Why Is Only Half of My RAM Usable? (We Have The Answer)

Why is Only Half of My RAM Usable

Isn’t it frustrating to see that your expensive PC is using only half of its RAM when compared to the maximum capacity? Obviously, yes.

You may have been wondering why this is the case and whether there are solutions to this issue. Don’t worry. We will address the underlying factors and stable solutions to the query, “Why is only half of my RAM usable?”

Typically, the reason only half of the usable memory of your RAM is being utilized is linked to certain software apps, the BIOS, and the hardware. Keep reading to understand the details and precise issues!

Understanding RAM

Understanding RAM

RAM refers to “random access memory,” which is the temporary storage device that is universally used for PCs, laptops, and phones. RAM modules look like printed circuit boards with valuable memory chips connected to them. They access and store the data you use while operating your devices for a shorter time period.

The main objective of RAM is to permit the central processing unit (the CPU) to quickly access data as fast as possible without any delay. Any delay will lead to your computer being slow.

RAM is a multitasking component that works relentlessly to help you operate different application systems, play games, and vice versa.

The computer system itself takes care of the RAM and refreshes it every single time the computer is restarted.

Now that you have an insight into the nature and function of RAM, let’s look at the problems and solutions to the question, “Why is only half my RAM usable?”

Only half of the RAM is Usable: Causes and Solutions

In this part, we will survey the problems that result in your System using only half of its total RAM capacity. The problems pertain to the 32-bit Windows system, memory limitations, faulty RAM, BIOS issues, the Registry Editor, etc.

We will also aim to identify solutions so you can easily solve these issues. If you go through this article, you should be able to improve your System’s RAM usage.

Windows Installation

Solutions for Windows Operating Systems

The first thing to check is whether you are using the correct version of Windows on your PC. There are two options: it will either be a 64-bit system or a 32-bit system.

If you already know which version operating system you’re using, that’s great. If you don’t remember, just right-click the system application software and have a look at the computer specifications. Alternatively, you can right-click the “My Computer” logo on your desktop and check whether it is a 64-bit or 32-bit Windows version.

If your PC is operating on a 32-bit Windows system, then it can use only 4GB of RAM. Hence, if you have more than 4GB of RAM, the System will be unable to use the extra memory. If this is the problem, you can correct the issue by upgrading your OS to a 64-bit windows system.

Memory Limitation

Another reason your System may be using only one-half of its RAM can be that it is unnecessarily sapping the available memory. In order to fix the issue, you need to examine the system configuration and adjust the settings.

Find System Configuration Settings: Search for the system configuration settings by typing “MSConfig” in your search bar’s command line. Open it.

Start the Boot Tab: The second step is to find the Boot menu and click on the Advanced Settings Option.

Maximum Memory: Now, an option named “Maximum Memory” should appear, with an associated checkbox. If it is unticked, that’s okay, but if it is ticked, untick it and click OK.

Restart your PC: The final step is to restart your PC or laptop so that the issue is solved and the System can utilize all the memory capacity.

Physical Inspection of the RAM

Physical Inspection of the RAM

Often, faulty RAM causes the OS to use less than the available RAM. So, it’s wise to perform a physical inspection of the memory modules. These are generally connected via slots placed on the motherboard. You will want to determine whether the RAM is inappropriately installed on its slots.

Let’s go checking. However, be advised that you should proceed if you are an expert in physically inspecting the computer hardware. If not, seek assistance from an expert user.

Cut the power to your computer by unplugging all the wires. Now, uncover the computer. Have a close look at the motherboard and the RAM sticks installed on it. They are generally placed beside a big heat sink with a fan attached to it. You will find a few RAM slots (typically two or four) where the memory modules can be installed.

After ensuring that the multiple RAM sticks are securely installed in their slots, put the computer back together and power it up. Open the task manager and check the PC’s memory usage. You can do this by opening the performance tab and checking the capacity of the memory and usage.

If it matches and aligns with the RAM, then everything is set. If there is a mismatch, you can repeat the process and try removing one of the RAM modules to see which one is faulty.

Registry Editor

Regedit or the Registry Editor works in Windows OS as a graphical tool that allows only certain users to get access and make changes if required.

It’s important to check the Registry Editor and back up the settings to make sure that if things don’t work after editing it, you can restore the original files.

