MacBook Upgrade Guide

Upgrade Your 2006 - 2015 MacBook

Pre-2010 MacBooks are some of the easiest Macs to upgrade with more memory or a larger hard drive. The only disappointment is that the MacBook has only two memory slots. Depending on the model, you can add a maximum of 2, 4, 6, or 8 GB. You may also need to acquire small Philips and Torx screwdrivers to complete the upgrades. Check the user guide for your model, via the links below, for the screwdriver sizes you'll need.

If your MacBook is a newer model (i.e., 2015 and later), then your upgrade path is restricted to external devices, such as additional external storage space.

Find Your MacBook Model Number

The first thing you need is your MacBook model number. Here's how to find it:

  1. From the Apple menu, select About This Mac.

    About This Mac chosen in the Apple menu
  2. Click the System Report button.

    Click More Info in older versions of the Mac operating system.

    System Report highlighted in About This Mac
  3. The System Profiler window opens, listing your MacBook's configuration. With the Hardware category highlighted in the left column, make a note of the Model Identifier entry.

    Hardware specs with Model identifier location
  4. Close the System Profiler.

RAM Upgrades For MacBooks

Upgrading a MacBook's memory is generally one of the easiest upgrades you can do. All MacBooks have two RAM slots; you can expand RAM to as high as 8 GB, depending on which MacBook model you have.

Storage Upgrades For MacBooks

Thankfully, Apple has made replacing the hard drive in most MacBooks an easy process. You can use just about any SATA I, SATA II, or SATA III hard drive in any of the laptops. Be aware that there are some storage size restrictions: 500 GB on most of the plastic 2008 and earlier MacBook models and 1 TB on the more recent 2009 and later models. While the 500 GB restriction seems to be correct, some users have successfully installed 750 GB drives. The 1 TB restriction may be artificially imposed, based only on currently available notebook hard drive sizes at the time they were built.

Early 2006 MacBook

Late 2006 and Mid 2007 MacBooks

Late 2007 MacBook

2008 Polycarbonate MacBook

Late 2008 Unibody MacBook

Early and Mid 2009 Polycarbonate MacBooks 

Late 2009 Unibody MacBook

Mid 2010 Unibody MacBook

Early 2015 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display

  • Model identifier: MacBook 8,1; aluminum unibody
  • Memory slots: none (8 GB RAM soldered to motherboard)
  • Maximum memory supported: 8 GB total. 
  • Drive type: PCIe Flash storage
  • Drive size supported: 256 GB, 512 GB
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