Introduction

Use this guide to replace the hard drive in your hard-drive-only or Fusion Drive Mac mini Late 2014.

This guide was made with a Fusion Drive Mac mini. If your Mac mini only has a hard drive, skip the steps about the PCIe SSD and its connector.

  1. The bottom cover is clipped onto three screw posts.
    • The bottom cover is clipped onto three screw posts.

    • Pry near, but not right on the screw posts.

    Read Me First: I purchased an SSD drive directly from Crucial and, of course, it came uninitialized. After going thru the entire tear down, installing the new drive, and rebuilding the mini, it refused to recognize the new drive. So, of course, I had to re-tear it down, remove the new drive, insert it into an external housing and format it using my Macbook. After that the mini recognized the new drive. A word to the wise: format the new drive before installing it.

    tom - Reply

    How were you installing the OS? I am planning on booting into a USB drive with a copy of OS High Sierra on it, and I assume I will be able to format my new Samsung SSD using that?

    Simon - Reply

    On my Samsung EVO 850, mac mini download system automaticly

    Stefan Repac - Reply

    Pre-formatting is not necessary if you make a USB boot installation drive with macOS installer. During boot up, hold down the option key until the mac boot into the USB, formatting can then be done using disk utility running off the USB drive.

    SBR249 - Reply

    I had the exact same experience as tom. I installed a brand new 2TB Samsung 850 EVO and it was not recognized by the Mac Mini. I booted from a portable USB drive with a bootable copy of macOS High Sierra but the 850 EVO SSD I had just installed was not shown as an option. I tore down the Mac Mini again, formatted the 850 EVO, rebuilt the Mac Mini, and booted off the same bootable High Sierra USB drive, and sure enough the 850 EVO was recognized.

    maxim - Reply

    diskutil list

    diskutil erasedisk [filesystem] [drivename] /dev/disk[disk number]

    Paul Rodgers - Reply

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

    I used some wooden toothpicks instead of the opening tool. This worked flawless for me.

    mhomscheidt - Reply

    • Lift and remove the bottom cover.

    I taped the "Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool" to the flat part of the antenna plate before sealing everything up again. I mean, where else am I supposed to store it without forgetting where it is? I'm pretty sure it won't cause any problems there.

    Richard - Reply

    That’s a brilliant idea, @mrredwood!

    Dan Moore -

    I would suggest you wash the underside of the plastic as mine after 3 years was covered in dust.

    John Errington - Reply

    • Remove the following TR6 screws from the antenna plate:

      • Three 4.1 mm screws

      • Three 1.9 mm screws

    Had a T7 security screw driver [and didn't want to wait to have the T6 version shipped to me], so I gave it a whirl. I lined up the driver with the screw socket, pressed down a bit to make sure the driver would get enough grip, and slowly [but forcefully] rotated the driver and got these screws out. BE CAUTIOUS not to strip the screws. May not work for everyone.

    KevCoStudios - Reply

    As TR6 screwdrivers were sold out all over Germany and I wanted to exchange the HDD THIS friday, I took a VERY fine dental milling tip (0,8 mm head diameter) for my proxxon and milled away the little dots in the center of the the TR6 screws. After that I could open the case with a regular T6 screwdriver. All went fine, MM is closed again + working like a charm with it's new SSD. NOTE: For this task I used my loupe glasses (3x) ;)

    Martin Gerner - Reply

    On the whole screw thing. I just used a tiny dremel drill bit and drilled out the security pin. I hate those screws. I don't see the point in locking the them with those. they should have left the screws alone.

    That Mac Guy - Reply

    That worked for me, thanks for the trick!

    Arroba -

    great trick!

    James Almeida -

    I used the T7 very carefully. No problems.

    randywardak - Reply

    I just had success using standard pliers to remove the longer screw posts, and then I used standard needle nose pliers to press down and grip the tiny screws. Please note that this method may/will cause scrapping of the aluminium cover.

    Barrythetech - Reply

    Northern Tools sells a set of 13 Torx Security Keys for $28.99 that has the TR6 size.

    Gary Craig - Reply

    On my 2nd drive replacement (swapping out to an SSD this time). Could not find my logic board removal tool. So I made another one from a metal coat hanger. So, here’s my tip, when you put it all back together: the logic board removal tool fits around that small black circle antenna perfectly and you can replace the large black cover over the top snuggly. No rattles or anything.. So, next time: I’m guaranteed to find my logic board removal tool.

    Andy Milne - Reply

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

    • With the I/O ports facing you, flip the antenna plate to the right to allow access to the antenna cable connector.

    Add Comment

    • Remove the single 3.4 mm T6 screw and washer from the antenna cable.

      • Be careful not to lose the washer when removing the screw.

    This is a pain in the arse to get back on. Lock the screw down first when reassembling.

    Jim Allen - Reply

    • Use the point of a spudger to lift the antenna connector straight up off its socket on the airport card.

    Is this really necessary? The antenna is no where near the SSD drive....

    mike - Reply

    This was the most tricky part for me when remounting the Mac Mini. With my bad eyes, I’ve spent 10 minutes inserting this tiny round antenna plug in the hole. I’ve decided to put the screw back without tighten it too strongly and then it was easier.

    afajner - Reply

    I have been having wifi issues ever since I changed the drive. I don’t know if this connector is the cause or not.

    Simon - Reply

    I have been having wifi issues ever since I did this upgrade. Don’t know if it’s this connector or not.

    Simon - Reply

    Afajner great rip. Worked great. Thx

    Milton - Reply

    Afajner, your tip worked great. Thanks.

    Milton - Reply

    This is a very fiddly connector. Afajner’s tip is recommended. Make sure the connector is in securely. It will not wiggle or make a ticking sound when pressed when it is seated correctly.

    maxim - Reply

    I had trouble at this point too. My experience: Loosen the screw a bit and than center the antenna plug over the pin. In my case I heard a click when I plugged it in correctly. Don’t forget to tighten the screw afterwards.

    Matthias - Reply

    • Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case.

    Add Comment

    • Remove the antenna plate from the Mac mini.

    Add Comment

    • Remove the two 12 mm T6 screws from the fan.

    • Loosen the 27 mm T6 captive screw.

    That 27mm screw should be very loose, since it attaches the motherboard to the case. When you’re trying to remove the motherboard, if the AC connection side of the board is not moving back easily, you need to make sure this screw is fully backed out from the case.

    There’s no danger in removing it completely.

    marklfarley - Reply

    I suggest removing the 27 mm tool, otherwise Step 23 will not work.

    Arvin Bhatnagar - Reply

    • The fan connector is trapped under the edge of the fan and cannot be disconnected until the fan is moved.

      • Do not attempt to remove the fan entirely.

    • Lift the fan straight up to free the captive screw from its hole in the logic board.

    • Pull the fan away from the SSD until you can easily access the fan connector.

    Add Comment

    • Use the point of a spudger to lift the fan connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board.

    When I did this the entire socket came off the logic board. What do I do now?

    Tyler - Reply

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    • Remove the fan from the Mac mini.