After opening the Registry Editor, follow the steps to restore it to the default settings:

Memory Management In Registry Editor
  • First Step: Look for the HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE folder
  • Second Step: Go to the System’s configuration settings
  • Third Step: Find the Current Control Set; beneath that, you will find “Control.”
  • Fourth Step: Next move to the Session Manager
  • Fifth Step: Now, you will see the Memory Management folder
  • Sixth Step: Find the Clear Page file at Shut Down

Final Step: After opening it, look for the value, data, and basename. You need to set the value data to 1 from 0. If you find it at 1, there is no need to make any change.

BIOS Settings

Computer Bios

The outdated BIOS version restrains the OS from utilizing the RAM’s maximum capacity. To determine if this is the case and to correct the usage, follow these steps:

First, if your PC has a video card installed, then go check the video card. If it is turned on, you will be facing problems with the RAM’s memory usage. So, you need to turn it off.

In order to turn that off:

Restart your PC: First of all, you need to restart your computer.

Check the BIOS settings: You can enter the BIOS settings by pressing one of the function keys (Generally F1 or F10) or Del/Esc keys from your keyboard. The key you need to press will depend on your System’s configuration. Check Google to find out the model of your computer and the key you need to press.

Find the Graphics Unit: After entering the settings, you will search for the video card. After you have found it, turn it off or Disable it.

Apply: Once you have turned it off, save it and restart your computer again. Check to see if your System can use the whole RAM capacity. Hopefully, the RAM problem is solved.

Windows and Drivers Update

Be advised that your computer’s performance is highly dependent on RAM memory usage. Less RAM memory utilization means your computer will get slower.

Operating systems like Windows can affect the RAM due to being vulnerable to bugs. Although Microsoft is trying to get rid of the bugs, it hasn’t happened yet. So updating Windows on your computer is a good option to get rid of the problem. Additionally, you also need to update all drivers to the most recent versions.

If you still find the issue unsolved after updating, then you better try setting the drivers related to the internal graphics.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Steps to Use Full RAM in BIOS?

Go to the Windows search bar and type “MSConfig.” Push the Windows key and R simultaneously from your keyboard. Now, press Enter or click okay by using the mouse. This will take you to the system configuration window.

Move to the Boot options and mouse click to the advanced options. Enter the maximum memory amount in Megabyte (MB). Apply the changes and restart your computer.

Why is High-Capacity RAM Important for Your Computer?

An ample amount of RAM results in a speedy computer processing system. Ultimately it allows the CPU to receive data faster, use multiple apps, and will enhance the overall speed of your computer. A dearth of RAM capacity means slower processing which may even lead to a computer crash.

Typically, 8-12 GB RAM capacity is okay for laptop users.My CPU Supports 3600 MHz RAM. Why Isn't It Running at the Rated Speed

How to Free up Usable RAM?

To free up space in the RAM, first restart your computer. Next, you need to update your valuable software. Try a different browser, not the one you regularly use. Clear the cache. Remove all the extensions in your browser. Use Track Memory and Clean up processes.

Finally, you need to disable the startup programs that are not needed anymore and also uninstall the apps that run in the background.

How to Check the Amount of RAM (Memory) in BIOS?

To check the memory in your computer’s BIOS:

First of all, turn your computer on. Next, press the F10 key again and again to enter the BIOS settings. Use the left and right arrow keys to find more advanced options like diagnostics.

Now, you need to use the up and down arrow keys to initiate a memory test for your computer. At the moment you press the enter key, the test will begin, and you will find out how much memory your RAM occupies in the BIOS.

Is Restoro Repair Worth Installing?

Restoro Repair is a go-to tool for Windows OS users. It finds and replaces corrupt, damaged, and missing files and thus enhances the processing speed of your computer. You can try the free version of it or subscribe to a paid version, which allows you to use all the premium offers.


The above discussion points out that there can be a plethora of reasons why your System is using only half of its RAM capacity. The problem typically emerges when the PC’s RAM modules are not properly connected, or the Windows OS is a 32-bit system. If it’s not any of these issues, the problem may be with the BIOS.

For a faster processing experience, you need to have enough RAM installed on your computer and also ensure that your computer is able to use all of the available RAM.

You may try the instructions given in this article to solve the problems that give rise to the question, “Why is only half of my RAM usable?”