What Is ReadyBoost?

ReadyBoost is a special Disk Cache Service available in the Microsoft’s Window Operating System and it was mainly introduced when the Windows Vista came out, but you can find this feature in all every Windows release after the Windows Vista release. So, if you are using Windows 7, 8, 8 .1 and Windows 10 then by using this feature you can use your fast removable devices such as USB Flash Drives, Secure Digital and Compact Flash Memory Cards for speeding up the smaller Random Disk Process in your computer.

Mainly ReadyBoost helps our computer system to improve the amount of Physical Memory available in our PC and increase the productivity of your hard drive installed in your system. It was a highly promoted feature and it may be useful in some limited circumstances.

Normally you will find this feature in an Autoplay Pop-up every time when you’ve connected your USB Pendrive into your computer. There is a quite possibility of your Windows won’t showing you an Autoplay Pop-up, because sometimes this feature is disabled in the past in your computer’s setting.

How ReadyBoost Works?

ReadyBoost used a technology called SuperFetch which was also introduced in Windows Vista. SuperFetch mainly loads important useful files like Process File Libraries and Application Components into the memory before they are required to decrease their loading time, it does that by constantly examining the program activities and procedure patterns, it’s like recording all process tracks what a program did in a particular time and make a cache of all that records. It helps your system to work faster and loads the Program’s process file quickly just in the matter of time.

By using the super fetch your system creates duplicate files of all cache and move it into your external USB device by using the ReadyBoost feature. So, your system starts to read all cache records from the duplicate location and because of that, your external USB drive starts to work in continuous use.

Actually, all cache files stored in the USB drive are duplicate, and that’s why when you suddenly remove the external drive, it won’t affect the program’s process and quickly relocate the cache reading path to its original place.

Therefore, this feature creates a disk cache file named “ReadyBoost.sfcache” into the external device for writing and reading the cache. When you enable this feature on a Pendrive, it just takes some few minutes according to the PC performance and makes a full-size Cache Database file, and the size of the file can be different according to the size of your USB Storage.


For a device to be compatible and useful, it must conform to these requirements:

  1. The Removable Storage device’s capacity must be at least 256 MB.
  2. Windows 7 allows up to 32 GB of cache database on a single storage device.
  3. The device must have an access time of 1 milliseconds.
  4. The device must be capable of 2.5 MB/s read speeds for 4 kB random reads spread uniformly across the entire device, and 1.75 MB/s write speeds for 512 kB random writes spread uniformly across the device.
  5. The Microsoft Windows Client Performance group recommends a flash-memory-to-system-RAM ratio of between 1:1 and 2.5:1.

#Limitation of ReadyBoost   

  • Use the flash drive solely.
  • It can use up to 4 GB storage in your USB drive (on FAT32 File System).
  • Not to take the advantages, while using higher system configuration.
  • Very slow speed.


The main idea of Ready Boost is to make a flash memory who reads and write the cache faster than a normal hard disk drive. The system with some 512 MB of RAM can see significant gains from this ReadyBoost feature.

Computer’s ram is mainly used to stored process data only for temporary period and yes that’s process data files can also be stored in your computer hard disk or in your Pendrive too but the reason why your computer don’t use these types of storage instead using ram, because comparatively a ram works 100x times faster than a hard disk and believe it or not but a pen drive works 10x slower than a normal hard disk.

So, the thing is when your system used all available ram in your computer, its starts to use your systems’ hard disk to store all the new process data because now there is no extra storage is available in your ram at that time of working period.

ReadyBoost is just helping your computer system to use your Pendrive storage instead of using the hard disk for ram caching, but it’s only gonna use your Pendrive when your system needed more ram.

So, just like I said ‘system with some 512 MB of RAM can see some significant gains from this feature’ and if your system is having ram storage above than 1GB then you can’t feel any difference or maybe a little bit.

Here are some following circumstances where you find this feature useful:

  • If your computer having a low ram storage size with a slow hard disk then it’s sure you’ll see some most significant performance improvements while using this feature.
  • ReadyBoost works better with fast USB drive like 3.0 USB connection with 3.0 USB Drive.
  • If you’re computer having ram more than 1GB, like 3 or 4Gb but your system still need some more ram to remember all the new process then you can use this feature and see some good but minor performance results.

Here’s the benchmark result of two same computer, therefore one computer having 512MB of ram with 4GB ReadyBoost Pendrive and the other one is just only using 512MB ram.

This is the benchmark result of Windows Movie Maker, you can see the difference in rendering time taking by the software in the picture given below.

Ready boost does increase the performance by cutting down the load time around 13 seconds.

How To Use ReadyBoost In Your Window Operating System?

The first thing you’ll need is a USB Pendrive to make it as an external memory hardware. So, connect your Pendrive into your computer and 99% your windows will show you the Autorun options for your USB drive just like the picture give below.

If you’re able to see this Autorun option in your computer, then you can directly open the ReadyBoost direct from this menu by just clicking on the “Speed up my system”. 

Or otherwise, you can open this feature by opening your Pendrive’s Properties option in the computer’s local drives window.

When you’ve successfully open your pen drive’s properties popup window, then now you’ll have to click on the ReadyBoost tab and then you’ll able to see three options to choose to make your drive in ReadyBoost mode.

Three Options To Choose:

  1. Do not use this device – By default this option is preselected and you can also select it when you wanted to make your Pendrive back to normal after the use.
  2. Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost – You can choose this option when you’ve wanted your whole Pendrive use by this ReadyBoost feature.
  3. Use this device – By using this option you can customize the storage space use by the ReadyBoost.

Related Topic:

How To Test And Monitor ReadyBoost Performance?

“ReadyBoost Not Working” – Listed All Working Solution.



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