Memory management on Android phones is still a work in progress. Have you noticed the mysterious RAM Plus feature lurking in your Samsung phone settings? Well, it came with One UI 4.1 release and it promises to boost your RAM by up to 8GB (depending on your model), hold on—it might slow your phone down. Here’s why you might want to consider turning off RAM Plus and how to do it on your Samsung Galaxy phone in just a few steps.
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What Is Samsung RAM Plus
Remember the early Android days when apps swapped a portion of the phone’s internal storage to convert it into temporary RAM? RAM Plus on today’s Samsung Galaxy phones is more or less the same, albeit more integrated and refined.
RAM Plus uses your phone’s storage as virtual memory to provide an ‘intelligent memory expansion.’ It takes a few gigabytes of storage and uses it as virtual RAM (alongside the actual RAM) when your phone deems it necessary.
Samsung claims it improves app launch times and enhances multitasking since it keeps more apps open in the background. However, that may deliver a real-world performance and battery life depending on your phone.
Many brands offer this RAM extension feature under different names. Xiaomi calls it ‘Memory Extension,’ while OnePlus and Oppo have ‘RAM Expansion.’ Motorola, on the other hand, labels the same feature as ‘RAM Boost.’
Why Turning Off RAM Plus Can Benefit You
RAM Plus promises to boost your Galaxy phone’s performance by utilizing a part of the internal storage as virtual memory. Sounds impressive, right? Here’s the catch— the internal storage is far slower than actual RAM.
Accessing data from storage takes milliseconds, whereas RAM operates in nanoseconds. This slows down any process that goes through the storage, acting as virtual RAM. Moreover, it stresses the storage, which wasn’t originally designed for frequent read/write operations.
Android Police’s recent tests revealed that the RAM Plus negatively impacts performance across several Galaxy models. That list included some of the popular models such as Exynos-based S22 Ultra, Snapdragon-based Galaxy S20, and the Galaxy M53 5G. Normal performance came to light only after disabling RAM Plus on these devices.
Plus, there are several online forums (like Reddit threads) where Galaxy phone owners discuss the impact of Ram Plus on their phone’s performance and battery life.
Here are the disadvantages of using RAM Plus:
- Your phone may run slow or sluggish as storage is much slower than RAM.
- Since RAM Plus uses a portion of your storage as RAM, it can increase battery drain.
- It can potentially wear out storage over time.
Let’s understand with an example:
RAM is like your cooking desk with all the ingredients you need for the current recipe (i.e., the apps and games you want to run currently). Everything is close for fast cooking (smooth performance).
On the other hand, storage is your pantry down the hallway, packed with long-term groceries (photos, videos, documents, music, etc.). Getting something from the pantry takes a while (accessing data from storage is slower).
RAM Plus is a temporary countertop where you put ingredients from the pantry for faster access. However, it takes additional space on the desk (a portion of your phone’s internal storage), and picking things still takes longer than having them right at your fingertips. Plus, constantly taking stuff from the pantry and putting it back on the countertop can put extra strain on it (storage lifespan impact).
In short, the RAM Plus may not be as beneficial unless your phone has low RAM.
How to Disable RAM Plus on One UI 6 or 5
Samsung’s RAM Plus feature works with One UI 4.1 or higher version. However, disabling RAM Plus on the recent One UI versions is relatively easier. Here are the steps for Samsung Galaxy phones running One UI 6 or One UI 5:
1. Open Settings on your Samsung Galaxy phone running One UI 6 or 5.
2. Scroll down and tap Device Care. You can also open the Device Care app directly from the app drawer.
3. Tap on Memory and choose RAM Plus.
4. Turn off the switch to disable the RAM Plus feature.
5. Choose Restart when prompted.
How to Disable RAM Plus on One UI 4.1 (Requires ADB)
Samsung phones running One UI 4.1 cannot disable RAM Plus directly. You can only choose the lowest 2GB option. Thankfully, using ADB, you can add a new configuration to RAM Plus, rendering the feature inactive despite being enabled.
Download ADB tools on your PC, turn on USB debugging on your phone, connect it to a computer, wait for the phone to show up in the ADB tools window, and run the ADB command to make changes. It won’t harm the data on your phone. However, be wary of other ADB commands that you may choose to use.
1. Enable USB Debugging
1. Open Settings on your phone and head to About Phone > Software Information.
2. Tap on Build Number seven times to enable Developer Options. Enter the lock screen password a prompt appears.
3. Navigate to Settings > Developer Options.
4. Scroll down and toggle on USB Debugging.
5. Tap OK to allow USB debugging on your phone.
2. Tweak RAM Plus Using ADB Command
1. Download the ADB platform-tools archive package on your Windows PC or Mac, then extract it to a convenient folder like Desktop or Downloads.
2. Open the Start menu, search for and select Command Prompt. Then, click Run as Administrator. On Mac, you’ll need to open the Terminal app.
3. Type the following command:
cd 'folder location'
In this command, replace the folder location text with path of the extracted platform-tools folder.
For example, if you extracted the platform-tools folder in your downloads folder, type cd downloads/platform-tools. Similarly, if the computer has multiple users, type cd users/username/downloads/platform-tools.
4. Connect your Samsung Galaxy phone to Windows or Mac using a USB cable.
5. Type the following command and hit the Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac) key.
Wait for the confirmation for your phone to appear as an attached device.
6. Next, type the following command and hit the Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac) key:
adb shell settings put global ram_expand_size_list 0,1,2,4,6,8
7. After that, disconnect your Galaxy phone and restart it.
3. Select the ‘0 GB’ Option
1. Now head to Settings > Device and battery care.
2. Select Memory and tap on RAM Plus.
3. Choose the newly created 0 GB option and restart your phone when prompted.
Should You Use RAM Plus
Consider using RAM Plus only if your phone has a limited RAM capacity (4GB or less). The RAM Plus can keep more apps open in the background on these devices at the cost of performance. However, it isn’t needed on phones like the Galaxy S-series or A-series, since they already have plenty of RAM to manage multitasking.
Ultimately, the benefits of RAM Plus depend on your phone’s RAM capacity and your tolerance for slightly slower app switching. You might also want to experiment with different levels of RAM Plus, checking how it performs with the feature enabled and disabled. However, turning it off would be the better choice for most users.