    Add Comment

    • Remove the 2.6 mm T6 screw securing the SATA cable connector bracket.

    This screw is very short, when I tried to put it back, the beginning of its thread got dusted and now it's impossible to use it to fix the bracket in place. It should be 3.5 mm instead of 2.6. Nevertheless, the SATA connector is firmly attached to the logical board withou screw+bracket and my mac mini is working nicely.

    mario.estolano - Reply

    • Remove the SATA cable connector bracket.

    This procedure works to add a SATA hard drive/SSD to a PCIe SSD-only Mac Mini using iFixit's Mac Mini Dual Drive Kit. The one thing that's missing from the kit is SATA cable connector bracket (and screw). This is not the end of the world: the cable is a snug fit in the logic board socket, so the bracket is only a safety measure.

    Dominic Dunlop - Reply

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the SATA cable connector up off of its socket on the logic board.

    Last time I did this I got the tool under the socket and it broke off. This caused the power light not to work. I don’t use the IR function so it wasn’t an issue. When putting this connector back on, make sure it seats well as many have has issues with the the power light not working. You will read more of this on the comments at the bottom

    Greg Bouten - Reply

    • Use the tip of a spudger to disconnect the IR sensor cable connector by prying it straight up from its socket.

    Be careful in this step. I am known for my gentle hands and the little cable flew out regardless. Was able to reinsert with no damage but was terrifying!

    Liliana Chavez - Reply

    What if the entire connector came off? Can this be glued again? How can I fix this?? :(

    Cai - Reply

    @caicruzz The socket will have to be re-soldered to the board. It’s not terribly difficult, but requires some specialized equipment and I wouldn’t recommend it as a DIY on any machine you care about, at least not without a lot of practice first. I’d suggest reaching out to a repair shop that handles board-level repairs. Sorry for the frustration! Accidents happen sometimes; fortunately this one is very fixable.

    Jeff Suovanen -

    • The following three steps only apply to Mac minis equipped with a PCIe SSD. Skip the next three steps if your Mac mini only has a hard drive.

    • Remove the two 2.6 mm T6 screws securing the PCIe SSD cable bracket.

    Steps 18-20 only apply if you are removing a fusion drive. Otherwise skip to step 21 during removal.

    Stephen Reaser - Reply

    • Remove the PCIe SSD cable bracket.

    Add Comment

    • Lift the PCIe SSD connector up off its socket.

    Is the PCIe connector present and usable on the mid-range Mac mini? I don't need the ~$300 fusion drive but would like the comfort of knowing that I can add an extra SSD in the future.

    Michael Johnson - Reply

    No, only present in Mac Minis configured with a fusion drive.

    rasmus - Reply

    Not true. I am looking @ the inside of a mac mini _not_ configured with a fusion drive, and the connector is present.

    Samuel Bostick - Reply

    The PCIe connector is only present if the computer came factory configured with any sort of flash storage (SSD or fusion drive). Otherwise, the cable, the connector, the bracket, and the 2 screws are all missing. The fusion drive is essentially a disk drive plus a small capacity SSD blade which the OS recognizes as a combined drive. Fortunately, if you didn’t have an SSD before, you can easily buy the connector cable part on the internet. The bracket and screws are not necessary.

    SBR249 - Reply

    • Remove the single 16 mm T6 screw securing the logic board.

    Add Comment

    • To remove the logic board, the two cylindrical rods of the Mac mini Logic Board Removal Tool must be inserted into the holes highlighted in red. Inserting instruments into any logic board holes other than the ones highlighted in red may destroy the logic board.

    • Insert the Mac mini Logic Board Removal Tool into the two holes highlighted in red. Be sure the rods make contact with the case under the logic board before proceeding.

    Instead of the removal tool it is also possible to use two metal pins with 2,5mm diameter.

    Yuuki Galaxy - Reply

    A T8 screw driver worked best for me on the 4 hard drive screws.

    rparks89 - Reply

    Yes - You need a T8 there rather than T9.

    amrgardner -

    T9 was a perfect fit for me.

    dloftis -

    T8 screws in my HDD

    aiino - Reply

    You don’t need a tool for this step, just turn the Mac Mini around 180º and push the vent for the fan with your thumbs. The board will push straight out. That’s what I did.

    Daniel De Ciantis - Reply

    Simple thumb-pushing didn’t work for me, so I bought the tool.

    Insert the MMLBRtool. How far? There’s an initial lip you might catch about halfway down, but wiggle beyond the lip to a definite bottoming out, and equal lengths of the tool on each side of the elbows as shown.

    As you lever the logic board per the illustrations, you’ll notice the black bezel begin to separate on one side or the other. Use a prying tool or guitar pick to help separate the bezel from the body on top and bottom, and the logic board will slide out easily with gentle prying.

    On my Mini, the bezel’s retaining clips (best seen in Step 25) were very snug to the body, preventing the thumb-push. Using the pick released them from the body.

    s gardner - Reply

    You definitely don’t need the tool. Just get two screwdrivers small enough to fit in the holes and push them both at the same time. I have about a million tiny torx screwdirvers that came with iphone screen replacement kits. I’m sure you do too.

    Mark2000 - Reply

    • Carefully pull the tool toward the I/O board. The logic board and I/O board assembly should slightly slide out of the outer case.

    • Cease prying when the removal tool makes contact with the opening in the rear case.

    • Remove the Mac mini Logic Board Removal tool.

    I had some trouble getting mine started here. If your logic board seems stuck, try pushing the removal tool on both sides near the bottom (vs the top like the photos show) with your index fingers, holding the case with your ring and pinky fingers so that your hands are completely free of the back of the computer (the side with the ports). This worked for me. Otherwise, this guide made the process smooth!

    moorejeffery - Reply

    The removal tool fits into sockets below the board, just 'lean' the tool over and the logic board will ease out. When refitting the logic board make sure the tabs around the I/O shield slip inside the shell and press home firmly. If the fixing screw does not thread into it's hole, the board is not fully home.

    Malcolm Norwood - Reply

    This is what worked for me!

    Rick Allen -

    Make sure you do *not* have your thumbs on the black plastic I/O shield while attempting this step!

    Stephen Reaser - Reply

    I was able to push the logic board out, with a little bit of stress and patience, without the specified tool. Rather I used two paper clips, larger than average, and being very gentle to get the initial nudge. I then finished it off using only my fingers, as the paper clips were not strong enough and would have bended. Doable, but probably easier with the tool.

    mt - Reply

    Even with the tool - it takes more force than you think. There are clips on both sides of the board. Be aware of that when putting it back.

    Jim Allen -

    I used 2 mini flathead screwdrivers with the same thickness as the holes with the heads aligned straight up and down. They will fit into little sockets attached to the case below the board. The side with the power cord came out much easier than the side with the headphone jack, so I removed the tools after a small gap was created and pushed semi-hard on the logic board with a broken spudger (a screwdriver would have worked, too) right in the elbow curve shown to the left of the screw in step 14, and the whole thing slid right out.

    unixmonkey1 - Reply

    I saw a video where a guy just used a coat hanger to make his own tool. Good to know in case you've already started taking it apart and haven't already purchased the tool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgEBPlz4...

