After finding out that my 2011 macbook pro is slowly dying I am now thinking about its replacement. However I would prefer an updated macbook pro in which I can replace both the hard drive and RAM.

So is there a current, simple list somewhere that identifies the year/model of a macbook pro and what parts are easily user1 replaceable?

1. [Pedantic mode on] And by user replaceable I mean only with something like a screwdriver. I am not looking to de-solder/solder items.[Pedantic mode off]

4 Answers 4


All new Retina MacBook Pro models don't have user serviceable parts. You can still buy a non-retina MBP which do have user serviceable parts. I believe the latest model is Mid-2012. It is a bit old but it is the only MBP that you can change components without the need to solder things.


You can't upgrade the RAM on any of the Retina MacBook Pro, but you can upgrade the storage on some of them, even if Apple says that there are no user serviceable parts. But not on any of the current models.

Of course, Apple won't cover defects on the replaced parts and they might have restrictions on the coverage of an equipment still under warranty. If you are still covered, you should check that first.

Other World Computing and iFixit have good guides on how to replace parts of MacBook Pro. Other World Computing even tests and certifies the parts they sell.


iFixit is a pretty decent place where you can find replacement parts and installation/teardown guides. You cannot replace RAMs in all Retina MBP. You can technically replace SSDs in them but the replacement part is very expensive because they use propriety PCIE connector. (OWC sells SSDs for Macs but they are very expensive and only for early models).

I would suggest buying and selling your Mac second hand rather than replace these because Mac do actually retain value better than Windows Laptops. I sold my MBP though Swappa when I needed an upgrade. It's usually cheaper and safer than upgrades as Macs are notorious for user upgradability.


To add to the ifixit.com answer ... every new mac system is rated for "ease of repair" on a scale of 1 through 10. Retina systems generally get 1 of 10 (you are not even supposed to open the case), while the 2011 systems overall are bit better because you can actually open the case and change RAM/disk/fans/etc.

  • This doesn't answer the OP's question. At best it's a comment that adds to an already existing answer.
    – Allan
    Feb 26, 2018 at 12:16
  • Actually it points out a feature of ifixit that the other poster did not (and I do not have enough points yet in this forum to add a commnet to other posts). Many are not aware of the "DIY-ability" of new models which is why ifixit takes the risk with units it purchases.
    – Ozymandias
    Feb 26, 2018 at 16:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .