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How to Use a Laptop RAM in Desktop PC (Complete Guide)

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If you have a laptop that you are not going to use, you may consider taking its components and using them to upgrade your desktop PC. One of the critical components in a computer system is the RAM, and since you can upgrade it, that leads us to a very valid question: can you use a laptop RAM on a desktop? 

Yes, you can. But you’ll need SO-DIMM to DIMM adapters to fit a laptop RAM into a desktop. Also, the motherboard and make of your PC will determine if the RAM will work. 

There are components such as RAM that do not have the same design for laptops as with desktop computers. But with the right adapters, you’ll be able to connect the modules to the motherboard.

Can You Really Convert Laptop RAM to Desktop RAM?

Yes, just in the same way that it’s possible to use microSD cards on a laptop with an adapter, it’s also possible to use a laptop RAM on a desktop computer. However, while laptop RAM modules have around 200 connectors, desktop RAM modules have up to 288.

How to Fit in a Laptop RAM in a Desktop Using an Adapter 

Step 1: Purchase a RAM adapter that is compatible with both the laptop RAM and the desktop RAM slot 

SO-DIMMIMM to DIMM RAM adapters are sold in various models, and you can acquire them online. The SinLoon Laptop DDR4 to Desktop PC RAM Adapter is one of the adapters for converting SO-DIMMIMM to DIMM RAM. This is a 260 to 288 connector DDR4 RAM adapter with a 2133 MHz memory speed. 

SinLoon Laptop DDR4 RAM to Desktop PC RAM Adapter Card SO DIMM to DDR4 Converters DDR4 Laptop SO-DIMM to Desktop DIMM Memory RAM Connector Adapter (DDR4)

Step 2: Turn off the computer 

After purchasing the new adapter and having your laptop RAM ready, disconnect the PC from the power supply and other hardware peripherals, such as a monitor, keyboard, or mouse.

Step 3: Open the computer case

Place it on a stable work surface by resting it on its side so that you will have direct access to the motherboard once the side panel of the case is removed. To perform this step, you may need to use a Phillips screwdriver. However, in some cases, you will be able to remove the side panel by fixing screws directly with your hands.

Step 5: Locate the RAM module slots 

Most motherboards have 2 or 4 RAM slots. Typically, they are placed close to the CPU, but depending on the brand and model of the board; they may vary. Look for thin “rails” about 11 cm long with a center slot and stops at both ends.

Step 6: Remove the old RAM modules 

If you have chosen to replace the existing RAM modules, start by pressing the small plastic tabs on each end of the RAM housing, whose job is to keep the modules firmly in place; then, you can slide out the banks by pulling them out from their respective housings without any effort.

If you have to apply too much force, the clamps have not been opened correctly. In this case, press them down while pulling the RAM modules out of the slots with your other hand.

Step 7: Connect the module to the adapter and the adapter to the computer

Perform this step very carefully. Insert the RAM into its slot in the adapter. Align the groove on the underside of the memory adapter (where the metal contacts are) with the dowel pin inside the slot for the RAM module on the motherboard. 

Place the memory adapter on the slot in the correct direction, then apply equal pressure to both the right and left sides of the adapter until the small retaining clamps close, locking it in place. Remember that RAM banks can only be installed in one direction, so if you are experiencing excessive resistance, try rotating them 180°. You will most likely have to apply substantial pressure to close the retaining clamps, but you will never need to force the adapter.

Tip: The procedure may fail if you use the adapters for other memory modules. Windows may detect that they are SODIMM memories, despite being connected as DIMMs. On the other hand, it may not work if you have an Intel computer and the XMP profile activated.

Step 8: Reassemble the PC case 

After installing the new RAM, you can reassemble the side panel of the case and screw in the retaining screws. Avoid using your computer without reassembling the case panel first, as the cooling fans inside will not be able to work with maximum efficiency in this scenario. Reconnect all peripherals and the monitor that you unplugged in the previous steps to be able to work more smoothly.

Step 9: Start your computer 

The system should boot normally. If, during the start-up phase, the POST (“Power-On Self-Test) result (the initial hardware check that is automatically performed when each computer starts) is displayed on the screen, check whether the RAM and adapter have been installed correctly. If not, you can check this directly from the Windows interface.

If the PC fails to boot, the RAM or adapter is not installed correctly. Turn off the device, open the case panel again, then remove the RAM banks, and reinsert them in their respective slots. Make sure the side retaining clamps of each memory slot are tightly closed after installing the modules. Then, try starting your computer again.

Step 10: Check RAM status using Windows 

Press the Windows key + Pause combination to access the system properties window. For example, the amount of RAM in your computer is listed under “Installed RAM” in the “Device Specifications” section.

Each operating system calculates the amount of RAM available. Some motherboards use the RAM shared with other peripherals, so the total amount available will be less than that actually installed. For example, you may have installed 8GB of RAM, but the total amount shown could be 7.8G. This is entirely normal.


So yes, this procedure works on desktop computers if the procedure is done and the correct adapter is used. However, this does not make them a good choice as you have to find a suitable adapter with the right number of pins for the laptop RAM and the computer motherboard. 

On the other hand, if what you are looking for is to give another life to the DDR4 SODIMM memories of your laptop, this may be a great option. You’re upgrading your PC for less just when the price of full-size RAM is through the roof.

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Pigtou Editorial Team

A group of tech enthusiasts who find pleasure in troubleshooting and resolving various issues. When we're not engaged in writing, we typically enjoy playing table football or spending time with our office dog.
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