How to Allocate More RAM to a Game in Windows 11 or 10

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Gaming on a PC is an immersive experience that allows users to dive into fantastical worlds and adrenaline-pumping adventures. However, some games require a significant amount of RAM to run smoothly, and if your PC falls short, it could lead to lag or even crashes. In this article, we will explore how to allocate more RAM to a game in Windows 11 or Windows 10, ensuring that you can enjoy your favorite titles without any hiccups.

Also see: How to Fix Game Stuttering on Windows 11

How to Allocate More RAM to a Game

Understanding RAM allocation

RAM, or Random Access Memory, is a crucial component of your computer, responsible for temporarily storing data required for running applications and games. Allocating more RAM to a game means dedicating a larger portion of your system’s memory to support its performance. This can lead to smoother gameplay, reduced lag, and faster loading times, ultimately enhancing your gaming experience.

However, it’s essential to strike a balance between allocating enough RAM for your game without starving other applications and system processes of the resources they need to function correctly.

Useful tip: How to Clear RAM Cache in Windows 11

It’s also important to note that allocating more RAM to a game or program does not necessarily improve its performance if the game doesn’t need the additional RAM. Each game has specific memory requirements, and allocating more RAM than the game can utilize will not lead to any performance improvements. In some cases, it might even result in decreased performance, as it could cause other system processes to compete for limited resources.

Relevant concernWhy is My Memory Usage So High When Nothing is Running?

Check your system’s RAM

Before allocating more RAM to a game, it’s essential to determine how much RAM your system has and how much is currently being used. To check the total RAM installed on your Windows 11/10 computer, and its current usage, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select System.
  2. Under the Device specifications section, you’ll find your installed RAM listed next to Installed RAM.Check how much RAM you have in Windows 11
  3. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
  4. Go to the Performance tab and click on Memory. Here, you can see the total RAM and its current usage.Total RAM in used Windows 11

Ensure that your system has enough free RAM before allocating more to a game to avoid causing performance issues for other applications.

Handy hint: How to Reduce Hardware Reserved Memory in Windows 11/10

Allocate more RAM to a game by setting its priority

One way to allocate more RAM to a game is by changing its priority in the Task Manager. This method allows your system to prioritize the game’s processes over other applications, dedicating more resources, including RAM, to the game. Here’s how:

  1. Launch the game you want to allocate more RAM to.
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
  3. Go to the Details tab.
  4. Find the game’s process, right-click it, and select Set priority.
  5. Choose High or Above Normal to allocate more resources to the game.

Allocate more RAM to a game in Windows 11

Note: Setting a game’s priority too high might impact the performance of other applications. Monitor your system’s performance to ensure a proper balance.

Related issue: Game Lag When Watching YouTube or Twitch on Chrome

Dedicate more RAM to a Steam game using “heapsize”

For games installed through Steam, you can use the “heapsize” launch option to allocate more RAM. The heapsize parameter specifies the amount of memory (in kilobytes) the game should allocate for its heap, where game assets and data are stored. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Steam client and go to your Library.
  2. Right-click on the desired game, and select Properties.Steam Game Properties
  3. Click on Set Launch Options.
  4. Enter -heapsize [value], replacing [value] with the desired amount of memory in kilobytes. For example, to allocate 2 GB of RAM, enter -heapsize 2097152 (1 GB = 1024 * 1024 KB).Dedicate more RAM to Games
  5. Click OK and close the Properties window.

The next time you launch the game, Steam will allocate the specified amount of RAM to the game.

Other similar issue: 16GB RAM Installed Only 8GB Usable in Windows 11

Allocate more RAM to Minecraft (Example)

Minecraft is an example of a game that allows you to allocate more RAM using arguments specific to the game. You can modify the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) arguments in the Minecraft Launcher to dedicate more RAM. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Minecraft Launcher and click on Installations.
  2. Hover over the desired installation and click on the three-dots icon, then select Edit.
  3. Click on More Options.
  4. Locate the JVM Arguments text box. You’ll see a value like -Xmx2G within the arguments, which specifies the maximum memory allocation for the game (in this example, 2 GB).
  5. Change the value after -Xmx to the desired amount of RAM. For example, to allocate 4 GB, change -Xmx2G to -Xmx4G.
  6. Click Save, then launch the game using the modified installation.

Allocate more RAM to Minecraft

Different games may have unique methods and arguments for allocating more RAM. Research the specific game you want to allocate more RAM for to find the best approach.

Adjust virtual memory

Virtual memory is a portion of your hard drive that Windows uses as an extension of your RAM when your system runs out of physical memory. While it doesn’t improve game performance, adjusting virtual memory can help limit errors that might occur due to memory overflow or insufficient RAM. Here’s how to adjust virtual memory in Windows 11/10:

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select System.
  2. Click on Advanced system settings.
  3. Under the Performance section, click on Settings.
  4. Go to the Advanced tab and click on Change under the Virtual memory section.
  5. Uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.
  6. Select the drive where your game is installed and choose Custom size.
  7. Enter initial and maximum sizes for the paging file (in MB). Microsoft recommends setting the maximum size to 1.5 to 3 times the amount of RAM on your computer.
  8. Click Set, then OK.

Increase virtual memory Windows 11

Keep in mind that increasing virtual memory may cause your system to use more disk space and potentially reduce the performance of other applications. Monitor your system’s performance and adjust the settings accordingly.

Recommended tip: 30+ Windows 11 Services to Disable for Better Gaming Performance

Optimize in-game settings

In addition to allocating more RAM, you can improve your game’s performance by optimizing its settings. Many games offer various graphics settings that can be adjusted to balance performance and visual quality. Some settings to consider tweaking include:

  • Resolution
  • Texture quality
  • Shadows
  • Anti-aliasing
  • Ambient occlusion
  • Draw distance

Experiment with different settings to find the optimal configuration for your system. Lowering the settings can help reduce the demand on your PC’s resources, including RAM, and improve the overall gaming experience.

Set RAM in game settings

Final thnoughts

Allocating more RAM to a game can significantly improve its performance, leading to a more enjoyable gaming experience. However, it’s essential to be mindful of your system’s resources and ensure that allocating additional RAM to a game doesn’t come at the expense of other applications and processes. To achieve the best results, it’s crucial to understand the specific memory requirements of each game, as allocating more RAM than needed won’t result in performance improvements.

In addition to managing RAM allocation, consider optimizing in-game settings, upgrading your hardware, and keeping your system drivers up-to-date to achieve the best possible gaming experience. Remember that allocating more RAM is just one aspect of optimizing your gaming setup, and it’s essential to consider all factors to achieve the optimal performance and enjoyment in your gaming endeavors.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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