In my x64 laptop I have 16G of RAM. I see arcGIS is using 4G, I have 11G of RAM available. Also, I was trying to process an 8G raster and I've got a not enough memory error.

Is there anyway I can make more RAM allocate/available for arcGIS usage?

  • 1
    Was the error specifically citing RAM and not disk memory? I only have 8G of RAM on one of my computers and have processed 100+G rasters. Make sure you have space to write the new image.
    – Adam Kara
    Apr 5, 2016 at 16:50
  • From my system info window: 15G RAM, 465G HardDrive1, 1000+G HardDrive2.
    – Delonix R.
    Apr 5, 2016 at 16:57
  • No software should ever need the full amount of RAM to access a large datafile. The RAM required to read a raster shouldn't exceed the width times the tile height (times two if the format uses compression).
    – Vince
    Apr 5, 2016 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


Although your Windows installation is 64-bit, ArcGIS Desktop is still 32-bit software and can't use more than 4GB of RAM in a single process. However, you can install the ArcGIS 64-bit Background Geoprocessing addon, that will let you run most geoprocessing tools in 64-bit mode and they can use more than 4GB RAM in that case. There are some exceptions, but it doesn't look like they'll be a problem in your case:

Tools that do not run in the background include the following:

  • Tools inside the Metadata conversion toolset

  • Tools inside the Geodatabase administration toolset

  • All Coverage tools Tools which create packages

  • Graphing tools (64-bit geoprocessing only; these tools work in traditional 32-bit background processing)

  • Custom script, model, or function tools where the author has disabled background processing

Just install the 64-bit geoprocessing addon for your version of ArcGIS (you need to be running v10.1 or later) and enable background geoprocessing under the Geoprocessing > Geoprocessing Options menu.


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