Increase your computer performance with Windows ReadyBoost

Would you like to improve the performance of your system, easy and cheap? I know I would… Today, we are going to explain what ReadyBoost is, what it does, and how you can configure it in Windows Vista & Windows 7.

Readyboost clock and flash drive

Would you like to improve the performance of your system, easy and cheap? I know I would…  Today, we are going to explain what ReadyBoost is, what it does, and how you can configure it in Windows Vista & Windows 7.

You can configure ReadyBoost in a USB Flash Drive or SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card.

ReadyBoost is a feature of Microsoft Windows that is used as additional cache memory to improve your system’s performance. Inside of the cache file there is a lot of data that will be accessed by Windows when needed, reducing the access time that it would take if it needs to get this data from the hard drive; because the access speed in a USB Flash Drive or SD Memory Card is faster.

The difference between a USB Flash Drive or SD Memory Card, and a computer Hard Drive is the technology used.  Hard Drives have moving parts, while a USB Flash Drive and SD Memory Card do not.

With Windows Vista you can only use one external storage (USB Flash Drive, SD card storage, or others) while with Windows 7 you can use as many external storage devices as you like. If your computer is using SSD (solid state drive) for your Windows installation, Ready Boost will be disabled in Windows Vista and Windows 7 because Windows will not get any extra benefit. Microsoft also recommends that the cache should be equal to the amount of your system RAM and as big as three times of your RAM memory to benefit from ReadyBoost.*

Follow these steps to configure ReadyBoost:

Note: The steps are the same for Windows Vista & Windows 7.

1-  Connect the USB Thumb Drive or SD card to your computer and wait to see if AutoPlay window offers the option “Speed Up My System Using Windows ReadBoost”and click on it. If not, go to Start Windows 7 Logo and Click “Computer”, look for the device you just connected, right click on it and select “Properties”.

2-  Inside the Properties window, click on “ReadyBoost” tab (See image 1). Here you’ll fin three options (they are self explanatory), the last option“Use this device” will enable you to set the maximum size for the cache file that Windows creates for ReadyBoost. (*)Make your choice and click “Apply”, then Ok to finish.

Note: Because the external drives can be stolen, the data inside of the external drive is encrypted and it is also backed up in case the drive is removed accidentally.

ReadyBoost Settings WindowClick image to expand. Image 1.

ReadyBoost will create a disc cache file called –RadyBoost.sfcache- in the external drive that you configured to improve performance when it needs it.

My recommendation, in a laptop, will be to get one SD card and use the option “Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost”. This way you will not have a USB drive sticking out all the time; it’s barely noticeable and easier when you need to transport your laptop.

Conclusion

ReadyBoost offers a good improve of performance for the money. If you may have a USB Flash Driver or SD card laying around, it wouldn’t hurt to use it as ReadyBoost to improve your computer system performance.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.