Step-by-step hardware upgrade guide for older/slower MacBooks
I'm not sure when I realized my slow MacBook Pro was killing my productivity. It was a gradual process.

First were the forced breaks, when I would do other things while my computer responded. “I’ll go refill my water bottle while this app opens.”

Next were the tools that would helps ease the load on my Mac. You know, when the cooling fan is working overtime because too many Google Chrome tabs are open? My MacBook not being able to handle more than three tabs was beyond frustrating.

Before I knew it, working on my Mac came with a lot of work-arounds to help it run faster. But nothing make that big of a difference.

I had two choices: (1) buy a new MacBook Pro; or (2) figure out how to make it work with my current Mac.


I chose the latter.

Here’s what I did to speed up my 4-year old MacBook Pro.

You may believe the process is complicated. And that’s not the case. In fact, armed with the right resources, you can do these upgrades in a day.

The Upgrade My MacBook Pro Guide

The guide will help you:

  • decide whether to upgrade your memory or hard drive. Should you upgrade only one or both? I’ll share the speed tests that confirmed my decision/recommendation.
  • take the guesswork out of buying the right memory for your Mac. Including where to buy it. Don’t be like me and buy the wrong memory three times!
  • pick a solid-state drive, and easily copy the files on your current hard drive to your new one.
  • install the memory and solid-state drive in your MacBook in less than 15 minutes.

Yolanda Enoch
Yolanda Enoch
Digital Organizer

Yolanda helps people untangle and make sense of their digital lives. Out of necessity, her technology and digital organization skills have blossomed over the years. It started when she was a kid, living in a really small home, she learned how to organize her room and keep it clutter-free.

Later, as she started working, she always found herself thrown into situations where her technology and organizing skills were put to the test. Including being in charge of all digital assets at a company that loved to celebrate and took pictures and videos of everything. She learned to be mindful of how these digital assets were organized because other people had to be able to find things without her assistance. And now she's teaching what she's learned to others!

If you're still curious (well aren't you nosy?), you can read more about Yolanda here and here.

Course Curriculum

First Steps
Download Checklist
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What to Upgrade
What to Upgrade
Upgrade Both or Only One?
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Step 1: Gather Tech Specs on Your Mac
Your Tech Specs
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Step 2: Buy a Solid-State Drive
Your Shopping List
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Step 3: Buy the Right Memory
Buying the Right Memory
Caveat About Those Maximum Memory Specs from Apple
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Step 4: Clone Your Hard Drive
Cloning Your Hard Drive Overview
Declutter Your App Drawer
Update Your Apps
Delete Junk Files
Clone Your Hard Drive
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Step 5: Install Your New SSD & Memory
Installing Your New Hardware
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Resources Roundup
Course Feedback
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