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Windows 7 - Using the ReadyBoost Feature

ReadyBoost is a performance enhancing feature that was introduced in 2006 with Windows Vista. ReadyBoost is designed to improve the performance of your computer's memory by caching data to an external drive such as a USB flash drive, memory card or external hard disk. On computers which do not have much memory, this feature can greatly enhance performance. Before you begin, you will need a blank USB drive of any type. The drive should ideally have at least twice the capacity of your computer's memory. You should also format it first if you want to use all of the space on the drive for optimizing your computer.

Plug in your USB drive or insert the memory card to begin. If you are using the drive for the first time, the necessary driver will be installed for the hardware. This takes a few seconds and, once Windows has recognized the new drive, it will auto-run. Choose the option at the bottom of the list "Speed up my System." You will be presented with the ReadyBoost tab of the properties menu for that drive. There are three options available. You can either choose to not use the device or you can dedicate the device entirely to ReadyBoost.

Dedicating the drive to ReadyBoost will use all of the available space on that drive. You will not be able to copy or move any other data onto the drive and instead, it will only be used for ReadyBoost's cache. Alternatively, you can select the option "Use this device." You can then choose how much of the drive you want to dedicate to ReadyBoost by moving the slider or entering the value in megabytes for the amount of space you want to use.

When you remove the USB drive, the space used by ReadyBoost will still be occupied. To reclaim the space, you'll need to delete the ReadyBoost cache file or turn off the feature by selecting the "Do not use this device" in the properties window. Click "OK" to exit. The ReadyBoost file will be deleted.


Microsoft Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Speed improvements vary based on your system configuration. ErrorTeck is not endorsed or affiliated with either Microsoft or the third party applications it supports.