startup programs and third-party services, which is a good way to minimize RAM usage. You can set up a clean boot by disabling services using MSConfig and all startup items in the Task Manager, as described in our guide to clean boot in Windows.

7. Check your RAM with the Windows Memory Diagnostic

The “low memory” error can also be due to a RAM problem. The Windows Memory Diagnostic scans RAM to detect possible errors. That utility will not repair the faulty RAM, but may indicate that your PC needs a replacement module. You can run a Windows Memory Diagnostic check as follows:

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  1. Bring up Runs Open box with Win + Rand enter mdsched in it.
  2. Select Runs Okay option to view Windows Memory Diagnostic.
  3. Click Restarting now and check for problems in Windows Memory Diagnostics.
  4. Wait for scanning to finish after reboot.

Windows Memory Diagnostic should then automatically display a result after reboot for you to review. If not, you can view the result by clicking Windows Logs > System in Event Viewer. Then select Findinput MemoryDiagnosticand click Find next.

If the Windows Memory Diagnostic shows errors, you may need to replace a RAM stick. On desktop PCs and some laptops, you can replace the RAM yourself. You may also want to consider taking your PC to a reputable repair service.

8. Add more RAM to your PC

This is the last resort if the above solutions for the “low memory” error are not enough. Adding an extra RAM module to your PC will give you more system memory. Most desktop PCs have available RAM slots into which you can insert a newly purchased module to increase memory by at least two to four gigabytes.

Our step-by-step guide to upgrading RAM on a laptop will give you a complete rundown of how to add more memory to laptops.

Now your computer is no longer low on memory

You should always try to both minimize RAM usage and keep some storage space for the paging file to optimize system performance in Windows 11/10. The “out of memory” error is an example of the kind of problems that can occur if users don’t. Applying the possible solutions to the “low memory” error above will probably solve that RAM problem for most users.

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