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Upgrade RAM On Your 2009-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro

13-inch-mbp-ram-install-macbook pro
Written by Hassan Abbas

How to upgrade the RAM on your 2009-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro: Sometimes you can put together a deal that will keep you going with what you already have. Or what you can get your hands on cheap that turns out to be a better value. That’s what I find recently with a 13-inch MacBook Pro that I got my hands on.

Our guide will help you to install RAM inside an older 13-inch MacBook Pro. 13-inch MacBook Pro models are abundant and have been very popular throughout their whole production run. The instructions in this guide should be relevant to the following 13-inch MacBook Pro 13- inch models:

  • Mid 2012
  • Late 2011
  • Early 2011
  • Mid 2010
  • Mid 2009

Installation Guide:13-inch MacBook Pro RAM

  • Why bother?
  • Install the RAM in your 13-inch MacBook Pro
  • Startup your MacBook Pro
  • Troubleshooting your RAM installation

Why bother?

Why not just put back the computer altogether? That’s sometimes one valid approach, depending on your budget and your needs. Sometimes Apple and Mac app developers have moved the goalposts a lot over the years.

For me, I want to use things as long as they’re useful. And a 2012 MacBook Pro is still useful to me, even seven years later. I use my Macs to do things like:

  • web surfing
  • web page editing
  • some light graphics work
  • lots of productivity software
  • text editing
  • other tasks that might be marginally faster with newer hardware

But certainly, it is enough for me to get by on an older Mac.

Install The RAM In Your 13-inch MacBook Pro

First, turn off your Mac and unplug the power supply. Find a good place, the well-lit surface to work from and flip it over.

Remove The MacBook Pro’s Bottom Case


Step 1:

Using a #000-sized Philips head screwdriver. Discard the ten screws that hold in the bottom case. While, three long screws are located on the top edge, near the display hinge. The rest are short screws.

Step 2:

With the screws removed, just pull the bottom panel off the bottom of the MacBook Pro and lay it aside.

Remove The Old RAM

Step 3:

Now put the existing RAM. You’ll find it located about halfway down from the top. Existing RAM DIMMs will be lying parallel to the main logic board, clipped in place by the memory module.

Step 4:

Push the levers to release the DIMM from its slot. It pops up at an angle. Look for half-circle notches you can use to gently eliminate the DIMM using your fingertips. Make sure you don’t touch the gold edge connectors. DIMMs should be located in both upper and lower slots. Remove both.

Install The New RAM


Step 1:

Align the gold edge of the first DIMM with the lower slot.

Step 2:

Lean and push the DIMM into the slot completely. Make sure the metal contacts are all the way in.

Step 3:

Slowly push down on the DIMM to make it click in place.

Step 4:

Now repeat this process with the second DIMM.

Reattach The MacBook Pro’s Bottom Case

Align the removed bottom case with the screw holes and slowly tighten the ten screws you removed from the bottom case.

StartUp Your MacBook Pro

Flip over your Mac, plug it into a power supply if necessary, and power it up. If all has gone successfully, your Mac will automatically acknowledge the additional RAM. To check, wait for it to boot and then wait for the desktop to load. Then:

Step 1:

At first, click the Apple menu.

Step 2:

Now tap About This Mac.

Step 3:

Then click the Memory tab.


If nothing went wrong then your 13-inch MacBook Pro should report the new memory. Now start using more memory-hungry apps, or more apps at a single time without your Mac having to page virtual memory constantly out to the hard disk.


  • Now you’ve to flip over your MacBook Pro.
  • Plug it in.
  • Then hit the power button, and nothing happens.
  • Black screen.

Note: Or your Mac freezes. Or something worse happens. Don’t panic.

  • Turn off your Mac.

The first step is to reset the non-volatile RAM (NVRAM) on your Mac.

If it fails to work, there might be a physical issue preventing your RAM from working. The number one problem people face with a 13-inch MacBook Pro RAM upgrade is that the DIMMs are not inserted into their memory slot correctly.

If this happens, shutdown and unscrew the bottom panel as described above. Then remove and reinsert the DIMMs individually. Make sure that the gold contacts are completely seated in the memory socket.

Also check they click into place horizontally, parallel to the main logic board. Try again.

If this fails, remove the DIMMs again and check their labels. The question is Are they a matched pair with identical specs? If the answer is yes, try putting the old DIMMs back in and see if your Mac works or not. As if it does, you may have bad RAM. If so, contact the vendor you purchased from for an exchange or return.


That’s all there is to it. Are you ready to rock a RAM upgrade on your older Mac? Do you have any questions related to it? Let us know in the comment section below!

Also Read: Use Sunflower to Re-active iPhone’s 3D Touch in iOS 13

About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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