    James Almeida - Reply

    The coat hanger trick worked flawlessly for me. Very easy.

    Jochen -

    May be its me, but I had a right issue with this, I then noticed the screw I loosened in step 10 was bending over. I removed the screw completely, logic board came out, and the metal pillar on the underneath of the board where said screw went in was bent. When I put it all back together afterwards after changing the drive, that long screw was bend, on straightening everything up, the pillar snapped off the logic board. Everything tightened up and its booted up fine. It might just me not following the instructions properly though

    steve - Reply

    Same here. The screw has to be backed out further than I thought. This should maybe be clearer.

    marklfarley -

    For me the screw loosened in step 10 came out with the fan. it "should" be a captive screw meaning it doesn't stay in when the fan comes out

    Bill Pennock - Reply

    I had 2 complete sets of allen wrenches, one metric and one standard and found one each that fit the holes perfectly. With those I was able to find the "pry spots" that are on the base of the case very easily and a slight nudge moved the board. really worked EXCELLENTLY

    Bill Pennock - Reply

    My logic board was hung up on the left side with the plastic retainer or the two grounding tabs not giving up the ghost. There is no good picture of this on this procedure. If you go the the heat sink replacement procedure you can see a pretty good bit of it below the presenter’s right thumb in the opening pic and in a larger pic at step 27. Not that the logic board assembly can move much while seated I was able to shift (ever so slightly) the black plastic backside to the right and the board finally unlatched and came out. I was so worried that I was going to over force it and break something, you know, like the logic board. Not sure if I have a solution other than don’t force it. If it seems hard and one side seems to have a screw or other some such locking device stop forcing it and try shifting the logic board to the side opposite were it is catching.

    Eric Jorgensen - Reply

    I had an issue during reassembly where the AC in socket was just offset and would not line up correctly. I inserted the power cord (unplugged from wall) as I did the final push and everything finally lined up right.

    Austin McGuire - Reply

    One thing about sliding the assembly board in, i.e. when you are doing the steps backwards, is that there is squishy pad on left and clip on the righ (when viewing mac mini from bottom) if you carefully observe and then it becomes easy to get the assembly in or out if you think about it.

    Trushar - Reply

    • Pull the DC-In cable connector straight out of its socket on the logic board.

    When reassembling, I made the mistake of pushing the logic board all the way in before trying to reattach the DC-In cable connector. It is much easier to reattach the connector with the logic board pushed in just short of final seating.

    Saqib Qazi - Reply

    Very usefull comment!!!

    Jean-Marie Sengelen -

    very small needle-nose pliers help, when reassembling.

    allanschwartz - Reply

    • Carefully slide the logic board assembly out of the Mac mini, minding any cables that may get caught.

    When sliding the logic board assembly back in later, mind the tabs, especially those at each end.

    Richard - Reply

    When sliding the logic board back in, also be careful and make sure the rubber “sock” on the logic board wraps around the AC-in socket on the power supply.

    Anton - Reply

    If you can’t get the logic board assembly back in so that it is flush (as it was before you did your surgery on the machine) then I would pay attention to two things: 1) the “sock.” Make sure it is back in place in the right way. I wish I could tell you which way that is but because there is no picture I had to guess and I can’t remember what my guess was now. 2) the retaining clip in step 26. I was unable to properly seat the logic board back into the machine so that it was flush UNTIL I fooled around with the clip and, I GUESS, put it in properly this time. After I did that I was able to properly push the logic board back into place.

    Christopher Todd - Reply

    • The AC-in socket is secured with a small metal retaining clip.

    • Use tweezers or your fingers to pull the clip away from the AC-in socket, and remove it from the Mac mini.

    • When replacing the clip, push it in until it stops—it should be secure even if there is no audible click.

    Be careful with this seemingly easy step. A few weeks after following this guide to replace my hard drive I noticed that something inside the Mac mini was loose and moving around. I was very annoyed but decided to open it again to have a look and it turned out the be the retaining clip.

    I think I damaged it a little bit and it's not holding into place firmly like it is supposed to anymore. I wonder if I can remove it completely in case it happens again.

    Franck Thomas - Reply

    This re-install of the clip was surprisingly pesky, I agree. The AC-in socket wanted to sit too far towards the edge of the case, so the retaining clip couldn't be slipped on far enough to close fully around it. I had to push the AC socket to the left while sliding the clip to the right until the wings were really securely closed.

    Jon Scott - Reply

    I fully agree with the pesky nature of this clip. During my reinstall I noticed that the logic board assembly would not go back in flush with the metal case. Nothing I did changed that. I had to pull out the logic board assembly again and for some reason I decided to futz with the clip. I think I must have re-seated it a little bit better because I was then able to push the assembly back into place and make it flush again. This pin is a PITA!

    Christopher Todd - Reply

    I ageee. When it popped loose I thought I broke it. My retaining clip disappeared but that plug is very tight.. it’s not budging. Take the time to make sure it’s aligned properly - there are little indents in the top and bottom of the case. You’ll know it’s right if you don’t have to fight it.

    Jim Allen - Reply

    I don’t understand why this retaining clip is necessary. The AC-in “latch” is positioned by the grove in the case, and quite tight. The power supply is keyed in the back, and attached with the (step 29) screw. I can’t see the retaining clip doing anything, so I will leave it out.

    allanschwartz - Reply

    • To free the power supply from the case, grab the AC-In connector, which acts like a latch.

    • Rotate the AC-In connector 90 degrees counter-clockwise.

    Add Comment

    • The AC-In latch should fit into the groove above it in the case.

    • During reassembly ensure the power supply is inserted far enough into the case that the latch will engage with the groove.

    "During reassembly ensure the power supply is inserted far enough into the case that the latch will engage with the groove." -- Tip: Flip the case upside down and wiggle the power supply a bit to get it seated properly so the screw hole lines up.

    Brad Bowers - Reply

    • Remove the 8 mm T6 screw securing the power supply.

    During reassembly, leave this a bit loose so that you can wiggle the AC-in latch into place in step 28

    Sandip Bhattacharya - Reply

    • Slide the power supply out of the mini, minding any cables that may get caught.

    When re-seating the PSU, be sure to align the little metal tab that points toward of the front of the Mac Mini so that it mates with the receiving socket at the front of the case. If not, the light at the front of the case that glows white when the Mac Mini is in various power states will not illuminate.

    maxim - Reply

    • Remove the single 8 mm T6 screw securing the drive tray.

    Add Comment

    • Lift the drive tray up out of the Mac mini.

    When re-installing drive tray, note two holes in tray engage two spuds at the far end. I fumbled with this for a minute.

    Jon Scott - Reply

    • Remove the four (two on each side) 6.5 mm T8 screws securing the hard drive to the drive tray.

    Like others, a T8 screw driver worked best for me on the 4 hard drive screws.

    sorinjc - Reply

    it is t8 not t9. you owe me a TR6 Torx Security bit :D

    giammin - Reply

    I found the 4 screws quite hard to remove and needed to use an 8mm spanner on the back of my T8 screwdriver to get them loose.

