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Archived - MacBook: How to remove or install memory

Learn how to remove or install memory in your MacBook portable computer.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Choose your model

To identify your MacBook model, use the information in How to identify MacBook models.

2010 MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010)
2009 MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009)

White models:
MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)
MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009)
2008 MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008)

Black or white models:
MacBook (13-inch, Late 2008)
MacBook (13-inch, Early 2008)
2007 Black or white models:
MacBook (13-inch, Late 2007)
MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2007)
2006 Black or white models:
MacBook (13-inch Late 2006)
MacBook (13-inch)



Applicable models

MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010)
MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009)

Memory specifications

These MacBook models have these memory specifications:

Number of memory slots 2
Base memory 2 GB (but also configured to order)
Maximum memory 4 GB
Memory card specifications - Double Data Rate Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module (DDR SO-DIMM) format
- 30mm
- 1 GB or 2 GB
- 204-pin
- PC3-8500 DDR3 1066 MHz Type RAM
Additional notes For best performance, fill both memory slots, installing an equal memory module in each slot.

 

Removing or installing memory

Warning: The internal components of your MacBook can be warm. If you have been using your MacBook, wait ten minutes after shutting down the computer to let the internal components cool before continuing.

Step 1: Before you begin

  1. Shut down your MacBook. Disconnect the power adapter, Ethernet cable, and any other cords connected to the MacBook, to prevent damaging the computer.
  2. Turn the computer over.
  3. This MacBook model has an integrated battery that cannot be removed. Do not attempt to disconnect or remove the battery in the MacBook.

Step 2: Remove the bottom case

  1. Remove the eight (8) screws that secure the bottom case of your MacBook. Be sure to put the screws in a safe place.
  2. Lift off the case from the hinged side, and set it aside.

  3. When you remove the bottom case, you expose sensitive internal components. Avoid touching anything other than the memory assembly when you remove and replace memory.
  4. Touch a metal surface inside the computer to discharge any static electricity from your body.
    Touching a metal surface

Step 3: Removing the original memory

  1. Push the ejection levers on the sides of the memory module in an outward direction to release the module from the memory card slot.
  2. The memory pops up at an angle. Before removing it, make sure you see the half-circle notches. If you don’t, try pressing the ejection levers outward again.
    Memory pops out at angle
  3. Hold the memory module by its notches, but do not touch the gold connectors. Remove it from the slot.

Step 4: Installing the new memory

  1. Align the notch on the gold edge of the module with the notch in the lower memory slot.
  2. Tilt the card and push the memory into the slot.
  3. Use two fingers with firm, even pressure to push down on the memory module.
  4. Repeat to install an additional memory module in the top slot. Press down on the module to make sure it is level.
  5. The memory modules should be parallel to each other. If it appears that one of the memory modules is not parallel, remove the modules and seat them again.
    Seating the memory

Step 5: Replace the bottom case

  1. Replace the bottom case, making sure it sits flush. Grasp the case in the middle of each side, and push down first with one thumb and then the other to lock the snaps on the inside of the case.
    Bottom case
  2. When the bottom case is seated flush, replace and tighten the eight screws. Make sure the different length screws are in their proper locations.
    8 different screws

Back to top


Applicable model

MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008)

Memory specifications

This MacBook model has these memory specifications:

Number of memory slots 2
Base memory 2 GB (but also configured to order)
Maximum memory 4 GB
Memory card specifications - Double Data Rate Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module (DDR SO-DIMM) format
- 30mm
- 1 GB or 2 GB
- 204-pin
- PC3-8500 DDR3 1066 MHz Type RAM
Additional notes For best performance, don't mix sizes; always install two identical memory modules (a pair of 1 GB, 2 GB, or 4 GB memory modules).

 

Removing or installing memory

Warning: The internal components of your MacBook can be warm. If you have been using your MacBook, wait ten minutes after shutting the computer down to let the internal components cool before continuing.

Step 1: Before you begin

  1. Shut down your MacBook. Disconnect the power adapter, Ethernet cable, and any other cords connected to the MacBook, in order to prevent damaging the computer.
  2. Turn the computer over.
  3. Review and follow MacBook: How to remove or install the battery to remove the battery.

Step 2: Remove the bottom case

  1. Remove the eight (8) screws that secure the bottom case of your MacBook, and then remove the bottom case.
  2. Because the screws are different lengths, note the screw lengths and locations so you can replace the screws correctly. Put them aside in a safe place.

    Different screws

  3. When you remove the bottom case, you expose sensitive internal components. Avoid touching anything other than the memory assembly when you remove and replace memory.
  4. Touch a metal surface inside the computer to discharge any static electricity from your body.
    Touching a metal surface

Step 3: Removing the original memory

  1. Push the ejection levers on the sides of the memory module in an outward direction to release the module from the memory card slot.
  2. The memory pops up at an angle. Before removing it, make sure you see the half-circle notches. If you don’t, try pressing the ejection levers outward again.
    Memory pops up at an angle
  3. Hold the memory module by its notches, but do not touch the gold connectors. Remove it from the slot.

