As much as we would like it to, no computer hardware lasts forever – even high-priced, high-quality products.
Macs have a premium price so it’s understandable that many Mac users will want to put off replacing them for as long as they can. How do you tell if a Mac is too old to be useful?
Here are five common signs it might be time to upgrade your Mac.
1. It can’t run the latest version of macOS
With every new iteration of macOS, the list of vintage or obsolete Mac devices grows. Currently Ventura is the latest version of macOS and any device purchased in the last couple of years will be able to run it. However, if Apple no longer supports the latest version of the software it runs, it could leave you and your device vulnerable to security breaches.
The newest version of the Mac operating system Ventura will not support every Mac. Each year more and more Macs fall by the wayside, unable to be updated. If you are a Mac owner, it is likely that you will be wondering if your Mac can support this newest version of macOS.
You may find that important software won’t run on your Mac if your machine won’t run a supported macOS. If you want to run fully-supported software, then you will need to update to a newer version of macOS – and that may mean that you need to update your Mac.
2. There’s not enough space
Over time, we accumulate digital data and apps that take up a significant amount of storage on our hardware. You may find yourself having to delete or transfer items to free up space and keep your system functioning.
While there are workarounds like doing weekly clean-ups of files you no longer need and using an external hard drive to give you more space, these aren’t permanent solutions.
There are various ways you might be able to improve your existing Mac including adding more RAM or changing from a hard drive to a SSD. If you are able to upgrade the components inside your Mac, you may be able to increase it’s performance and make it more capable of doing what you need. However, many Macs can’t be upgraded at all and it might be time to upgrade your Mac.
However, this is definitely a question for the experts – speak to your local trusted Apple service provider for more advice.
3. Poor battery performance
It’s worth thinking about your battery’s life. Over time, many parts of your Mac will simply decline with age. In Macs particularly, the rechargeable batteries hold less and less ‘stored charge’ over time – until they are completely spent and need replacing.
If you are experiencing an issue with your battery, your Mac might require a battery replacement and the service might be covered by warranty, consumer law or AppleCare+. Your product is eligible for a battery replacement at no additional cost if you have AppleCare+ and your product’s battery holds less than 80 of its original capacity.
Speak to your local trusted Apple service provider who will be able to run diagnostics on your Mac and provide you with the right advice.
4. You experience regular software issues
Is your Mac slow or unresponsive when too many programs are running at once? Is your system freezing regularly? Does your device randomly shut down? There’s a variety of reasons why your system may be running slowly. A lack of RAM can prevent you from running multiple apps simultaneously, an old CPU can make using more modern programs laggy or downright impossible.
These problems could be due to a lack of free space on your Mac or outdated hardware, but they will no doubt make your life more frustrating – especially if you use the device for work.
5. Hardware is damaged
Everyday usage can cause damage to your hardware. You might have accidentally dropped your laptop, or the kids have dumped their bags on it in the back of the car, or perhaps it’s starting to make strange noises you know it shouldn’t.
Your Mac may still be able to be used, however it may be more cost-effective to replace it rather than undertake any major repairs. If your Apple product is past its warranty period, then obtaining service and parts for it may be a challenge and will be subject to parts availability, as Apple discontinues hardware service for certain vintage or obsolete products.
Read more about Apple vintage and obsolete products here.
If your Mac is experiencing some or all of these issues, it’s likely a trip to our location is on the cards! If you’re not quite ready to part with your Mac, servicing might be an alternative until you decide it’s time for a replacement. Contact us to book in your Macbook Repairs Perth, iPhone Repairs in Perth or iPad for a check-up.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2021 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.