How to find how many memory slots are in a computer

Updated: 08/02/2019 by Computer Hope
Memory slots on a motherboard. Photo by Flickr user Marco Verch, licensed under CC2.0-BY, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

When a user wants to add or upgrade memory (RAM) in a computer, they need to know how many memory slots are available. The following section will help you to determine the number of memory slots in your computer, as well as how many are currently being used.

Windows Task Manager

The easiest solution for Windows users is to open the Windows Task Manager.

  1. Press the Windows key, type Task Manager, and then press Enter.
  2. In the window that appears, click the Performance tab (A), then select Memory (B).
  3. In the lower-right corner, the number of slots is displayed in the Slots used: section (C).

As image showing how many memory slots are being used.

  1. As you can see, this computer has a total of four memory slots, although only two are currently being utilized.

Use the CPU-Z utility

Another way to get information about memory slots and details about the RAM currently installed on your computer, is to use the free CPU-Z third-party utility.

  1. Open an Internet browser and visit the CPUID website at https://www.cpuid.com.
  2. On the left side of the screen, select your operating system.

The download page for CPU-Z.

  1. On the next page, select your preferred language.

The download page for CPU-Z.

  1. On the next screen, click the DOWNLOAD NOW! button.

The download now button on the CPU-Z website.

  1. Once the download has finished, install it from your browser and open the program.
  2. Click the SPD tab at the top of the screen, and then click the down arrow in the Memory Slot Selection section.

The SPD tab in CPU-Z.

  1. As you can see in the image above, all of the memory slots (in this case, four) are listed in the drop-down menu.
Tip

If you select a different slot from the drop-down menu, CPU-Z will tell you additional information about the RAM that is installed, or nothing if the slot is unoccupied.

Examine the motherboard

Sometimes the best way to determine how many memory slots there are, as well as how many are available, is to open the computer and examine the motherboard. Opening the computer is a good option if you need to work inside the computer, are curious about other components, or were unable to get the Windows Task Manager or CPU-Z to work.

Looking inside the case, the motherboard is the primary large circuit board. On most motherboards, the memory slots are located on either side of the CPU, and resemble what is shown below.

Computer memory slots

Most computer motherboards have two, three, or four memory slots. Some higher-end motherboards have as many as eight. The motherboard in the picture above has no memory modules installed in any of its three slots.

Note

If your computer has no memory slots available and you want to upgrade, you must remove and replace some of the existing memory.