We answer: Can Windows 10 run on 512 MB/ 1 GB/ 2 GB RAM?

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about technology ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. He's a PC enthusiast and he... read more
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Windows 10 run 512 MB RAM
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RAM (Random Access Memory) is a volatile storage device that your computer uses to store temporary data that is being frequently used by the operating system, speeding up processes. Once your computer shuts down all the data in it is lost as it is a temporary but fast storage device. The amount of RAM you need in your PC depends on what you plan on doing because gaming or media editing, for example, take a generous amount of RAM.

There is a heavy debate in the online world whether Windows 10 can operate with less RAM than the minimum announced by Microsoft. In this article we tried to address this question and let you know how things are going if you planning to test this.

We divided this guide into the following chapters:

  1. What are the Windows 10 specifications and system requirements recommended by Microsoft?
  2. How to find your computers specifications?
  3. Can Windows 10 run on 512 MB?
  4. Can Windows 10 run on 1 GB?
  5. Can Windows 10 run on 2 GB?

1. What are the official Windows 10 specs and system requirements?

According to Microsoft, if you want to upgrade to Windows 10 on your computer, here is the minimum hardware you will need:

  1. RAM: 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  2. Processor: 1 GHz or faster processor
  3. Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  4. Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  5. Display: 800×600

— RELATED: Fix: Kernel security check failure RAM in Windows 10

2. How to find your computers specifications?

To see the hardware specifications for your computer, you can either run a system information tool that gathers all that information for you and most of them are really easy to use or use Windows itself.

To find your system’s specifications in Windows:

  1. Go to the Start menu and click on Programs
  2. Navigate to Accessories and click on System Tools
  3. Click on System Information

Another method for checking your system’s specifications is to right-click on My PC and select Properties.

check RAM specs Windows 10

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On newer Windows 10 version, go to Settings > System > About.

check instaled RAM windows 10

3. Can Windows 10 run on 512 MB?

If you want to try using Windows 10 using only 512 MB of RAM, you should know that the system will run extremely slowly but it will still work. It will be difficult for Windows 10 to run in such a short space. Older versions of Windows can do this but the newer one contains many background tasks like apps which get continuously updated and they take up more space to run in background. But just how slow can Windows 10 go when it comes to PC specifications? Let’s see what we observed it is happening if you use only 512 MB:

  • The reboot process is very slow – it might actually take a couple of minutes to reboot
  • You will not be able to do much on your computer with this installation because your PC will run out of memory without really doing anything
  • You will be able to scroll around any folder without major difficulties
  • There was no noticeable lag running the mouse cursor around
  • Cortana works really slow but it still works
  • It will take you a little bit longer to open basic applications like WordPad for example but you will still be able to type, modify size, style, colors in it without having major difficulties
  • You will still be able to surf the Internet but if trying to see a site that contains lots of images, the system will struggle and the system might not even respond
  • Youtube does not really work – you might get the Not responding message

So overall, it is a negative user experience for some basic activities it will work OK but most of the time, the system will run pretty slow and it will not feel usable.

— RELATED: Fix: RAM Usage Went up After Installing Windows 10, 8.1

4. Can Windows 10 run on 1 GB?

You will be able to install Windows 10 with only 1 GB RAM but it will not work properly as it will not be able to perform heavy operations. Let’s see what we observed it is happening if you use only 1GB:

  • You will be barely able to use two or three application at a same time
  • The boot time will be around 1 minute in general
  • Navigating through Windows Explorer is quite smooth as everything opens up nice and quickly
  • You browse the internet and read articles on sites that contain lots of images
  • Youtube runs quite OK although there might be times when small lags appear
  • Basic applications like WordPad, for example, work really OK
  • Mutitasking is very responsive
  • Cortana works really well.

5. Can Windows 10 run on 2 GB?

2 GB of RAM is a decent amount of RAM. This means it is adequate to install and run Windows 10 with acceptable performance. But to achieve optimum performance you will need more. No operating system is optimized for the minimum supported RAM.

Having 2GB of RAM will offer you fluid performance on day to day tasks but things will get different if you run games or want to perform editing tasks. A good suggestion would be to try turning off Cortana and additional features on Windows 10 if you face any issues and keep in mind that if you use heavy applications on it, your computer will start to misbehave.

All in all, the more amount of RAM you have, the more smoothly your computer will run. Have you tried using Windows 10 with less RAM than Microsoft recommended? Let us know about your experience.


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