Dell Inspiron 15 7559

It may be possible to upgrade your laptop. This may involve several components, including the CPU, RAM, storage options and possibly even a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth card. Here's how you can tell if yours can be upgraded.

We've all had it happen. You've had your laptop for a few years and it's starting to feel sluggish when you're running modern, demanding tasks. Maybe your RAM's just not up to snuff, or your old spinning-disk hard drive is starting to falter. It's time to upgrade! But instead of pitching the entire laptop, you might be able to swap out some bits inside to breath in some new life.

Unfortunately, unlike desktop PCs that are generally completely upgradable, laptops are increasingly sealed units that may have certain limitations when it comes to accessing the insides and tinkering with what's contained within the chassis. Actually gazing at specific components is one thing, being able to remove said chips and boards and replace with enhanced replacements is a completely different ball game.

ASUS GL552

The most common upgrades these days in laptops are RAM and storage drives. The latter is a recommended task on machines that sport a mechanical drive, which can be upgraded to a vastly superior SSD solution. The same goes for RAM when the total amount available to Windows and applications is below 4GB. Moving up to 8GB or even 16GB can really boost productivity and multitasking.

We'd avoid touching anything else inside most laptops, such as the Wi-Fi card or CPU, unless you absolutely know what you're doing and are sure everything is compatible. The easiest way to see just what you'll be able to do with the laptop is to look on the manufacturer's website or open up the PC and take a look inside. The latter usually involves removing a number of screws on the underside, but be sure to check with the manual (or online guides) for further details.

Crucial RAM/SSD Checker

Crucial sells branded RAM and SSDs and the company has a handy tool available that can quickly check if you're able to upgrade the memory or storage in thousands of laptops.

  1. Head to Crucial's website.
  2. Select the manufacturer of your laptop.

    Crucial Checker

  3. Choose the product family.
  4. Select the model of your particular laptop.
  5. Hit "Find upgrade".

The tool should return results as to what type of RAM your laptop supports and whether an SSD upgrade is in on the cards. Crucial will, of course, recommend its own products for you to use (we highly recommend the brand), but you can use alternatives from other companies, so long as you match up specifications. Be wary when it comes to SSDs as there are multiple types available. The same goes for RAM with regards to DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4.

It's also worth noting that you'll need to clone the old drive in order to continue using your Windows installation on the new storage solution. That or you can re-install Windows on the new storage drive to start fresh.