    Reiner Friedel - Reply

    Screws have loctite residue. I put a tiny drop of fresh blue (semi-permanent) on each screw before reinstalling.

    Jon Scott - Reply

    T9 was the right one for mine

    Bill Pennock - Reply

    T9 Torx from recommended barely allowed me to remove these screws. I had to press very strong them into screws, so that pressure and minimal adhesion made it possible to move something.

    Vitalijs Ozornins - Reply

    T8 was more appropriate for me !!!

    afajner - Reply

    The instructions at the top recommend a T9 but the link plops a TR9 into your basket. In any event, the T8 works better.

    tom - Reply

    T8 was also good for me. Mini was manufactured in 2016 October.

    soul.tan - Reply

    TR7 did the job.

    Benni Piron - Reply

    • Lift the hard drive up and remove it from the drive tray.

    • During reassembly, be sure to thread the hard drive cable through the slot in the drive tray.

    Add Comment

    • Lift up the ribbon cable and carefully peel away the black tape underneath, which secures the SATA cable connector to the hard drive.

    • Pull the SATA cable connector straight out of the hard drive.

    • Carefully peel off the two black, square-shaped sticky pads (one visible in picture) from the corners of the hard drive, and stick them to your new hard drive in the same locations.

    The bottom of the hard drive SATA Connector had a bit of black tape on it holding the Mac SATA connection to the bottom [circuit board side] of the hard drive itself.

    Check to see if yours has this as well before applying too much force removing the SATA connector from the hard drive.

    KevCoStudios - Reply

    Are there any temperature sensors glued to the HD as in the previous versions of the mini?

    Matias -

    I found the SATA cable itself glued to the drive. Once I pulled the cable up and away from the PCB, I found a piece of black tape (as mentioned by KevCoStudios) holding the connectors together.

    dloftis - Reply

    This tape is critical. For some reason, apple supplied a very loose fitting SATA connector. Tape is required to keep the HD attached.

    James Billy - Reply

    %#*@, got this far all ok, but didn't notice the tape and pulled too hard, ripping the metal pins out of the connector! Where can I find a replacement part?

    Sky Willmott - Reply

    Did the same thing, wondering if you ever found a replacement?

    Alex Boyd -

    I did the same thing. I found a replacement on Amazon using the serial number printed on the underside of the connector. It worked like a charm.

    Anthony Califano -

    This guide is almost perfect aside from the omission of a picture of that well-hidden adhesive. I've seen it on other Apple SATA connectors, but it's been a few months and I didn't think about it today.

    Please someone upload a picture of the adhesive on the PCB side of the drive. I'll gladly do it myself when I next open a 2014 Mac Mini, but I've no idea when I'll get to open another one.

    I also struggled mightily for about 15 minutes before finding the small black tape. Like a jerk, I forgot to take close up pictures while I had it apart :-

    I was probably 5 minutes away from breaking off the SATA connector by prying too hard using a spudger on each edge of the cable.

    If anyone has pictures, hopefully they can upload here to help out others.

    This mac mini was significantly different from previous minis I've worked on, the guide saved me A LOT of time.

    Thanks for the great writeup!

    Daniel Cassel - Reply

    @rebootninja I bought mine last december the 500GB model and just ordered the tools and a Sandisk SSD Plus, I could send pictures of the tape when i do it myself. Im not sure when. Since i'm living in Maldives, orders from ebay and online takes 3-5 weeks to arrive. However, i shall keep a note of what you have mentioned here. I have read the guide twice now and now i think im quite ready to perform the surgery when the tools arrive :)

    Mohamed Malik - Reply

    Cable looked to have been glued down with just a spot of RTV (silicone.) Easy enough to peel slowly with spudger. Ordinary RTV is corrosive to electronics so if you add fresh, make sure it's electronic-safe. I also reinforced the black tape on re-assembly with a strip of Kapton tape, and burnished well with spudger.

    Jon Scott - Reply

    If you still need the images for the sticker.....

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wq8vxwejqjbm0...

    Thanks for the guide.

    Leo Rudolph - Reply

    In order to avoid any kind of issue to the SATA cable, I suggest to warming the part. A hairdryer could works for the scope.

    Claudio - Reply

    Tough to see the 2 black stick pads. Noticed them on the old hard drive after I reassembled everything with a 1TB Samsung SSD. Don’t think I need the pads as SSD has no moving parts. Would be good if the author circled the 2 pads on the HD.

    Phatcat - Reply

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

526 other people completed this guide.

Sam Lionheart

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Hello, the following hard drive goes on the Mac Mini ??

http://www.sandisk.de/products/ssd/sata/...

schneiderschutzraum - Reply

no problem. but if you can get a evo 850 or a pro for the 2014 is better

Carlos De Bernard -

Wow! Even though it cost a bunch ($1500 US), I'm glad I got the fully loaded (16G, I7, 2TB) Mac Mini. I guess when I can get a 4TB drive that someone can install (I have used MCE Tech for other upgrades), I might do that.

Martin Cohen - Reply

All in all, this was a fairly terrifying process, however this guide was a massive help! Thankyou!!

geeksix - Reply

Ordered kit which arrived very quickly from Germany to UK. Only problem with taking it apart was with the IR sensor was difficult to lift up and I ended up pulling the whole fitting off glued it back on but now have no working IR sensor or front light but everything else works fine. Swapped SLOW HDD for SSD and now my Mac MIni is flying.

Andrew - Reply

Sam - i bought the tools and followed your guide and everything went very well - the steps were clear and precise. The only problem I am having now is that the Mac Mini format my new EVO SSD as though it were a Fusion Drive with two partitions. Is there any way around this?

Thanks,

Steve Maiorano - Reply

How do I know what SSD drive will be compatible?

godurbin - Reply

Samsung EVO 850 is compatible. 1 year ago I manage to replace mac mini’s HDD with this SSD and only what I need to do is sit back and wait that Mac do the job, macOS is downloaded automatically

Stefan Repac -

could you suggest a good replacement drive?

godurbin - Reply

You can find a list of compatible drives at the top of this guide.

Jeff Suovanen -

Hello. I have this sdd: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BQ8...

Do you know if I could use it in a mac mini late 2014?

Daniel Luiz Costa - Reply

If I buy a SSD only Mac mini, can I add a SATA hard drive??

Zhenfu Shi - Reply

i was wondering the same, did you find it out?

Francesco -

Yes, you can. You'll need a Mac mini-compatible SATA cable but these are readily available online for under a fiver. (Alternatively, of course, you could add a second SSD.)

Roger Houghton -

Hi,

I have mac mini 2014 i5 2.6 GHz model.

Will it support Kingston SSDNow V300 SV300S37A/240G 240GB SATA III 2.5-Inch for upgrade and also will it supports trim support ?

Arul Jeba - Reply

After replacing to full ssd, my mac works great, but the mac mini front light does not come on at all...anybody know why or a fix?

alejandro begines - Reply

Realign the power supply. You should hear a definitive click.

Jim Allen -

Very good step by step. Thanks.

