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Introduction

Accessing the RAM in this computer is straightforward and requires minimal disassembly.

  1. MacBook Unibody Model A1278 RAM Replacement, Access Door: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • With the case closed, place the Unibody top-side down on a flat surface.

    • Depress the grooved side of the access door release latch enough to grab the free end. Lift the release latch until it is vertical.

    This is not a a1278 unibody MacBook Pro. A1278 MacBooks backs are one solid metal piece not two separate pieces. This guide is for a different MacBook Pro.

    Brad Burgeson - Reply

    This guide isn’t for a pro; it’s a MacBook unibody.

    Nicholas -

    So, it turns out that Apple used the model code A1278 for quite a few different Mac models, including both Pro and non-Pro versions! This guide is for the non-Pro Macbooks. There’s also one for the Pro models with the same A1278 identifier.

    tempelmann - Reply

  2. MacBook Unibody Model A1278 RAM Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 1
    • The access door should now be raised enough to lift it up and out of the Unibody.

  3. MacBook Unibody Model A1278 RAM Replacement, Battery: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • Be sure the access door release latch is vertical before proceeding.

    • Grab the white plastic tab and pull the battery up and out of the Unibody.

    Great tutorial ! great step !

    Leo Etcheverry - Reply

    Even though it’s specifically stated, you have to make sure the access door latch is vertical or the battery won’t be removable.

    Henry Kim - Reply

  4. MacBook Unibody Model A1278 RAM Replacement, Lower Case: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following eight screws securing the lower case to the chassis:

    • One 3 mm Phillips screw.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Four 3.5 mm Phillips screws.

    On my model, it seemed the top-left was 3.5mm and the bottom 4 were 3 mm.

    Jim - Reply

    Make sure you have a good quality Phillips screwdriver. Mine had removable tips and had a small play at the connection. As a result I didn't have a good feel and damaged my screws (those securing the fan and the top left in step 23). Game over for me installing new thermal paste...

    Be very carefull with your screws! Especially those on the inside.

    Nickolas Michelinakis - Reply

    You can get away with a Phillips #00 for many of the screws involved but the 4 at the bottom case split are likely to strip if you don’t use a JIS #00 or, in a pinch, a Phillips #000.

    Bill Cole - Reply

    I used the Phillips #00 tip from my Pro Tech Toolkit, and it worked well enough. But yes, maybe #000 might have been better on the lower row of screws. Note to myself: Always read the comments first.

    Les Kitchen -

    When replacing these screws, the order to replace them in is as follows:

    1, Top left

    2. Top right

    3. Top center-left

    4. Top center-right

    5. Bottom center-right

    6. Bottom center-left

    7. Bottom right

    8. Bottom left

    I hope this information is helpful.

    facebook - Reply

    I followed my usual process of putting in all the screws loosely, then tightening them gradually in distributed pattern, to help ensure that the panel settles in place evenly. But maybe some orders are better.

    Les Kitchen -

  5. MacBook Unibody Model A1278 RAM Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • Using both hands, lift and remove the lower case off the upper case.

    Thanks for the guide!

    It's implicit in the two photos, but worth mentioning because it blocked my progress in this step for a bit: You have to put the release latch back into its horizontal, closed position before you can lift off the lower-case panel.

    Les Kitchen - Reply

  6. MacBook Unibody Model A1278 RAM Replacement, RAM: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • Release the tabs on each side of the chip by simultaneously pushing each tab away from the RAM.

    • These tabs lock the chip in place and releasing them will cause the chip to "pop" up.

  7. MacBook Unibody Model A1278 RAM Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 1
    • After the RAM chip has popped up, pull it straight out of its socket.

    • Repeat this process if a second RAM chip is installed.

    So happy :D Why to go elsewhere ?

    Leo Etcheverry - Reply

Conclusion

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

290 other people completed this guide.

21 Comments

Open back of unit, press two grey sides surrounding the chip, pull out the top (leave the bottom 2gb in) put in the new (4gb) chip; now there are 6gb of ram.

mrstiffanyjudson - Reply

I just upgraded to 2 4GB chips. Works fine sofar!

Sten Folkerman - Reply

That's awesome! I thought that I could only upgrade the RAM to 4GB (which is what I have now). Can you give me the type of RAM that you installed? I have this exact model MacBook.

