MacBook Upgrade Guide

Upgrade Your 2006 - 2015 MacBook

A customer types on a MacBook laptop at an Apple Store.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you're thinking about upgrading your MacBook and wondering how difficult it might be, stop worrying. If your Mac is a 2010 or earlier model then you will be happy to know the MacBook is one 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 2015 model (12-inch MacBook released), 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:

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

In the 'About This Mac' window that opens, click the 'More Info' button.

The System Profiler window will open, listing your MacBook's configuration. Make sure the 'Hardware' category is selected in the left-hand pane. The right-hand pane will display the 'Hardware' category overview. Make a note of the 'Model Identifier' entry. You can then quit the System Profiler.

RAM Upgrades For MacBooks

Upgrading a MacBook's memory is generally one of the easiest upgrades going. 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 MacBook an easy process. You can use just about any SATA I, SATA II, or SATA III hard drive in any of the MacBooks. 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.

Early 2006 MacBook

Late 2006 and Mid 2007 MacBooks

Late 2007 MacBook

2008 Polycarbonate MacBook (Review)

Late 2008 Unibody MacBook (Review)

Early and Mid 2009 Polycarbonate MacBooks 

Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (Review)

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
  • 2015 12-inch MacBook User Guide