Enhance Windows Like You Have Never Seen Before Using ReadyBoost [2018 Updated]

Last updated: October 8, 2018 at 0:15 am by Adam Dominik




If your PC seems to be running slower than usual or you just want to extract every little bit of performance out of your PC, you search Google for the latest Windows optimization tips and techniques. The most obvious way to extract additional performance out of your computer is to buy the latest and fastest computer hardware like solid state drives (SSDs) or add additional memory (RAM). Unfortunately, these types of options tend to cost a significant amount of money. And if you are using a laptop, buying more memory (RAM) is not always an option as most laptops tend to have a fixed size of memory (RAM). The good news is, if you have a spare USB flash drive or a memory card (CF card) you can get a performance boost using them with ReadyBoost, without the need to purchase any expensive new hardware. Even if you don’t have a spare USB flash drive or a memory card, they are very inexpensive to buy.

I show you how to speed up Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 & 10 step-by-step using Bill Gate’s hidden magic gem he built into Windows called ReadyBoost.

ReadyBoost has been around since Windows Vista. However, many Windows users do not know or have not taken advantage of this amazing speed up computer technology. Learn how to speed up Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 the easy way by simply using a spare available USB drive or a compact flash memory card through the use of Windows’ built-in ReadyBoost feature. Keep reading this guide right till the very end where I reveal which new speed up computer software works tremendously well when it is paired up with ReadyBoost.

I Want to Know Everything There is to Know About ReadyBoost

Below you will find everything you need know about ReadyBoost. Learn what ReadyBoost is, find out all the absolute basics regarding ReadyBoost and most importantly; learn how to increase the performance of your Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 computer using ReadyBoost.

What is ReadyBoost?

ReadyBoost has existed since Microsoft launched Windows Vista, but has not been commonly known about or even heard of. ReadyBoost works by improving PC performance using an external flash storage device (like USB flash drive and compact flash cards like SD cards). If you have a spare USB flash drive or a SD card currently being unused, you can use them to enable ReadyBoost and give your PC a noticeable improvement is performance without having to spend any money. Think of it as an Easter Egg from Bill Gates!

How Does ReadyBoost Work?

USB flash drives and CF memory cards read and write much faster than computer hard drives and ReadyBoost takes advantage of this by using these external memory storage devices as an extension to your computer’s overall system memory and takes advantage of the much faster read and write speeds by using the USB or CF memory cards to store virtual memory on to.

This increase in memory increases the performance of your computer and Windows. ReadyBoost frees up RAM and places less emphasis on your computer’s hard drive to generate large virtual memory by placing the virtual memory onto your USB flash drive or CF memory card.

Does ReadyBoost Really Work?

ReadyBoost does in fact work, however the amount of performance boost made available by ReadyBoost varies depending on how old your computer is. If you have a brand spanking new state of the art computer, then ReadyBoost will not work. In fact, when trying to enable ReadyBoost on such a computer, Windows will tell you that ReadyBoost will not provide any additional performance benefits!

An older computer or low spec computer will see a significant amount of improvement, very much noticeable too. From personal experience, I have found ReadyBoost to be the most useful on older Windows laptops with RAM limited to 4GB or less that struggle to run current software smoothly. I have also experienced performance boosts with desktop computers with less than 16GB of RAM running ReadyBoost. The biggest punch in performance however I always continue to witness today is when ReadyBoost is enabled and running together with this software program I use and recommend.

Keep in mind to really experience the full effect of ReadyBoost is to be aware of the speed of the USB flash drive or CF/SD card you will be using to enable ReadyBoost impacts the level of performance boost. A newer, faster USB 3.0 flash drive is better than the ancient USB 1.0 flash drive you might have lying around.

If you plan on using ReadyBoost with an SD/CF card or compact flash card, then pay close attention to the class of the SD card. The class of the SD/CF Card is a number (from 1 to 10, where the higher the number indicates more read/write speed), usually printed on the front label of the SD/CF card. For ReadyBoost to be most effective I would use a higher class. I recommend a Class 10 SD/CF card.

SD Card Class Speed

A lower classed SD/CF card can still work, but the performance boost is restricted. If you try to enable ReadyBoost on a lower classed SD/CF card, Windows will tell you that ReadyBoost will not provide any additional performance benefits!

While a slower card will still usually work, the potential for improvement is limited. If your old flash drive or SD card is too slow to offer any performance improvement, Windows will display a message to that effect and will not allow you to use it.

In case you were wondering if it is possible to use an external hard disc drive with ReadyBoost; you can but external hard disc drives are on average 80 times slower than a USB 3.0 flash drive when reading random files.

What are the ReadyBoost Benefits?

The reason why ReadyBoost works is because when using ReadyBoost with a USB 3.0 flash drive, ReadyBoost turns the USB 3.0 flash drive into virtual RAM (Random Access Memory) for your computer. By enabling ReadyBoost, you allow frequently accessed data by Windows to be temporarily stored on a flash drive so your computer can retrieve information faster. Windows accessing these files on your USB 3.0 flash drive is much quicker than when it is normally accessing these files on your hard drive via the Virtual Memory.