I passed from 1min15s to 12s booting time !

Nicolas Gaillet - Reply

Many thanks for the excellent details in this guide, swapped out for an SSD in a flash!

Jonathan Millsted - Reply

do you know if i can add 2 hdisks (a ssd 500 gb + a sata one) with the dual drive kit?

Francesco -

Thank U very much, very useful!

Javier Vitorero - Reply

Hello! Just a quick question:

Right now i have a mac mini 2012 with the ifixit dual drive kit (1 samsung 850 pro 500 gb and 1tb 5400 rpm disk), can i buy the 2016 model (2014?) and put my kit on the new mac? Should i buy the fusion drive version or the ssd one?

is the ram replaceable?

thanks!

Francesco - Reply

Hi,

As far as I know, you cannot use your kit on the latest Mac Mini.

If you buy a Fusion Drive version, you will have an SSD on a Mini-PCIe connector, that will not be here if you do not take the fusion drive.

No, the RAM is soldered on the motherboard.

Regards

Nicolas Gaillet -

Just an update - I have the late 2014 model and it works fine.

Jim Allen -

I have a question for SSD variant.

If i order mac mini from apple with SSD (PCIe variant i hope) there should be empy space where normal HDD should be. Is that correct? Can you verify or deny that?

That could be the way how to get two disks inside once owc release their new ssd's.

Thank you

jakub - Reply

I was wondering the same :) I was thinking to buy the SSD version and then adding 1 Tb disk to the SATA controller, it could be a good solution.

Let know if you find it out :)

Francesco -

If I buy the 512 GB SSD version, can I put an additional disk to the SATA controller? For example, If I buy the Samsung 850 pro 1 Tb, can I use it together with the original 512 pcie SSD? Thanks

Francesco - Reply

Thank you, it was a walk in the park. I only encountered two problems: step 24, pulling the DC-in cable out and step 27 (on the reverse operation), making the AC connector back into the horizontal position. Also, the metallic clip from step 26 is a ##&&% to put back on, especially because there is no feedback if the clip is in the original position.

stefan - Reply

Fantastic guide. Got the job done & the mac mini is now flying. Thank you!

Milind Kanetkar - Reply

I've just purchased the Mac Mini do these instructions apply to the late 2015 model?

Neil Henderson - Reply

There isn't a late 2015 model, the last model they made so far is the late 2014.

twhitten -

Dont buy the economy TR9 it wont fit in the screws, you have to strip them away a little bit to even get the TR9 economy in.

twhitten - Reply

I just installed the Samsung EVO Pro 850 512gb SSD into my HDD slot as i purchased a HDD model of the mac mini only. This SSD works like a charm, my boot time before with the 5400rpm HDD was nearly 2 minutes, with this SSD it is now down to 9 seconds! I highly recommend updating your mac mini if its an HDD only with an SSD as it will speed it up tremendously!

The teardown wasn't bad at all, i had tore down in 15 minutes and had it put back together in 15 minutes. The only trouble i had was taking out the HDD, Ifixit sent me a TR9 instead of just a T9 and the TR9 is bigger, it wouldn't fit but i stripped away at the screws and finally made it work!

twhitten - Reply

twhitten are you experience any compatibility issues with it. I Just just ordered the tools via iFixit. And now i'm looking for an SSD and the Samsung EVO Pro 850 is the number one on my list. Asking cause some on youtube are saying it as compatibility issues with mac minis...!

Thanks In Advance..!

Mohamed Malik -

Clear Guide Thank You !

william petreman - Reply

I followed the instructions and replaced my HD with and SSD - well worth it.

However, several glitches along the way:

1. The TR9 screwdriver I purchased from iFixit sucks. The handle turns but the shaft doesn't. The screws holding the original HD to the tray were so tight, I had to go to Geek Squad to have them removed.

2. It wasn't clear what the power supply clip held in place. I managed to get it back in, but I'm not sure it is holding anything.

3. It was not clear if the tape holding the SATA cable connector to the original HD was needed for the new SSD (It wasn't). I ripped it while taking it off.

4. The DC-In connector to the logic board would not come out using fingers - not much room to get fingers in. Had to pry it off using a flat head screwdriver.

David Marks - Reply

Can I use the same sshd but it has 2tb instead of 1tb? I wanna replace the 2tb but i wonder if it is compatible with the mac mini late 2014. My specs i5 ram 16gb, 1th hdd 5400rpm. thank you!

link from amazon https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Firecuda-...

TUAN TRAN - Reply

Done it....it went flawlessly....

Mohamed Malik - Reply

Absolutely wonderful guide. I've built/torn down/reassembled a ton of PCs in my life, but this was more like solving a puzzle. Thanks for the help, I probably would have broken something without it!

Andrea Gatley - Reply

Thanks to this guide it was quite easy to replace the awful slow harddrive with a fast ssd. I think I got a new computer. Thank you very much for this guide.

dirk hampel - Reply

1. Will Samsung -850 Pro SSD work with Mac mini 2014.?

https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-850-PRO-2...

2. How many SSD slots and HDD slot are there.?

3. If i order Mac Mini with HDD then if there is another slot for SSD then can i install SSD and use it as fusion.?

vip - Reply

After I got a quality TR6 it only took approximately 20 minutes to teardown and an additional 10 to put back together. New 2014 Mac Mini MGEN2LL/A (i5 2.6ghz 8gb ram 1tb 5400rpm hard drive) took 46sec to go from button push to login screen. Swapped in 500gb Samsung 840 SSD, which now takes 19sec from button push to login screen. Prior to swapping the internal drive, I used the same Samsung SSD in an external USB3 drive enclosure - took 35sec to login.

Nathan Church - Reply

Thanks for the instruction !

They helped me swap the HD out for a nice SSD, and install the UpTone Audio MMK adaptor and fan control upgrade (separate walk thru).

I ran into a few issues, that others have mentioned, but nothing I couldn't figure out. The only thing I needed that wasn't in the he MMK took kit, was a good pair of tweezers.

Dave Ayers - Reply

Thanks for the guide - the key is to follow the instructions to the word, read all the comments and take your time. It's difficult to know how much force to use especially when detaching the IR and DC connector.

Nicholas Kutner - Reply

the retaining bolts for the drive chassis are definitely T8's, not T9

placebomessiah - Reply

I have the latest Mac mini (latest 2014) and it has a 1TB fusion drive, but I would like to install a second one (Samsung 850 PRO - 512GB - 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE512BW)), as the primary HD. Is it possible with the ifixit dual drive kit?

Tulio Guimaraes - Reply

I would also like to know what tools to by. I have the 1Tb normal drive and i would also like to add a 2ssd

Dmitrij Moreinis - Reply

Just did this and it worked so well - I bought the ifixit parts because the extra $20 or so was worth it to make this an easy job. Hardest part - getting the AC connector back in, and then reseating the logic board - the instructions don't mention to push in the tabs on the sides as it goes back in. Booted right up - super fast - thanks for the help ! I bought the T6 driver, the special logic board tool and several spudgers. They were all VERY helpful.