Step 4: Installing the new memory

  1. Align the notch on the gold edge of the module with the notch in the lower memory slot.
  2. Tilt the card and push the memory into the slot.
  3. Use two fingers with firm, even pressure to push down on the memory module.
  4. Repeat to install an additional memory module in the top slot. Press down on the module to make sure it is level.
  5. The memory modules should be parallel to each other. If it appears that one of the memory modules is not parallel, remove the modules and seat them again.
    Seating the memory

Step 5: Replace the bottom case

  1. Replace the bottom case making sure it sits flush. This is especially important in the area of the access door latch.
  2. When the bottom case is seated flush, replace and tighten the eight screws. Start with the four screws in the middle, then the two screws on the same side as the access door latch, and finally the two screws opposite the access door latch. Make sure the different length screws are in their proper locations.
    Different screws

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Applicable models

Black or white MacBook computers:
MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)
MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009)
MacBook (13-inch, Late 2008)
MacBook (13-inch, Early 2008)
MacBook (13-inch Late 2007)
MacBook (13-inch Mid 2007)
MacBook (13-inch, Late 2006)

Memory specifications

These MacBook models have these memory specifications:

Number of memory slots 2
Base memory 512 MB (but also configured to order)
Maximum memory 2 GB to 4 GB (refer to the table below)
Memory card specifications - Double Data Rate Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module (DDR SO-DIMM) format
- 30mm
- 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, or 2 GB
- 200-pin
- PC2-5300 DDR2 667 MHz Type RAM or PC2-6400 DDR2 800 MHz Type RAM
Additional notes For best performance, don't mix sizes; always install two identical memory modules (a pair of 1 GB, 2 GB, or 4 GB memory modules).


Refer to this table for the maximum amount of memory and recommended memory speed for these portable computers:

2 GB PC2-5300 DDR2 667 MHz Type RAM MacBook (Mid 2007)
MacBook (Late 2006)
MacBook (13-inch)
4 GB PC2-5300 DDR2 667 MHz Type RAM MacBook (Early 2009)
MacBook (Late 2008)
MacBook (Early 2008)
MacBook (Late 2007)
4 GB PC2-6400 DDR2 800 MHz Type RAM MacBook (Mid 2009)

 

Removing or installing memory

Warning: The internal components of your MacBook can be warm. If you have been using your MacBook, wait ten minutes after shutting the computer down to let the internal components cool before continuing.

Step 1: Before you begin

  1. Shut down your MacBook. Disconnect the power adapter, Ethernet cable, and any other cords connected to the MacBook, in order to prevent damaging the computer.
  2. Turn the computer over.
  3. Review and follow MacBook: How to remove or install the battery to remove the battery.

Step 2: Installing the new memory

  1. Using a Phillips size 00 screwdriver, unscrew the three captive screws that secure the L-bracket.
  2. Pull out the long end of the bracket first to remove it from the battery bay of your computer. (Levers on the memory slot spring out when you remove the bracket.)
    Bracket in battery bay
  3. Touch a metal surface inside the computer to discharge any static electricity from your body.
  4. If you need to remove a memory card, follow these instructions: In one swift motion, use your thumb or index finger to move the lever to the left and release it. This swift motion ejects the memory card, and the lever then springs back to the starting position. Pull out the memory module(s).
    Note
    : If any of the following issues occur, contact an Apple-authorized service technician to complete the memory card installation:
    • Lever wobbles.
    • Lever offers no resistance.
    • Lever is stuck.
    • Lever does not return to starting position.
  5. Insert the new memory modules into the slots.
    1. Insert the gold edge first, with the notch on the left side.
    2. Use two fingers with firm even pressure to push in the memory modules.
    3. If the levers don't return to the closed position, move them to the right to close them.
      Note: You may need to use increased firm pressure in order to ensure that the memory seats properly. If you do not seat the memory correctly, it could result in a "no power" situation, or the memory might not be recognized by the computer.

      Seating the memory
  6. Replace the L-bracket by inserting the short end first and tightening the screws.

    Bracket in battery bay

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Additional Information

Checking that your computer recognizes the new memory

After installing additional memory, you should confirm that the computer recognizes the new memory. To check the computer’s memory:

  1. Start up your computer.
  2. When you see the Mac OS X desktop, choose Apple () from the upper-left menu bar, then choose About This Mac.

The total memory includes the amount of memory that originally came with the computer plus the new memory you added, or if all the memory has been replaced, the new total for that memory. For detailed information about the amount of memory installed in your computer, open System Profiler by choosing Apple (), then About This Mac; click More Info and then Memory from the Hardware section that appears in System Profiler.

If your computer doesn’t recognize the memory or doesn’t start up correctly, confirm that the memory you installed is compatible with your MacBook and that it is installed correctly by reseating the memory.

Last Modified: Apr 22, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Apr 22, 2014
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