4 Best Free Memory Test Programs

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

Memory/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 test on newly purchased RAM to check for errors. Of course, a test like this is always in order if you suspect a problem with your existing RAM.

An illustration of a computer undergoing memory testing.

Lifewire / Ashley Nicole DeLeon 

Here are some situations where you might decide to run a memory test:

  • Your computer doesn't boot at all, or it randomly reboots.
  • Programs are crashing.
  • You hear beep codes during a reboot.
  • You're seeing error messages like "illegal operation."
  • Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) errors like "fatal exception" or "memory_management" are happening.

These programs work from outside Windows, meaning they will run no matter if you have Windows (11, 10, 8, etc.), Linux, or some other PC operating system.

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MemTest86 v7.5
What We Like
  • Completely free.

  • Runs from a 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.

  • Doesn't work from a disc.

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 program from MemTest86's site and put it on a flash drive. After that, just boot from the 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 us and on their website should be enough.

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

It doesn't need an operating system to run a memory test. However, it does require an OS to copy the program to a USB device. This can be done using any version of Windows, as well as with Mac or Linux. The latest version supports only UEFI boot; the v4 BIOS release (also through the link below) is available, too.

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

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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 don't 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.

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Memtest86+ v4.00
What We Like
  • A free memory test program.

  • Provides a confirmation to the original Memtest86 software.

What We Don't Like
  • Like these other 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.

We'd recommend performing a memory test with this software if you have any problems running the Memtest86 RAM test or if Memtest86 reports errors with your memory, and you'd like an excellent second opinion.

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

It might seem a bit strange that we rank this 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.

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DocMemory Diagnostic

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 in many years.

SimmTester.com's DocMemory Diagnostic is yet another computer memory test program and works very similarly to the other programs we've listed above.

One major disadvantage 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.

We'd recommend using DocMemory Diagnostic only if the memory testers listed above don't 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 Diagnostic may be exactly what you've been looking for.

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