David Bott - Reply

Do you really need TR torx drivers or will regular non-tamper-resistant ones work?

R C - Reply

The initial screws in the bottom of the Mac Mini are TR6 screws, which have the security post, so a Torx 6 security is a must. The other T6 and T9 screws are non-security, however, security versions will work fine.

Sam Lionheart -

Awesome guide. It looked daunting but I did it with my 9yo son and it was actually really easy. There were a couple of steps where you needed small fingers for sure. My old HDD (1TB 5400 RPM) tested with Black Magic showed Read/Write speeds of 30-30 MB/s. With a Crucial 1TB SSD hooked up via USB (in a cheap little enclosure) it was 41 MB/s. Same SSD installed inside the Mac Mini: 350-390 MB/s read and 420-480 MB/s write. And it absolutely flies compared to the stock drive. I ended up ordering the parts from Amazon because iFixIt was out of the T9. Wish I could contribute some money to iFixit or Sam, because this was an incredibly valuable guide. (Let me know if/how I can!)

Pro tip: I used one of those pill boxes with compartments for every day of the week, to store the screws from each step. That way I'd make sure to use the correct screws when reassembling.

R C - Reply

I did too (use one of those pillboxes)! Each step I used one pillbox. It worked like a charm!

Christopher Todd -

Hello, I just follow this guide and on my Mac Mini there was no SSD to remove so it was easier but I have to tell people who are missing some tools that there are few ways to overcome it. For the whole tutorial I just used my iFixIt 54 Bit driver. It's really handy and I never stumbled upon a screw I couldn't screw while having it ! To remove the back cover I used an old postcard (rigid paper/cardboard) and instead of pushing on one point I slided the paper around the side of the back cover ! Also, to remove the connectors just use a flat screwdriver and be gentle, it usually works great. Finally, to remove the motherboard, I started by using iron wire but I bent kappa so instead I went with ye ol' thumb switcharoo which consist simple of pushing with both thumbs on the black ventilation thing. Just push gently and don't push sideways or it will destroy the ventilation. Also, don't forget to remove the black sticker on the SATA connector !

sam - Reply

Fantastic guide! Thanks to the author and those who also contributed on the comments. What seemed like a daunting task was made much easier because of you.

Chris Arevalo - Reply

Just did my Mac Mini. Everything went without a hitch except the putting in the last screw to hold the antenna connector back down broke. Put a dab of silicon on it.

David Trotsky - Reply

Nice procedure. I did screw up bad though and managed to rip off the fan connector from the mobo because I did not take the time to read the part about lifting the connector out of the socket. I thought it slid out, not up. Ooops. I didn't have the mobo removal tool, so I fabricated one out of a metal coat hanger, and it worked perfectly. In the end, my mobo was dead anyway due to a corrupt EFI, so even though I damaged the fan connector, I didn't lose anything. I learned a good lesson and I will know what pitfalls to avoid next time. Tools I used: ifixit 64-bit driver kit, spudger, tweezers, coat hanger and diagonal cutters (to cut the coat hanger).

Patrick - Reply

Where can I get the sata flex cable for the 2014 mini? I have a PCI flash drive installed and an empty bay for a second hard drive, so I need the flex cable. Do the ones from the 2012 minis work?

tmilwaukee - Reply

Just followed this procedure through and have to say it helped enormously. I hadn't got the motherboard extraction tool so made one out of a wire coat hanger bent to shape, the diameter of the wire was spot on. Worked a treat, however it does require quite a bit of force which is un-nerving, but once you have created a gap between the back panel (Black Bit) and the casing you can get your thumb and or finger nails in there and pull it out the rest of the way. 480GB Sandisk Ultra II installed and what a difference it makes to performance. Cloned the disc first using Carbon Copy to the SSD on an external USB SATA docking station, tested by booting from the USB SSD first to check all was OK, then performed the swap over. Thanks for the Teardown guys.

Nick Franklin - Reply

Nearly flawless instructions. I replaced the default 5400 RPM 1TB hard disk with a Samsung EVO 850 500GB SSD (2.5” drive style). Everything went off without a hitch, the computer is fast, and everything (including front light) works great.

Thank you.

(Two quick things: 1. There’s a black sticker that looks like a rounded rectangle that holds the SATA connector to the hard drive itself. Remove that and replace it on the new drive. 2. The antenna cable is difficult to get back on. I’ve done many of these on other Macs. Put the screw back in first and line it up. Be gentle. Persist. You’ll get it.)

Kent - Reply

Hello,

I have Mac mini late 2014 with 16GB RAM and 2TB Fusion Drive. Working with this fusion drive is quite odd. Do you know is it possible to change this fusion drive with 2 TB SSD?

Best regards

Christo

Leopolde Saroyan - Reply

Hard drive needs to be formatted first. I bought a usb 3—to—SATA 2.5” dock, formatted the drive and it worked. Before that disk utility and Mac OS High Sierra could not see the drive.

Neil Grogan - Reply

My hard drive failed on my Mac Mini Model A1347. I want to replace it with a simple 500gb drive and then sell it.

1) What drive should I buy?

2) Is it easy to replace the hard drive?

3) Is it worth replacing the hard drive before selling it or just let the buyer deal with it?

Thanks!

Michael Goldberg - Reply

Hello, I have an SSD-only 2014 mini; Is it possible to add a HDD using your “Mac Mini Dual Drive Kit”, which is reported to be only compatible with 2011 and 2012 mini? Should I also buy your “Mac mini A1347 (Late 2014) Drive Tray”? Or something else?

Thanks

tartiflette - Reply

Yes, I’ve got the same Mini and my second unit is a Crucial SSD. Very easy to do!

JuanjoSVQ -

finally completed this task after delaying for about a month plus (waiting the tools arrived from my friend. Must say that it pretty tough job given that how much i dislike the tiny-winy things inside it.

Syahmie Ramley - Reply

Seeing the same issue as some others, power light not showing on even though everything else works. Anyone found the cause (and associated fix) for this ?

thanks

SSACP - Reply

Seeing the same issue as some others here, no power light. Everything else works just no light. Anyone found the cause (and associated fix) for this ?

thanks

SSACP - Reply

Hi, I had the same problem for the power light. The culprit was the IR sensor cable at step 17, that gives power also the light. When I reinsert it the very last pin on the left side (see photo at step 17) was not fully fitted. I fit it completely and the power light turned back. Hope it helps! Sorry for my english!

Corrado Pissarello -

I did this !!! Many thanks to Sam and iFixit, as the mini was pretty well unusable with its original HDD after upgrading to High Sierra. I replaced it with a Crucial MX300 SSD and it now purrs quite happily. My only bodge was to use a bit of welding rod bent to shape as the logic board lever tool.

I formatted the SSD to a GUID partition map first of course then fitted it and ran the High Sierra upgrade which updates to APFS… blah blah blah but you know it makes sense.

Thanks again iFixit and Sam Lionheart

Steve Clen-Murphy - Reply

These tear down notes were awesome. Replacing my HDD with the Samsung SSD 850 EVO went very well! Great instructions.

