Reddit Roundup: What kind of RAM do I need, freeing up phone storage, and making PDFs searchable

Each week I’ll post a few of the answers that Nerd Butler provided to the reddit community. Got a tech question you’re looking to get answered? Drop a line to or use the Contact Form.

How do I know what RAM to buy for my laptop?

I would start at where they have a tool that will tell you what type of RAM is compatible with your computer. I would also go to the support website for your computer’s manufacturer. Usually you can find a page where you type in your model number (or service tag, serial number, etc. It varies by manufacturer) and they will tell you what the computer has in it already and what can be added.

Here are links to three major PC manufacturers and the relevant support pages for learning more about your machine’s hardware based on model number or service tag.

Getting matching RAM will probably make the computer function better, but you are unlikely to damage the machine if you mismatch them. You just won’t see as much improvement from the additional RAM.

Storage on my phone is low

The blunt force way to resolve this would be to factory reset your phone (this is an extreme version of “did you turn it off and then back on”). Once you do that, immediately check the storage. Whatever is being used is the Android operating system itself plus whatever apps and services the phone manufacturer added.

If you don’t want to go that far, you might use something like the Google Files app to help you see what might be taking up that space. The app makes some good suggestions about what you can remove and helps you do it.

The third place to look is in settings under “Apps & app data” which will show you a breakdown of how your storage is being used. You can click through to specific app categories to see which apps are taking up the most space.

Having less than a third of your storage taken up by the operating system and apps is very reasonable.

How could Adware end up on my phone?

There have been instances of app developers who have made legitimate apps (no malware) but later added it in an update. So it’s possible that an app update could have introduced it.

Another possibility is that someone clicked on an ad inadvertently that led to a website containing malware.

Nice work cleaning it up! I don’t realize Malwarebytes had a mobile version.

It’s worth noting that Malwarebytes is paid software (and well worth the money if you have frequent problems with malware and adware) but the free version is very functional and worth checking out if you have an occasional need for it.

Making a scanned PDF searchable

There are lots of possible solutions to this. You will have to experiment and see which one works the best for you. As other commenters mentioned, there are a ton of services that offer optical character recognition (OCR) as part of their software. A quick run down of just a few:

There are also various online tools that offer OCR services. This is one of those areas where I would encourage you to use a well known and respected tool (like the one’s listed above) rather than just Googling for a solution. Remember that if you use an online service you are sending them your documents and then getting files back from them. As always, if you don’t trust the website, you shouldn’t give them any information.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s roundup. I’ll be back next weekend with more answers. If you’d like to ask your own question, feel free to drop a line to or submit the Contact Form on this site.

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