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Introduction

Use this guide to upgrade or replace the solid-state drive in a MacBook Air 13” Early 2017. This MacBook Air uses a proprietary storage drive connector, and is therefore not compatible with common M.2 drives without the use of an adapter.

Before you perform this repair, if at all possible, back up your existing SSD. Then, either familiarize yourself with internet recovery or create a bootable external drive so you’ll be ready to install macOS onto your new drive and migrate your data to the new SSD.

Finally, we strongly recommend installing macOS 10.13 High Sierra (or a later macOS) before replacing the original SSD from your MacBook Air. Most new SSDs require updated storage drivers not found in versions of macOS prior to High Sierra.

    • Before proceeding, power down your MacBook. Close the display and lay it on a soft surface, top-side down.

    • Use a P5 Pentalobe driver to remove ten screws securing the lower case, of the following lengths:

    • Two 9 mm screws

    • Eight 2.6 mm screws

  1. Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air.
    • Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air.

    • Remove the lower case and set it aside.

  2. To ensure that everything is de-energized and won't turn on while you're working, it is recommended that you disconnect the battery. Grab the clear plastic pull tab attached to the battery connector and pull it parallel to the board toward the front edge of the Air.
    • To ensure that everything is de-energized and won't turn on while you're working, it is recommended that you disconnect the battery.

    • Grab the clear plastic pull tab attached to the battery connector and pull it parallel to the board toward the front edge of the Air.

    • Do not lift upward on the connector as you disconnect it or you risk damage to the connector socket.

  3. Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the SSD to the logic board.
    • Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the SSD to the logic board.

  4. Gently lift the end of the SSD about half an inch and pull it straight out of its socket on the logic board. Don't lift the SSD more than half an inch—doing so may damage the SSD or its socket on the logic board.
    • Gently lift the end of the SSD about half an inch and pull it straight out of its socket on the logic board.

    • Don't lift the SSD more than half an inch—doing so may damage the SSD or its socket on the logic board.

    • When reinstalling the SSD, be sure it is properly seated before reinstalling its retaining screw.

Conclusion

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

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

Repair didn’t go as planned? Try some basic troubleshooting, or ask our Answers community for help.

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Adam O'Camb

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One Comment

Thanks! My wife’s MacBook Air is now rocking a 480GB drive (upgraded from 128GB).

Mark Frauenfelder - Reply

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