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How to add more RAM to your Mac

Upgrading your Mac's RAM can provide a significant performance boost, in addition to equipping the machine to run software demanding in the future.

In older models, this procedure is very simple, and if you use third-party RAM from companies like Crucial, You will also find the cost quite affordable. Modern Macs are a different story, and there are many dangers to avoid, which is why we've put together this guide.

For more general advice on how to expand the capabilities of your system, see How to repair your Mac by updating macOS.

Should I update my RAM?

Random Access Memory (RAM) is a temporary storage medium used by your Mac's CPU. Essentially, it's a short-lived storage space where process data is kept while you run them.

The CPU can access the data stored in RAM much faster than it does the information on the hard drive, for example. This makes it vital for the proper functioning of your Mac.

So is it a good idea to upgrade your RAM? Well, in many cases, yes. Simply put, RAM upgrades are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to breathe new life into an old Mac. And for many models, the only tool you'll need is a small screwdriver.

However, if your Mac is a newer model, there may be no way to upgrade the RAM, or it may be theoretically possible, but risky.

Before updating your RAM, consider if there are other ways to solve your memory problem. You may want to review these tips on how to free up memory on your Mac.

There are also a number of risks associated with upgrading your Mac's RAM, which we describe below:

1. You can spoil your Mac

There's a chance that if you don't take the proper antistatic precautions (which we'll cover later) you could damage the sensitive electronic components inside your Mac.

If you work carefully and follow the instructions you should be fine, but you do this work at your own risk, and Macworld accepts no responsibility if you short-circuit the motherboard or experience similar problems.

2. A RAM memory upgrade can void your warranty

As a general rule, RAM is considered a "user-usable" part and as such does not invalidate your warranty when upgrading it.

However, in the case of many modern Macs -particularly Mac laptops- Apple may specify that the memory (RAM) is not removable by the users and indicate that if the RAM is to be updated it must be done by an Apple Authorized Service Provider .