How To – MacBook Pro Memory Upgrade

More memory or RAM is a great way to give your MacBook Pro some extra “grunt” and make multitasking much more efficient. If you’ve upgraded memory in a laptop before you may be intrigued as to how the memory is upgraded on the MacBook Pro, after all, there are no visible vents or access panels on the bottom of the MacBook pro. It’s actually a surprisingly pleasant upgrade process with the MacBook Pro and in this article I’ll show you how. Note: This guide is for the non-retina version of the MacBook Pro, the Retina MacBook Pro’s memory is soldered to it’s motherboard and cannot be upgraded.

You’ll need:

  • Smallish screwdriver of the phillips variety
  • Your replacement memory chip(s)
  • An anti static wrist band (I don’t usually use one but it’s usually better to be safe than sorry)
  • Optional can of compressed air, in the event that you may just be counter productive and clean out the dust bunnies while you’re at it.
  • Time (about 10 minutes of it, 15 if we’re allowing for complications)
  • A soft surface to place our highly scratchable notebook on.

How it’s done:

  1. Make sure the notebook is shutdown and isn’t plugged in.
  2. Close the notebook (if you haven’t already) and turn it over so that the Apple logo is facing down.

MacBook Pro Base

  1. Take the smallish screwdriver and start unscrewing the screws around the perimeter of the giant bottom panel of the notebook. (Note: a couple of the screws are longer than the rest, remember where they go.) Store the screws somewhere safe.

MacBook Pro Base Screw

  1. Once all the screws are out, remove the bottom panel. Be wary of a any dust flying out, you don’t want to be sneezing into the internals of your MacBook, Apple doesn’t cover accidental damage caused by snot on your motherboard. Store the panel in a safe area, it’s made of thin aluminium so it can bend quite easily.

MacBook Pro Base Off

  1. Locate the memory modules on the motherboard & carefully remove them by using the clips on the sides, insert the replacement memory module(s).

MacBook Pro Memory Out

  1. If necessary give the insides a little blast with a can of compressed air. Especially in the heat sink if the notebook has been used for some time.
  2. Resintall the bottom panel back on to the notebook and screw in the screws into their correct holes. Be sure not to over-tighten the screws, this could damage the threads.
  3. You should now be all set to go. Turn your MacBook Pro back on, if any strange beeps occur or it doesn’t start up something has gone wrong with the upgrade, check the memory modules are properly installed and they are of the correct type. If all else fails you may need to contact Apple’s support. As soon as your MacBook is on the desktop proceed to click on the Apple menu in the top left of the screen and click “About This Mac” in the dropdown. If the upgrade was successful the correct memory amount should appear.