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Upgrade SSD in 15′ Macbook: User Guide

Upgrade SSD in 15' Macbook
Written by Hassan Abbas

Upgrade SSD in 15′ Macbook: If you are running out of space on your Retina MacBook Pro then it’s possible to upgrade your internal storage with a larger SSD. Our guide will walk you through the Retina MacBook Pro SSD upgrade process.

In 2012 Apple introducing the Retina MacBook Pro series. Both 15 and 13-inch models sported higher resolution displays and a slimmer design.

If you have the time and patience, it’s possible to upgrade the SSD on these models, provided you have the right tools, the right space to work, and a small amount of time you need.

Do you want to upgrade SSD in 15′ Macbook? Which 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros are upgradable?

Older MacBook Pros can be dismantled and Serial ATA (SATA) based SSDs designed to replace laptop hard drives. But the Retina MacBook Pro series is quite different. Because Apple opted for a series of mSATA-based blade-style SSDs, but ones that use Apple’s connection.

Our particular donor model for this is a Mid-2015 Retina MacBook Pro (The model ID is MacBookPro11,5). This basic procedure applies to many MacBook Pro models. Those include:

MacBook Pro Retina, 15-inch:

  • Mid 2012
  • Early 2013
  • Late 2013
  • Mid 2014
  • Mid 2015

These instructions are not applicable for MacBook Pros not listed here.

Back up your MacBook Pro

Before you attempt to do anything on your MacBook Pro, make sure you have a recent backup. Time Machine is the path of least resistance for most of us since it’s built into the Mac.

Upgrade SSD in 15′ Macbook

Install the MacBook Pro SSD


Turn off the MacBook Pro. Also, disconnect the power supply and any devices connected to it. On a clean, flat surface flip the MacBook Pro so its bottom case is facing you.

Step 1:

Erase the ten pentalobe screws on the bottom case. Always remember which screws correspond to which holes, because some are longer than others. Remove the bottom case and set it aside.

Step 2:

Now locate the SSD located on the left-hand side of the MacBook Pro’s Main Logic Board. It is held in using a single T5 Torx screw. Erase the screw then remove the SSD by lifting the side and sliding it to the left to free it from the main logic board connection.

Step 3:

Here you replace the SSD with the new SSD. But always be careful to insert the SSD completely into the socket on the Main Logic Board, you may feel some initial resistance. Don’t push it in, but make sure it is incompletely. Reattach the T5 Torx screw to hold the SSD in place.

Step 4:

Again attach the bottom case.

TIP: If your MacBook makes noises and becomes hot this is an opportunity for you to fix that problem. Over time the MacBook Pro having dirt, dust, and debris internally. It can block internal airflow. That makes the Mac run hotter, so the fans run harder to keep things cool.

When the bottom case removed, clean the MacBook Pro of any debris or dust that is clogging its vents. Your Mac will run cooler and will be quieter.

Use a can of compressed air only, do not use a powered vacuum or any sort of microfiber cloth, and do not use solvents or any sort of liquid cleaner.

Cleaning MacBook Pro proved to be quite a challenge. Years of use caused a lot of debris to build up inside, and some if appeared dried on to the internal components.

Set up your new MacBook Pro SSD

If your kit having a USB sled, just install the original MacBook Pro SSD you’ve just removed. While starting your MacBook Pro, hold down the Option key and choose your Mac’s original hard drive icon to boot. Then format and partition the new SSD, and transfer your data back to it.

The majority of SSDs reach preconfigured having macOS software. Others will be blank. If you want to set up yours from scratch, then start your Mac and hold down the Command, Option and R keys to invoke Internet Recovery. Your Mac will try to connect to a Wi-Fi network and then will download the software it needs to restore the drive and install new operating system software from the Internet.

Now restore your original drive once Internet Recovery is complete.

Face an Issue?

You install the new SSD and turn on your Mac then what to do? Follow these steps if you need help.


The Non-Volatile RAM (NVRAM) is a specially protected area in Mac’s memory that retains certain information. The information includes what startup disk is being used etc. If your Mac fails to recognize the new SSD then reset the NVRAM before doing anything else. Here’s how:

Step 1:

At first turn off your Mac.

Step 2:

Now connect it to its power charger.

Step 3:

Press the Power button to turn on the Mac, then immediately

Step 4:

Now hold down the Command, Option, P and R keys until you hear the Mac restart again.

If it should fail to work, follow these steps:

Check connections:

Step 1:

Follow the above-mentioned instructions carefully to disassemble the MacBook Pro and check your connections.

Step 2:

Remember the new SSD is resting securely and completely in the slot on the Main Logic Board.

Step 3:

Remember the screw is attached properly to hold it in place.

If you still can’t get the MacBook Pro to recognize the SSD, then try replacing it with the original. If you’re able to boot off your original, then something went wrong with the replacement drive. Consult the manufacturer’s support if that’s the case.

Upgrade SSD in 15′ Macbook Conclusion:

For further queries and questions let us know in the comment section below!

Also Read: Set up Multiuser on HomePod [How To]

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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