Introduction

Learn how to upgrade or replace the memory in your 2018 Mac mini with this RAM replacement guide. The mini can support up to 64 GB of RAM, using any combination of 8 GB, 16 GB, or 32 GB DDR4-2666 SODIMM RAM modules.

  1. Power off and unplug your Mac mini before you begin.
    • Power off and unplug your Mac mini before you begin.

    • Use an opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac mini.

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  2. Lift and remove the bottom cover.
    • Lift and remove the bottom cover.

    • To reinstall the cover, align it carefully so that the words "Mac mini" can be read when the ports are facing you. Then, press down on the cover to snap the hidden clips into place.

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    • Remove six TR6 Torx security screws securing the antenna plate, of the following lengths:

      • Three 4.1 mm screws

      • Three 1.8 mm screws

    • Throughout this repair, keep track of each screw and make sure it goes back exactly where it came from to avoid damaging your Mac.

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    • Do not completely remove the antenna plate; it is still connected to the Mac mini by an antenna cable.

    • Carefully flip up the antenna plate to allow access to the antenna cable connector underneath.

      • With the Mac mini's ports facing you, the safest place to lift the antenna plate is from the right side.

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    • Use a T6 Torx driver to remove the 2.8 mm screw securing the antenna cable to the Mac mini's logic board.

      • Carefully hold the antenna plate so as not to strain the cable while you remove the screw.

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    • Gently pull the cable or use the point of a spudger to lift its connector straight up off its socket on the logic board.

    • To reconnect the cable, use tweezers to position it carefully over its socket on the logic board, and then press it down firmly until it snaps into place.

      • If you need more slack in the cable, you can temporarily pry it from the clips securing it to the antenna plate.

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    • Remove the antenna plate from the Mac mini.

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    • Use a T6 Torx driver to remove the four 7.2 mm screws securing the fan:

      • Two screws securing the fan to the logic board

      • Two screws securing the fan to the exhaust vent

    • Rubber grommets secure these screws to the fan, so they may not come out completely. Just make sure they are fully loosened.

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    • The fan connector is underneath the fan and cannot be disconnected until the fan is moved aside. Don't try to remove the fan completely yet.

    • Lift the fan from the flat edge where it meets the exhaust vent, being careful not to strain the fan cable underneath.

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    • Grasp the fan cable by all six wires and gently lift to unplug it from the logic board.

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    • Remove the fan.

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    • Grasp the power supply cable and lift to disconnect it from the logic board, wiggling as needed to loosen it up.

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    • Carefully lift the connector for the LED indicator light straight up to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

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    • Use a T10 Torx driver to remove the two 7.5 mm screws securing the logic board.

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    • In this step you will be pushing the logic board free from clips holding it to the frame. Push only where directed or you may damage the fragile cooling fins.

    • Place a thumb at each end of the exhaust vent, over the fan screw holes. Press firmly until the logic board unclips.

    • Once the clips are freed, slide the logic board out of the case.

    • When reinstalling the logic board, make sure to hold the thin LED indicator light cable out of the way so it doesn't get damaged.

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    • Use a T5 Torx driver to remove the four 2.8 mm screws securing the RAM shield.

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    • Lift the RAM shield and slide it off of the RAM assembly.

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    • Two clips secure each RAM module in place, one on each side. Using your fingers, spread the clips away from the RAM module.

      • When released, the RAM modules will pop up at a slight angle.

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    • Slide each RAM module straight out to remove it.

    • When handling the RAM module, touch only the outside edges. Take care not to touch the gold-colored contact points along the bottom edge.

    • To install a new RAM module, make sure it's oriented correctly and the notch on the bottom is aligned, and then slide it in at about the same angle. Press evenly until it clicks into place and the gold contacts are no longer visible.

    • Then, spread the clips apart with one hand, and with the other press to angle the top edge of both RAM modules down toward the logic board simultaneously.

      • Release the clips and make sure the RAM modules are secure.

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Conclusion

Compare your new replacement part to the original part—you may need to transfer remaining components or remove adhesive backings from the new part before installing.

To reassemble your device, follow the above steps in reverse order.

Take your e-waste to an R2 or e-Stewards certified recycler.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Check out our Answers community for troubleshooting help.

45 other people completed this guide.

Rod Bland

Member since: 03/25/2013

782 Reputation

1 Guide authored

52 Comments

Thank you, Rod! Would love to see a section on how to remove the memory cage . Also, just curious as to what release of the Mac Mini this is, and why it doesn’t have a memory cage.

syvalley - Reply

Since I don’t actually own this model, some of the pics are from the 2014 model where I could see that they looked very similar to some of the initial teardown videos showing up online. Step 2 and 8 are of the actual 2018 model. Hopefully someone who actually owns the 2018 version can post some extra steps with pics of the cage and how to remove it.

Rod Bland -

Update: now with pics of the RAM cage.

