How to Add Memory to a Dell Desktop Computer

By Ty Arthur

  • Overview

    As new programs and operating systems are released that take advantage of fresh hardware breakthroughs, you may find that your Dell computer isn't able to handle newer software programs as well. If you experience slow load times or low frame rates in games, you may want to install more computer memory, also called Random Access Memory (RAM), into the motherboard of your Dell PC for a relatively cheap speed boost.
    How to Add Memory to a Dell Desktop Computer
    How to Add Memory to a Dell Desktop Computer
    • Step 1

      Consult the manual that came with your Dell desktop computer or check the support section of Dell's website to determine what type of memory is compatible with your computer's motherboard and how much total memory it can handle.
    • Step 2

      Disconnect the power chord from the back of the computer. Then unplug all of the other cables connected to your other computer devices, such as the keyboard and mouse.


    • Step 3

      Pull the computer case out from its normal position and place it on a flat, stable surface, such as a table or hardwood floor. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws along the side of the case, or simply pull back the depressed area of the case if your particular Dell computer model has a pull-away side. Place the screws in a bowl or in some other location where they won't be easily lost.
    • Step 4

      Remove the side of the case, then locate the raised slots on the motherboard where memory modules are placed. Compare the ridges on the bottom of the memory module to the ridges on the memory slot to make sure you put in the memory in the proper direction.
    • Step 5

      Snap back the wedges on both sides of the memory slot, then firmly push the memory module down into the slot. Snap back the wedges to hold the module in place.
    • Step 6

      Replace the side on the case and re-install the screws. Plug your computer back in.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Screwdriver
    • Tip: You may want to use an anti-static wrist strap when installing memory, to ensure that you don't accidentally release a static discharge into your computer components.
    • Warning:
    • Installing larger memory modules than your Dell computer can handle is a waste of money, as the motherboard will simply ignore the largest memory module.

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