It has been reported by many Windows 10 users that they can use only 8 GB of 16 GB RAM. It is really an unacceptable matter that half of the RAM remains unused. If you also have installed 16 GB RAM on your computer and you can see on the task manager that it is only 8 GB useable then it needs to be fixed. Normally a little amount of RAM is reserved in the system and remains unusable.
If you can use 14 or 15 GB out of 16 GB RAM, then it’s normal. But if you see only 8 GB out of 16 GB is usable then it is not a normal case. So, if you are looking for a solution to get rid of this problem, then you are in the right place. We have the perfect solution to this problem here in this article.
Why Only 8GB Is Usable Out of 16GB Ram?
There are several reasons why you can use only half the amount of your RAM. One of the major culprits is your motherboard’s BIOS. It reserves a specific amount of RAM and makes it unusable. However, the hard disk also causes this issue on Windows 10.
Do you know that you will be able to use only 3.5 GB RAM (no matter how much RAM you have installed physically on your motherboard) if you use the 32-bit Windows 10 operating system? You have to install the 64-bit operating system to use more than 3.5 GB of RAM.
If you don’t know whether you are using a 64-bit or 32-bit operating system, then you should identify it within a few steps below:
- Open the Run dialog box by pressing and holding Windows + R keys simultaneously
- Type msinfo32 on the Run box and press Enter
- Then, find the System type in the System Information Window
- If you find the value x86, then your operating system is 32-bit and if the value is x64 then your operating system is 64-bit
But you don’t need to be worried after facing this problem. Whether the problem is to try the following solutions that are given in this article and you will surely be able to fix this problem.
How to Fix ’16GB RAM Installed Only 8GB Usable on Windows 10′ Issue
Here is given the best solutions to fix the issue with your computer. Try these solutions one by one until you see your computer can use Nearly 16 GB of RAM.
1. Set The Amount of Used RAM During Boot
Windows reserves a large amount of RAM during boot by default. This reserved amount of RAM helps the computer to boot fast. It is unnecessary if it takes half of your RAM permanently. So, let’s check how much RAM is reserved for boot on your system.
- Open the Run dialogue box and type MSConfig and then press Enter key
- It will take you to the System Configuration
- Go to the Boot tab from the System Configuration
- Now, select your OS from the list and go to the Advanced Option
- Here, untick the checkbox of Maximum memory and click OK
After finishing the process restart your computer and check if the problem is remaining or not. If you find the issue is still remaining, then follow the next solution.
2. BIOS Settings
There are possibilities that the BIOS of your computer can limit the amount of usable RAM. For this, you need to configure the BIOS settings. But at first, what you need to do is install a separate video card physically on your motherboard. After that, you need to turn off your internal graphics processing unit (GPU) if you have any. Because, if you turn on your internal GPU, then it will reserve a certain amount of your RAM.
Restart your computer and during the boot, go to your BIOS setup. You have to press a certain key to enter into the BIOS setup. This key is varied according to the model and company of your computer. You can google it though. The key is normally F1, F2, or F12.
Now you have to search your internal GPU. The name can also vary according to your system manufacturer, but it is most probably Internal Graphics or Onboard Graphics. Find it and Disable it.
You can also try turning on the Memory Map Feature. It will give Windows full access to your installed RAM. Here is the status of each feature that you should ensure:
Save the changes and restart your computer again. Now check for the issue. If it still remains, then try the next solution.
3. Check Your RAM Physically
Your Windows 10 is showing half of your RAM is useable might be due to the defect of your RAM. So, your RAM needs to be checked physically in order to find the reason for this issue. You also may need to check the RAM slots because this issue can be happened also because of a faulty slot on which your RAM is installed physically. Follow the process below of checking RAM physically:
- Unplug the cables from your computer and open the cover of your CPU
- Then, toggle both clips of the RAM slots and unplug the RAM
- Clean the contact points of the RAM and also clean dust from the slots
- If you are using multiple RAM sticks, then connect each of those RAMs one by one and start your computer to identify the faulty one
- Again, try putting the RAM into a different RAM slot to identify the faulty slot
- Now check if the issue is gone or not. If it solves the problem, then leave the RAMs and slots as it is now.
- On the other hand, if it doesn’t fix the problem, then put your RAMs in the previous state and turn on your computer.
Now try the next solution.
4. Update Your BIOS
It can be due to a bug that prevents Windows to use all of your RAM. It happens if your BIOS is outdated. Updating BIOS can prevent this issue.
So, let’s update your BIOS and get your full RAM ready to use.
BIOS are varied by model and system manufacturers. So, what you need to do is, go to the website of your system manufacturer and download the latest BIOS for your computer.
Now copy the downloaded BIOS to a USB drive and update your BIOS from that USB drive using the Boot Menu. Here is detailed information:
- Press F2 or Del as soon as the PC restarts to enter BIOS setup
- Click on the Update option
- Now choose the files from your USB Drive
- Wait until successfully updating the BIOS
However, your system may have limitations supporting the RAM that you have installed. For example, the motherboard with Intel 945 chipset only supports 4 GB of RAM. RAMS higher than 4 GB will be unable to use on this motherboard. So, make sure that your motherboard supports 16 GB of RAM.
5. Update Your Windows and Reinstall the Graphics Driver
Before going any further technical solutions, it is the most effective way to fix bugs and the BIOS of your computer to update Windows. During updating Windows, your drivers also get updated automatically which results in resolving the unused RAM problem.
- Search – ‘Check for Update’ on the Windows search bar
- Now, on the settings page, click on Check for updates
- It will automatically detect the latest version of Windows and install it
- After successfully updating Windows, check if the RAM issue is resolved or not
If you still see that 8 GB is unusable of 16 GB RAM, then reinstall the graphics driver and it will solve the issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My RAM Not Running at Full Speed?
The speed of RAM depends on the motherboard. It will run at a limited speed that your motherboard supports. If your RAM has an XMP profile, then your CPU also needed to support that. If your CPU doesn’t support the frequencies, then your RAM will run at the maximum speed set by your CPU. For example, Your CPU supports a 3200 MHz frequency and the maximum speed of your RAM is 4000 MHz. In this case, the RAM will run at 3200 MHz only.
How Do I Enable RAM in BIOS?
- Reboot the computer and press the F1 or Del key to enter the BIOS setting
- After getting into BIOS, select the Advanced Settings > Memory Settings
- Now, ensure Row is enabled from the options of DIIM slots
- Click on the Save button and restart your computer
It will be best for you if you follow the solutions one by one in order to fix only 8 GB RAM is usable out of the 16 GB RAM issue.
I hope you will be able to fix this problem by the end of this article. Many users who are faced the same problem have successfully fixed this issue by these methods. Follow the instructions from each of these solutions to get your computer full access to your RAM.
In case you are unable to open the cover of the CPU or unplug the RAM or feel uneasy opening your CPU, then take the CPU to the nearest service center.
You are strongly encouraged to share your opinion in the comment box below.