I however am not able to set the partition scheme to GUID. I’m not sure if I missed that step in the first time I formatted the SSD. Now when I go to disk utilities there is NO OPTION for setting the partition scheme to GUID. Mac OS X will not install without the scheme set to GUID.

CAN ANYONE HELP ME? Is it possible to force the reformat/erase in disk utility, or some other utility to set the partition scheme to GUID?

I do have my old HDD connected to my Mac mini via a SATA/USB cable and am able to boot from it.

There is not “media line” in DU, so the option to re-partition the SSD is not even there.

If anyone could point me to the right information that would help me greatly. Thanks.

Philip Schroeder - Reply

Figured it out.

Upset at myself. I’ve run into this before, it was just “one little thing”. In Disk Utility the media is NOT always visible by default. You need to click on the VIEW icon to select SHOW ALL DEVICES. This one little step, if missed, can create a bit of frustration. The Samsung 850 EVO is working great, formatted. It has transformed the mac mini into a whole new experience.

Philip Schroeder -

These instructions were great! I was able to successfully upgrade my Mac mini with a 1TB HDD to a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD in about an hour. I took my time and made sure I followed each step exactly and it went very smoothly. My Mac mini is now much faster and I was surprised that it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. The iFixit tools made the job really easy. Anyone who has a Mac mini with a HDD should definitely get an SSD and do this upgrade. Thanks!

Neal Narkis - Reply

Great guide, even if it looks intimidating you won’t regret switching out that slooooooow HDD for a SSD. Took me 50 minutes. Now my Mac mini is flying. Also, great support from ifixit (missing one tool in my order that was quickly sent to me) FIVE STARS *****

Richard Olsson - Reply

I've heard that if you are upgrading from a Mac mini 2014 model with only a HDD, you will need to buy the PCIe cable to replace it with an SSD. Is that the case or is the cable already there?

Josh - Reply

I did not have to replace anything. The Samsung 860 EVO swapped out seamlessly with the existing hard drive, with no additional cables necessary.

Frank Hughes -

Einfach nur super beschrieben. Danke.

KB - Reply

Another great guide! I split my Fusion Drive and replaced the HDD with a 1TB SSD with no issues. Thanks!

kevmacmills - Reply

Worked great. Just needed to partition the drive. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/650...

Micah Thompson - Reply

30 Min, Everything went well. SSD Replaced, Thanks very much :D

John Grace - Reply

A TR8 Security Torx could be used to put off the firts screws thats says it with a TR6 Security?

Carlos Agustin Guanipa Alvarez - Reply

Piece of cake.

Petr Šavelka - Reply

35 min. Everything went well. The hardest part was reconnect DC in cable with pudgy fingers. Installed 2TB Firecuda drive no problems. Thanks!

gyu - Reply

hi is it possible i can i add 2 ssd to this? mini is 2014 with 1tb hdd.

nickmcken - Reply

Upgraded my 2014 model with a Sandisk 512 SSD and it went flawless, thank you for the info and tools!!!

Kimberly Horspool - Reply

Can i replace the 1TB Fushiondrive with a nomal 2TB HDD?

adiglauser - Reply

On the money. Took 22 mins from start to finish. Thanks for the easy to follow guide. New life for my mini with a SSD.

lenharpd - Reply

Indispensable guide. I used it and the iFixit tools in conjunction with a YouTube video and the process was scary but surprisingly easy. (After all, I understand these things are originally assembled by 10-year olds.) I swapped out the 500gb hard drive on my infuriatingly slow late 2014 Mac Mini with a 500gb Samsung 860 EVO SSD and I am frankly astonished at the gain in speed. It is like having a brand new computer. I spent less than $150, including the drive and the iFixit tools. Far less cursing in my house now, I thank you for such a clear, concise guide.

Frank Hughes - Reply

This guide was indispensable. I have a 2014 (late? mid? I can’t remember and I can’t find out because the machine is literally downloading the new OS in recovery mode as I type (on my MBP)) MacMini. Before the surgery, my Mini had the 1GB HD that it came with. Needless to say, it was painfully slow. I purchased the tools recommended on this site and followed all of the instructions. In the end I installed a brand new 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSD HD in my MacMini. Thus far everything seems to be working correctly. Hopefully, I will get the speed gain that I understand comes from swapping out a spinning drive for an SSD. I’m so excited!

Thanks iFixit.

Christopher Todd - Reply

I just want to follow-up. I have been using the computer with the new SSD in it and I can’t believe what a difference it has made. Frank Hughes wrote that it was like having a brand new computer and I am in FULL agreement with him. Prior to the SSD it would take perhaps a minute or more to open word or excel. Now the icon literally bounces AT MOST 5 times and the application is open and ready to go. This goes for all of my other apps too: iTunes (which seems to open nearly instantly now), Pixelmator, Acrobat, etc. I rarely wanted to open anything on that machine because it took FOREVER! The entire thing was sluggish; it took forever to process anything. The startup time has dropped DRAMATICALLY! It went from minutes to less than one. I could go on . . . .

Anyhow, I would recommend this upgrade to ANYONE! DO IT! You won’t be disappointed.

Christopher Todd - Reply

非常感谢, 已经成功更换硬盘

pal_xie - Reply

What tools do I need to transfer the OS to the new drive?

Sam Curcio - Reply

@sfcurcio : Get some form of USB 3 enclosure, and you can boot to the recovery menu, and use Disk Utility. At least, that worked for me to go from a 1TB HDD to Crucial MX500 1TB SSD. There are various guides online on how to clone your boot drive.

You can then use the USB enclosure for the old drive, and use it for backups and such.

Great guide - a bit scary at times, but worth it in the end.

Bill Somerville - Reply

I’d like to put a 3TB drive in this machine, but it’s 15mm tall. Will that fit or is it too thick?

Mark2000 - Reply

It might sound crazy but it took me 45 min - to an hr to finish. One thing about sliding the assembly board in, i.e. when you are doing the steps backwards, is that there is squishy pad on left and clip on the righ (when viewing mac mini from bottom) if you carefully observe and then it becomes easy to get the assembly in or out if you think about it. Also I had congested nose that dad and my kid had a cold as well so she was getting cranky. I couldn’t resist but had Glenfeddich 14year old while doing the upgrade to 480gb ssd to a 2014 Mac mini. So it is not so bad. Just watch the views couple of times, be gentle and question your action before executing it. You will do absolutely fine.

Trushar - Reply

Great job on this write up. Made the job less painful.

Jim Allen - Reply

For my mid-2011 Mac Mini I had to skip steps and read comments to know that. This guide was step by step on the money for me.

For those, thinking about getting a regular hard drive ONLY versus a fusion drive which is your SATA + SSD; I highly recommend the added $100 for the fusion drive. Here is why. When you replace that spinning disk with your own SSD, the chasis has that extra SSD attached to it. That translates into even more SSD storage you can partition/reformat and use!

Anyways, AWESOME write-up. I have the Mac Mini removal tool, the splunger, and 64 bit driver kit. All worth the money, IMHO.

