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How do you replace or upgrade the storage in the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models? Is it even possible?
This Q&A covers the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models. EveryMac.com provides storage upgrade instructions for other MacBook Air models -- the earlier original, "Late 2008," and "Mid-2009," "Late 2010 and "Mid-2011," and later "Mid-2013," "Early 2014" and "Early 2015" lines, too.
By default, the 11-Inch "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models originally were configured with either 64 GB or 128 GB of flash storage. Likewise, the 13-Inch "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models originally were configured with either 128 GB or 256 GB of flash storage, again, at the time of purchase.
At the time of purchase, the higher-end MD224LL/A 11-Inch configuration alternately could be equipped with 256 GB or 512 GB of storage and the higher-end MD232LL/A 13-Inch configuration could be equipped with 512 GB of storage.
Officially, it is not possible for an end user to upgrade the storage in these models after purchase. However, as first discovered by site sponsor Other World Computing, it has a removable SSD module like earlier MacBook Air models, but it uses a different connector.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (Left - 11" MacBook Air, Right - 13" MacBook Air)
If you're not sure if you have a "Mid-2012" MacBook Air, these notebooks share Model Numbers with other lines, so this identifier is not suitable for the purpose of upgrading the SSD.
However, these systems can be uniquely identified externally by EMC Numbers -- 2558 and 2559, for the 11-Inch and 13-Inch "Mid-2012" models, respectively. As the site has done so for more than two decades, EveryMac.com has carefully hand documented these identifiers for your convenience.
These models also can be pinpointed by Model Identifier in software. To locate the model identifier, select "About This Mac" under the Apple Menu on your computer, click the "More Info..." button, and finally click the "System Report" button. The model identifiers are MacBookAir5,1 for the 11-Inch model and MacBookAir5,2 for the 13-Inch model.
Upgrade Obstacles & SSD Details
Apple does not intend for end users to upgrade the SSD in these models themselves and the company has used uncommon "pentalobe" screws -- sometimes called five-point Torx screws -- to make access more difficult.
However, access is quite possible -- and even fairly simple -- with the right screwdriver. The SSD is a removable module and Apple has not blocked upgrades in firmware, either.
Consequently, third-parties, like site sponsor OWC have developed replacement SSDs that have a compatible connector. OWC offers the Mercury Aura Pro line of SSDs for the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air with capacities that range from 120 GB to 480 GB and even provides the needed screwdriver along with the replacement SSD modules.
SSD Upgrade Instructions
The bottom plate of each "Mid-2012" MacBook Air is held in place by ten screws, but when then plate is removed, access to the SSD simply requires the removal of one more screw.
OWC provides these easy-to-follow upgrade videos, too:
"Mid-2012" 11-Inch MacBook Air
"Mid-2012" 13-Inch MacBook Air
This video covers how to install the original SSD from your MacBook Air in OWC's convenient "Envoy" housing to repurpose it as an external drive:
By watching the video for your specific MacBook Air above, you should be able to determine if you feel comfortable performing this upgrade yourself or if you would instead prefer to hire a professional.
SSD Purchase Options
In the US (and many other countries), site sponsor Other World Computing sells the Mercury Aura Pro line of SSDs as well as other upgrades for MacBook Air models.
In the UK and Ireland, site sponsor Flexx sells MacBook Air compatible SSDs with free shipping. The company provides flat rate shipping to France, Germany, and Switzerland and inexpensive shipping for all of Europe, too.
In Australia, site sponsor RamCity sells SSDs -- up to 960 GB -- that are compatible with the "Mid-2011" and "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models and others all with fast, flat-rate shipping Australia-wide. In particular, RamCity recommends the Transcend Jetdrive 500 series for the "Mid-2011" line and the Transcend Jetdrive 520 series for the "Mid-2012" line.
In Southeast Asia, site sponsor SimplyMac.sg sells the entire line of OWC SSD upgrades for the MacBook Air series with free delivery -- and optional upgrade service -- in Singapore and flat rate shipping to Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Korea.