How to use a Ram Disk in Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 7, 2018
Updated • Jun 7, 2018

You may install a Ram disk on your Windows PC to improve performance, maintenance, and privacy on the device.

Ram disks can best be described as memory-based drives that act just like any other hard drive on the system for the most part. You can install programs on RAM disks or use it to store temporary files.

These disks offer advantages over regular hard drives: memory is faster which means that operations will benefit from that. Memory is cleared automatically on shutdown so that any files that reside on the disk are removed automatically.

Tip: check out our overview of free RAM disk programs for Windows to find out which are available. I'll be using SoftPerfekt RAM Disk which you may download from third-party sites such as Majorgeeks.

You need a bit of memory to use a RAM disk as part of the RAM that is installed on the device is used exclusively by the RAM disk.

Installing the RAM Disk

The very first thing you need to do is install the RAM disk on your PC. Download and install SoftPerfekt Ram Disk and start the program afterward.

Setup is real simple:

  1. Click on then plus icon to create a new RAM Disk.
  2. Assign RAM to the disk. You need to enter the amount in Megabytes, e.g. 4096 for 4 Gigabytes.
  3. Select a drive letter for the disk, e.g. drive z:
  4. Change the file system to NTFS.
  5. Add root folders, e.g. Temp and Firefox, in the Create Folders field.
  6. Switch to advanced, and add a drive label.
  7. Select OK to complete the creation.

The RAM disk should be listed in Explorer just like any drive. You can interact with it normally; move files to it, create files and folders, or install applications to it.

Configuring Windows for use with the RAM Disk

RAM Disk windows

Now that the RAM disk is created, you may want to configure Windows to make use of the disk. One thing you may want to consider doing is moving the temporary folders to the RAM Disk so that they are cleared automatically on restart.

  1. Use Windows-Pause to open the System Control Panel applet. If you don't have a Pause-key on your keyboard, tap on the Windows-key, type Control Panel, and select the result. Go to System and Security > System.
  2. Select Advanced system settings from the sidebar when the System applet appears.
  3. Select Environment Variables in the System Properties window.
  4. Locate the variables TEMP and TMP in the user variables fields.
  5. Double-click on each entry, and replace the default value (the temporary files path) with a path pointing to the RAM Disk, e.g. z:\temp

Configuring third-party programs for use with a RAM Disk

firefox cache directory

You may configure third-party programs to use the RAM disk as well if third-party programs let you move the cache directory.

You can check out our guide on moving the Firefox cache to a RAM disk, and may do the same for other applications that support setting custom directories.

While moving caching directories to the RAM disk is probably the number one purpose for using memory-based disks, it is useful in other ways as well. Here are three:

  1. You may move directories that process data to the RAM disk. If you convert video files, audio files or render something, you may want to consider moving the processing to the RAM disk to speed up the process.
  2. Want to test a program? Install it or put it on the RAM disk to do so. Installing leaves some traces of the file on the system, e.g. in installed programs, but the program itself is gone on the next reboot.
  3. Put games and other applications that benefit from faster loading times on the disk. Some RAM disks support the storing of permanent files on the disk which you need when you want to play games from the disk. Note that many games are quite large and that you need lots of RAM to move them in their entirety to the disk.

Closing Words

Creating and using a RAM disk is a simple process. While you need to install and configure the disk once, it runs automatically after the initial setup.

How to use a Ram Disk in Windows
Article Name
How to use a Ram Disk in Windows
You may install a Ram disk on your Windows PC to improve performance, maintenance, and privacy on the device.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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