PC ComponentsRAM

Why Is My RAM Usage So High?

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If your PC is running slow, it could be because its RAM usage is high. Sometimes, you may even get a prompt that your computer is low on memory. When this happens, apps fail, and an error message pops up on your screen. But why is your RAM usage so high? 

Quick Answer

Your PC’s RAM usage is too high because of the internal processes overcrowding. This overcrowding could result from running too many programs simultaneously, a registry hack, a virus attack, or a system error. 

When your PC’s RAM, virtual memory, ROM, and cache usage are exceptionally high, your PC will run slow, and programs will fail. Keep reading to learn more about the causes of high RAM usage on a PC. 

Reasons Your PC’s RAM Usage Is High

The RAM is a memory that temporarily holds information for the computer so your CPU can access it quickly. When your PC’s RAM usage is high, it affects your PC’s performance and could damage it. The following are common reasons your PC’s RAM usage is high. 

Reason #1: Opening Unnecessary Programs

Every program you run on your PC uses a certain amount of RAM. The more programs you run on your PC, the more the CPU will use and the more RAM. When you launch a program but don’t close the program, it will keep using your PC RAM. Hence, you should always close any program you are no longer using when working on your PC. Leaving so many unnecessary programs you don’t use can make your PC’s RAM usage skyrocket. 

Reason #2: Auto Startup 

There are programs on PCs that will auto-start when you turn on your PC. Programs with this feature leverage it to create a seamless user experience. While the idea behind auto-start programs is excellent, they can take a toll on your RAM. So, go to such programs and disable auto startup so they don’t start when you don’t need them. 

Reason #3: Hard Drive Fragmentation

Another thing that can potentially increase your RAM usage is disk fragmentation. Disk fragmentation occurs when pieces of files are scattered throughout your disc drive. These pieces of files can be from uninstalled apps, system files, browser files, etc. When there are fragments of files all over your disk drive, it is hard to access and write files that affect the CPU and RAM. You should defrag your hard drive to optimize it for the best performance. Remember to reboot your PC after defragment.

Reason #4: Disk File System Error

A system error can result from corrupt files, disk integrity corruption, bad sector, file execution policies, etc. When there is an error in the system file on your disk drive, it can as well cause high RAM or CPU usage on your PC. You can quickly fix a system error by restarting your PC or using partition manager software like EaseUS Partition Master

Reason #5: Low Virtual Memory 

Some PCs can use virtual memory! Virtual memory uses part of the disk drive to serve as partial RAM of your PC. So, when the RAM usage is high, the PC sends the least used program to the virtual memory. 

The virtual memory is not as efficient as actual RAM, but it does take the stress off the RAM. However, when the virtual memory is low, more programs will have to be forced shut down or lag. Meanwhile, you can solve this problem by increasing the virtual memory on your PC. 

Reason #6: Superfetch 

Superfetch or Sysmain is another thing that can cause your PC’s RAM usage to be so high. Superfetch loads the program you often use in your RAM cache to launch quicker. It is more like a feature that preloads the app you often use. So, when you launch those programs, they open faster, making you feel that your PC is fast. 

However, this feature takes a toll on your RAM and can lead to high RAM usage. If you find this feature unnecessary, you should disable it. 

Reason #7: Registry Hack 

A registry hack should boost your PC’s performance or improve efficiency. But the truth is that a registry hack can hurt your PC RAM. If you hacked your PC’s registry, it could cause high RAM usage. The reason for this is that your PC will have to carry out more processes taking into consideration the registry hack. 

So, even though a registry hack may give you more access to your PC, it will be to the detriment of your PC memory.  

Reason #8: Low Physical RAM 

When you have low physical RAM on your PC, it can be the reason your RAM usage is so high. If you don’t have enough physical RAM on your PC and run programs requiring high RAM, your RAM usage will be high. In such a case, you should install more physical RAM.

Most PCs come with two RAM slots, so you can consider installing a second slot if you have a RAM stick on only one slot. And if there is RAM on both slots, you can consider replacing both with higher RAM of the same size. 

Reason #9: NDU in the Registry  

Network Diagnostic Usage (NDU) is another feature of your PC that can cause high RAM usage. NDU is a monitoring tool that comes in handy in detecting new devices. Hence, with the help of the NDU, your PC’s operating system can communicate effectively with your computer’s internal hardware. 

While the NDU driver is helpful, disabling it could take away some strain on your PC’s RAM usage.  

Reason #10: Virus 

Finally, viruses and malware can also cause high RAM usage on your PC. A virus or malware on your PC causes it to overwork the processor by loading it with unnecessary programs, thus leading to high RAM usage. 

You can tell if your PC is infected with a virus or malware by scanning it with an antivirus. While your PC’s antivirus is effective to a certain degree, some viruses and malware may require a more advanced premium antivirus tool. 

Quick Tip

The RAM and CPU are the two major components of computer memory. However, the high memory usage problem is usually caused by overcrowding many internal processes. Hence, it is advisable to stop any unnecessary applications and programs. Navigate to the task manager and close any extra programs you aren’t using.


When the RAM usage on your PC is too high, you should consider trying to get it down. Leaving your PC using high RAM can cause it to overheat, which could damage several internal components. So, when your PC is becoming sluggish, check the task manager to see what program is currently running. If you do not need the program, you should close it to create space on your PC RAM. 

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