One of the simplest ways to improve performance in your MacBook Pro is to upgrade the random access memory, which acts as a temporary data storage area where information is placed to access quickly and out of sequence. The more RAM you have installed on your system, the faster your various programs can run because the processor isn't accessing the slower hard drive for information. Only the original MacBook Pro models offer the option to upgrade the RAM, and the last of these models were released by Apple in late 2012.
1Power down your MacBook and disconnect all cables. Flip the machine over so that the underside is facing up. The front of the MacBook, where the lid opens, should be facing you.
2Remove the 10 screws holding the bottom case in place. The screws vary in length, so make a note where each screw fits for reassembly later. Keep the screws in a container to prevent accidental loss. Lift off the bottom cover.
3Disconnect the current memory module and remove. Push the levers holding the module in place outward to eject the chip. Grasp the module by placing your thumb and index finger on the half-circle notches on either side and slowly pull the memory out. Repeat for the other installed memory module.
4Align the gold connectors on your new memory module with the notch in the memory slot inside the MacBook. Tilt the card as you slide the memory into the slot. Press firmly until you hear the module click into place. Repeat for the second memory module.
5Replace the bottom cover. Return all screws to their rightful locations and tighten properly.
- This information applies only to the base MacBook Pro version of Apple's portable computer line, as the Retina display and MacBook Air models do not have upgradable RAM. Their memory is soldered into place on the motherboard.
- All MacBook Pros have two memory slots and allow a total of 8GB of RAM to be installed. To ensure best performance, use the same size and speed memory modules in both memory slots inside your MacBook.
- MacBook Pro laptops use 30mm memory chips in DDR3 format. Look for PC3-12800 1600 MHz-type RAM for maximum compatibility.
- If you can't find the specifications for your MacBook's RAM or are unsure which to get, you can use the tools at Crucial or Other World Computing to identify the proper hardware for your system
- When working inside your MacBook, beware of static electricity. Even a tiny shock can damage the delicate inner workings of your computer. Ground yourself regularly to dispel any built-up static energy by touching a nearby metal object as you work with your open MacBook.
- Handle the RAM chips only by the plastic edges -- never touch the gold connectors. This can cause damage and render your memory module useless.