4 Free Memory Test Programs

A list of the best free computer memory (RAM) tester tools

An illustration of a computer undergoing memory testing.

 Ashley Nicole DeLeon, Lifewire

Memory test software, often called RAM test software, are programs that perform detailed tests of your computer's memory system.

The memory installed in your computer is very sensitive. It's always a good idea to perform a memory test on newly purchased RAM to test for errors. Of course, a memory test is always in order if you suspect that you may have a problem with your existing RAM.

For example, if your computer does not boot at all, or if it randomly reboots, you may have some problems with the memory. It's also a good idea to check the memory if programs are crashing, you hear beep codes during a reboot, you're seeing error messages like "illegal operation," or if you're getting BSODs — some may read "fatal exception" or "memory_management."

All of the freeware memory testing programs listed function from outside of Windows, meaning each will work no matter if you have Windows (10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, etc.), Linux, or any PC operating system. Also, remember that the term memory here means RAM, not the hard drive — see these hard drive testing tools to test your HDD.

If your memory tests fail, replace the memory immediately. The memory hardware in your computer is not repairable and must be replaced if it fails.

01
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MemTest86

Screenshot of MemTest86 v7.5
MemTest86 v7.5.

What We Like

  • Completely free

  • Runs from a disc or flash drive

  • Easy to use

  • Supports up to 64 GB of RAM

  • Used by professionals

What We Don't Like

  • If you're new to programs like this one, the advanced features can be confusing

Memtest86 is a completely free, stand-alone, and extremely easy to use memory test software program. If you only have time to try one memory test tool on this page, try MemTest86.

Simply download the ISO image from MemTest86's site and burn it to a disc or flash drive. After that, just boot from the disc or USB drive and you're off.

While this RAM test is free, PassMark also sells a Pro version, but unless you're a hardware developer, the free download and free basic support available from me and on their website should be enough.

I highly recommend MemTest86! It's my favorite tool for testing RAM, without a doubt.

MemTest86 doesn't need an operating system to run a memory test. However, it does require an OS to burn the program to a bootable device. This can be done using any version of Windows, as well as with Mac or Linux.

02
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Windows Memory Diagnostic

Screenshot of Windows Memory Diagnostic
Windows Memory Diagnostic.

What We Like

  • Runs the memory test completely automatically

  • 100 percent free to use

  • Originally provided by Microsoft

  • Downloads quickly because of the small file size

What We Don't Like

  • Hasn't been updated in a very long time

  • Tests only the first 4 GB of RAM

Windows Memory Diagnostic is a free memory tester provided by Microsoft. Very similar to other RAM test programs, Windows Memory Diagnostic performs a series of extensive tests to determine what, if anything, is wrong with your computer memory.

Just download the installer program and then follow the instructions to create a bootable floppy disk or ISO image for burning to a disc or flash drive.

After booting from whatever it is you made, Windows Memory Diagnostic will automatically begin testing the memory and will repeat the tests until you stop them.

If the first set of tests finds no errors, chances are your RAM is good.

You do not need to have Windows (or any operating system) installed to use Windows Memory Diagnostic. You do, however, need access to one for burning the ISO image to the disc or USB device.

03
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Memtest86+

Screenshot of Memtest86+ v4.00
Memtest86+.

What We Like

  • A free memory test program

  • Provides a confirmation to the original Memtest86 software

What We Don't Like

  • Like these other memory test tools, this one is entirely text-based and so might be hard to get used to for some people

Memtest86+ is a modified, and presumably more up-to-date, version of the original Memtest86 memory test program, profiled in the #1 position above. Memtest86+ is also completely free.

I would recommend performing a memory test with Memtest86+ if you have any problems running the Memtest86 RAM test or if Memtest86 reports errors with your memory and you'd like a really good second opinion.

Memtest86+ is available in ISO format for burning to disc or USB.

It might seem a bit strange that I rank Memtest86+ as the #3 pick, but since it's so incredibly similar to Memtest86, your best bet is to try Memtest86 followed by WMD, which operates differently, providing you with a more well-rounded set of memory tests.

Just like with Memtest86, you'll need a working operating system like Windows, Mac, or Linux to create the bootable disc or flash drive, which can be done on a different computer than the one that needs testing.

04
of 04

DocMemory Memory Diagnostic

Screenshot of DocMemory Memory Diagnostic v3.1
DocMemory Memory Diagnostic v3.1.

What We Like

  • No strings attached, free memory test program

  • Perfect if your computer won't boot to a disc or flash drive

What We Don't Like

  • Requires a floppy disk

  • Hasn't been updated since 2006

DocMemory Memory Diagnostic is yet another computer memory test program and works very similarly to the other programs I have listed above.

One major disadvantage of using DocMemory is that it requires that you create a bootable floppy disk. Most computers today don't even have floppy drives. The better memory test programs (above) use bootable discs like CDs and DVDs, or bootable USB drives, instead.

I would recommend using DocMemory Memory Diagnostic only if the memory testers I have listed above do not work for you or if you'd like yet one more confirmation that your memory has failed.

On the other hand, if your computer isn't able to boot a disc or USB drive, which is what the above programs require, DocMemory Memory Diagnostic may be exactly what you've been looking for.

You must register for free at SimmTester and then log on to your account before you can get to the download link. If that link isn't working, try this one at SysChat.