Apple's computer hardware is known to be among the best there is. Mac users will certainly agree. While Macs have a high price, they also offer the best quality in terms of hardware and longevity. But as much as we would like them to, no computer hardware lasts forever – even premium products like MacBooks.
So just how long should you expect a Mac to last? You can’t put an exact number on a Mac’s lifespan, but usually, you can expect at least 10 good years from your machine. However, the computer will, at some point, start giving you hints that its time is up. Check this list to see if you need to bid your MacBook goodbye.
1. When the latest version of macOS doesn't run on your device
One of the first indicators that your Mac has reached the end of its productive life is when it can’t run the latest version of macOS. Apple releases a new version of macOS every year. Currently, macOS Monterey (version 12) is the latest version of macOS, and any model purchased in the last couple of years will be able to run it. At the time of writing, macOS Big Sur and macOS Catalina are both still supported as well. Reports say that Big Sur should become unsupported in October 2023 while Catalina will stop receiving updates from October 2022. Once this happens, your computer might not be able to run third-party software and won't receive security updates for your current macOS version.
If you have a pre-2015 MacBook or a pre-2013 MacBook Pro, however, it won’t be able to run Monterey. So, if your device is too old to update to the latest macOS version, it might be time to say goodbye to it and upgrade to a newer model.
2. There’s not enough space
Apps and other data take up a significant amount of space in our Macs. Eventually, we end up struggling for space and finding ways to constantly clear the storage and keep the system functioning. Our article on How to Free Up Disk Space On Your Mac might help you in this regard.
Adding more storage to your computer with an external hard drive helps, of course, but it’s not a permanent solution. If your MacBook constantly lacks free space, try doing weekly clean-ups of files you no longer need. If the issue persists, you would be better off getting a new device. Make sure, however, that you choose a model with sufficient storage space for years to come.
3. You experience regular hardware issues
A lack of sufficient RAM can significantly impact the way your Mac operates. For example, it can prevent you from running multiple apps at once. Also, an old CPU can make using more modern software and applications extremely sluggish or almost impossible to use. With older hardware, the overall system performance suffers.
You also need to think about your Mac’s battery. While rechargeable batteries are good, they tend to hold less ‘stored charge’ over time. Eventually, with regular use, the computer’s battery won't hold a charge.
Degraded batteries that no longer hold their charge need to be replaced. However, MacBook batteries are expensive - according to Apple's service page, it costs $129 to $199 for a MacBook battery replacement. Therefore, the money you'd spend on replacing a battery is better utilized in buying a newer machine.
4. Software problems
Is your Mac freezing or shutting down frequently? Does it often become unresponsive all of a sudden? If you are regularly facing these issues, check and see that you have enough free space, as a lack of free space on your Mac can cause these problems. Outdated hardware can also be the reason.
Try and reinstall the macOS and see if it solves your software issues. If the problems persist, this means that you are likely dealing with some outdated hardware issues. It’s time for an upgrade.
A final word:
You can live with a few odd issues with your Mac, such as stuck keys or crackling speakers. However, a small issue can grow over time if it isn’t addressed. So, is it worth upgrading your Mac’s faulty components like the SSD, hard drive, battery, logic board, and hard drive rather than buying a new model? Experts suggest that if your Mac is older than seven years, it really isn’t worth spending money on repairing faulty parts. You will be better off investing in a newer machine that will perform much better.
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