Rod Bland - Reply

Thank you so much! I’m curious about CPU. Is it possible to replace it?

cjoonh - Reply

No, the CPU is soldered to the logic board.

Jon Anscher -

Looks like the SSD is replaceable as well. Any idea on what kind of standard it follows?

QiF - Reply

looks like soldered to me. either way, with that T2 chip on board one shall not pass through…

Peter Marencik -

Just realised from another post, that this is the 2014 mini…

QiF - Reply

Some of the original photos were from the 2014. All photos are now from the 2018.

Douglas Bailey -

The new Mac mini doesn’t have removable ssd like on Step 8…

I just though that it’s great to have an upgradeable SSD.

patchosan - Reply

I am a little confused, The T6 Torx Security screwdriver is for every step of the way or where does T9 Torx Screwdriver, P5 Pentalobe Screwdriver comes in?

Alex - Reply

I’ve updated the guide now to make this clearer. Torx TR6, Torx T10 and Torx T5 is what’s needed.

Rod Bland -

Thank you.

It is a bit confusing, because the photos here are a mix of the 2014 and 2018 Mac mini. However it does help. :)

OP Plays / WildApple gaming - Reply

All fixed now. All pics are from the current 2018 model.

Rod Bland -

How many slots for ram rank have Mac mini? And the entry version (8Gb) how many rank have ? One of 8gb or two of4gb? Tank’s

tiffanycafenapoli - Reply

There are two RAM slots.

If you order the Mac Mini with 8GB RAM, it will contain 2 x 4GB RAM cards.

Douglas Bailey -

what about the CPU??? Please explore more!!!

Peter Marencik - Reply

Hi Peter,

the CPU is not socketed. Check out the teardown here.

Arthur Shi -

Can you put 2400Mhz RAM in the Mac Mini?

I ask because the MAC mini memory ram is rated for 2666mhz and I have ddr 4 2400mhz RAM laying around.

Nicholas Mohamed - Reply

I’m curious to this as well, because performance-wise there’s not any noticable difference but there is a price difference.

Mikael D -

I had a pair of G.Skill F4-2400C16S-16GRS laying around as well and both went in to an i5 mini no problem. About this Mac reported that the new memory speed was 2400 .

Ben Marco -

Is it possible to have :

1x 4Go DDR4 Apple 2666Mhz

with

1x 16Go DDR4 Crucial 2666Mhz ?

jean - Reply

Yes, you can mix and match the module sizes in just about any Mac, so you could even have 4GB +32GB

Rod Bland -

Rod, do you know if the performance is affected by different sized RAM? It may be too late for me now, but maybe I should have bought one 32GB module instead of two 16s.

Jon Anscher -

Although it is technically okay to mix ram sizes (if the mobo and BIOS allows it), there IS a performance penalty when not using matched pairs of memory. That is true for just about any computer (Windows PC or Mac); , it has to with interleaving and other factors. In some cases, even if both sticks are same RAM size but different makers or configurations, that can also cause a performance hit, hence why most recommend using matched pairs of SAME manufacturer / model. By configuration i mean a 4 GB chip may have a 4 x 1GB config., where as another 4GB chip from another maker may have a 2 x 2GB config or 8 x 512MB (or whatever, ) Macs have historically much tighter tolerances (ie. less forgiving) when it comes to memory vs say a garage mix and match PC build; I strongly suggest using matched pairs by same maker, and stick to reputable brands. there are a lot of gray market chips out there with very questionable tolerances; if the price SEEMS TOO GOOD, THERE IS A REASON.

Michael Chin -

The first video posted on Youtube said the mac didn’t recognize the replaced memory properly. He installed the DDR4 3000, but it just run at 2444. Do you guys tried other RAMs?

seawah.k - Reply

So, upgrading the ram won’t brick the Mac mini?

tran269 - Reply

32GB RAM should meet my needs for a while, as it has for several years now. I read that the mini won’t be as fast with unbalanced RAM, so I ordered 2x16 instead of 1x32. That could have given me 36GB along with a 4GB from my 8GB mini order. 2x16Gb costs less than 1x32 so there’s a savings there, but I will ultimately have wasted money on the 16GB SODIMMs if I eventually need to upgrade to 64GB. Wasn’t an easy thing to decide on.

Lots of people will face this dilemma.

Johann Johannson - Reply

As I wrote the previous post on the 8GB mini, the security bits for installing the RAM arrived. With 8 programs and several background processes running—the LG 4K monitor Newegg had on sale last week for $259 has 30 icons on its menu bar—the mini is still comfortably below its 8GB limit. With paging occurring only infrequently and at blazing-fast speeds, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever feel a need to install more than 32GB RAM.

Now to get to work and put those tools to use. Thanks for the tips!

Johann Johannson - Reply

Thanks so much for putting this guide together! Upgraded with 32GB of Crucial RAM. It works great, and I saved $240!