This means that your computer won’t take as long to process simple tasks, such as locating or opening files, browsing the web with multiple tabs open or switching from one application to another. You will be able to multitask more efficiently on your computer without the frustration of waiting for files and programs to load.

Does ReadyBoost Work for Gaming?

Unfortunately, if you are an avid gamer trying to squeeze out every single FPS out of your computer, you will need to look elsewhere. Games are very CPU and GPU intensive, meaning the faster the CPU clock speed you have; the better the frame rates your computer will produce. The same applies to the GPU on your graphics card. The faster the GPU clock speed; well you get the picture.

You will not notice any difference with ReadyBoost enabled when playing games or when running software applications which are highly dependent on the CPU or GPU.

Does ReadyBoost Increase Performance?

The effect of ReadyBoost is most noticeable while launching and running hard drive and virtual memory intensive software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, video editors etc.

In general; here is a list of the expected improvements you will get when enabling ReadyBoost on your Windows computer:

  • Photos, music, video and other related rich media files will be much faster to open and run
  • Loading web pages within web browsers and using Microsoft Office suite will be much quicker than previously
  • Your computer’s start-up time should be much quicker
  • The programs and software applications you use most frequently on your computer will start faster
  • Windows in general will be more responsive and reactive in general

The above list is the most common improvements you will notice and expect from your computer when running ReadyBoost. However you can expect much more improvements to performance as well. As always, if you want even more performance, pair up ReadyBoost with the only slow computer speed up tool I use and recommend. Click here to find out more about it.

Combine PC Health Advisor with ReadyBoost for the Ultimate Performance Boost

PC Health Advisor hunts down what causes your computer to slow down and automatically fixes the issues, immediately speeding up your computer system. PC Health Advisor features a class leading intelligent engine that is able to detect computing issues which cause slow performance, find solutions to each of the problems and then automatically resolve them. What makes PC Health Advisor stand-out from the crowd is how simple it is for an everyday computer user such as yourself to use yet be so powerful underneath its simplistic nature. Literally, PC Health Advisor works in a two click approach, one to scan your computer followed by a second click to fix all the issues detected. Finish off the process with a reboot and your Windows machine will be fixed and fast once more. Combine PC Health Advisor with ReadyBoost using a fast USB 3.0 flash drive and you have the ultimate computer performance enhancer available today without the need to spend large sums of money on new computer hardware. The best feature of PC Health Advisor and ReadyBoost is that they are both very easy to enable and run.

Vastly improved and easier to use PC Health Advisor has just been released. Read more about PC Health Advisor here.

Which USB Flash Drive or SD Cards is Compatible with ReadyBoost?

All USB flash drives and CF/SD Cards are compatible to use with ReadyBoost. However keep in mind that you want the fastest possibly available USB flash drive or CF/SD card to ensure that ReadyBoost can be enabled and to maximize all performance benefits of ReadyBoost. My recommendations are listed below:

  • Ensure that your USB flash drive or CF/SD Card are formatted to NTFS specification
  • An 8GB USB flash drive or CF/SD Card to be used as a MINIMUM. Recommended size is 64GB
  • For maximum performance use a USB 3.0 USB flash drive or a Class 10 CF/SD Card
  • I recommend the use of a USB 3.0 flash drive over a Class 10 CF/SD Card because CF/SD Cards have a lifespan. They don’t like to continuously be written on, and this effects their lifespan. USB flash drives do not have this issue

How to Enable ReadyBoost for Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10

Enabling ReadyBoost is very simple, follow the six steps below:

  1. Insert an empty NTFS formatted USB flash drive (or CF/SD card) into your PC with a minimum size of 8GB up to a maximum of 64GB.
  2. Open My Computer or Explorer
  3. Right-click on the USB flash drive or CF/SD card and select Properties
  4. Click on the ReadyBoost tab
  5. Select Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost to use the maximum available space. You can adjust the slider to allocate how much space of your USB flash drive or CF/SD memory card to ReadyBoost, but for maximum performance benefits it is recommended to allow ReadyBoost the entire USB flash drive or CF/SD memory card
  6. Click OK to enable ReadyBoost

How to Disable ReadyBoost for Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10

Disabling ReadyBoost is very simple, follow the four steps below:

  1. Open My Computer or Explorer
  2. Right-click on the USB flash drive or CF/SD memory card used for ReadyBoost and click on Properties from the menu
  3. Open the ReadyBoost tab and select the Do not use this device option
  4. Remember to always properly eject a USB flash drive or CF/SD memory card before you remove it from your computer. Right click on the removable drive used for ReadyBoost and select Safely Remove from the menu

Enable ReadyBoost Now and Experience New Computing Performance

There you go. Everything you ever needed to know about ReadyBoost. As you have read, ReadyBoost is very easy to enable and disable and does deliver significant volumes of performance. Use it with a USB 3.0 flash drive to maximize all its available benefits.

RECOMMENDED: Click here to auto-fix errors and speed up your slow computer immediately


Adam Dominik

Adam Dominik

Lead editor here at Fast PC Life, I’m a proud desktop support analyst since 2006, helping co-workers, clients, family and friends & now online readers resolve slow computing issues.

My most popular content pieces are: Scanguard, PC Health Advisor, PC Health Advisor & Speed Up Windows 10.