A desktop PC running Windows 11.
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

RAM—random-access memory—is your computer’s short-term data storage. You’ll need more RAM for gaming and other complex tasks like video rendering and media creation than you will for basic desktop usage. But how much RAM can your computer take?

RAM Limit for Windows 11: How Much Can You Use?

Windows 11’s RAM limit depends on which edition of Windows 11 you have. For example, Windows 11 Home can use up to 128 GB (gigabytes) of RAM, while Windows 11 Pro supports a maximum of 2 TB (terabytes) of RAM. Other editions have even higher limits. Here’s the complete list:

  • Windows 11 Home: 128 GB
  • Windows 11 Pro: 2 TB
  • Windows 11 Education: 2 TB
  • Windows 11 Pro for Workstations: 6 TB
  • Windows 11 Enterprise: 6 TB

These details were taken directly from the physical memory page of Microsoft’s official website.

How Much RAM Is Compatible With Your PC?

RAM capacity is based on your processor. To learn more about your device’s processor, you first need to look at your system information. Go into the start menu and open the Settings app. From there, enter the “System” menu and you will see your computer’s specifications.

Copy the processor name and perform a web search for it. Your CPU manufacturer will have a page spelling out how much memory it supports.

System menu showing the processor information of a computer.

For example, In the screenshot above, our system has an Intel Core i7 processor. After performing a web search for that, we find Intel’s specifications page for this processor. Under “Memory Specifications,” Intel says the CPU has a “Max Memory Size” of 128 GB.

Windows 11 RAM Requirements

Windows 11 needs at least 4GB of RAM to run. Any less and the operating system won’t be able to perform even the most basic of functions smoothly—like watching videos and using a web browser.

If you try to do such tasks with less than 4GB, you will get a lot of lag. For example, videos may need to buffer a lot, and browsing the web results in pages loading slower.

How Much RAM Does Windows 11 Use?

Expect the Windows 11 operating system itself to use around 4GB of memory. While you may be able to get by with just that, we don’t recommend it

We recommend at least 8GB of RAM for comfortable normal usage of the desktop and other basic applications like a web browser and office suite.

How Much RAM Do I Need for Gaming?

We recommend at least 16GB of RAM for modern PC games, but some games might want 32GB RAM, especially with maximum graphical settings. While 8GB will work with some games, 16GB has become standard.

Of course, it depends on the type of game—older games or less graphically intensive games may perform comfortably with less RAM.

Is 8GB of RAM Enough for Office Work?

Yes, 8GB is plenty of RAM for basic office work. If your idea of office work is checking and sending emails, using a web browser, and using text-based programs, you won’t have any issues with 8GB of RAM. However, for some tasks—having a lot of browser tabs open, massive spreadsheets, or photo editing—you might want more RAM.

You may even be able to get away with 4GB of RAM, but we don’t recommend it.

How to See How Much RAM Your PC Has

You can see how much RAM your Windows 11 PC has—as well as other details about the RAM, like its type and speed—from the Task Manager. You can press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open it. Click over to the “Performance” tab and look at the “Memory” category.

RELATED: How to Check Your RAM Amount, Type, and Speed on Windows 11

Profile Photo for Reyadh Rahaman Reyadh Rahaman
Reyadh has been writing full-time for years, covering technology and video games at websites like VGKAMI and Game Rant. When he's not writing technical articles for various publications, he's working on his fiction novels, playing video games, or reading up on interesting topics. Reyadh studied Broadcast Television/Videography at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario.
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