Jon Anscher - Reply

Bricked! Mini will not turn on. Any ideas?

For the avoidance of doubt. I presume I did something wrong. Anyway, put factory ram back in, still doesn’t start.

spamsea - Reply

Have you tried unplugging everything except a single monitor, keyboard, and mouse from the Mac Mini? I had some issues starting up the Mac Mini with a lot of peripherals plugged in. It seems to have resolved itself after it fully loads for the first time and all the updates hit. Although it does worry me a bit, long-term.

Jon Anscher -

That comment probably just saved Apple thousands of dollars lol. Hope you got it fixed, please keep us hesitants posted.

Radwan Kaloti -

I tried both removing all devices (headless) and just the basics. Is there anyway to tell if the power is plugged correctly to the logic board? I mean it looks right, just trying to think of things I could check. The only things I can think of are that the ram is somehow out of alignment in some micro way, (i tried new ram, old ram, wiggling in various directions etc) I didn’t put the power plug back on the logic board correctly or I somehow fried something..

spamsea -

One other thing you might try is powering it on in Recovery mode to confirm there is no software glitch. Have you posted this in the Answers community? There might be more technical folks there to try and help.

Jon Anscher -

Did you get it working spamsea?

Radwan Kaloti -

I had heard that it was necessary for Apple to run some sort of hardware test before new Apple products would be able to run ANY replacement parts. Could this be the reason it doesnt work? Now I’m nervous about trying to upgrade.

Ben DeJong -

Same-ish here. I swapped out the original ram for 32GB (2x16) from Crucial. Then the Mac mini won’t turn on again. I put the old ram back in and it turns on, but only recognizes one slot.

Jarrod -

Well, there is nothing for it, just gotta take it in to the Genius Bar. See if they can tell me what is wrong.

spamsea -

I’m bailing on the upgrade, it’s just not worth the potential hassle. And I thought about it, if ever I need to take it in to Apple for repairs during the apple care warranty, that’s opening and closing it 3 times, RAM in RAM out, might get away with it once, but opening it 3+ times ups the chances to break something.

Radwan Kaloti -

Fixed it.

Problem 1: The ram wasn’t seated properly. It clicks into place a few millimeters before it’s pushed down far enough. Push until the gold connectors are no longer visible at all. Mine seemed like it would break, but it didn’t.

Problem 2: This one was minor, but I had to hold the power button down for 5 or 10 seconds before it turned on. This isn’t usually the case, it’s only after replacing the ram.

Jarrod -

Way to go Jarrod! Thanks for the update. Please post another in a day or two as to how stable everything is. Thanks!

Mike Buettner -

Jarrod - are you still experiencing the power button long hold to start?

Mike Buettner -

Info: Mac Mini 2018 also works with DDR4 2400 Mhz

About this Mac: https://gyazo.com/b203d435cf809b2775abb7...

System Info: https://gyazo.com/21213acd745d5f2d6219c3...

Joerg Michael - Reply

Looks like we have a wait a little while more before we proceed to change those RAMs. The worst fear is bricking the whole system.

Let’s wait for more updates from those who can’t turn on their systems after changing their RAMs.

truecolours1971 - Reply

Plus, if the MM 2018 is able to run various task normally at 8GB of RAM, I don’t see myself upgrading the RAMs until the pricing are much lower. For now, 64GB is about $1,080 at OWC website which is ridiculously priced! Maybe when the MM is able to accept and run 128GB worth of RAM (day dreaming at the moment!), I will buy it! Will only purchase the 64GB RAM when it is less than $500 or less. My take for those who have not upgraded yet, use your MM for now and don’t think of upgrading your RAMs until much later. Upgrading to 32GB will see some improvement but why not wait a couple months and get the 64GB which will max out your system. MM 2018 is still relatively new and iFixit probably need to go through the whole system again to see and retest to make sure whatever we open, will not void out 1-3 years Apple Care Warranty plus brick the whole system.

truecolours1971 -

Yes, anxious to hear how upgraded Minis are working.

Mike Buettner - Reply

What, no antistatic mat and bracelet. If the RAM modules are sensitive to static charges, you should use static protection gear. You can zap a memory chip and never even know you did it until you cannot boot or you get system crashes or other oddnesses.

jferris1119 - Reply

Is there any chance to replace the SSD ?

wyattwong - Reply

Can you use only one slot, e.g. 1x16GB and add another one later (even better 1x32 when those are out)?

beczka - Reply

Thank you for your guide.Great work. I added 2x16GB Crucial and it’s working like a charm. One drawback … I killed the WLAN antenna socket. This one is very very fragile. While putting the cable back on the pin and pushing gently to lock it the whole socket came off. Good that I don’t need the WLAN module and maybe I’m able to buy a new socket somewhere sometimes and solder it back on place …

Markus Müller-Heidelberg - Reply

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