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MacBook Air Q&A - Updated May 19, 2014

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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 original, "Late 2008," and "Mid-2009," "Late 2010 and "Mid-2011," and "Mid-2013" and "Early 2014" 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)

Identification Help

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 many years, 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.

Finally, EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Lookup feature -- as well as the EveryMac app -- additionally can uniquely identify these MacBook Air models by their serial numbers.

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

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 & Professional Installation 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. Mission Repair offers an affordable Mac notebook upgrade service by mail with a 24 hour turnaround.

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.

Also see:

  • How do you replace or upgrade the hard drive in the original, "Late 2008" and "Mid-2009" MacBook Air models? Can you swap the hard drive for an SSD?
  • How do you replace or upgrade the storage in the "Late 2010" and "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models? Is it even possible?
  • How do you replace or upgrade the storage in the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models? Is it even possible?


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