Today’s inane images of the day will be scattered throughout the entry.
Sometime in late 2014, I was complaining to a current 3rd year about how slow my Macbook Pro [13-inch, Early 2011 model] had become. I like running ten to twenty Chrome browser tabs along with the whole Microsoft Office suite and FaceTime [so I can chat with Mike, of course] all at once. It doesn’t take a degree in computer science to know that this will inevitably slow down the performance of my laptop. Anyway, that genius 3rd year suggested that I look into upgrading my RAM and even went as far as to send me a link to the memory he purchased to upgrade his own laptop. After some hesitation [I really didn’t want to screw anything up!], I decided one frustrated evening when my laptop was operating at snail’s pace to just do it.
Oh my gosh, did my world change after I upgraded my memory. Suddenly I noticed that webpages and programs loaded 10x faster. It was almost as if I purchased a brand-new laptop!
I was waiting until after I graduated to post this entry on how to upgrade a Macbook’s RAM because I thought that the upgrade was in violation of AppleCare. Turns out that it isn’t – I visited the Genius Bar recently because I thought my battery was in need of a replacement [it wasn’t – it’s just me] and was informed by the lovely gentleman that upgrading my RAM would not void my AppleCare coverage. Whew [I switched my RAM back to the native sticks before going to the appointment, just in case… but turns out I didn’t have to waste my time]. Anyway, because of this newfound information, I decided that it was time to share the efficient-computing-speed-love with everyone [except those of you with Macbooks from 2013 and later… Apple soldered the RAM in, so it’s not as easily upgrade-able and this guide is absolutely useless to you – sorry].
So first off, what you need:
- Phillips #00 screwdriver or 1.4mm flathead screwdriver [I purchased the kit below because the Add-On price of this kit was cheaper than trying to buy a single Phillips screwdriver from Amazon – I used the 1.4mm flathead included in the kit]
- NOTE: I heard that the 2012 Macbook Pro models have a different kind of screw – please ensure you have the correct screwdriver by checking the backcover and seeing what shape the screws are before purchasing anything!
- Crucial 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3/DDR3L-1600 MHz (PC3-12800) [There are a lot of types of memory out there – remember that you need 2 sticks to make it balanced, so don’t get distracted and buy the single 16 GB stick; the speed of this one at 1600 MHz works for the 2011 and 2012 models – at least I haven’t had any issues thus far and reviewers online have also recommended it.]
- Your Laptop [I didn’t think I needed a photo of this…]
- Back up your laptop’s hard drive [just in case!]. Even though it is highly unlikely anything will happen to your precious files, I always believe that it’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Turn off your laptop and discharge yourself of any static energy by touching something metal.
- Flip it over and remove the 10 screws holding the back cover.
Note: I actually lost one of the screws on my laptop and another one was loose so I purchased this set of screws to replace a couple of the originals.
- Take off the back cover.
- Take out your native memory by applying gentle force along the two edges of the memory stick. The stick should pop out. You can use the two ridges to gently pull it out of the slot.
- Do the same for the second stick underneath.
- Take one stick of your new memory and slide it into the slot at an angle. Press down on both edges until it “clicks” into place. Do the same for the second one.
- Place the back cover back on and put at least 2 screws back in on opposite corners of your laptop. Flip your laptop over to lift the lid and turn on your computer to ensure that you have installed your RAM correctly. After your laptop is on, check “About This Mac” to confirm that the computer recognizes the 16 GB of RAM.
- After confirming successful installation, close your lid, wait for your computer to be asleep and put the rest of the screws back in.
Congratulations! You’ve just upgraded your RAM!
Now, when I first did this, I actually turned on my laptop and found that the computer only recognized 8GB. I panicked and decided not to tinker around with it too much more. After some online research, I realized that I likely did not push my RAM stick in all the way, causing one of the two sticks not to be registered by the computer. So, I mustered up the courage to open the back cover again, take out the new sticks and re-install them. Second time around, I opened up my “About This Mac” and saw that it registered 16 GB. Woohoo!
If your laptop doesn’t turn on, or beeps, then chances are you didn’t install the memory correctly. Go back in and try again or if you’re concerned, take it to someone who has experience with this.
Hopefully this was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions!
P.S. Apple also has instructions on how to upgrade your RAM: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT1270