Jonathan -

Uh oh. I replaced my 2 1GB ram with 2 2GB. I turned it on and it beeps at me about every second, the front status light blinks in time, but nothing else....what next?

dunkelcreature - Reply

Sounds like bad RAM. I would contact who you purchased it from. If it was us, email support [at] ifixit [dot] com

Scott Dingle -

I noticed the back of the Macbook Pro in the picture looks different than mine but I have an A1278 too. What year is the one in the display and would I follow these same directions to replace RAM on a mid-2010 Unibody Macbook Pro.

Sharizzel - Reply

I have used your guide several times, and appreciate how clear you are. I found that my PH#00 tool was too big; the PH#000 worked perfectly-- we did buy this used and it's "possible" that the screws were replaced-- but it would seem odd if all of them were-- having said that, there are 3 missing-- luckily the case seems to be holding together ok.

beth leonhardt - Reply

Piece of cake! :)

Gabriel Mattos - Reply

I replaced my 2x 1GB ram by 2x 2GB out of my Mac Book Pro. Works fine with the faster DDR3 RAM 1333 Mhz PC3-10600 so far!

oxolong - Reply

Hi, which model of the macbook? I tried but did not succeed!

newageemo -

Can i upgrade it to 16gb in yosemite?

Melvin - Reply

hi is it possible to upgrade RAM from 2 X 2GB to 2 X 4GB

Sesan Munusamy - Reply

I need know too if it’s possible upgrade to 2x4gb (8gb total memory), has anyone prove it?. Thanks.

Ramón

ramonol - Reply

Hi Ramón,

Yes, you can indeed upgrade the memory to a total of 8 GB. Just remember to use 2 identical RAM modules (PC3-8500).

Kim Vexborg - Reply

Hi peoples

I’ve had my 2010 A1286 MBPro die and am thinking about putting the 8gb of RAM into my 2008 A1278 Macbook. Is this possible or wise? Looking into compatibility now. Its currently running 2gb in total and desperately needs a bump.

If anyone has any insight would love to hear!

Thanks in advance.

Matthews - Reply

Hi Matthews

Your 2008 has a SSD?

There’s no big difference between 4Gb and 8Gb of RAM

if you have and SSD.

If you want a rocket ? change your HDD

joelvidal -

Disculpa Una pregunta la Memoria RAM 8GB 2x4GB Corsair CMSA8GX3M2A1333C9 Mac Memory son compatibles con la MacBook de finales de 2008, con procesador Intel Core 2 Duo a 2Ghz es que ando buscando estás que si son compatibles memoria de Corsair para Mac, un kit de dos memorias CMSA8GX3 de 4gb y no las encuentro

Sergio Rojas - Reply

Hola Sergio

No son compatibles en teoría.

Esa corre a 1333 y necesitas una que corra a 1066 Mhz

Yo se las cambié pensando que iba a haber una gran diferencia y no fue así, la gran diferencia está en cambiarle el HDD por uno sólido.

joelvidal -

Hola amigos, tengo un Macbook 13” Late 2008 Processor 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Memory 2 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 - con OS 10.9.5 y esta caducando ya. He estado leyendo en foros que cambiando el disco a SSD (Disco sólido interno SanDisk SSD Plus SDSSDA-240G-G26 240GB) y subiendo el RAM a 8gb (me recomiendan Memoria RAM Mac Memory 4GB 1x4GB Corsair CMSA4GX3M1A1066C7) ya podria actulizar el OS a una version bastante decente (no se si OS 10.15). Uds. que recomiendan? Vale la pena la inversion? (el gasto aca serian Us$100 en la hardware) + horas hombre (no conozco pero a punta de tutoriales.

Gracias por su tiempo

hiram75 - Reply

Thanks Walter Galan (and other contributors). With this guide I was able to upgrade my Unibody Macbook A1278 to 8GB RAM (2 times 4GB). Very nice!

Next job is some LVM surgery to expand my swap partition from 4GB to at least 8GB (taking the space from my /home partition) so I can still have hibernation working. I'm running Debian Linux on this machine. Not only is it liberating, but it's the only way of keeping such an old machine running up-to-date software.

I originally bought the RAM sticks from iFixit intending to upgrade my old Lenovo Thinkpad X20 from 4GB RAM to 8GB. But that didn't work. Not having time to diagnose the problem, I found a home for the RAM by using it to upgrade this Macbook.

Les Kitchen - Reply

Correction: That was a Thinkpad X200.

Les Kitchen -

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