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I highly recommend following the thoroughly detailed aforementioned i Fix It guide, but here are the basic steps if you’re curious as to what you’re getting yourself into: 1 – Removed the screws from the bottom of the Mac Book Air (the screws are temporarily stored in the little bins above the Mac) 2 – Disconnect the internal battery – don’t forget this (and don’t forget to reconnect when finished) 3 – Remove the stock SSD drive (it is held in by another screw) 4 – Replace with the new SSD drive, screw it in, then reconnect the internal battery 5 – Put the bottom lid back on and screw it back in, done!
Once everything is sealed back up again, you’re ready to go. Admittedly I do things in this tutorial a bit different than some other technical people do; mainly that I put a blank SSD drive into the Mac, which then required an OS install and restore, rather than cloning over the drives first.
If you want to go the cloning route, Carbon Copy Cloner and Super Duper are both excellent and get the job done.
Anyway, what I did in this scenario was two steps; perform a clean Mac OS X software install using a bootable USB flash key, then restore from Time Machine during setup. We’ve covered these topics before, so if you want to go this particular route (typically necessary if the original SSD failed) then refer to the following detailed walkthroughs: Keep in mind that if you’re restoring a Mac from a Time Machine backup, you can start that process immediately after clean installing Mac OS X during the setup process.
Beyond that it’s really not particularly complicated, even if it involves taking apart the Mac and putting it back together again.
There are many great detailed tutorials that walk through the entire process from sites like i Fix It, and we’ll link to a few below.
The first step is to insure the replacement SSD is compatible with the Mac Book Air model.
This typically depends on the model year of the Mac Book Air itself, so it is critical that you know which model year the computer is.
If you follow the i Fix It guide they rate the difficulty of a Mac Book Air SSD replacement as “moderate” but I am confident that anyone with patience and the ability to follow instructions can get the job done rather easily, even if they’re a relative novice.I like to arrange mine by size and general location of where they come out of the Mac. Users who have a strong background in tinkering with electronics will likely be comfortable on their own, but almost everyone else is going to want to review some sort of guide that details the process well.Rather than reinvent the wheel, we recommend following the detailed i Fix It guides as they are well explained, detailed, and thorough.Keep in mind this is really only applicable to Macs that are outside of warranty service, and for those who are comfortable tooling around in their hardware.Swapping hardware may void a warranty on a newer Mac, so if the Mac is under warranty just take it to an Apple Support provider or Apple Store and they can handle all of this instead.
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The Mac Book Air is not really thought of as being expandable or upgradeable, but it turns out that with a little effort and patience, you can replace the SSD on the Mac Book Air yourself.