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Why does a program say it requires more memory even though I have enough disk space?

Answer: While you may have plenty of space on your hard drive, you may not have enough memory, or RAM, installed on your computer. If a program requires 220MB of memory to run and you only have 200MB available, you will see a window with an error message pop up when you try to open it. The error may say more memory is required or that you need more virtual memory.

There are two ways to remedy this problem. The easiest is to quit all your open applications and try running the program again. By quitting other programs, you free up the memory they were using. This will increase your computer's available memory, possibly enough to run the program that previously would not open. If the program will still not run, you will need to add more memory to your computer. For example, if you have 256MB of memory, you could double your memory by adding another 256MB RAM chip. You could also add a 512MB chip, which would give you a total of 768MB of memory. Before buying more memory for your machine, consult your computer's manual to find out what type and how much RAM it supports.

For more information on the difference between memory and hard disk space, view this Help Center article.

Published: April 16, 2005 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center