The Difference Between Storage and Memory in Computers

The Difference Between Storage and Memory in Computers

Although both are used to store information, either permanently or temporarily, storage and memory are quite different. To truly understand the differences between memory and storage, one must first define them.

What Is Memory?

Memory is a component within a computer, which allows data to be accessed for a short period. This is what some might refer to as Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM). Just by accessing data stored in its short-term memory, a computer can perform several functions. Some of these functions include surfing the internet, editing a document, or loading applications. Memory is so important that the performance and speed of computers greatly depend on the amount of memory stored in it. Memory can be compared to the desk in your office where all the work is done, but can only hold a few files and paperwork.

What Is Storage?

Simply put, storage is a component within a computer system that makes it possible to access data on a long-term basis. Mostly, storage comes in the form of a hard drive. It houses applications, files, or operating systems for as long as required. How fast a system will boot up, load or access saved file is a function of the storage size.

Just like we have related an office desk to a memory, the filing cabinets stand for storage. It keeps items that require saving and storage but are not necessarily needed soon. The filing cabinet and desk’s size clearly show the number of files that each can contain.

Difference Between Memory and Storage

From the explanation given above, it’s easy to deduce differences that exist between computer storage and memory. As we already know, memory also lasts for a short time, while storage lasts longer. Memory has a limited amount of space while storage has a large amount of space. Apart from all these, another major difference between storage and memory is that once the system shuts down, the memory clears off. However, storage remains intact regardless of how many times the computer was turned off.

Similarly, when files are left on your office desk, it’s possible for them to get lost but if you arrange them in your office cabinet and lock them, they’re safe. Even after returning to your office ten years later, you will still find them intact, unless you give someone permission to dispose of them.

How to Care for Your Computer Storage

Just because your computer has a lot of storage space doesn’t mean you should bombard it with unnecessary files. Of course, it’s good to make the most of the space on your computer storage but you still need to be wise about it. When you overload your computer, it can prevent your computer from working at its optimal capacity.

Once you start noticing that your system is taking longer to perform basic tasks, here are some tips to follow:

Uninstall Unnecessary Apps and Programs

Just because you don’t use an app or software does not mean it won’t be using up space and internet data. One way to know if unused software is taking up valuable space is to click the start button on your desktop and select apps and features. From there, you can sort them out by size to see which programs are taking unnecessary space and uninstall them.

Delete Unwanted Pictures and Videos

If you use your computer system to access your social media pages, there is a huge possibility of your having lots of pictures and videos you didn’t even know exist, on them. The surest way of getting rid of these is by clicking on whatever folder they belong to, then, begin checking them one by one and delete anyone that is of no use to you.

Get Rid of Monster Files

It is not uncommon to find files you barely open or have no use for, taking up massive space on your system. An effective way to get rid of these kinds of files is to open Window Explorer and select “This PC”. Then, type size into the search box on the upper-right-hand corner – this allows you to select between different categories of file sizes. Start sorting them out from the largest, making sure to delete anyone you no longer need.

Although the process of freeing space on a computer hard drive is time-consuming. However, it remains part of regular PC maintenance plans, for desktop and laptop computers.