If you feel like your computer is slow and not completing tasks as quickly as it used to, you’re not alone. As a computer fills up with programs and files it may need an extra boost – a ReadyBoost!

What is ReadyBoost?

Microsoft ReadyBoost technology helps your computer “think” faster by caching data on a USB flash drive. This allows files to be retrieved faster than if the data were stored on the hard drive.

How It Works

Using ReadyBoost with a USB flash drive acts as virtual RAM (Random Access Memory) for your computer. A standard magnetic hard drive has a much longer seek time than the flash memory of a USB drive. By enabling ReadyBoost, you allow data to be temporarily stored on a flash drive so your computer can retrieve information faster.

What Does this Mean?

This means that your computer won’t take as long to process simple tasks, such as locating or opening files, or switching from one program to another. You will be able to multitask more efficiently on your computer without the frustration of waiting for files and programs to load.

Is ReadyBoost Right for Me?

ReadyBoost is most useful for those who have 4 GB of RAM or less on their computer, who use Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, and who have a disk platter hard drive (HDD).

How Determine the RAM on Your PC

You can find the RAM one of two ways:

  1. Open your Start Menu and search in File Explorer for “Computer” or “This PC” (you can use Cortana in Windows 10); right-click on it and select Properties. It will display Installed memory (RAM) under System.
  2. Open the Control Panel and select System and Security; under System select View amount of RAM and processor speed.


If you aren’t sure whether you have a hard disk drive or a solid state drive there is an easy way to check.

Open your Start Menu and type “defrag” into the File Explorer search bar (or use Cortana in Windows 10). Select Disk Defragmenter or Defragment and Optimize Drives (this depends on which version of Windows you have). The type of hard drive on your computer will be displayed under the column Media type.

How to Use ReadyBoost

  1. Plug the USB flash drive into an available port.
  2. Open File Explorer, locate the drive name, right-click on it and select Properties.
  3. Click the ReadyBoost tab in the Properties dialog box.
  4. Select Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost to use the maximum available space. If you do not want to use all of the available space on the USB drive for ReadyBoost you can select Use this device and move the slider to choose the amount of space you want to use.
  5. Click OK to enable ReadyBoost.

Note: If you ever want to turn ReadyBoost off you can select Do not use this device. Remember to properly eject a flash drive before you remove it from your computer. 

Our Recommendation

If you want to take advantage of the many benefits of ReadyBoost technology, we recommend using the Digital Care Expansion Drive. It has 8 GB of extra memory space, it’s low-profile (so it won’t get in the way), and it’s perfect for both laptop and desktop computers.

readyboost expansion driveIt’s also free! You only have to pay the shipping and handling. Click here to find out more.

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Laura has her finger on the pulse of the digital world, and enjoys sharing this information with others. From tutorials and reviews, to breaking security alerts, she aims to make your digital life as easy as pie. Want to know more about something specific? Let us know in the comments, and Laura will do the research for you!