Learn if You Can Complete a Mac Memory Upgrade
If your Mac is running slow and you've tried all of our tips to speed up your Mac, you may be looking to upgrade Mac memory. First off, you need to understand what Mac memory is:
RAM (Random Access Memory) or computer memory does the work for you while you’re actively using programs or apps. While you are working with Photoshop, for example, you need sufficient computer RAM to run the program. For the sake of keeping things simple, think of RAM as short-term, active memory.
If you run power-hungry programs such as photo and video editing software or video games, you may be asking your computer to do more at one time than its built to do. If that's the case, you need to consider a Mac memory upgrade or a new machine.
Stop: before you do anything, make sure you've given your Mac a thorough cleaning. Using a professional cleaning software can save you thousands.
Is your Mac able to upgrade its memory?
Apple installs memory directly on the motherboard of many of its Macs, such as the MacBook Air and the Retina MacBook Pr0. As a result, you get a lightweight machine, but you cannot upgrade Mac memory on these devices.
If you have a Mac mini purchased in 2014 or before, you can install additional memory. More recent models do not allow the upgrade.
If you have a MacBook Pro purchased in 2012 or before, you can install additional memory. More recent models and all retina models do not allow the upgrade.
You can still upgrade Mac memory in the iMac machines.
If you are able to upgrade Mac memory
Apple provides incredibly comprehensive guides for how to upgrade Mac memory:
If you are ready to purchase additional memory, we recommend the following products:
If you have an older MacBook Pro, we have specific recommendations for these models in your Best RAM for Your MacBook Pro? post.
If you are unable to upgrade your Mac memory
If you have a newer model computer or any model MacBook Air or MacBook Pro Retina, you cannot install additional memory to make your computer run faster. In this case we beg you to run through all of your options first, including:
- iMac Running Slow? Easy, Common Fixes
- How to Fix a MacBook Air Running Slow: a Step-by-Step Tutorial
- Macbook Pro Running Slow? Here’s How To Fix Your Mac Now!
- Mac Mini Running Slow? Easy Fixes!
If you have exhausted all of your options, it's time to consider a new machine. We know many individuals who purchased a Mac at the beginning of a new business or hobby and as that venture quickly grew, so did their memory needs. You need your Mac to run at peak speed and performance. If you're already having this problem on an existing Mac, you need to not purchase the new base model. The MacBook Pro 15-inch comes with a possible 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory and 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD. If you already have slow computer problems, consider the 512GB or 1TB SSD.
May the Mac force be with you!