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How to speed up Windows 10 using ReadyBoost

Updated May 6, 2024

Are you looking for an inexpensive way to boost the performance of your Windows 10 computer? If you have a USB flash drive and a spare USB port on your computer, ReadyBoost in Windows 10 might be the perfect solution.

How to speed up Windows 10 using ReadyBoost

If you have never heard of ReadyBoost, it is a program that caches files frequently used by Windows 10 and stores the cached data on a USB flash drive(s) or SD memory card.

ReadyBoost utilizes a service called SuperFetch. SuperFetch uses an algorithm to determine which files should be stored in the cache, which can include system files, application files, and user documents.

When Windows 10 needs to access these frequently used files, it goes to the ReadyBoost cache instead of the disk drive. If a file changes on the disk drive, it also changes in the cache, and vice versa.

Now, it is recommended that you use only USB flash drives for ReadyBoost on desktop computers. You can use a USB 2 or USB 3 port, but since a USB 3 port has a faster transfer rate, I recommend using one if you have one. However, you can use an SD memory card for a laptop computer if it has a fast enough transfer rate.

You can use more than one (1) USB flash drive for ReadyBoost. The recommended ratio between the ReadyBoost cache and system memory is 1:1 to 2.5:1.

So, if your computer has 8GB of memory, you could create a ReadyBoost cache between 8GB and 20GB. Alternatively, you could use a 32GB flash drive and allocate all of it to ReadyBoost.

Keep in mind that ReadyBoost was developed for use with Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and not Solid-State Drives (SSD). HDDs are known to have slower read and write times than SSDs.

ReadyBoost requirements for Windows 10

  • Minimum free space per flash drive/memory card: 1 GB
  • Maximum free spade per flash drive/memory card: 32 GB
  • Minimum transfer rate: 3.5 Mbit/s.
  • The flash drive/memory card format: NTFS

To make sure that your computer is ready to use ReadyBoost, you will need to make sure the SuperFetch (Windows 10 version 1803 or earlier) or SysMain (Windows 10 version 1809 or later) service is running. To check the status of the SuperFetch / SysMain service, follow these steps:

  1. Open a Run dialog box by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + R.
  2. In the Open field type services.msc and then click OK.
  3. Scroll down the list of services until you find either:
    • SuperFetch
      The status of the SuperFetch inside of Services console
    • or
    • SysMain
      The status of the SysMain inside of Services console
  4. Make sure it is running and set to start Automatically.

You are now ready to set up a USB flash drive or SD memory card with ReadyBoost. Just insert the drive into a spare USB port or SD card slot and follow the instructions below.

How to turn ReadyBoost on or off inside of Windows 10

  1. Insert the USB flash drive or SD memory card you want to use with ReadyBoost.
  2. Open File Explorer by using one of the following:
    • Left-click on the manila folder icon to the Taskbar.
    • or
    • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + E at the same time.
  3. Navigate to the USB flash drive or SD memory card you want to use with ReadyBoost.
  4. Right-click on the drive you want to use for ReadyBoost.
    The context menu for a USB flash drive with Properties highlighted
  5. From the context menu that appears, left-click on Properties.
  6. On the Properties dialog box, left-click on the ReadyBoost tab.
    The ReadyBoost tab inside of USB flash drive Properties dialog box
  7. Once the system has analyzed the drive, select the options you want to use.

Comments (10) -

Phillip Watters

Great Site!  Thank you so much!  Needed info found here!


Arman Chahal

If I have to set my flash drive every time I restart my PC or I can keep it for all the time


Geeks in Phoenix

For ReadyBoost to work properly, you need to leave the USB flash drive or SD memory card attached to your computer at all times.


Terry Sheets

How much ready boost can you use? Is there too much?


Geeks in Phoenix

ReadyBoost is meant to speed up access to files and folders on your hard drive by caching them on inexpensive flash drives. The maximum recommended ratio of ReadyBoost to RAM is 2.5:1. For better overall performance, investing in a solid-state drive or increasing the amount of RAM is the better bang for the buck.


ReadyBoost shows Size 3979264 KB.
If Dedicate to RB is selected it is 3886 with a note Windows rec's 3791, but 3886 can't be changed. If Use this device is selected the Size can be changed to 3791.
The netbook has 1G of RAM so both are > than 2.5:1. Is Dedicate or Use this the better choice?


Geeks in Phoenix

Dedicating a device for ReadyBoost is recommended.


Excellent article - though I disagree with your comment "better bang for your buck". Yes more RAM and a solid state drive will dramatically increase performance, however this is expensive and relatively complex. In contrast a USB and SD cards are cheap - or free if you have one lying around - and it can be done by anyone in 5 minutes. Therefore Readyboost is much better bang for buck - though a solid state drive and more RAM will speed up a computer more. Thanks for great article!


nilesh Savant

Ready Boost Tab is not available in Properties so how can i achive ready boost on my laptop?


Not all hardware is ReadyBoost compliant or set up to support it. Some devices do, and some do not. The odds are that the device you are trying to enable ReadyBoost doesn't.


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