Upgrading your RAM is one of the simplest and best methods of speeding up your PC. The more memory your computer has the more programs can run at once and the less work your processor and hard disk have to do. The problem is that in many cases RAM is an expensive addition and, even worse, if your laptop or PC has the RAM slots filled up you often can’t physically add more memory even if you can afford to.

The good news is that Windows has a small tool you can use to speed up your PC using nothing more than a USB memory key fob. The flash memory used in USB memory keys is super fast and Windows can utilise this to help make your computer run more quickly. Without getting into the real technical details ReadyBoost copies some essential system files to a USB memory key instead of the hard disk so that it can utilise the speed of the flash memory to read and write data more quickly thereby making your PC run faster.

It’s incredibly easy to set up the ReadyBoost feature, simply insert a USB memory key with more than 256MB of free space. When the 'tap to choose what to do with this device' notification appears click and then select Speed up my system.

When the ReadyBoost window opens select 'Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost' to use it exclusively for speeding up your PC or 'Use this device' so that you can use the memory stick for other tasks too. Windows will choose a default amount of space to use and then all you have to do is click Apply. After a few seconds your USB memory stick will be ready and working and you should notice a speed improvement, all for the low cost of a USB key.

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