How do I know if my computer has a memory problem?

Usually, Windows automatically detects possible problems with your computer’s memory and displays a notification that asks if you want to run the Memory Diagnostics Tool.

Running the Memory Diagnostics Tool

When you receive a notification about a possible memory problem, click the notification so you can choose between two options for when to run the Memory Diagnostics Tool:

  • You can restart your computer and run the tool immediately.

  • You can restart your computer and run the tool later.

If you choose to restart your computer and run the tool immediately, make sure that you save your work and close all of your running programs. The Memory Diagnostics Tool will run automatically when you restart Windows. While the Memory Diagnostics Tool runs, you will see a progress bar indicating the status of the test. Once the test is done, Windows will again restart automatically.

Getting the results of the memory test

If the Memory Diagnostics Tool does not find any errors, you'll get a message that no errors were found.

If the Memory Diagnostics Tool detects errors, contact your computer or memory manufacturer for more information.

What do I do if the Memory Diagnostics Tool finds errors

If the Memory Diagnostics Tool detects problems with your computer's memory, contact your computer or memory manufacturer for information about fixing the problem.

Advanced options for running the Memory Diagnostics Tool

We recommend that you let the Memory Diagnostics Tool run automatically. However, advanced users might want to adjust the tool's settings.

  1. When the Memory Diagnostics Tool starts, press F1.

  2. You can adjust the following settings:

    • Test mix. Choose what type of test you want to run. These options are listed when you run the Memory Diagnostics Tool

    • Cache. Choose the cache setting you want for each test.

    • Pass count. Type the number of times you want to repeat the tests.

  3. Press F10 to start the test.

How do I schedule the memory test manually?

If the Windows Memory Diagnostics tool does not run automatically, you can run it manually.

  1. Open Memory Diagnostics Tool by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, clicking Administrative Tools, and then clicking Memory Diagnostics Tool. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  2. Choose between the two options for when to run the Memory Diagnostics Tool:

    • You can restart your computer and run the tool immediately.

    • You can restart your computer and run the tool later.