Mac Ram Upgrade: Do It Yourself

Give yourself the gift of memory

Upgrading your Random Access Memory (RAM) is a great way to improve general performance of your computer. If you've noticed your Mac computer isn't able to handle the workload you're putting onto it, upgrading the RAM could help ease the burden. Apple has always made it difficult to upgrade their products on your own, but it's not impossible. Here's how to upgrade your Mac's RAM.

How to Check If Your Mac's Ram Can Be Upgraded

Before you decide if you're going to upgrade your RAM, make sure it's actually something you're able to do. Click the Apple Menu in the top left of your home screen, then click About This Mac.

mas overview screen

On the Overview menu, it should list your exact model. You won't be able to upgrade the RAM if your computer is listed as one of the following:

  • All Models of Retina MacBook
  • All Models of iMac Pro
  • All Models of MacBook Air 11" and 13"
  • MacBook Pro 13" Retina Display and 13" Touch Bar
  • MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display and 15" Touch Bar

For the most part, other models of Mac are available to receive RAM upgrades. To be sure, you'll probably want to check your Mac's model on the Apple Support website to see if you can upgrade the RAM.

How to Upgrade RAM on a Mac

Depending on your Mac model, these instructions might vary slightly. However, they all follow the same basic steps.

  1. Remove any cords and cables plugged into your computer to avoid causing any damage. Power down your computer as well, since you'll be opening it up and working inside.

  2. Flip your Mac over and unscrew the screws that hold the bottom of the case on. They're located in the corners and the middle of each side.

    Removing screws from bottom of a macbook case

    Keep track of which length of screw goes into which location, as well as the screws themselves.

  3. Remove the bottom of the case and set it aside.

  4. In some cases, you may also need to remove the battery in order to access the memory module. If so, there will be a small latch that holds the battery in place in most cases. If necessary to access the module, remove the battery and set it aside.

  5. Locate the memory module and push the levers on the side to open it. If there's already memory inside, it will lift out at an angle. Remove the existing memory.

    Don't touch the gold modules when removing or inserting the memory, as this can damage the RAM. Make sure to remove it by holding the edges.

  6. Insert the new memory into the now empty module. Press down on the module once the memory is installed to make sure it's level.

    There will be an audible "click" when the memory is fully inserted into the module. Apply constant, even pressure to make sure it's fully inserted.

  7. Replace the back cover, and tighten all the screws to secure it.

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