How to Use a Pen (flash) Drive as RAM For Your PC [windows/linux]


Getting started

To start using your use flash drive as RAM, it is important that you possess a flash drive which has sufficient amount of memory. 4 GB is the minimum amount of space that you should have in your flash drive and just to be on the safer side, 8 GB is highly recommended.


How To Use USB Flash Drive As RAM (2018) – YouTube

 · how to use a usb flash drive as ram in 2018 how to use a usb flash drive as ram in 2017 microsoft windows 10 windows 10 fall creators update. …

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How to Use a Pen (flash) Drive as RAM For Your PC [windows

 · So you don't have to worry about someone stealing any data from the cache written into your pen drive. Use pen drive as RAM in Linux. Linux uses a separate partition called swap to cache data when RAM gets filled up. So the trick to use a pen drive as RAM in Linux is to replace the partition mounted as swap with the pen drive.

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Disadvantages of RAM and ROM

Some of the disadvantages of RAM are –

  • If the CPU wants to read the data from the RAM, then the data access from the registers and the cache is slow in comparison
  • RAM is volatile, i.e. it is difficult to store data forever.
  • It is expensive.
  • It has limited space.

Some of the disadvantages of ROM are –

  • ROM is read-only, cannot be modified.
  • If changes are required, it is not possible.

Use pen drive as RAM in Linux

Linux uses a separate partition called swap to cache data when RAM gets filled up. So the trick to use a pen drive as RAM  in Linux is to replace the partition mounted as swap with the pen drive.

The first step is to find out the partition name of your pen drive.  Use the following command –

This will show you the details of all your available drives. You can easily find out the partition name of your pen drive from the list. Here is an example where I have a 4Gb pen drive –

The partition name here is /dev/sdc1. The next ste

The partition name here is /dev/sdc1. The next step is to unmount your USB drive with the following command –

Now you need to create your swap file on the pen drive with this command –

Finally, turn on the new swap file with this command –

That’s it. Your Linux OS will now use the pen drive to perform any swapping operations whenever your RAM gets filled up.

To make sure your new pen drive swap is active, use the following command –

You should see your pen drive partition listed.

Important:  When you use mkswap command on your pe

Important: When you use mkswap command on your pen drive, the existing data on your pen drive will be lost. So make sure to USE CORRECT PARTITION NAMES. For instance, if you accidentally use a different partition name, the data in that partition (which might be your hard disk) could be lost forever.

Method 2: Use USB as RAM with ReadyBoost Feature

Alternatively, you can also use USB as RAM by employing ReadyBoost.

ReadyBoost (codename EMD) is a disk caching software component developed by Microsoft, provided in Windows Vista and later versions of Windows. It allows NAND memory mass storage devices like USB flash drive to be used as a memory cache to improve computing performance.

Note: There is no need to use ReadyBoost feature on the computer running an SSD, as it is already fast enough to outperform the USB drive.

You may wonder how to make it. Just do as the following tutorial shows.

Step 1: Keep your USB flash drive connected with your computer.

Step 2: Double-click This PC icon to open File Explorer.

Step 3: Right-click your USB drive and choose Properties.

Step 4: Under ReadyBoost tab, check Use this device and move the slider to reserve space for the ReadyBoost feature as your needs. If you won’t use this USB drive for any other purposes, you can check Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost.

Step 5: Click Apply and OK button to save the changes.

Note: If you don’t want to use this ReadyBoost USB any more, just check Do not use this device and save the change.

After that, you can restart your Windows to take effect the changes.

What is the main function of a RAM in a computer?

The main function of Random-access memory or RAM is to act as a temporary storage of data and program instructions that can be accessed quickly by the CPU when required. Let’s discuss primary functions of RAM in a computer.Reading files: This is one amongst the primary works RAM performs. Hard drives on your system store a vast number of files and cause delay functioning. It becomes hassle job to retrieve any file from the hard drive as files stored on hard drive remains scattered and to different locations. To access these files, drives require to move its mechanical read/write arm back and forth and need to wait until the spinning platters spin into the correct position. Despite the fact, drives spin at higher speed (thousands of rotations per minute) this process causes a serious delay when reading files. To deal with this situation and to lessen the slowdown, your system store files in RAM once the files are first to read from the drive. Apart of it, RAM doesn’t have moving parts and runs at faster speed thus it loads information quickly during subsequent uses.To recover some precious disk space and to reduce a load on RAM while searching files on your system, you can use PC cleaner tools to remove all unnecessary files. It will help you clean and organize your data in the much better way.Temporary storage: This is another function of the RAM which allows temporary storage of the data on RAM while program or files are in use. In addition to storing files read from your system hard drive, RAM also stores information or data that programs are using actively. This data includes that data which need not be stored permanently as it remains temporary on RAM. When your system keeps temporary data on RAM to run it temporarily it allows the system to work fast and efficient. It improves speed and responsiveness of the system.Apart from these functions, more RAM space can help you improve your system speed and performance significantly. You can increase RAM space as per your system configuration for better results.Summary: Random Access Memory (RAM) plays an important role to improve your system speed and performance. Let’s discuss about RAM and its functions on your system.


  • Apps that require a certain amount of RAM to run (including most games) will not recognize your new virtual RAM as actual RAM. You will still need to add RAM to your computer if you want to use an app that requires more RAM than what is installed.

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  • To disable ReadyBoost in the future, right-click the drive in File Explorer, select Properties, choose ReadyBoost, and then choose Do not use this device.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Sambit Koley says

    The 4 GB amount of storage will be reserved if you enact the prescribed process. Now, if you reserve 4 GB of an 8 GB or 16 GB USB drive, it will offer you less efficient and slower R/W speeds.

  2. User says

    2. We recommend using at least 32 GB USB drive. Though, 64 GB is the most preferred option. Why recommend 32 or 64 when max usable is only 4gb?