Arvin Bhatnagar - Reply

Awesome guide, I did it several times already and no problems so far. But now I have to upgrade MacMinis right after ordering them, i.e. WITHOUT EVER STARTING them from their original HDD. I wonder if this will cause problems with the MacOS that I install later (serial number registration or whatever..)? Has anyone ever tried this?

Thanks for any information!

Tobias Münch - Reply

I just did this with a new system never having booted it. Power on while holding T key to get virgin mini in target mode. Connect mini by thunderbolt cable to 2nd mac where the unformatted SSD also is located in a SATA dock. Use SuperDuper to clone the mini’s factory image onto the SSD. Cleanly unmount/eject/disconnect everything. Install SSD using these instructions. First real boot of new mini runs initial setup from SSD just as if Apple had shipped it that way. All this worked for me on the first try. One could do this in reverse order - install SSD first then clone factory image back into the mini using target mode, but I thought it was safer to capture the image before taking anything apart.

Steve D -

Great guide, thanks. Followed this step by step and successfully had the Mac up and running in about 30 minutes.

I dropped a 1TB Crucial MX500 in to replace the stock 1TB HDD. World of difference! And so quiet.

I have used iFixit to replace memory and HDD in 2007 MBP, 2009 Mac Mini, and now this 2014 Mini. These guides are invaluable, the fact that you list all the tools at the beginning is fantastic. Your service is the best!

bowersrob - Reply

Great guide. Thank you.

Restore from Time Machine couldn’t find the new SSD. So I switched to disk utility and chose ‘erase’ with option APFS.

Back to ‘Restore from Time Machine’ the restore went well.

Katja Süss - Reply

Perfect guide - covers perfectly every step that was needed and no non-sense. Replaced factory 500GB HDD with 1TB Crucial MX500 and works as a charm!

Antti Latva-aho - Reply

Great guide!

Works like charm, this one too! Have Mini 2011 and 2014, both now with a SSD, 1Tb (2011) and 2Tb (2014).

And great tools!

Johan Roman - Reply

My Mac Mini late 2014 1.4GHz i5 with 4 GB RAM sluggish at best as OS X El Capitan (10.11.6) averages 6-8 GB RAM routinely. The OSX is constantly moving active memory from RAM to HD (the base 5400 rpm HGST 25K500-500 HD).

Booting was 15-30 seconds and from application to application.

Shame on Apple!

I decided to swap out the HD with an SSD. I decided on a Samsung EVO 1 TB SSD. I followed this EXCELLENT guide and replaced the HD with the SSD without much of a problem except removing the HD SATA cable was difficult and I broke the cable. Ordered a replacement. Now, my Mac Mini Late 2014 boots in about 5 seconds and literally flies from application to application like my old Mini did or probably slightly faster.

Bottom line, Apple should have NEVER put the 5400 rpm HGST HD in a machine with such low memory as the operating system typically uses 6-7 GB RAM.

So get rid of the HD for a SSD! Don’t waste your money with the PCIe slot either (yes the connector is there) but more $$ than a sata SSD!

Marc Marchioli - Reply

Amazingly easy to do! Mine is the 2.6Ghz i5 with 8Gb RAM and was getting seemingly slower in bootup and running applications but replacing the drive with a Samsung 860 EVO 500Gb has transformed it! I’ve gone from 2m 24s boot time to 22seconds!! Applications start so much quicker too it’s unreal! Best £90 I’ve ever spent!!

mm2004 - Reply

To you who think…. “i will never manage this”… keep calm..

Buy the proper tools, read the instructions carefully and the comments made by others on this page

and you will fix it :-)

I replaced my 500Gb old HDD to a Hitachi 860 EVO SSD 500Gb today without any issues.

Now my Mac Mini Late 2014 got a new life!

Thanks for a really good guide and for those of you who have posted comments for tips & tricks!.

//Hans

Hans Karlsson - Reply

Awesome tutorials, thanks so much for it. It aint easy without a guide and I can easily break the smaller expensive parts. I managed to upgrade my drive to SSD.

Den - Reply

Excellent guide with crucial tips. Installation went very smoothly. Very happy!

Chris Petersen - Reply

Thank you very much, iFixit team! The procedure worked just to me!

mario.estolano - Reply

Thank you. I did worry about the little prong at the back of the hard drive tray that needs to go into the power supply when it is slid back in. Surprised that there was no warning to be extra careful with that so it didn’t bend and jeopardize going in the right place when the power supply was reinstalled. Tiny screws and big hands don’t go along well, thank goodness for tweezers!

Doug Roberts - Reply

Don’t know if this is where I should ask…. but if I go ahead and put a new empty ssd in my late 2014 mac mini, can I just re-install OS (mojave at this point, with mac OS utilites? (command & r on boot. ) I don’t want to clone it externally as it has too much info and not enough room on new drive. Thanks!

Robert Hamilton - Reply

Yes, see https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314 and use reinstall (works over wi-fi). Be sure to partition the new hard drive first using the Disk Utility included in the recovery utilities, since otherwise the recovery option won’t list the new drive as a location to install the OS.

David Green -

Worked well with Samsung 860 EVO. Great guide, easy to follow. Having the right tools is critical.

David Green - Reply

Excellent post. Upgraded 3 very slow Mac minis with Samsung 860 EVO, all back on being usable now :).

Thanks!

Eric Genet - Reply

Not easy, but the comments helpd.

The only problem was to get the antenna socket back to place, it didn't fit first so the wifi signal was weak, reopened and then it popped into its place, all good now.

Thanks!

Asaf Milo - Reply

Completed the replacement of the normal hard drive with a Kingston A400 SSD without iFixit’s Repair kit.

I used a cut piece from a coat hanger for the metal logic board removal tool.

Small tweezers, a finished ball point pen, guitar picks and a good flashlight helped a lot to finish the process without hassle.

I also used the SuperDuper! app (on trial - didn’t purchase it since it was mostly for a one-time thing) to clone my old hard drive that came with the MacMini. Since the SSD was 480GB and the old drive was 500GB in capacity, I was able to do a successful clone. To connect the new SSD to the MacMini for the cloning I used a cheap SATA SSD enclosure. It took around 5 hours to clone the drive completely but it was well worth it.

I use XCODE and the improvements were massive.

The metal retaining clip in Step 26 is used to keep the AC-In connector in Step 27 from rotating.

All in all, it was a great success. Thank you iFixit and the people who commented for this great guide.

Wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

Cheers!

Thisura Dodangoda - Reply

Hate to say it, but the way Apple has been in the last 10 years… I might just have to go buy a Dell.

Bryan - Reply

Super Anleitung - habe heute danach meine HDD durch eine SSD im MacMini ersetzt. Jedes Bild und Menuepunkt waren exakt beschrieben und bebildert. Lediglich der Rückbau der WLAN-Antenne war etwas fummeling, weil sehr klein.

DANKE für die Anleitung - sonst hätte es nicht so geklappt

Herbert Kaminski - Reply

I replaced my Mini’s failing hard drive today and it was the smoothest Mac repair I’ve ever done. The guide is perfect. The comments in each section helped immensely. Thank you iFixit folks!

mollyf - Reply

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